Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar


Super Cinema @Central

August 2018
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.

September 2018
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").

Jul 6, 3pm to 5pm, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA 94704

Extramarital Sextet/East Bay Hextet

Extramarital Sextet/East Bay Hextet


Jul 6, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA

The Jazz Fourtet

Jul 6, 7pm to 9pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Revolution Bummer, George Crustanza, GILT [FL], Throwing Rocks, SGBD

Revolution Bummer [SF post-hardcore]
George Crustanza [SF hardcore]
GILT [North FL sad/angry-core]
Throwing Rocks [Bay area punk rock]
Shotgun Braindectomy [Berkeley Tinnituscore-noise ]
ALL AGES. Doors @ 7:30pm
$10 + $2 Membership
Safe(r) Space Venue: no drugs, alcohol, or bigoted behavior.

Jul 6, 7:30pm to 11:59pm, 924 Gilman, 924 Gilman St, Berkeley,


Sugartown is an indie/roots/alt string band, heavy on the harmonies - and all about that bass. They love ballads about murder, mayhem and heartbreak but like to throw in a little southern moonshine to sweeten the mix.

Their original songs explore topics ranging from the anxiety of waiting in a cafe for a lover to arrive ("White Tablecloths"), to the burden of ancestry ("Bloodlines"). They cover songs from an eclectic pool of artists: the Be Good Tanya's fabulous singer/songwriter, Frazey Ford, local alt genius Sam Chase, and their musical gods Cohen, Dylan and Waits.

Sugartown features the intricate melodies and rhythms of local jazz player Dan Seamans on standup bass, and the latest addition to the band is fiddling wunderkind David Boyden, the red-haired scion of famous Berkeley-based violin scholar David Boyden, Sr. Adding his lightning lead guitar riffs and colorful vocals is public-defender-by-day Brian Bloom, while local author/songwriter Zoe FitzGerald Carter plays rhythm guitar, sings, and writes the band's original songs. The band is thrilled to be coming to The Back Room to celebrate the launch of their first-ever CD, Waiting for the Earthquake. Joining the group will be local drummer Joe Mockus and several special musical guests.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $18 at the door and $10 for students with ID. 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!

Jul 6, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Stu Allen and Mars Hotel

A tradition started back in the 20th century, Ashkenaz's Grateful Dead Night is always evolving, reaching new heights since Stu Allen & Mars Hotel launched a weekly residency in late 2011. Led by acclaimed guitarist-singer Allen (of Phil Lesh & Friends, Melvin Seals & JGB, Ghosts of Electricity), a revolving cast of incredibly talented musicians inhabits Mars Hotel, drawing from the Grateful Dead's vast catalog to delight Deadheads and dancers of all generations. A Mars Hotel show is always an energetic evening of good vibes, good music, and good community.

When it became apparent that Jerry Garcia had played his final show in 1995, Stu Allen began working to keep Garcia's music, sound, and spirit alive in the concert setting. He regularly works with Phil Lesh and has also played sets with Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann. Allen is perhaps most known for fronting Melvin Seals' tribute to the Jerry Garcia Band from 2004 to 2011. He received more national acclaim in 2010 when he toured with Dark Star Orchestra. Allen shares the Grateful Dead's commitment to making each performance a unique event, from preparation to execution. He will perform multiple shows before playing the same song twice, and even then, that song will not be realized in quite the same way.

Mars Hotel takes this idea a step further by presenting a new band at each performance. Drawing from the rich music scene of the Bay Area, Allen has assembled a broad and ever-rotating group of musicians that makes each concert a once-only experience. As far as Grateful Dead tribute bands go, this is a concept that has never been done before.

Jul 6, 8pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley


All Ages $30 ADV / $34 DOOR (plus fees)

Jul 6, 8pm to 10pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street Berkeley

California Jazz Conservatory - Rising Star - Florio

Florio `s concert will include works by jazz masters, J.S. Bach, and new compositions by the members. Katherine Westine, piano;
Yehudit Lieberman, acoustic and five-string electric violin;
Gael Alcock, cello

Katherine Westine holds a B.A. in Music and a Master's degree in Organ Performance and has done post-graduate study in Early Music and early keyboards at the Norddeutsche Orgelakademie in Germany. Ms. Westine performs and teaches in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to teaching and composing in her studio in Oakland, she is on the faculty of the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley and is currently studying jazz with Susan Muscarella. Katherine is a member of the ensembles La Foolia!, Dueling Harpsichords, Lewiston Jazz, and Florio.

Yehudit Lieberman has been active on the San Francisco jazz and classical music scene for over 30 years. She has headlined at numerous venues and festivals in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas. In 2007, she resigned her long-time membership in the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra in order to devote her full energies to jazz performance and composition. Her CDs are available on the Edgetone Records label. You can hear samples of her music and buy her CDs by visiting

Cellist Gael Alcock has accompanied singers, dancers, artists, and poets since moving to the Bay Area in the mid 1970s. While a member of the Berkeley and San Jose Symphonies, she premiered solos and chamber music works by local composers, founded the Concerto Collective in collaboration with San Francisco Dancers Stage, and played at dance festivals, cafes, and salons with dancer/video artist Cathy Weis and Sweet Western Dalliance. In 2017, she performed in Lizz Roman's Sunset Dances, and in Clive Matson's epic "Hello Paradise, Paradise Goodbye" at the European Beat Studies Network Conference in Paris, France.

Jul 6, 8pm to 10pm, California Jazz Conservatory, 2087 Addison St, Berkeley