SIGN THE SHOW: A Benefit, Not a Burden

By C.J. Hirschfield

October 22, 2022

I can’t imagine being denied access to movies, plays, comedy shows, or concerts; you probably can’t either. And yet that’s how it is for 40+ million Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HOH) Americans, whose attempts to get venues and artists to understand their need for consistent, high-quality professional and well-lit sign language interpreters are met with barrier after barrier.

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FANTASTIC NEGRITO: A Cat With More Than Nine Lives

Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? album review | Louder

 

By C.J. Hirschfield                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     October 8, 2022

Xavier. Amin. Andrew. Blood Sugar X. Oakland’s Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, born Xavier Dphrepaulezz and now known as Fantastic Negrito has had many names, and even more lives. The new documentary Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, which has its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, traces his remarkable and unlikely journey, telling the story in chronological order, interspersed with song tracks and jam sessions that feature his unique blues/R&B/roots music. It all comes together beautifully. Continue reading

How the Bay Area Got Hooked on Fish Tacos

By Nancy Friedman

September 20, 2022

Fish have been swimming onto San Francisco Bay Area menus ever since there were people around to catch and cook them. And Mexican cuisine has been represented in the region ever since Alta California was part of Mexico. But until 1992, although dozens of Bay Area restaurants served a steady tide of petrale sole, halibut, salmon, and sand dabs—not to mention McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, invented in 1962—and although there were plenty of places to enjoy burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas, one Mexican fish dish was still just a wish: the fish taco. Continue reading

Bernstein’s Wall: An Extraordinary Extrovert’s Life

By C.J. Hirschfield

July 19, 2022

In the upcoming (2023) Netflix biographical film Maestro, based on the life of renowned conductor/composer/pianist Leonard Bernstein, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper with Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg producing, there is a scene already circulating on social media of Bernstein passionately kissing his male lover.You will not find this sort of scene depicted in the new documentary film Bernstein’s Wall, which has its San Francisco premiere at the 42nd San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 21-August 7. What you will see, however, is a richly textured biography of a man whose remarkable story includes a deep commitment to his Jewish heritage, to political activism, to his art, to teaching, and to his family. His bisexuality, not so much. Continue reading

Hallelujah—Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song

A Review by Gaetano Kazuo Maida

July 1, 2022

They had me at “Leonard Cohen.”

Ever since Judy Collins introduced his song “Suzanne” on her great 1968 album, In My Life, his name on a project—book, album, song, film—had special meaning, somehow within and yet beyond pop culture. Here, it’s perhaps his best-known, and certainly most covered song, “Hallelujah” that takes the lead, and offers a lens through which to survey his life, the music business, and the cultural era he inhabited and inspired. Continue reading

“Hallelujah”- A Gallery of Performances and Interviews

Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” is the subject of a new documentary by Dayna Goldfine and Daniel Geller. Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song opens in theaters exclusively in July and August, 2022. Read the review by Gaetano Kazuo Maida

We think you will enjoy seeing a selection from the dozens of musical stars and hundreds of amateurs (often on TV talent search shows), professional and community choirs, symphony orchestras, TikTok sensations, and many others who have found satisfaction with this beautiful music and its many verses to interpret.

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