Berkeley Arts Festival Calendar

07/13/2018

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 13, 3pm to 5pm, 2090 Kittredge St. (at Shattuck), Berkeley, CA 94704

MY Word Open Mic

MY Word Open Mic

Jul 13, 7pm to 9:30pm, Cafe Leila, 1724 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Karen Sudjian and Jim Davidson

Jul 13, 8pm to 10pm, Caffè Chiave, 2500 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley

Macy Blackman & the Mighty Fines


Macy Blackman and The Mighty Fines

are universally regarded as the Bay Area's premier New Orleans R&B/boogie band.
On their latest release, Shoorah Shoorah - The Songs of Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, Blackman and his veteran band pay tribute to the genius of the Soul Queen and King of New Orleans.

This marks the sixth CD release for Blackman, who formed The Mighty Fines in 2003. Blackman, who has accompanied Mac Rebennack (aka Dr. John) and also backed up such national acts as The Coasters and The Drifters during his illustrious career, features a highly accomplished band.

The Mighty Fines include saxophonists Nancy Wright (John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, Elvin Bishop), Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs (Neville Brothers, The Band, Temptations, Gatemouth Brown), bassist Bing Nathan (Lavay Smith's Red Hot Skillet Lickers) and drummer Larry Vann (Martha Reeves, Elvin Bishop, Charles Brown, Buffy Saint-Marie).

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are available at the link below. 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 13, 8pm to 10pm, The Back Room, 1984 Bonita Ave, Berkeley

Korean Men featuring Lee Heemoon & Prelude

Originally created for the National Theatre of Korea, Korean Men takes a hilarious look at male and female roles today, through the use of Korean folk music and jazz.

Led by Lee Heemoon, an extraordinary `sorikkun' (Korean folk singer) who earns acclaim as a groundbreaking iconic artist with each performance, seven Korean Men create today's sarangbang (salon to receive guests in traditional houses) combining Gyeonggi minyo (folk songs from central province around Seoul) and jazz performed by Korea's top jazz group Prelude, accompanied by an electrifying minyo duo Nom Nom.

Lee's performances attempt a hybrid of genres, taking the vast repertoire of Gyeonggi minyo as motif. He brings traditional Korean vocal music, which has been sidelined in the Korean art world, to the core and creates a distinctive sound that suggests to the audience a new way of appreciating vocal music.

The Korean Men is a perfect musical harmony of East and West that included a reinterpretation of 9 kinds of minyo, each assigned with a visual idea, unique storytelling and performance. By rearranging the most famous minyo, `Jabga,' with jazz vocabularies, the company is discovering a musical apparatus that clearly portrays the sensibilities of Jabga. The bluesy arrangement of the mournful song, `A Widow's Prayer,' maximizes a feeling of sadness and `Cloudy Days in June and July' about a young servant is arranged in a swing style, making the character come alive as it humorously satirizes the times. Showing both creative energy and virtuosity, the company was acclaimed as 'the best possible collaboration' expressing a 'new iconic musical language integrating the essential sentiments and musicality of minyo and jazz.'

Jul 13, 8pm to 9pm, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley

Chris Blue, Dylan Gardner

Chris Blue
In 2016, Chris Blue found himself at a crossroads...The youngest of seven children born among very humble beginnings in Polk County, Florida, he devoted his entire life to music. He went from the Blue Family at three-years-old to the Blue Brothers and to a burgeoning solo career by the age of twenty, sharing the stage with everyone from Kirk Franklin and Hezekiah Walker to Fred Hammond and Mary Mary as well as performing across the U.S., Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and the UK.
In the midst of a promising solo career, the love of his life received a bone marrow cancer diagnosis, flatlined, and Chris made an unbreakable promise.
"When she flatlined, I cried and prayed for God to bring her back," he admits. "When He did, I promised I would not only marry her, but that I would try out for The Voice. I remember watching Season 8 thinking there's no way I could ever be on the show. Fear crept into my mind. Finally, I was like, `Ready or not, here I come'."
As the story goes, Chris not only tried out, but he triumphantly emerged as the Season 12 Victor on Team Alicia Keys. Show after show, he captured the hearts of millions with his combination of raw vocal talent, heartfelt honesty, and brave vulnerability. His rendition of Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" and "Take Me To The King" proved show-stopping, while a duet with Keys on "Diamonds and Pearls" brought the house down.
Just before performing "Love and Happiness," the iconic singer shared some invaluable wisdom with her team member.
He recalls, "Alicia looked at me and said, `Make sure you focus on being in the moment. Don't try to do anything; be it. That's the natural order. We're human `beings' not `do-ings'.' That stuck with me ever since. Now, when I get out there, I lose myself in that moment."
Following his victory, Chris inked a deal with Republic Records and immediately entered the studio to commence work on what would become his forthcoming full-length debut for the label. Drawing on influences as diverse as Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Shania Twain, Chris Brown, The Canton Spirituals, and Bishop T.D. Jakes, he artfully unites Motown, pop, and soul into a sound of his own.
"I always want my music to bridge the gap," he exclaims. "I'm a young guy, but I'm an old soul. I want to reach everyone that I possibly can. It brings the old and the new together. Call it `Poptown' instead of Motown," he laughs.
Within that collage of styles, his beliefs remain central.
"My faith is not important; it's essential," he goes on. "It's who I am. It's the foundation of where I come from. The energy you feel, the message you hear, and the light you see comes from my faith regardless of the genre."
That honesty builds a lasting connection for Chris Blue. "To me, the most important thing is the response," he leaves off. "In actuality, I'm the hope dealing business. I want to give the world hope. I want people to walk away with hope in their relationships, their loved ones, and themselves. I want them to be inspired."



Dylan Gardner
With an encyclopedic musical knowledge that could power a streaming service search engine, fashion sense right at home in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and the uncanny superpower to craft irresistible pop anthems, the 21-year-old singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer is about to make a big splash on his sophomore album Almost Real.

Jul 13, 8:30pm to 9:30pm, Cornerstone, 2367 Shattuck Ave (Enter On Durant), Berkeley

Paul Thorn & The Blind Boys of Alabama



Paul Thorn
Special thanks to an anonymous Producer's Circle donor, all ticket prices have been lowered for Paul Thorn and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Southern raconteur Paul Thorn and his crack band, plus five-time Grammy award-winning gospel icons the Blind Boys of Alabama. Critically-acclaimed artists raised in the church, combining for a special blend of rock, gospel, blues and country. Joining together for the first time in a wide-ranging and inspiring musical package, the Mission Temple Fireworks Revival.

The impetus for this package is Paul Thorn's upcoming old-school gospel album, `Don't Let The Devil Ride.' Thorn, the former boxer and literal `son of a preacher man,' has often touched on spiritual themes in his songs (as well as penning tunes about strippers, pimps and others on the fringes of society). But he has never released a true gospel album - until the one that will come out in 2018. All of Paul's recent albums have placed on Billboard's Top 100 Album charts and have also had lengthy runs on the Americana Radio charts. This one should be no different - except it will also feature contributions from the Blind Boys!

And, of course, the Blind Boys release nothing but gospel albums. Their most recent, `Almost Home,' told the story of the band's two surviving original members through songs written for them by a plethora of great contemporary songwriters.

Paul Thorn and the Blind Boys of Alabama have each garnered kudos for their recordings. But it is their live shows that have propelled these artists' reputations. Their soulful performances and heartfelt songs of redemption and healing have earned them high praise from fans and critics alike.

On this package, Paul Thorn's versatile, veteran band will provide backing for an entire night of entertainment. The headliners will each have their moment in the spotlight and also collaborate together in a show that will have the audience up and stomping their feet. This one-of-a-kind experience will be, as Paul Thorn says, "like taking a 6-pack to church!"

Paul Thorn has created an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music - bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American, yet also speaking universal truths. Among those who value originality, inspiration, eccentricity and character - as well as talent that hovers somewhere on the outskirts of genius, the story of Paul Thorn is already familiar. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed on stages with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time. He's also appeared on major television shows such as Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live, been the subject of numerous National Public Radio (NPR) features and charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100 and Americana Radio Charts.


The Blind Boys of Alabama are recognized worldwide as living legends of gospel music. Celebrated by The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy® Awards, they have attained the highest levels of achievement in a career that spans over 70 years. The Blind Boys are known for crossing multiple musical boundaries with their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material by songwriters such as Eric Clapton, Prince and Tom Waits. They have appeared on recordings with many artists, including Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Susan Tedeschi, Ben Harper, Patty Griffin and Taj Mahal. The Blind Boys of Alabama have appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, The Grammy® Awards, 60 Minutes, The Colbert Report and many other television shows.

Jul 13, 9pm to 10pm, The UC Theatre Taube Family Music Hall, 2036 University Avenue, near Downtown Berkeley BART, Berkeley

Runa

Quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music's new "super-groups," RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music.

The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and three Independent Music Awards including Best LIVE Album, Best World/Traditional Song and Best Bluegrass Song.
"Timeless and flawless..." - Jim Allford, PA Music Scene

RUNA consists of vocalist and step-dancer, Shannon Lambert-Ryan of Philadelphia, Dublin-born guitarist, Fionán de Barra, Cheryl Prashker of Canada on percussion, Zach White of Missouri on mandolin, vocals, banjo, and flat-picking guitar, and Maggie White of Kentucky on the fiddle.

RUNA recently released their fifth album, RUNA: LIVE, which was recorded at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD on Thursday, March 17th, 2016. Receiving lavish praise on both sides of the Atlantic, the album has been hailed as "an incredible masterpiece" - Marcene Bronson, The Celtic Crier

Doors at 8:30 pm; Show at 9:00 pm
Buy Tickets on EVENTBRITE

Tickets are $20 Advance / $25 at the Door

Jul 13, 9pm to 11:59pm, Ashkenaz Music & Dance Community Center, 1317 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley