Actor, writer, director, cult hero, and champion of comic geeks and disgruntled retail clerks everywhere, Kevin Smith makes his way to UC Berkeley's Zellerbach Hall on Wednesday (7 p.m.) to share his lowbrow New Jersey genius with the East Bay's infamous legions of film nerds. Smith lands in Berkeley just days after the release of his latest film, Jersey Girl, a slight departure from the edgy, adolescent gutbusters of his past. This "dramatic comedy" moves from the typical love interest or best-friend-relationship focus of his previous works to the more complex territory of father-child relationships. Jersey Girl follows the story of Ollie Trinke, a successful Manhattan music industry publicist (Ben Affleck), whose life seems to be going along perfectly after his new bride and soul mate, Gertrude Steiney (ultra diva Jennifer Lopez), announces that she's expecting a child. Yet after a series of tragic events he is forced to move back in with his father (George Carlin) in the New Jersey suburbs, where he must confront his roles as both a single father and a son.
Although Smith's Zellerbach appearance lacks any formal schedule of topics, he is likely to discuss his innovative and unpredictable film career with his usual humorous candor and down-to-earth wit. We should also expect comments on the making of Jersey Girl, and possibly its significance to his life as a father and a son, especially after the recent passing of his own dad. Tabloid gossip fans can anticipate some interesting tales of how filming with Affleck, one of the actors he helped put on the map, has changed since the whole Bennifer media frenzy. Smith could also be prodded into passing on some juicy gossip on his next project, a megabudget, big-screen adaptation of the legendary 1930s radio serial The Green Hornet -- which after the grown-up theme of Jersey Girl will probably revert to the usual big laughs and raunchy silliness we've come to expect from the creator of Jay and Silent Bob. For more info, visit Superb.berkeley.edu/kevinsmith.html or phone 510-642-9988. -- Amrah Johnson
Vancouver trio P:ano is often compared to Low, but the comparison is only correct when it comes to the two bands' general musical mood -- hushed, slow, subtle, like the fog burning off a spring morning. But P:ano skips the god-fearing lyrical clichés (thank you, lawd) of Sparhawk, Parker, and Co., and though its harmonies aren't as heavenly, either, P:ano makes up for that with keyboards, gentle chamber touches (saw, dulcimer, treated piano, French horn, woodblocks), and a decidedly country twang. The band plays an all-ages show with Beam and Sandycoates (Greg Moore of the Moore Brothers) tonight at Oaklandish Gallery and Culture Lounge, 411 2nd St. (between Broadway and Franklin), Oakland. Cover is $7-$10. Call 510-451-2677 for further deets. -- Stefanie Kalem
So You Want to Make a Doc?
Documentary and independent film fans, try this list of titles on for size: Tupac: Resurrection, Live Nude Girls Unite!, The Weather Underground, Long Night's Journey into Day, I Shall Not Be Removed, Underground Zero, King of the Jews, Sing Faster. The makers of these films are participating in Saturday's all-day seminar ($45-85) at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism, Documentary Today: The State of the Art -- featuring workshops and panels by such creators as Sam Green, Frances Reid, Karen Everett, Jay Rosenblatt, Kris Samuelson, Vicki Funari, Jon Else, and many more. Register at Journalism.Berkeley.edu/conf/ngpro04 -- Kelly Vance
Temples of Boom
Who knew Cal State Hayward's In the Shadow of Machu Picchu exhibit would prove to be so popular? The show devoted to the fabled Lost City of the Incas was such a big hit at CSUH's C.E. Smith Museum of Anthropology last year that it's been brought back, bigger and better than ever -- with an expanded virtual tour of the site with video game elements as well as new exhibits on Andean life past and present. Now you, too, can go where Indy Jones went. Admission is free to the museum, in 4047 Meiklejohn Hall on the campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd., Hayward. For further info: 510-885-3104. -- Kelly Vance
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