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Film
Monday, Dec. 23, 2013

Confidence Games, Bribery and Love Triangles

 We meet Irving (Christian Bale) in a hotel room mirror, pasting a toupee over his thinning hair and topping it with hairspray to make things stick. Irving’s vanity is a deception tied to a yen for recreating himself as the raconteur he’d love to be. And to get to that place, he became a con artist
Home Movies/Out on Digital
Monday, Dec. 23, 2013
 With a frown as deep as a trench, Frank “The Fixer” (Steven Van Zandt) is a New York mobster who turns government witness on one condition: the FBI relocate him with a new identity to Lillehammer, Norway, a remote town he remembers from the 1994 Winter Olympics. Naturally, he comes
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013
 Vocalist Jerry Grillo and pianist Joe Kral’s Music Box is a four-song collection of ballads that have entered the jazz repertoire or—in the case of Grillo’s “Lonely”—should have become standards. The duo wanders through reminiscence and ruefulness. Grillo even invests Willie Nelson’s
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013
 San Francisco’s MWE explores the music of the Near East in tight, virtuosic ensemble playing. The band is fronted by alto saxophone, clarinet and zurna, a raucous-sounding double-reed traditionally used to call a community to gather. The tone is uncompromising—no sugar coating, electronic
Local Music
Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013

Making rock with cello and percussion

 1913 was the year of calm before the storm—the year before European civilization shattered on the battlefields of World War I. In that year an artisan in a far corner of Europe—Romania—crafted a handsome cello. The instrument survived both World Wars, and the rise and fall of Fascism
Film
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013

The Coen brothers revisit a lost time in music

Folksinger Llewyn Davis leans into the dim spotlight shining down onto the stage, playing guitar with homespun eloquence
Home Movies/Out on Digital
Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013
French director Gilles Bourdos fills Renoir with the honeyed sunlight and sensuous curves of a Pierre-Auguste Renoir canvas, yet the film is only half about the great Impressionist. The painter’s son, future film director Jean Renoir (Grand Illusion), is convalescing from World War I in his father’s