Pictures from the Tumultuous 70s
Friday, August 3 The Last Picture Show 1971 / 118 min. / R / CC
The time is 1951 in a tiny Texas town. A diner, a pool hall and the Royal movie theater are the only places to go, "except to bed," critic Roger Ebert wryly comments in his review. Best friends Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (Jeff Bridges) lust after a phony rich girl (Cybill Shepherd). Adults mostly guard their secrets. In the end, loss shakes loose some authentic emotion from the friends. Cloris Leachman and Ellen Burstyn are superb in supporting roles.
Friday, August 10 A Woman Under the Influence 1974 / 155 min. / R / CC
An LA housewife and mother, Mabel (Gena Rowlands), is unpredictable, sometimes volatile, sometimes overly friendly, to the extent that her construction worker husband, Nick (Peter Falk), wonders about her ability to handle the life they lead. Stellar performances from both leads make this an essential movie experience. Gena Rowlands won several Best Actress awards for it. The writer-director, John Cassavettes, is an icon of independent film.
Friday, August 17 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 1975 / 133 min. / R / CC
Considered to be among the greatest films ever, Cuckoo's Nest is the story of a funny and often satisfying power struggle between a cocky recidivist felon (Jack Nicholson) and an authoritarian mental hospital nurse (Louise Fletcher). It's based on a Ken Kesey novel, boasts a near perfect ensemble cast (including Christopher Lloyd, Brad Dourif and Danny DeVito) and won all the major awards: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Screenplay.
Friday, August 24 Taxi Driver 1976 / 113 min. / R / CC
After being discharged from the Vietnam-era Marines, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) drives a taxi in New York City. He's a loner who forms attachments to inappropriate women-a presidential campaign worker (Cybill Shepherd) and a 15 year old prostitute (Jodie Foster), whom he wants to protect. Pushed over the edge by their rejections, he begins to stalk the corrupt, sleazy guys who employ them. Martin Scorsese directs this thriller as black comedy.
Friday, August 31 Chinatown 1974 / 130 min. / R / CC
In a story based on the early twentieth century California Water Wars, private eye Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) takes a job following a Department of Water and Power engineer-who soon turns up dead. Immediately, Gittes is led by the engineer's widow (Faye Dunaway) to peel away layer after layer of corruption and mystery surrounding her husband's death. Directed by Roman Polanski, Chinatown is another of our greatest-and most beautifully shot-films.
About Workers' Movements
Friday, September 7 Matewan 1987 / 135 min. / PG-13 / CC
It's 1920 in the town of Matewan, West Virginia. When Stone Mountain Coal Company cuts the wages of rebellious coal miners and brings in African American replacements, a United Mine Workers man (Chris Cooper) arrives to organize a union. In response, the company hires private detectives to oppose the miners and to set blacks and whites against each other. Tensions boil over, leading to a historic battle. James Earl Jones plays the character who leads black miners.
Friday, September 14 The Help 2011 / 146 min. / PG-13 / no CC
In 1963, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) agrees to let aspiring writer Skeeter Phelan (Emma Stone) interview her about her experiences as a maid to white families in Jackson, Mississippi. Gradually, other maids risk their jobs to join in with their own harrowing stories, which are all intended to yield a change-making book. Great storytelling and character development make this film exceptional. The ensemble cast also includes Octavia Spencer and David Oyelowo.
Friday, September 21 Blue Collar 1978 / 114 min. / R / no CC
Three Detroit auto workers (Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel & Yaphet Kotto) are buddies on and off work. They feel trapped between big industry and their do-nothing, corrupt union. They hit on a plan to rob the safe in the union office, leading to complications that lay bare the terrible predicament of working people. Written and directed by Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver), who delivers an authentic, uncompromising ending. It's a very powerful film.
Friday, September 28 North Country 2005 / 126 min. / R / CC
Josey Aimes (Charlize Theron) flees her abusive husband with two kids to stay with her parents in her North Dakota home town. Most jobs available to her pay very little, so a friend (Frances McDormand) encourages her to apply to work in the same mine where she and Josie's father work. Josie's demeaning experiences there eventually drive her to start a legal fight with the mining company. Based on a true story, and directed by Niki Caro ("Whale Rider").
Mar 16, 3pm to 5pm, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA 94704
Mar 16, 5pm to 7pm, California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St Berkeley, CA 94704
China, Hong Kong, Taiwan,
Winner of the Best Director prize for Hou Hsiao-hsien at the 2015 Cannes film festival, The Assassin is "a mesmerizing slow burn of a martial-arts movie" (Variety).
Mar 16, 7pm to 8pm, Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St, Berkeley
It Rains on Our Love
BAMPFA Student Committee Pick!
Two young people try to protect a fragile love on society's margins in Bergman's early look at adolescents in crisis, infused with a surprising warmth and optimism.
Screening in Theater 2; regular film ticket prices apply
Mar 16, 7:30pm to 9pm, Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St, Berkeley
Mallory Ortberg reads from their darkly playful new book, The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror. Featuring special guest Charlie Jane Anders, author of the Nebula Award winner, All the Birds in the Sky.
About the Book
From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from the beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, "The Merry Spinster" takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bringing in tens of thousands of views, as the stories proved a perfect vehicle for Ortberg's eye for deconstruction and destabilization. Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief.
Readers of The Toast will instantly recognize Ortberg's boisterous good humor and uber-nerd swagger: those new to Ortberg's oeuvre will delight in her unique spin on fiction, where something a bit mischievous and unsettling is always at work just beneath the surface.
Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.
Bed time will never be the same.
Mallory Ortberg is Slate's "Dear Prudence". Ortberg has written for Gawker, New York Magazine, The Hairpin, and The Atlantic and is the co-creator of The Toast, a general-interest website geared toward women. Ortberg lives in the Bay Area with their laptop and their cat.
Charlie Jane Anders is the author of All the Birds in the Sky, out now. She's the organizer of the Writers With Drinks reading series, and she was a founding editor of io9, a website about science fiction, science and futurism. Her stories have appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Tor.com, Lightspeed, Tin House, ZYZZYVA, and several anthologies. Her novelette "Six Months, Three Days" won a Hugo award.
Mar 16, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown, 2349 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
A profound songwriter, Chris Smither draws deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets, and philosophers. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. "Smither is an American original - a product of the musical melting pot and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world."-Associated Press. His latest album, Call Me Lucky, offers commentary on the human condition and raises the bar when it comes to reflective songwriting. He is joined by David "Goody" Goodrich on guitar and Billy Conway on drums.
Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm
$30 ADV / $34 DOOR (plus fees)
Mar 16, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA, 94704
UNIVERSITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
David Milnes, music director
Ann Moss, soprano
BERG Sieben frühe Lieder
MAHLER Symphony No. 7
Mar 16, 8pm to 10pm, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley
Drew Dir, director
Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman, sound and score
Shadow puppetry, live music, and immersive visual effects combine to tell the magical story of two elderly sister lighthouse keepers separated by death, in Manual Cinema's charming Ada/Ava. The Chicago-based performance collective's "exquisitely precise piece of visual storytelling" (The Guardian, London) evokes the supernatural world of the New England gothic, where the living and the dead commingle in an exploration of melancholy, loneliness, and sisterly love.
$68. 642-9988. cal performances.org
Mar 16, 8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Playhouse, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
HowellDevine, the massively talented NorCal trio, became the first blues band Arhoolie Records (Fred McDowell, Lightnin' Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton) signed in 27 years. Triple threat talent Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, voice) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past.
HowellDevine breaks from the norm, providing rich and complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago.
Mar 16, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room 1984 Bonita Ave. Berkeley
FREE – Donations of any size are welcome and greatly appreciated!
Enjoy a lively evening of son jarocho music, dancing, and zapateado- bring your dance shoes and instruments, or just come and enjoy the music and dance! There is no entrance fee, but any monetary donations are accepted in support of programming at La Peña.
Son Jarocho is a lively traditional art form from the southern Mexican state of Veracruz that sits on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.It is a lyrical and danceable music genre that formed in the melding of three cultures: Arabic-Spanish, African and indigenous Mexican. It is at the same time highly improvised and highly structured-filled with complex poly-rhythms and musical dialogue in its dance, song, poetry and music. The basic instrumentation of the son jarocho includes the jarana jarocha, guitarra de son (both guitar-like instruments) and zapateado (percussive footwork). Regional variations include the harp and various percussive instrum (View Full Event Description Here: https://lapena.org/event/fandango-jarocho-jam-sessio/2018-03-16/)
Mar 16, 8pm to 11pm, 3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA, 94705, United States
Join us for an evening of four one-act comedies drawn from the collection of award-winning playwright David Ives, and directed, designed and performed by TDPS students. Ives's offbeat sketches mix the witty and the wise-cracking, the surreal and the satiric, and the poetic and the perplexing. The show opens Thursday, March 15, 2018 and continues through Sunday, March 18, 2018 in the Durham Studio Theater on the UC Berkeley campus. Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8pm; Saturday & Sunday at 2pm.
The four pieces take on the absurdity of being alive and the possibilities of human connection:
Time Flies - directed by Angelina Steshenko
English Made Simple - directed by Ceylan Ersoy
The Universal Language - directed by Tanvi Agrawal
Sure Thing - directed by Carmel Suchard
Time Flies follows two mayflies on their first date. They are interrupted by Sir David Attenborough, who informs them that their lives only last 24 hours. A one-night stand quickly turns into a mid-life crisis, as the brokenhearted bugs try to find a solution. "My hope for the audience, " says Director Angelina Steshenko, "is that they'll think about how lucky we are as humans to get more than one day to live and we shouldn't waste any of those days."
In English Made Simple, Jack and Jill meet at a party and proceed through a series of revealing relationship vignettes-punctuated by a solemn narrator who offers grammatical insight into what each person is really thinking as they speak. Director Ceylan Ersoy says, "The first time I read this one-act, it was as if I were reading dialogues I've had in my own life - a brutal revelation of what actually goes on in a daily human interaction. The stage reflects the truths that we avoid, and the reason it's so funny is because we see ourself in the characters."
The Universal Language follows a shy woman with a stutter as she places her faith in a language tutor who promises to teach her the (made-up) universal language "Unamunda." Almost entirely scripted in absurd gibberish, this one-act is gleefully silly and strangely profound as the two discover a true connection. "My goal," says Director Tanvi Agrawal, " is that audiences will walk away thinking about the many nuances and complexities that hide below the surface of `normal' human behavior. I want them to be perplexed at how it's possible to communicate a story without conventional language."
Sure Thing cheekily explores the many possibilities of conversation. Would-be couple Bill and Betty meet at a coffee shop and attempt to connect, continually stumbling or winding up in a dead-end. But every time they blunder, a merciful bell resets the conversation, resulting in a second, third, or even fourth chance to make a good impression. "The beautiful message within each of the four David Ives plays brings forward a little quirk about human relationships," says director Carmel Suchard. "I think audiences will leave with a smile on their face."
Tickets - Students and Seniors, Cal Staff & Faculty: $10 (ID required), General Admission $15
Mar 16, 8pm to 9:15pm, Durham Studio Theater (Dwinelle Hall)
Program: Cultural commentator, radio and television host, and comedian W. Kamau Bell combines
humor with astute social commentary. The Berkeley resident and self-proclaimed "blerd"-or, black nerd- is host of the Emmy-winning CNN series United Shades of America, where he travels the country, engaging diverse subcultures on contentious issues like immigration, white nationalism, and gang violence. At this hometown appearance, Bell discusses his career, his podcast empire, and his recently published first book, The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell.
Mar 16, 8pm to 10pm, Zellerbach Hall