Arts & Culture
"Widowed mother Patience Portefeux (Huppert) works in the intelligence section of the Paris police as a translator, interpreting the wiretap recordings and social media posts of Arabic-speaking drug dealers, and occasionally assisting in street busts. In an ordinary, fish-out-of-water cop movie, someone like her would face on-the-job sexism, and disarm with charm, en route to a station-house romance. Patience’s story is a little more complicated," writes Kelly Vance about 'Mama Weed'.
“‘Little Wheel’ is one of my all time favorite songs,” [Spellling] said. “[Sainte-Marie] does everything I wanted to do on this album in that one song. The theme of ephemerality of time and how special it is to be here, on this planet, as a human. Trying to grasp these big moments we get to share with each other while here and trying to hold onto them. She can speak to grandiose concepts, but the words are so detailed. My album is about that.”
"No acting-prize hopefuls here," writes Kelly Vance in this week's review. "Frequent TV actor [Savannah] Whitten, in the title role, exhibits a lot of exaggerated energy in her sex scenes, each of which climaxes with the mutilation of her unlucky partner. Otherwise, her most notable achievement is to satisfy the prime requirement for playing Lillith in the first place—plenty of room in her mouth for the demonic dental appliance."
“Musically, we were in an intense and dark place to begin with,” guitarist Andrew Lund said. “The pandemic paved the way for the album to be recorded in a way that allowed us to put that kind of energy into it. It was touch and go for a while, musically and personally. None of us knew what was going to happen. I don’t think anybody did.” j.poet talks with the East Bay band on moving forward with a debut album post-pandemic.
Theater & Performance
For our West Alameda Spotlight, Lou Fancher shines on the Alameda Comedy Club, the only comedy club in Alameda, and owners Patrick Ford and Lori Theis as they reopen their doors and invite laughter back into our lives.
"Opportunities to appreciate the pivotal role of women artists continue in several of five other current, or upcoming, exhibits," writes Lou Fancher. "The major new exhibits include 'Ulrike Ottinger / MATRIX 276', with photography by the German filmmaker, visual artist, 'Present Tense: Five Centuries of Colonialism in Latin American and Caribbean Art' a student-curated group exhibition of Latin American art drawn from the collection that explores colonialism in Central and South America, and 'Beyond Boundaries: Buddhist Art of Gandhara' which presents rare Buddhist artifacts from the ancient civilization of Gandhara."
"72-year-old Yonfan's latest, 'No. 7 Cherry Lane' is a procedural tale of a sensitive young man’s coming of age in Hong Kong, circa 1967. Splendidly conceived animation with themes borrowed from a virtual encyclopedia of European and Chinese visual art and films. In other words, a spectacle," writes Kelly Vance in this week's review.
"Ancient Future, the collective led by guitarist Matthew Montfort, can take many forms, from solo excursions by Montfort, to ensembles of three, five or 10 members, drawn from the 28 master musicians who rotate in and out of performances. Montfort usually takes center stage, stating the melodies on his scalloped fretboard guitar that he's been playing since the first Ancient Future concert in 1978."
Eric K. Arnold sits down with singer Jennifer Johns to discuss Oakland history, Joni Mitchell, and finally being able to return to live shows post-pandemic.
Kelly Vance reviews Ahmir Khalib “Questlove” Thompson’s 'Summer of Soul' saying, "The most moving performance in the movie features Mavis Staples singing backup to the legendary Mahalia Jackson on “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” the favorite hymn of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated the year before," in describing this moving and stunning tribute of a movie.
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