Gravity Spells Returns- “Embrace the Vortex”

By Brian Darr

May 19, 2022

In 2014 John Davis produced a double-album entitled Gravity Spells: Bay Area New Music and Expanded Cinema Art, which presented sound recordings made by himself as well as Maggi Payne, Tashi Wada, Ashley Beloun and Ben Bracken, paired with accompanying DVDs featuring work by local moving image artists Lawrence Jordan, Craig Baldwin, Paul Clipson and Kerry Laitala. The release was accompanied by four weekend performances at the Kala Art institute in Berkeley, and the discs quickly sold out.

Now nearly eight years later there’s a sequel release, Gravity Spells II involving an entirely new slate of Bay Area sound artists and filmmakers. This time around the performances celebrating the release will all be held  May 19-22  at venerable Mission District venue The Lab. Only the artists know quite what to expect, but they’re sure to present a unique live cinema experiences.

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Watch CITY LIGHTS Shine: A Gallery of Art

Curated by Gary Meyer

Charles Chaplin might be the most recognizable person in the world. His iconic Little Tramp image can be found everywhere. I am guessing that more books have been written about him than any movie star.

One of the many beauties of his work is that they communicate with people who speak any language.

And on Saturday, February 19, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents Chaplin’s 1931 masterpiece, CITY LIGHTS accompanied by the Oakland Symphony under the direction of Timothy Brock, at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre. This is a must see experience for all ages.

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THE CREATIVE HIGH

By C.J. Hirschfield

In 2020, more people in San Francisco died of overdoses than of covid-19—an almost impossible statistic to comprehend.

So a film featuring people living in that city who are in recovery from addiction is timely and hopeful; what is unique is that all nine of them have had their lives dramatically transformed by the “alternative high” they achieve through art-making.

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BEING A CENTURY OLD DOESN’T STOP BETTY REID SOSKIN AND ANNA HALPRIN FROM ROCKIN’ OUR WORLD

BY C.J. Hirschfield

Writer Pearl S. Buck said that “To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.”

Two of the remarkable Bay Area women featured in the 10th annual Legacy Film Festival on Aging have seemingly done just that, and they’ve used their collective 200 (!) years of rich experience to arrive at a place where they now choose to enlighten and inspire.

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Shorts are BIG this year… All the 2021 Oscar™ Nominated Shorts Reviewed

Just as reading a great short story can have an impact in a relatively few pages, short films also can entertain, inform and challenge us with limited running times. Most of our favorite filmmakers started their careers making short subjects. Which of this year’s Oscar™ nominated creators will be the makers of the next breakout independent film on their way to a studio blockbuster? You can watch and place your bets. And remember that this year the public has seen all nominated movies the same way most Academy members have been watching them for years—at home. 

 

The 2021 Academy Awards are on Sunday, April 25. The nominated short films have been collected into three programs, Animation, Live Action and Documentary, and are now playing in select theaters and on Virtual Cinema. Trailers and more information can found here

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Designing a Life

By C.J. Hirschfield

A couple of decades ago, I took a half-day off work to visit the first-ever tour of an historic 1909 Arts & Crafts house that featured its original furniture–many pieces by the man considered the father of the American Arts & Crafts movement, Gustav Stickley. Touring the glorious house in the required surgical booties, I was in heaven.

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