This Week in Arts

Our lead critics bring you the latest and greatest in Bay Area arts and culture this week. 

Film

Wednesday afternoon, Pacific Film Archive hosts the last of its Film 50 series, a course taught by Marilyn Fabe which surveys a variety of films from different eras and sensibilities. This year’s theme was “History of Cinema: Film and the Other Arts.” A professor in the Department of Film Studies, Fabe is known for her wry, informative lectures on Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen, but for this Film 50, she selected the works of a number of auteurs, from Michelangelo Antonioni to Guy Maddin, whose silent “Dracula: Pages from a Virgin’s Diary” will conclude the semester. For this film, Maddin goes back to the source material, the novel by Bram Stoker. His vision is an irreverent, sex-filled, meta-cinematic romp that is entirely inside Maddin’s head, but his brain is enough of a curiosity to keep our attention. Few tickets are available, but visit the box office to purchase one.

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.

Visual Art

In Old Crow Tattoo & Gallery’s new show “Entropy” opening Saturday, Mario Ayala and Vibrata Chomodoris dialogue back and forth on the theme of disorder. Influenced by his Cuban roots, Ayala incorporates strange creatures and abstractions into his paintings. Opposite will be Chomodoris’ digital paintings of psychedelic images and two large-scale, wall-mounted sculptures. The show will guide the viewer toward a visceral understanding of entropy.

To round off your arts weekend, check out UC Berkeley Center for New Media’s symposium “Digital Inquiry: Forms of Knowledge in the Age of New Media” at the Banatao Auditorium right on campus Friday and Saturday. Scholars, artists and representatives from the media industry will be discussing the future of media in knowledge acquisition, innovation and the arts.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.

Music

The Oakland-based eclectic singer Merrill Garbus — better known as tUnE-yArDs — will be playing with St. Vincent tomorrow at Oakland’s Fox Theater.  Known for her obscure yet tantalizing vocal effects mixed in with drum loops, tUnE-yArDs will be adding a saxophone into her diverse instrument collection for this tour in support of her second release w h o k i l l.

San Francisco will also be ablaze with its own local pop sounds this week, as The SHE’s lead a night of harmonies at the Rickshaw Stop. While The SHE’s offer a vintage pop sound from the ’50s and ’60s, the dream-pop vibes of The Bilinda Butchers provide a somber, romantic look into the depths of the normally bubbly genre. Before you dive into that realm though, Oakland’s own quartet Trails and Ways will open up the show with their own brand of soothing, political pop.

 Ian Birnam is the lead music critic

Theater

The sunny weather means it’s a good time to go out with your friends. And once you’re with your pals — anyone up for comedy night? Local writers and filmmakers gather to present “The Mad Stash: Discovery!” at the Firehouse Art Collective in Berkeley. The multi-media performance co-produced by Battle Stache Studios and Oakland Indie Mayhem will blend sketch comedy theater, film and live music. If that seems like a little bit of everything, the show’s humor is catered to college-age audiences and anyone who enjoys supporting artists from the East Bay.

Opening in the middle of dead week on May 3 is Impact Theatre’s “Crevice,” a comedy written by Lauren Yee and directed by Cal grad Desdemona Chiang. Enter La Val’s Subterranean to join the journey of a pair of siblings, unemployed and nearly aged 30. Seniors graduating this spring, does this sound like a familiar nightmare scenario to you?

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.