This Week in Arts

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Film

Peter Greenaway’s “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover” (1989) is not a movie that calls for popcorn, not only because of its twisted antics — running the gamut of blood, shit and piss — but because it is a bold, serious film. Michael Gambon plays Albert Spica, one of cinema’s sickest villains. He and his wife Georgina (Helen Mirren) frequent Le Hollandais, a fashionable restaurant in some vacuum of time and space that resembles Jacobian France refracted through Dante’s Inferno. When Georgina takes a lover, Spica goes on a rampage that leaves no one unscathed.

With costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, currently on display at the De Young, “The Cook” cites Caravaggio and Bruegel in every shot. Don’t miss this extremely rare film that is, as it happens, also one of the most extreme films out there. It plays Thursday April 5, 9:20 p.m. at The Castro Theatre in S.F. Tickets are $10.

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.

Music

San Francisco’s Blue Bear School of Music will be showcasing their students at the Rickshaw Stop through Wednesday this week. The nonprofit organization teaches students of all skill levels in the ways of rock, folk, pop and jazz.

Alumni include numerous Bay Area musicians, as well as some more big-name artists, such as Arion Salazar from Third Eye Blind. The event will allow people to witness some of the Bay Area’s promising upcoming musicians.

The Rickshaw Stop’s Popscene Club Night will host K.Flay, the Bay Area indie hip-hop girl wonder. Although she grew up on classic rock in Chicago, her music career didn’t take off until she began college at Stanford University, where she began experimenting with hip-hop. A one-woman whirlwind of heavy beats, dainty melodies and funky electro-grooves, this eclectic rapper will be tearing up the stage at the Rickshaw Stop this Thursday.

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.

Theater

Cheer up, coming back from spring break isn’t all bad — there’s theater shows left and right this week. Jonathan Pryce, from films like “Brazil” and “Pirates of the Caribbean,” is starring in “The Caretaker,” an intimate study in sharp dialogue, in which two brothers allow a homeless man to stay in their home. The production has traveled from the U.K. to perform at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre. It is also the first major revival of a work by the British master playwright, Harold Pinter, since his death.

Last week, the nation embraced the return of AMC’s “Mad Men,” so everyone is probably in the mood for more cocktail parties. Dial back a decade earlier, and you get “Maple and Vine,” a dark comedy about a married couple that joins a group of 1950s re-enactors, only to be entangled in the time period’s racial and sexual politics. “Maple and Vine” is showing at the the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.

Visual art

To kick off this month’s First Friday Art Walk at the Oakland Art Murmur, the mobile public art gallery ArtIsMobilUs, will be roaming the streets of Oakland to promote their mission: “Art for the people, to the people.” Featuring different artists each month, the school bus will be brimming with large and small-scale works installed on both its exterior and interior.

This month, murals by Crayone and Ezra Li Eismont will be painted on the outside, and artists Sean Murdock and Mark Erickson will be shown inside.

While all of these artists are influential in the Bay Area and beyond, of particular note this month will be the works of Murdock, a mixed-media artist who just moved to the Bay from the art hub of Miami. We can expect a provocative showing of sensuous photographic prints set on bold backgrounds, resembling contemporary stencil street art with an Andy Warhol sensibility.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.