This isn’t new, but I watched Your Sister’s Sister on a plane a couple weeks ago and highly recommend it. You can read a good review of it here, but basically all you need to know is that it’s a finely wrought, beautifully acted story about family and friends and all the ways in which we hurt each other and then, the ways we fix it. And that its setting — a gorgeous mountain cabin on an island outside Seattle — is one of the most gorgeous I’ve seen in the movies in awhile. And that Mark Duplass is the most charming person alive. Not on Netflix, but you can rent it from the Apple Store.— Ellen Cushing
Enjoy these fun activities this weekend, or go watch Les Mis and spend the rest of the weekend trying to forget the sound of Russell Crowe's singing voice.
Cinema is ostensibly the theme of FLICK, now at Creative Growth Gallery, and, to be sure, maybe 30 percent of the works on display engage with film — echoing and distorting Hollywood image codes, depicting starlets of the silver screen, producing alternative posters and other such ephemera, and so on. But the real occasion for this profusion of work is in fact an annual holiday sale — as good an opportunity as any to peruse the sprawling creative output of this distinctive and always lively arts community. From Nick Pagan's unnerving sculptures of Batman villains, to William Tyler's illustrated, poetry-packed windows ("Safe and Clean are in Oakland California for now" one begins, followed by a laundry list of acronyms referring to or perhaps merely evocative of government agencies and institutions), to an impressive diptych by Dan Miller juxtaposing chaotic line drawing and imbricated, typewritten text, there is much to take in. Most of it's off topic, but no matter. FLICK runs through January 4 at Creative Growth Gallery. 510-836-2340 or CreativeGrowth.org — Alex Bigman
The best gift I've gotten so far this year? The Dorkfood DSV, a relatively low-cost gadget that allows ambitious home cooks to fool around with sous-vide cooking — it basically turns your rice cooker or crockpot into a kind of jury-rigged sous-vide machine. Steaks! Slow-poached eggs!
— Luke Tsai
Just kidding, but seriously, we just learned this sad, sad news: Sam Adato's Drum Shop is closing its doors on Monday, December 24. The nearly twenty-year-old drum shop, located on 9th and Folsom streets in San Francisco, sells new and vintage equipment, and is one of the few places — besides A Drummer's Tradition in San Rafael and Drum World in San Mateo — catering specifically to drummers in the Bay Area, and one of the last remaining independently owned instrument shops in the city.
Sam Adato's was special because of Mr. Adato himself, a true drummer's drummer who always had an ear to lend or a suggestion to solve a problem, no matter if you were a beginner or a pro drummer. Known for his curly long locks and Eighties rocker look, he provided the kind of customer service that you don't often find at places like Guitar Center.
MADE 1-Year Anniversary and Holiday Party
From the Lunchbox Museum in Georgia to the International Museum of Toilets in New Delhi, there is some wacky reverence being paid in the cultural institutions of the world. But the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment — essentially a museum for video games — strives for more than just niche status: It's got an ambitious fifteen-year plan to become the SFMOMA of digital arts. In the meantime, the museum will celebrate its one-year birthday with a joint anniversary and holiday party on Saturday, Dec. 22. That means all-you-can-drink Guinness, pizza, special holiday video games, and a preview of the MADE's new exhibit, "Games You Can Frame," focusing on visual artistry in video games. And, as per their mantra, all games are meant for playing. 6 p.m. to midnight, $30 or two for $50. 510-788-5702 or TheMADE.org — Azeen Ghorayshi
Twenty-five voting members of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle met Sunday afternoon at the Variety Club Screening Room on SF’s Market Street to inform you what movies you shouldn’t have missed this year after all.
Typically for the SFFCC, no one film swept the awards. Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master captured Best Picture honors, and that movie’s Joaquin Phoenix was named Best Actor. The upcoming release Zero Dark Thirty took Best Director plaudits for Kathryn Bigelow, with Best Original Screenplay going to Mark Boal.
You know that moment when you get caught with an empty box of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s at your desk? It’s a sign you need to go buy another box of Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s.— Azeen Ghorayshi
Noise Pop is the music festival for people who hate music festivals, i.e. the all-day, drag-out, beer-guzzling, bro-fest that many of the weekend-long music festivals have become. Noise Pop 2013 will take place over six days, Tuesday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, March 3, 2013, and today organizers announced an initial lineup that includes Berkeley resident Toro Y Moi, San Francisco's Rogue Wave, and experimental DJ extraordinaire Amon Tobin.
Happy 348th day of the year! Here's what you can do to celebrate:
Trimpin: Nacarrow Percussion Orchestra/Matrix 244
For German-born sound artist Trimpin, the local tradition of the cuckoo clock sunk in. From an early age, he has been rigging up acoustic instruments to electronic gizmos programmed to operate them (the word "play" seems inappropriate), in effect establishing unexpected relations between music, audience, and space. Given these interests, it's no wonder that Trimpin fell for the work of avant-garde player-piano composer Conlon Nancarrow. Nancarrow Percussion Orchestra, Trimpin's tribute to the composer, now at the Berkeley Art Museum, consists of three overturned player-pianos equipped with percussive devices and outfitted with a scaffolding of electronically controlled levers and gears, ready to pluck chords and swing mallets at the push of a button. Explore the sixteen Nancarrow-derived compositions and the elaborate machinations that realize them, paying mind to the sculpture's three-directional distribution of sound in space. You'll know you've reached the correct gallery when you find a complementary sculpture consisting of three machines mounted from the ceiling, dropping long paper scrolls bearing coded messages — what appear to be player piano instructions. Through December 23 at the Berkeley Art Museum. 510-642-0808 or BAMPFA.Berkeley.edu — Alex Bigman
Anthony Hopkins' nice-try impersonation of Alfred Hitchcock is only the starting point for this playfully watchable movie-movie tribute to the Master of Suspense, set during the production of Psycho in 1960. The main job for director Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story of Anvil) is to introduce the cast-within-the-cast — Scarlett Johannsen as Janet Leigh, James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles — and to let them play off each other. But the soul of the film is in the homey relationship of Hitch and his wife/editor/writing consultant /muse Alma Reville (a radiant Helen Mirren), bickering their way to screen immortality in shaping Hitchcock's biggest box office hit. Worth seeing for its unexpected humor. (98 min) — Kelly Vance
Alameda Food Truck Jam
Feed the food-truck frenzy without leaving the Isle of Style. On Saturday, Dec. 15, the West End Flea Market presents the Alameda Food Truck Jam at the College of Alameda. More than a dozen food trucks will be on hand, offering international, made-to-order fare from all over the world. Attention, flea-market shoppers: This event coincides with West End's first-ever toy, comics, cards, sports, and collectibles show. 11 a.m., free admission (but food is sold at various prices). 510-999-1431 or WestEndFleaMarket.com — Anneli Rufus
Good news for Berkeley-based promoter Another Planet Entertainment, organizer of Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival: The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Tuesday to extend its permit, which keeps the annual festival in Golden Gate Park for another eight years, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.