Picks of the week: For midsummer night’s dreamers

Brice Fillici/Courtesy

The sun is shining, the air is warm, and the sudden rise in temperature has those of us accustomed to the Bay Area’s mild weather a little too hot for comfort. This week, escape the heat by giving the nocturnal life a try: Stay indoors during the day, and venture out into the cool evening air. After all, this set of nighttime events is a midsummer night’s dream come true.

Any time: “The Rewriting of David Foster Wallace” by Christian Lorentzen

Maybe you tried (and failed) to struggle your way through “Infinite Jest” the summer after high school, or else read “Consider the Lobster” in a sophomore English seminar. Whether you’re a David Foster Wallace devotee or have barely scratched the surface of his contributions to the canon, you’ll find that Christian Lorentzen’s insightful essay probes the way in which Wallace’s image has been reimagined in popular culture and within literary circles since his death by suicide in 2008.

Thursday: “Amy” at AMC Bay Street 16

Director Asif Kapadia’s documentary explores the rise and fall of beloved singer Amy Winehouse, whose erratic performances and struggle with substance abuse made her a fixture of celebrity tabloids until her death in 2011. Kapadia’s documentary, which includes a treasure trove of interviews and archival footage, has been heralded as “an intensely intimate experience” and “soulful, joyful, tragic.” Pay tribute to the singer yourself at Thursday’s 7 p.m. or 10 p.m. film showing.

Friday: SEKDEK at B4BEL4B Gallery

On Friday night, head over to B4BEL4B Gallery in Oakland for the opening of SEKDEK, short for Spirit Extraction Kit Demon Extraction Kit, described by the event’s Facebook page as a set of “fantastically colorful, expressive & psychedelically gory sculptured head and torso images” by artist and musician Brice Frillici. The opening reception includes prints, a video installation and a live synth set.

Saturday: Beast Crawl Literary Festival

Beast Crawl describes itself as “the beating literary heart of Oakland” — indeed, the annual literary festival is a free night of festivities that features more than 200 writers and 35 local venues, including galleries, bars and storefronts. Find a map of the evening here, and keep your night free of plans: The after-parties — held at Telegraph Beer Garden for all ages and at the Legionnaire Saloon for those age 21 or older — begin at 9 p.m.


Sarah E. Adler is the arts & entertainment editor. Contact her at [email protected].