Pixel Vision

American landscapes: a review of SF native Sean Wilsey's essay collection, 'More Curious'

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Midway through the introduction to More Curious (McSweeney's Books, 342 pp., $22), his recently-published collection of essays from the last 15 years, Sean Wilsey (who appears at the Booksmith Thu/21) reveals his quest to combine the styles of Thomas Pynchon and New Yorker legend Joseph Mitchell — paranoia and precision, respectively.

The introduction itself is a joyfully meta attempt at this very task. The 20-odd pages of often non-sequitorial rumination about the aforementioned authors, the triviality of the 1990s, and the first Obama election can be mistaken as “formless while still astonishingly informative” or “so intricately constructed and fact-filled that the form is too complex to be instantly identified.” The happy reality of all of Wilsey’s essays is somewhere between these two perceptions.

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Live Shots: SF Street Food Fest fills us up quickly

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The weather was gorgeous, the lines weren't too long, and the people were friendly -- and hungry -- at the sixth annual SF Street Food Festival last Saturday.

About those shorter lines, though -- that meant we had access to pretty much any food we wanted in less than 10 minutes! (Except for the ever-popular ramenburger from Nombe, the line for which stretched almost the length of a block.) Uh oh, we were faced with unlimited choices, too many for our stomachs to bear, try as we might. And we might!

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Old guys, touchy-feely teens, and rep-house picks you don't wanna miss: weekend movies!

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Outside of the multiplex this week, don't miss Midnites for Maniacs curator (and Guardian contributor) Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' very special tribute to William Lustig at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Exploitation icon Lustig will appear in person to chat about his films, and they're screening the entire Maniac Cop trilogy ... so why haven't you gotten tickets yet?

Also, check out the Turkish Film Festival, which runs August 19-21 at the Embarcadero and screens new films from Turkey for free! You can reserve seats here.

Meanwhile, Hollywood would like to remind you that age ain't nothing but a number (The Expendables 3), that feelings are important (The Giver), and that not all cops are evil (Let's Be Cops, which technically is about fake cops). Reviews, trailers, and more below!

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Tornadoes vs. turtles: this week's new movies

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Will ninja turtles or killer tornadoes reign supreme in this week's battle of the CG-heavy box office? Read on for our reviews of new movies, plus trailers!

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Eff you, gravity! Watch this skater fly over a fence at the new SoMa West skatepark

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The Guardian recently covered the unveiling of the SoMa West skatepark, a new skate spot giving a glint of hope to the city's skate scene. And despite the crowing of the fist-shakers at the Chronicle (quit that damn noise, you hooligans!), our trip to the new skatepark found folks having a grind-happy grand ol' time.Read more »

All the buzz: a report from CoffeeCon San Francisco

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Whether your caffeinated allegiances lie with Blue Bottle, Four Barrel, or a non-coffee drink, CoffeeCon San Francisco offered something to appeal to everyone’s cravings on July 26. Venturing out of Chicago for the first time, the consumer coffee festival boasted a multitude of roasters — many of them local and therefore well-acquainted with using glorious Hetch Hetchy water in the brewing process — and a wide variety of presentations to intrigue both casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs. Plus, unlimited coffee samples!

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Flaming Lotus Girls bring SOMA to Pier 14

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Following in the tradition of Burning Man artworks returning to San Francisco for temporary public installations, my beloved Flaming Lotus Girls have installed their colossal steel and light sculpture SOMA at Pier 14. And this Friday, Aug. 1, they’ll be hosting a dance party reception from 5-9pm to celebrate the occasion.Read more »

“How to Cook a Frog” at CounterPulse

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What’s cooking?

You may well ask, as towering gourmand Julia Child (Annie Danger) appears at Counterpulse tonight and tomorrow, walking her studio audience through a classic recipe with a decidedly contemporary flavor.

If frog doesn’t sound like your thing, consider that we don’t always know we like something until we try it. Or consider the way this surveillance state being forced down your throat goes right to your ass. Or consider that Dalton Trumbo (following Emile Zola) once referred to his time (the time of McCarthy and other manifestations of totalitarian creep) as the Time of the Toad — an era in which maintaining indifference to the injustice and horror around you was tantamount to learning how to swallow a whole wet one each and every day.

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The Rock gets mythological, ScarJo turns scary-smart, Woody's tepid latest, PSH's final role, and more: new movies!

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In case you missed the cover of this week's paper, the 34th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival kicked off last night and runs through Aug. 10 at an array of Bay Area venues. Get the whole schedule and info on tickets here; check out our commentary here and here

From the glittering (and otherwise) land of Hollywood, a raft of new releases also await. Read on for reviews of Hercules, Lucy, Magic in the Moonlight, A Most Wanted Man, and more!

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More reviews from the SF Jewish Film Festival

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If Instagram is anything to go by (read: it’s not), anyone can make a short film — just slap a filter on it and call it a day! Thankfully, the protagonists in Anywhere Else and Swim Little Fish Swim, two films featured in the 38th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, work on creative projects that can pull their own weight — sans filters — even if the length exceeds 15 seconds from the sidelines. Short DIY clips, not integral to the plotlines, are interspersed throughout of each film and are a breath of fresh air, even if the overall film itself is a hit or a miss.

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