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").
Jun 22, 3pm to 5pm, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA 94704
Jun 22, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Jun 22, 7pm to 9pm, Caffè on San Pablo, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley
Pegasus welcomes renowned poets Kim Addonizio, Donna Masini, and Brittany Perham, for an evening of shared words from recent works.
Kim Addonizio is the author of a dozen books, most recently Bukowski in a Sundress: Confessions from a Writing Life (Penguin), and a poetry collection, Mortal Trash (W.W. Norton). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Sun, Poetry, Narrative, and elsewhere. She is an occasional presenter for BBC Radio. She lives in Oakland, CA, and teaches poetry workshops privately and online. Visit her at www.kimaddonizio.com.
Donna Masini's third book of poems, 4:30 Movie (W.W. Norton and Co., 2018) will be out this May. She is the author of Turning to Fiction (W.W. Norton 2004), That Kind of Danger (Beacon Press, 1994), and a novel, About Yvonne (W.W. Norton,1998). Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Poetry, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Open City, The Paris Review, Parnassus, Pushcart Prize, Brooklyn Poets, Best American Poetry 2015. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships, she is a Professor of English at Hunter College where she teaches in the MFA Creative Writing program. She is at work on a novel, The Good Enough Mother.
Brittany Perham is the author of Double Portrait (W.W. Norton, 2017), which received the Barnard Women Poets Prize; The Curiosities (Free Verse Editions, 2012); and, with Kim Addonizio, the collaborative chapbook The Night Could Go in Either Direction (SHP, 2016). She is a Jones Lecturer in the Creative Writing Program at Stanford University, where she was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. She lives in San Francisco.
Jun 22, 7:30pm to 8:30pm, Pegasus Books Downtown 2349 Shattuck Ave Berkeley
Orchestra Nostalgico performs music from classics by some of the great composers for the movies: Ennio Morricone, Bernard Hermann, Charlie Chaplin, Giovanni Fusco and more.
Jun 22, 8pm to 10pm, The Starry Plough Pub - 3101 Shattuck Avenue - Berkeley
Noel Jewkes is one of the premier saxophone players in Northern California. He has worked in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 35 years, and has earned a distinguished reputation with lovers of Jazz.
Listening to the majestic phrasing and harmonic adventurousness of Noel Jewkes is almost like hearing the entire history of modern jazz in a single evening. No wonder he is revered by musicians, critics, and music lovers alike as the premiere Saxist-by-the-Bay. Some years back, Phil Elwood, the legendary jazz critic, said of Noel, "I don't know of a better contemporary modern saxman anywhere."
And Kay Kostopoulos is not only one of Northern California's finest singers, she is also a great friend of Noel's, and their on-stage partnership exudes a rare chemistry and musical rapport.
This performance includes Adam Gay (bass) and Tony Johnson (drums). Both of these guys have been part of Noel's legendary stable for years. Sam Cady (who is very familiar with Noel's complex original arrangements) and Sam Rudin (who is not) will be splitting the piano chores.
Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below, or you may purchase your tickets at the door the night of the show. Doors open one half hour before show time. We accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby).
The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!
Jun 22, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
Previously of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet, Jeremy Kittel has been a composer-arranger-collaborator for such diverse artists as My Morning Jacket, Yo-Yo Ma & the Silk Road Ensemble, and Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn. He blazes through a Bach violin partita as easily as a Scottish reel, bringing the same intense focus and precision to both. For the last few years the Michigan native, now based in Brooklyn, has been diligently building his own repertoire of music for a wholly original new group.
This Kittel and Co. show features mandolin phenom Josh Pinkham (named "the future of the mandolin" by Mandolin Magazine) and guitarist Quinn Bachand (who's toured with fiddling icons Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster).
Kittel & Co.'s highly anticipated new album is set to release on Compass Records.
$20 ADV / $24 DOOR (plus fees) Tickets available by phone or at door
Jun 22, 8pm to 10pm,
The Oakland Crush plays funky, soulful jazz for every occasion. Based on your musical needs and appetite, they'll cook up a mood ranging from seductive Bossa and Jazz, to a full force funky dance party freakout!
Jun 22, 8pm to 11pm, Jupiter, 2181 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley
Violent Femmes were founded in 1980 by bassist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Ritchie and drummer Victor De Lorenzo. The name is a contradiction in terms, "Violent" being self-explanatory and "Femmes" being Milwaukee slang for wimp.
The rhythm section added high school singer/songwriter Gordon Gano in 1981. Gano and Ritchie had previously performed together at Gano's National Honor Society induction ceremony, where they caused a near riot. Gano was expelled from the Society and suspended from high school for this outrage.
One of the only stable aspects of the band is their aversion to rehearsal. Due to this they would take the music to the streets in an attempt to hone it and earn some spare change. It was on one of these occasions that they were spotted by the Pretenders. Chrissie Hynde and the gang were so amused by the Violent Femmes antics that they invited the band to open the show for them. The hometown Milwaukee audience received the Femmes with unanimous booing. However by the end of the set the Femmes had converted approximately 50% of the audience to their cause. Many years later Brian Ritchie encountered Hynde when the Femmes and Pretenders shared the bill at a radio concert. She said, "Oh, you're still around."
The Femmes borrowed $10,000 from Victor De Lorenzo's dad to record their legendary first album in 1982. Slash Records in Los Angeles was the only label to offer them a deal with the amazing advance of $0. The band accepted the deal and started on the predictable round of world tours, recording, more world tours, nervous breakdowns, band members quitting, solo albums, regrouping, more touring, divorces, more crackups, dropped from record deals, new deals, more touring, record company going bankrupt, lawsuits, etc. etc. etc. ad infinitum.
Fast forward to the present. Many things have changed. One thing that hasn't is the sound of the band. Their loose, improvisational, acoustic sound is timeless.
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm
Jun 22, 9pm to 11pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley