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This Week in Arts

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Our lead critics bring you the latest and greatest in Bay Area culture for this week.


Our very own Pacific Film Archive mixes, as it were, sound and image in the next installment of its Cine/Spin series, where Cal DJs take on films from the PFA collection. On Thursday, April 12, UC Berkeley student musicians will spin to Jean Cocteau’s 1930 “The Blood of a Poet.”

Full of striking surrealist imagery, this film has the logic, or anti-logic, of a dream. The space between the real and the imaginary is playfully flouted with anthropomorphic mirrors and drawings. Cocteau is known for “Beauty and the Beast” (1946) and “Orpheus” (1949), where he takes classic myths and gives them a postmodern bend. His black-and-white rendering of the unconscious in “Blood of a Poet” is an avant-garde lover’s fever dream. It should view better than ever when cast under the DJs’ sonic spell. Surprise surreal shorts will also accompany the screening. The program begins at 7:30 p.m., and students tickets are a mere $5.50.

Ryan Lattanzio is the lead film critic.


Whether the music of your youth was fueled by anime soundtracks or ’80s alternative rock, San Francisco’s Amoeba Music will be hosting numerous free shows this week oozing with nostalgia.

Stereopony will be playing at Amoeba today before they light up Slim’s at night. The Japanese all-girl trio have provided music for famous animes such as “Bleach” and “Mobile Suit Gundam 00.” John Doe and Exene Cervenka of X will be playing Tuesday in honor of the release of their latest album Singing and Playing, while Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo will take the stage on Wednesday to celebrate the release of his studio album Between the Times and the Tides.

Starting this Tuesday, Grammy-winners Train will be playing six sold-out shows throughout San Francisco. The S.F.-natives will be holding intimate performances at five small clubs such as Cafe du Nord before their sixth show at The Fillmore.

Ian Birnam is the lead music critic.


You’ll never look at barbers and meat pies the same way after seeing a performance of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

BareStage Productions, the longest-running student theater group on campus, will begin presenting the popular musical-thriller this Friday. The music of “Sweeney Todd” was composed by Stephen Sondheim, whose tremendous influence in musical theater also spans “West Side Story.”

In pop-culture, “Sweeney Todd” is best-known as Tim Burton’s film adaptation, in which Johnny Depp played the revengeful, throat-slashing barber and Helena Bonham Carter was his assistant (in transforming corpses into tasty meat pies). The story’s black comedy cuts deep with themes of murder and cannibalism, but also takes a tragic turn. You might not leave a production of “Sweeney Todd” with any optimism, but you’ll at least be humming the catchy melodies.

Deanne Chen is the lead theater critic.

Visual art

The sticker is fast and furiously creeping into art culture, becoming the new sought-after media for street artists. Joining the ranks of spray paint and permanent marker as one of the best methods for tagging, stickers are among the most efficient ways to disseminate a message, image or name.

In honor of the sticker slapping culture, Oakland gallery Chopsticks Urban Art Space is holding “Slapocalypse 2012” on Saturday. Submissions from Bay Area and international artists will be displayed on the walls for the event. Already, artists from the East Bay, L.A., New Mexico, Tennessee, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Australia and everywhere in between have submitted stickers.

Not only will there be sticker trading, sticker slapping and other sticker activities, but Oakland artists will also be there for live painting and DJing. “Slapocalypse” encourages visitors to bring a pen to engage in some of their own sticker action.

Anna Carey is the lead visual art critic.

Contact Ryan Lattanzio at 


APRIL 08, 2012

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