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Horoscope for Friday 6/23/17 by Christopher Renstrom

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 05:01:00 UT

ARIES. (March 20 - April 18): That confrontation doesn't have to take place if you don't want it to. Your opponent is looking for an out and will happily meet you halfway.

Summer of Love concert and light show come to Golden Gate Park

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:11:14 UT

There were 18,000 to 20,000 music-loving, feather-and-bead-draped, flower-holding Summer of Love veterans and hippie-wannabes gathered in the hollow in front of the Conservatory of Flowers during the first summer night of the year, Wednesday, June 21, according to estimates by Rec & Park staffers. The Surrealistic Summer Solstice concert started in the early evening and ended — with an “All You Need Is Love” sing-along — after the 9:15 p.m. light show was projected on the Conservatory, a formal wedding cake of a building that took on multicolored psychedelic pattern as though she were a Victorian bride boozily wrapping herself in Janis Joplin velvet. In the VIP pavilion, Charlotte Shultz recalled that her husband, the late Jack Mailliard, was president of the police commission when the hippies and the police were sparring. Former Mayor Willie Brown, who’d taken a lead role in raising funds for the lighting (co-produced by Obscura Digital), relished the civic moment, and also joked from the podium about “poorly dressed” Rec & Park General Manager Phil Ginsburg, who was thereupon defended (“don’t insult Phil”) by Shultz, who not only recalled a certain yellow plaid suit worn by Brown (“bad, bad, bad”) but also mentioned that hairdo you had. The pavilion atmosphere was unstuffy — and there’d been a generous amount of time for liquid refreshment before the speeches — but the laughs that it drew sounded wary. Proudly decked out for the occasion in much-admired 1975 Mickey McGowan boots (like the ones in the de Young Museum show, and much admired by passing fashionistas), she reports that the biggest sing-along in her area was “White Rabbit,” and there were boos when Mayor Ed Lee was introduced. People were interested in time traveling, going back to the days of freewheeling dancing ... old hipsters reliving their pasts through the music that got all this stuff going. Concert producer Dawn Holliday (behind the annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass free festival at Golden Gate Park) said at her vantage point on John F. Kennedy Drive looking down in the beautiful valley in front of the Conservatory, people were dancing and spinning and it just looked so peaceful. In front of the Conservatory near the end of the light show, I stood with others in parallel position — arms up as if in religious trance — wielding cell phones in an attempt to capture the vibrancy of the sight.

Kim Shuck named San Francisco’s new poet laureate

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 22:10:09 UT

Kim Shuck, a native of San Francisco whose work explores her multiethnic roots, has been named the city’s new poet laureate. A descendant of Poles and Cherokees, Shuck is San Francisco’s seventh poet laureate, succeeding Alejandro Murguía. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, was named the city’s first poet laureate in 1998. “Kim’s stirring poetry celebrates the spirit of San Francisco and reflects the open and inclusive values of this city,” Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement. Appointed by Lee, Shuck was nominated by a nine-member committee of past poet laureates, city officials and Bay Area literarians. The new poet laureate will deliver an inaugural address at San Francisco’s Main Library.

Marin lands major film: Paramount shooting blockbuster in San Rafael

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:19:59 UT

Paramount Pictures is shooting a feature film in Marin this week.

Don’t feel guilty for not liking ‘Maudie’

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:13:06 UT

There is a certain kind of movie, a form of torture in disguise, that you are obligated to like, if you want to consider yourself a nice, sensitive, intelligent person. According to the movie, she was a simple soul, often taken advantage of, but she had a purity of spirit that came through in her work and expressed the beauty of her inner being. [...] though her personal life was no picnic — she was ill and ill-treated by her family — she didn’t struggle much. [...] again, they lived in one room. Frankly, we are left with nothing, except with a movie that insists that we love it — or worse, assumes we will — because its subject is so worthy. In 2008, there was a French film called “Seraphine,” about the folk artist Seraphine de Senlis, which faced a similar challenge — a protagonist with a blank personality and an uneventful personal life. [...] “Seraphine” suggested its subject was connected to the elements, to unseen mystical forces, and by the time the movie was over, we believed she was a great artist. [...] it’s a showcase for Sally Hawkins to give one of the most heartfelt and sincere bad performances since Jodie Foster in “Nell,” all precious furtive glances and mysterious smiling. The spectacle of the actors flailing in a vacuum makes this possible, but intermittently, so the relief comes only in bursts. There’s a vast emptiness in “Maudie,” and ultimately every viewer’s survival strategy gets sucked right into it. Mick LaSalle is The San Francisco Chronicle’s movie critic.

Life as a 450-pound man in Mexican indie ‘Walking Distance’

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:12:01 UT

While Alejandro Guzmán Alvarez’s Mexican indie “Walking Distance” moves as slowly as its corpulent hero, it’s mostly gentle and sweet, if you can forgive its somewhat unsatisfactory third act. After one visit when they show him photos from their trip to Oaxaca — for Fede, a frontline report from the outside world — he becomes obsessed with photography. [...] he takes a rare trip outside his apartment, an exhausting trip to a nearby photography shop to get some rolls of what the old-timers call “film” developed. With his entry into a brave new world, he buys a digital camera and gains a new friend: Paolo (Joel Figueroa), the teenage worker at the photography store owned by his father. Through his images, he learns to see people and spatial surroundings differently, and that inspires him to take his own trip, with Paolo and Ramon. Ortega, an untrained actor who is actually a musician and wrote the score for the film, is effective as Fede (Ortega’s large figure is augmented by makeup prosthetics). Alvarez and cinematographer Diana Garay Vinas never make “Walking Distance” feel claustrophobic despite slow pacing and the large number of scenes in Fede’s small apartment.

Recommended reading, June 25

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:59:17 UT

We recommend these recently reviewed titles:

Blanchett’s not bad, but ‘Manifesto’ is overkill

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:57:53 UT

Artistic and political manifestos are best consumed in small bites, a significant problem for Julian Rosefeldt’s new movie. If anyone could pull this off, surely it would be Blanchett, and it’s fun, at least initially, to watch her glorying in the revelations, contradictions and absurdities of the documents she quotes. Among her other roles are a homeless person, a TV news anchor (and the reporter with whom the anchor has an on-air chat), a puppeteer with a puppet who looks just like her, a hazmat-suited worker in what appears to be nuclear power plant and an autocratic Russian choreographer. There are quotes from early works such as Tristan Tzara’s Dadaist manifesto of 1918 and from the Futurist and Fluxus movements, and later words from the filmmakers behind Dogme 95 and from Werner Herzog’s 1999 Minnesota Declaration. There are some blunt ironies in the contrast between the quotations and the characters and contexts in which they are delivered: from a woman in widow’s weeds at a funeral or a CEO offering commands to her subordinates. The manifestos are dense with meaning, full of paradoxes, wild imagery, anger, contempt and impossible dreams, and eager to contradict themselves and each other. The cumulative effect is overkill, and all the sentiments begin to blend together into a free-floating rage at things as they are and a call for perpetual rebellion.

‘Harmonium’: Bad karma haunts family in riveting tale

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:56:39 UT

Toshio (Kanji Furutachi, very good) leads a boring life in a drab Japanese suburb, and family conversations at the dinner table seem to barely register with him. Much to the chagrin of Toshio’s religious wife, Akie (Mariko Tsutsui, excellent), Toshio allows Yasaka to stay at the house, without her permission or a reasonable explanation. Akie is also not amused when Yasaka emerges from the bathtub in next to nothing, but she changes her tune when the stranger gives harmonium lessons to her young daughter, who clearly is not a prodigy of the instrument. At first, the proceedings come off as a complex love triangle and a wry examination of suburban malaise, but family secrets start to emerge, and an unexpected tragedy keeps building upon itself. Director Koji Fukada (who won a jury award at Cannes for this film) never resorts to melodramatics and instead allows the carefully calibrated performances to give the movie its disquieting power.

Young men of ‘Bertie’ balance helplessness and hope

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:56:00 UT

Margaret Byrne’s documentary follows the trio for six of the most formative years of their lives, as they face educational challenges, fatherless homes and a hard uphill struggle with uncertain rewards. Byrne was a cinematographer and editor on the 2013 documentary “American Promise,” a 13-years-in-the-life look at two African American boys in New York City. Byrne provides no voice-over and very few titles, trusting viewers to make their own political and social interpretations. A brawl in the middle of the documentary is particularly confusing — the participants and reason for the fight are unclear. While the action is minimal — being a young African American man in Bertie is a slow grind — there are shining lights throughout. A social worker who runs a continuation school shows genuine love for the young men, clearly able to see the good inside them.

Bay Area arts and entertainment picks, June 23

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:54:50 UT

Kehlani: The Oakland-born R&B singer-songwriter returns to the East Bay for a headlining show. 8 p.m. Friday, June 23. Greek Theatre, UC Berkeley. “Seven Samurai”: Highly influential, much imitated 1954 classic, from Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. 7 p.m. Friday, June 23. The Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley. “The Edge of the World”: Miles Pawski’s play, now in a Virago Theatre production, follows people living in the country illegally who are pushed to immoral decisions by a harrowing quest for survival. 8 p.m. Friday, June 23. $16-$46. Potrero Stage, S.F.

Literary guide

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:52:11 UT

Literary guide 7 p.m. City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F. (415) 362-8193. 3 p.m. Mrs. Dalloway’s, 2904 College Ave., Berkeley. Poetry Flash Andrena Zawinski and Cathleen Calbert. 3 p.m. Diesel, 5433 College Ave., Oakland. David Sedaris “Theft by Finding.” Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Amelia Gray, Rosecrans Baldwin Gray’s “Isadora” and Baldwin’s “The Last Kid Left.” Kim Scott, Jenny Dearborn Scott’s “Radical Candor” and Dearborn’s “Data Driven.” Cubberley Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. 7 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Commonwealth Club, 555 Post St., S.F. (415) 597-6705. Camille T. Dungy “Guidebook to Relative Strangers.” 7 p.m. City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave., S.F. (415) 362-8193. David Gessner “Ultimate Glory.” Lee Kravetz, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Roni Habib Kravetz’s “Strange Contagion” and Lythcott-Haims’ “How to Raise an Adult.” 7 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Stephen Most Stories Make the World: Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary. Northern California Book Awards 5:30 p.m. Free. Koret Auditorium at San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F. (510) 525-5476. 7 p.m. Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View. Steve Clifford “The CEO Pay Machine.” 7 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Amy Ettinger Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America. 7:30 p.m. Kepler’s, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park. 6 p.m. Borderlands Books, 866 Valencia St., S.F. Laurie R. King “The Anatomy of Innocence.” Inside the Surprising Science of Infectious Behaviors and Viral Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves. Arundhati Roy “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.” 7 p.m. Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto. Anastasia Aukerman, Deborah Treisman, Paul Yamazaki “Dream Colonies, Painterlands, and the Intersection of Curating with Creation.” 7 p.m. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Al Franken “Giant of the Senate.” Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera.

A selection of first sentences from new books, June 25

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:42:30 UT

Italian Tom was a saucier until a Cadillac doing sixty hit him and knocked the recipes out of his head. “The Graybar Hotel,” stories by Curtis Dawkins Joni called the sheriff right after it happened. “Goodnight, Beautiful Women,” stories, now in paperback, by Anna Noyes Now that Isabel was pregnant, she knew what it felt like to be an eighteen-year-old boy. “The End of Men,” a novel by Karen Rinaldi

Which movies to watch this weekend, June 23

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 19:02:18 UT

Small Enough to Jail: “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James profiles the Sung family, a group of Chinese bankers in New York targeted by the government in the wake of the recent mortgage crash. The trial itself is filled with drama, but the resourcefulness and loyalty of the family is the centerpiece. Charged with a crime that could destroy them, their defense feels like a piece of the American dream. Absorbing documentary about Gertrude Bell, often called the female Lawrence of Arabia, and her role in the making of the modern Middle East. Taken from actual correspondence and journals by Bell and her friends and colleagues, with Tilda Swinton as the voice of Bell, and filled with archival photographs and film footage, directors Sabine Krayenbuhl and Zeva Oelbaum intimately evoke Baghdad, Syria and London in the first two decades of the 20th century. Paolo Virzi wrote and directed this Italian best picture winner, with a brilliant Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Micaela Ramazzotti as a pair of mentally ill women who escape a sanitarium and go on a life-changing road trip. Based on the Daphne du Maurier novel, this is the story of a young man who becomes obsessed and baffled by his guardian’s widow, a charming but mysterious woman (played by Rachel Weisz).

Even with flaws, ‘Broadchurch’ final season is gripping

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 18:50:21 UT

If the new “Broadchurch” is the weakest of the three seasons, it’s still legions above the quality and attention to detail of most police procedurals. The first season of the series, created by Chris Chibnall (“Torchwood”) for ITV and broadcast in the U.S. on BBC America, focused on the murder of a young boy named Danny Latimer whose body was found on the beach beneath the towering cliffs of the Dorset town of Broadchurch. The second and now the third season, premiering Wednesday, June 28, bring new crimes that need solving by local detective Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) and grouchy Scottish detective Alec Hardy (David Tennant). [...] all three seasons are linked not only by setting and the focus on the unlikely crime-solving duo, but also by the presence of other characters, including Danny’s parents, Beth and Mark (Jodie Whittaker and Andrew Buchan), and the local vicar, Paul Coates (Arthur Darvill), among others. The third and final season focuses on the rape of a middle-aged woman named Trish Winterman (Julie Hesmondhalgh) who was attending the 50th birthday of her best friend, Cath Atwood (Sarah Parish), when she was attacked. To complicate the investigation, it turns out she had had consensual sex with someone she calls “a stranger” the morning of the party. In the case of one suspect, Miller and Hardy become conveniently blind to the obvious reason the man couldn’t possibly be the culprit; it takes them a long time — too long — to figure out what we’ve known for two episodes. Fortunately, there are enough more legitimate hooks to keep our interest in the eight episodes — the elements that hooked us from the beginning of the series, beginning with the characters. The performances are extraordinary, especially those of Colman, Tennant, Whittaker and Buchan, as they have always been since the first season, and the amazing Hesmondhalgh as the woman who struggles but finds the strength after the attack to stop being a victim in her own life. David Wiegand is an assistant managing editor and the TV critic of The San Francisco Chronicle.