A young scientist transforms himself into a fly in an experiment gone horribly wrong.
“Cronenberg’s masterful remake of The Fly ranks among the most disgusting films ever made by a major studio… Jeff Goldblum adds great emotional depth to his usual spaced-out otherworldliness. Take away all the big shocks and special effects, and The Fly is about nothing more or less sensational than death itself, a process that Cronenberg realizes with excruciating visceral power.” —Scott Tobias, The Onion A.V. Club (1986, 100 min, 35mm) More details »
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The Sockhop is Funkanometry SF’s flagship event that strives to create meaningful relationships between individual dancers and the arts community as a whole. Sockhop 7: The Odd Ball is centered around fear, and overcoming that fear to live your life as your unique and beautiful self.
Get your tickets, wear a costume, and have a ball:
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Harmony Chinese Musical Center (Hang Yuen) will feature some short operettas taken from Cantonese opera classics. Among these are two popular works: The Enchantment Plot and Bloodshed in Wei-Yang Palace.
Gum Moon Women’s Residence and the Asian Women’s Resource Center (AWRC) was established to address the unmet needs of women and children in socioeconomic and geographic transition by providing comprehensive bilingual and bicultural support services for Asian immigrant women and families with children and youth ages 0-18. More information about GumMoon/AWRC may be found at gummoon.org.
Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar star in this unsettling thriller about how misdirected rage can literally take on a life of its own. Behind the walls of his secluded Somafree Institute, Dr. Raglan (Reed) experiments with "psychoplasmics," a controversial therapy designed to help release pent-up emotions in his patients. He keeps his star patient Nola (Eggar) in isolation, but as she vents her fury during their sessions, brutal murders befall the people she's angry with outside the institute… (1979, 92 min, 35mm) More details »
Take a psychosexual journey into oblivion with James Spader and Holly Hunter in David Cronenberg’s take on J.G. Ballard’s “unfilmable” cult novel Crash. Spader stars as a bored film director, James Ballard, who explores new realms after a near-fatal car accident introduces him to a world of sexually obsessed car crash enthusiasts. Unsatisfied by his marriage, Ballard joins Dr. Helen Remington (Hunter) and begins to explore the eroticism of the car and the sexual violence of auto accidents. (1996, 100 min, 35mm) More details »
Join the Lamplighters on board one of England’s great Navy ships where the beautiful Josephine must choose between marrying Sir Joseph Porter, the First Lord of the Admiralty — with all of the wealth, prestige and power his title affords — or the “simple sailor, lowly born” who has won her heart. When Pinafore crossed the Atlantic to open in the U.S. in 1878 it became an instant sensation. In those days, however, copyright laws in the U.S. were barely in place and a mania of sometimes dubious copycat productions were launched hot on the tail of the original. Many years later it is still one of the most popular operettas ever produced. More details »
Both beautiful and brutal, this mesmerizing new film presents the faces and bodies of people hanging out on the corner of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in Harlem. The film shows these often down-and-out residents with great dignity, using heavily stylized, exquisite slow-motion cinematography and non-synchronized audio. The film’s title draws from Malcolm X’s Message to the Grass Roots speech, in which he addresses the dangerous wedge between “house slaves” and “field slaves.” (2014, 60 min, digital)
Opening reception for Field Niggas at Heron Arts, 7 Heron St, San Francisco; 6-9 PM to follow screening.
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For this performance, Zira shares her observations of human predation with a lecture followed by a question and answer session.
Zira is an expert in human behavior. In Ape City she conducted experiments on human subjects and dissected their brains. Her civilization was designed to avoid the human forms of aggression that lead to calamities, and her behavioral studies were key to forging that split between those hominids who destroy each other and those who would not. More details »
Video game designer Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has created a virtual reality game called “eXistenZ.” After a crazed fan attempts to kill her, Allegra goes on the run with Ted (Jude Law), a young businessman who falls into the role of bodyguard. In an attempt to save her game, Allegra implants into Ted's body the video game pod that carries a damaged copy of “eXistenZ,” setting in motion a series of experiences that blur the lines between fantasy and reality. (1999, 97 min, 35mm) More details »
Bad Brains are one of the most important and influential American bands, who uniquely melded punk and reggae. Their impact and influence can be heard in groups like Beastie Boys, No Doubt, Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, and countless more. Despite the complications of an eccentric frontman, they have stayed together for 30 years without ever reaching the level of success so many think they deserve. Using rare archival footage and original comic illustrations the film unravels Bad Brains' vivid history. (2012, 104 min, digital)
Preceded by the short Black and White Trypps Number Four (2008, 10 min), an extended Rorschach assault on the eyes examining racial stereotypes and Richard Pryor.
August’s book club selection is The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson. The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir with a romance at its center: the story of the author's relationship with a fluidly gendered artist and her journey through the complexities and joys of (queer) family-making. More details »
Released after decades in a sanitarium, a schizophrenic (Ralph Fiennes) moves into a halfway house and retreats into the darkness of his haunted mind.
“Spider immediately conjures a sense of self-contained delusion and sustains that mood for 98 astonishing minutes. More poetic than clinical in its approach to schizophrenia, suffused with existential dread, this evocation of psychological torment is both sensationally grim and exquisitely realized.” —J. Hoberman, Village Voice (2002, 98 min, 35mm) More details »
This little-seen film is a searing examination of relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and computer technology. The film uses science fiction (with themes such as alien abduction, estrangement, and genetic engineering) as a metaphor for the Pan-African experience of forced displacement, cultural alienation, and otherness. Featuring interviews with a vast array of black cultural figures, including DJ Spooky, George Clinton, black astronaut Dr. Bernard A. Harris Jr., Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols, and writers Samuel R. Delaney and Octavia Butler. (1997, 45 min, digital).
Preceded by two sci-fi-themed shorts: Frances Bodomo’s Afronauts (2014, 13 min) and Wanuri Kahiu’s Pumzi (2010, 22 min).
Starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello, with outstanding performances by Ed Harris and William Hurt, A History of Violence is, “a masterpiece of indirection and pure visceral thrills, Cronenberg's latest mindblower is the feel-good, feel-bad movie of the year. The story of a seemingly average American family almost undone by cataclysmic violence, the film takes place in a surreal and mercilessly brutal land, Anytown, U.S.A., that has been repeatedly soaked in blood only to be repeatedly washed clean. The great kick of the movie — or rather, its great kick in the gut — comes from Mr. Cronenberg's refusal to let us indulge in movie violence without paying a price.” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times. (2005, 96 min, 35mm) More details »
“Hilariously funny and, dare I say it, yes, pernicious. I love this film more than I love my own mustache.” —John Waters
David Cronenberg’s latest film is one his darkest works, a journey into the black heart of a Hollywood family chasing celebrity, one another and the relentless ghosts of their pasts. The result is a modern Hollywood Gothic, a brutal comedy about the ravenous need for fame and validation — and the yearning, loss and fragility that lurk in the shadows underneath. Starring Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, and, in an amazingly risky and fearless performance, Julianne Moore. (2014, 111 min, DCP) More details »
To more deeply consider Place, September’s book club selection is Infinite City by Rebecca Solnit. What makes a place? Infinite City, Rebecca Solnit’s brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, searches out the answer by examining the many layers of meaning in one place, the San Francisco Bay Area. Aided by artists, writers, cartographers, and twenty-two gorgeous color maps, each of which illuminates the city and its surroundings as experienced by different inhabitants, Solnit takes us on a tour that will forever change the way we think about place. More details »
Umusuna is an ambitious and breathtaking vision of the creation of the Earth that shifts giddily from balance to imbalance, as the surface of the stage itself is upset amid towering cascades of sand and bodies that hint at the movement of the cosmos. Not seen in San Francisco since 2010, Sankai Juku will leave you with the feeling that, like a child, you have seen the world for the first time. More detail »
Degenerate Art Ensemble's Predator Songstress is an intensely visual, music-driven theatrical event that tells the modern-day fairy tale of an antiheroine in search of her stolen voice, set in a world where the tools that are used to stifle and control are re-appropriated as means for individual realization. More detail »
Akram Khan's first collaboration with celebrated sculptor Anish Kapoor and composer Nitin Sawhney, yielded his company's first full-length evening work in 2002. "Hindu Gods, black holes, Indian time cycles, tablas, creation and destruction" were the starting points for Kaash (Hindi: "if only"). This revival continues Akram Khan's quest to build bridges between the worlds of contemporary dance and the Indian classical dance form kathak, and has given him the title of one of the most acclaimed choreographers of his generation. More detail »
In Erasing Time, six-time Isadora Duncan award-winner Sara Shelton Mann live-directs former members of her historic ensemble Contraband and other past collaborators in a five hour durational event. Part performance marathon, part gallery show, part intimate party, YBCA invites you to become immersed in the first retrospective of the catalytic body of work by this renowned Bay Area choreographer. Featuring design direction by David Szlasa and musical direction by Norman Rutherford. More detail »
Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning composer Vân-Ánh Võ will premiere a new musical event, The Odyssey. Inspired by the epic journey of the Vietnamese boat people, this performance reflects upon the resilience of the human spirit and the price of freedom. In this performance, Võ integrates traditional and modern instruments, video, field recordings, and interviews with those who survived the the voyage of fleeing Vietnam by boat. More detail »
Analogy/ Dora: Tramontane is a meditation on perseverance, resourcefulness, and resilience while suggesting the amorphous nature of memory. The work is based on an oral history Jones conducted with 95-year old Dora Amelan, a French Jewish nurse and social worker and survivor of World War II. Dora's inspirational story unfolds in multiple levels of transformation. More detail »
YBCA Co-Commission with Peak Performances, Montclair State University, New Jersey; additional commissioning support provided by: Dancers’ Workshop
YBCA's annual festival of today's visionary musicians and sound explorers, New Frequencies Fest underscores San Francisco's reputation as a crucible for new music experimentation with Sound (In) Art. Thursday's performance features vocalist/audio artist and 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award winner Pamela Z. More detail »
YBCA's annual festival of today's visionary musicians and sound explorers, New Frequencies Fest underscores San Francisco's reputation as a crucible for new music experimentation with Sound (In) Art. Friday's performances feature cellist/composer Theresa Wong and found object/instrument makers Edward Schocker & Thingamagigs Performance Group. More detail »
YBCA's annual festival of today's visionary musicians and sound explorers, New Frequencies Fest underscores San Francisco's reputation as a crucible for new music experimentation with Sound (In) Art. Saturday's performance features composer Luciano Chessa. More detail »
A new body of music composed by Oakland-based singer, musician, and cultural activist Meklit. Born in Ethiopia, raised in Brooklyn and based for a decade in San Francisco, Meklit weaves together traditional songs, poetry, and a female chorus to trace Ethiopian Jazz from eastern Africa to the Fillmore in San Francisco. More detail »