Arts & Culture

The Truth Hurts: Filmmaker Kurosawa Kiyoshi’s ‘Wife of a...

Publicity for 'Wife of a Spy' claims that Kurosawa’s multi-layered marital melodrama/war story—written by the director with Hamaguchi Ryûsuke and Nohara Tadashi—has a whiff of Alfred Hitchcock about it, perhaps with the devious, suspenseful romance of Notorious in mind. For us, Satoko and Yusaku’s tension-filled relationship owes just as much to the labyrinthine conspiracies and paranoia of director Fritz Lang.

KC Turner: Bringing it all back home

“In the summer of 2020, Megan Slankard, one of my favorite singer/songwriters, told me about someone bringing music to people on their doorstep. That got me thinking about backyard concerts: private events, with 10—maybe 15—people, if you had a big yard. We’d have strict rules; everyone masked and socially distanced. I have battery-operated BOSE speakers, so we wouldn’t need to run a cord into your house. We could do it for a flat fee, and pay artists. I could get off unemployment and bring joy to live-music fans.” As soon as Turner put the word out, the shows filled up.

Turning Pages: Litquake 2021 is rooted in the present...

Litquake aims never to be a mere, take-it-easy mirror of the moment. Instead, festival organizers and presenters stretch, squirm, protest, parade or pounce beyond and outside of predictable facades and frames to offer a glimpse from now into tomorrow.

Shannon and the Clams: Uplifting songs for a crazy...

“I’ve had a crippling fear of spiders since I was a kid,” Shaw said. “They‘ve been drawn to me since I was a baby. It’s been a nightmare. I’d pick up a cluster of grapes and, if a spider fell out, I’d throw them away. I had to find a way to reframe the things that scare me the most, so I started looking at them as beautiful creatures that control their own ecosystem. The songs on the album are reflections on that power of transformation.

Step Right Up: See ‘The Influencer’ and laugh your...

As a gumdrop of social commentary in a bright glossy wrapper, 'The Influencer' represents the hardening of the mainstream comedy of manners. Oh, those zany millennials, gleefully galloping across the deteriorating landscape in search of baubles, gimcracks and geegaws.

Free Will Astrology: Week of September 22

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Aries author Steve Maraboli says, “The best way to love...

Free Will Astrology: Week of September 15

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “Books are mirrors: You only see in them what you...

The Word Writer: Mary Roach’s mastery of the mother...

Certainly, Roach writes about science with the fervor of other bards focused—to reference a dictionary definition—on “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.”

Remaindered: The literary and dramatic crimes of Michael Caine...

"The film’s publicity has the nerve to use one of the oldest taglines in existence, the one about how the characters’ lives are changed “in ways they didn’t expect.” Bullshite."

Nineteen Hand Horse: Cowboy music from the wild, wild...

Archangel and her husband, Mark Montijo, were scratching out a living as musicians when they met, years ago, in L.A. “I saw friends approaching 40 and still not making a living,” she said. “We played music a bit, and I wrote songs—then suddenly the stars aligned. We started playing as a duo and put a band together. Why it took so many years, I’ll never know.”

Free Will Astrology: Week of September 8

ARIES (March 21-April 19): “We need to become more unreasonable but in an intelligent...

Inter State: Jose Vadi travels the length of California...

"Vadi said, 'I feel like Inter State is a series of essays that answer a lot of questions I had about myself and my family and my relationship with California. By way of answering those questions, it allowed me to investigate other questions I came up with along the way that hint at California’s future.'"

Low Hold: A wounded warrior in a broke-down palace

"The professional gambler and morally disabled ex-warrior who calls himself William Tell (Oscar Isaac, doing a very slow burn) lives the life of a sort of penitent monk in beat-out motel rooms and forlorn casinos. Without spoiling too much of the story, let’s just say that Tell is on the road to some form of redemption after taking part in one of contemporary history’s most heinous war crimes."

Ah-Mer-Ah-Su: Oakland soul transported to the sunny South

“I want my art to deal in reality, so the vibe expresses a temperamental feeling,” Amerasu said. “Being inside for a year was exhausting. I want to go out and do all the things I like to do. I wrote it a while ago, but it fits perfectly with the mood of post-pandemic life. I know it’s not over. We’re still moving toward some version of a new reality.”
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