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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 · VOL. 25, NO. 52 · SAN JOSE, CA · FREE

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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

[03]


[04]   CCONTENTS ONTENTS

FEBRUARY F E B R U A R Y 24-MARCH 2 4 - M A R C H 2, 2 , 2010 2 0 1 0 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA VA L L E Y

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

[05]


[06]   LETTERS

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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5

Management Mania I was happy to see that Metro was giving more substantial coverage to the ongoing battle over the actions of Superintendent Bob NuĂąez and the inept East Side Union High School Board in â&#x20AC;&#x153;Reverse Chargesâ&#x20AC;? (MetroNews, Feb. 17),

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but I must take issue with something raised in the ďŹ nal paragraphs of the article. The author, Jessica Fromm, states, â&#x20AC;&#x153;East Side Teachers Association, who have officially supported NuĂąez since the beginning.â&#x20AC;? The article later goes on to quote Wendy Stegeman, who is the Political Action Committee head for the ESTA. Sadly, this is not true at all. The

ESTA Executive Board instructed both Wendy Stegeman and Union President Marisa Hanson to not publicly support NuĂąez or to take any stand on the issue of the FCMAT investigation. Ms. Stegeman and Ms. Hanson both refused to follow the orders of the Executive Board in public, but when asked by teachers what the unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s position was to be, there was always evasion and a

refusal to outline how the Union was to act. These actions made it appear that the union members supported Mr. NuĂąez at a time when the public was being told in numerous Mercury News articles that the superintendent has committed some very questionable acts. No matter if Mr. NuĂąez has been cleared of the charges against him, the damage to the public opinion of Mr. NuĂąez and anyone who supported him has already been done. This was compounded through the journalistically shaky reporting in the Mercury News and the inappropriate actions of the union leadership. By not standing above this asinine fray and showing that the union could stay out of the silly political one-upmanship being practiced by the East Side Board and the journalistically challenged Mercury News, the

union leadership painted its membership as supporters of both NuĂąezâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alleged improprieties and the boardâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s continued managerial psychosis. Frank Cava Teacher, Piedmont Hills High School

Anticipazione Every week, I open Metro anticipating a restaurant review by Stett Holbrook. We discovered a Oaxacan gem, Juquilita, which turned out to be in our own neighborhood. We were fortunate to live just outside of Bologna, Italy, for a year, and I agree with Mr. Holbrookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statement: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Silicon Valley needs more Italian restaurants willing to break out of the pizza-andravioli rut.â&#x20AC;? Bravo! Kathleen Hanes San Jose

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Assumptive Asses

I saw you and your buddies in a sandwich shop in Sunnyvale. You were speaking loudly in a non-English language, and made some not-so-ďŹ&#x201A;attering comments about me in that language. Dudes, you erred by assuming that because I look â&#x20AC;&#x153;whiteâ&#x20AC;? that I am from a different background than you. Guess what? I understood every word you said. For your information, I am not rich, I know I have a big hiney and I was friendly with the cute clerk because heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s my cousin, not because I was ďŹ&#x201A;irting with him. We laughed our asses off at you idiots after you left. SEND US your anonymous rants and raves about your co-workers or any badly behaving citizenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or about citizens you admire. I SAW YOU, Metro, 550 S. First St., San Jose, 95113, or via email to Isawyou@metronews.com.

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

[07]


[08]   SILICON ALLEYS

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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GARY SINGH

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Tuscany Bound

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NYONE WHO HAS spent an extended amount of time in Tuscany will testify to its culinary delights. There is no need to explain anything else about that part of Italy that hasn’t already been said. I say this because Vicky Gray-Clark, a local self-proclaimed “Italophile,” is assiduously organizing an olive oil–based food and travel tour, Harvest Italia 2010, as part of her new spinoff venture, Spirit of Italy Tours. Gray-Clark normally runs Ambient Public Relations in San Jose, but after several trips to Tuscany, she became attached to the place, as anyone would. “When I traveled to Italy for the first time as a college student and stepped onto Italian soil, I had a strange physical sensation, as though I had been there before,” she writes on her website. “This déjà vu experience was profound and seeded an intense love affair with the country. Italy continues to have a spiritual pull on my soul, which remains to this day.” The weeklong tour, which takes place in November, will allow visitors to take part in an olive harvest in Tuscany, on a private estate. Attendees will be able to pick olives by hand and experience how the entire process unfolds, straight from the farm to the bottle. There will be day excursions to Florence, Arezzo and the medieval town of Montevarchi, but the tour is focused on all things olive oil. The tour includes seven nights’ accommodation at Valleverde Agriturismo in San Giovanni Valdarno, about 40 minutes away from the Florence airport. If you’re hip to the scene, agritourism is the rage these days, with more and more folks wanting to learn about local gastronomy, stewardship of the land, or in this case, the olive oil–making process. Details of the tour, including the tentative itinerary, are on the website: www.spiritofitalytours.com. Although Florence will be included on the agenda, the trip is not about standing in line for hours to get into the Uffizi, taking your family shot at the Ponte Vecchio or blazing through Rome, Milan and Venice in one week. On this tour, people will sink deeply into the surroundings. “So much of today’s travel is filled with hustle and bustle, leaving travelers exhausted,” Gray-Clark tells me. “My tour is designed for a small group of travelers so that we can travel more intimately to hand-picked destinations known only to locals and not easily accessible to large groups—at a slower, more thoughtful pace, yet still giving people a glimpse into various aspects of Italian life.” Bellissimo! I say. The 10-acre Casa Falcioni olive farm in Cavriglia is just minutes away from the accommodation, and November is a spectacular time to be in Tuscany, as the cities aren’t abysmally overrun with camera-toting tourists. What’s more, olive oil is one of the healthiest fluids one can put into or onto one’s body and also one of the most versatile concoctions in Gray-Clark normally the history of humanity. Aside from runs Ambient Public culinary scenarios, olive oil can be used to control hair frizz, moisturize Relations in San Jose, hangnails, free a stuck zipper, clean but after several garden tools or cure diaper rash. So trips to Tuscany, she why not go to straight to the source? “I would hope that my tour guests became attached to the garner a deeper appreciation of the place, as anyone would olive oil–making process and its earthy connection that is at the heart of Italian cuisine and fast becoming a staple in the American diet,” Gray-Clark says. “The actual picking of the olives is a wonderfully social and healthy activity that is a fun and unique way to enjoy friends and family. Seeing the olives that you’ve collected, taking them to the olive pressing facility and taking a home a bottle of olive oil is a rewarding experience that people will reflect on for a lifetime.” Anyone who wants more information is welcome to RSVP for a kickoff party on March 21, 12:30–4pm, at Ristorante da Mario in Saratoga. Wine will flow, and Italian ceramics will be on display. Particulars are on the website.

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When were you last in Italy? Email me at SiliconAlleys@metronews.com.


mashup

M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y   FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010MASHUP

[09]

best of the local web

A roundup of news, commentary and opinion from around the valley. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect Metro’s editorial views.

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OVER the past several years, there’s been no shortage of talk about alternative energy, and its potential to change the world. The problem is that most of it is just that—talk. But [Friday], a report that aired on 60 Minutes showed one alternative that is not only real, it’s already being tested by companies such as Google and eBay. You simply have to watch this.

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Bloom Energy are producing tiny fuel cell boxes they call “Bloom Boxes.” Two of these can apparently power a U.S. home (and only one for homes in countries that use less power). So how small are they? Each device isn’t much bigger than a standard brick. Of course, they need to be surrounded by a larger unit that takes in an energy source (such as natural gas). But still, these units look to be about the size of a refrigerator and can easily fit outside of a home, providing it with clean, cheap energy. Currently, these boxes cost some $700,000 to $800,000, but eventually, founder K.R. Sridhar envisions one in every home—and he thinks he can get the cost below $3,000 for a unit to make that happen. And he’s talking a fiveto-10-year timeframe for this. Naturally, there are plenty who are skeptical of something like this ever working. There has been no shortage of fuel cell ideas over the years, but none get their own segment on 60 Minutes showing working units. And none get to highlight the fact that they’re already installed at companies like Google, eBay, FedEx and others. In fact, four of these Bloom Boxes have apparently been powering a Google data center for the past 18 months; eBay says its five boxes have saved it over $100,000 in electricity costs over the past nine months. Bloom Energy also has former Secretary of State Colin Powell on its board of directors, and he talked up the Bloom Boxes on 60 Minutes also. And the company has something in the neighborhood of $400 million in funding from the likes of Kleiner Perkins and others. Kleiner’s John Doerr is also featured heavily in the 60 Minutes segment, talking about why he thinks this company can change the world perhaps even in a more profound way than another company he backed, Google, has. Bloom Energy was Kleiner’s first green tech investment.

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The Future of Energy?

Apparently, Bloom Energy is due for a big formal public unveiling on Wednesday in San Jose (they have a countdown up on their site)—expect to hear a lot more then.—MG SIEGLER, TECHCRUNCH.COM

PADDING THE NUMBERS

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010NEWS

“It Can’t Be His Heart—He Doesn’t Have One”

Santa Clara Valley, California

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Urban Mining Extracting copper, silver and gold from computers and cell phones is one way to combat the wastes inherent in the mining industry By Amanda Peterka INING GOLD used to mean sifting through pans of water and muck to find precious nuggets. That evolved to crawling through dark passages deep within the earth. The newest gold mine has plastic, a circuit board and the digits of that guy or girl you met at the bar last night. “Urban mining,” or the process of extracting precious metals from cell phones, is one way to combat the wastes inherent in the mining industry. And your old cell phone is literally a deposit waiting to be unearthed. One metric ton of cell phones contains 140 kilograms of copper, 3.14 kilograms of silver,

M

20

Tons of waste the average gold wedding band generates with underground mining

300 grams of gold and 130 grams of palladium, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) statistics. James Kao, CEO of Green Citizen, an electronic recycling company that has locations throughout the Bay Area, including one in Palo Alto, says reclaiming precious metals can be an arduous process. “Reclaiming the one pound of copper from a cathode ray tube monitor is easy,” he says. “But it’s the lead on the leaded glass which is a very difficult process. It costs a lot of money to wash it off so the lead can be separated from the glass. Those are the things that are causing

300

Grams of gold in 1 metric ton of cell phones

problems in developing countries.” Only 5 grams of gold can be extracted from 1 ton of gold ore from the ground. “It’s really as simple as getting the metals into a form so that they can be separated from the other materials. It’s no different than if you were to dispose of gold coins and wanted to collect the gold out of those,” says Craig Boswell, vice president of operations at the electronics recycling company HOBI International. There are currently five large-scale smelters in the world that have the resources to reclaim metal from cell phones in an environmentally friendly manner, located in Belgium,

500 Million

Estimated number of old cell phones sitting unused in people’s homes

[11]

February 24-march 2, 2010 Sweden, Canada and Japan. The biggest, Belgium’s Umicore, has the ability to extract 17 precious metals from phones. But you can’t just send in old phones to these companies. Instead, you must go through cell phone recycling companies, a number of which will pay you for your used phone. ReCellular Inc., based in Michigan and the largest phone recycling company, sends about half of its phones toward metal reclamation, refurbishing the other half to be sold around the world, often in developing countries. Using recycling companies is a far cry from just dumping electronics into Third World countries like China, India and Nigeria. “In China, they’ll do metals reclamation, but it’s not very well monitored. They basically dump the circuit boards into an acid bath, which is not very good for the environment, and it’s very unhealthy for people actually doing it because of all the fumes,” says Max Speth, sales and service manager at CollectiveGood, a recycling company that ships its dead phones to Umicore. One step of the process that has been made more efficient is the melting of plastic components, which then provide energy to melt down the precious metals. And although Stephen D’Esposito, president of Earthworks, an environmental nonprofit, says that companies like Umicore aren’t necessarily “green” companies per se, but they are still better than digging a hole in the ground. “A gold wedding band generates 20 tons of waste [with underground mining],” says D’Esposito, whose organization is teamed with CollectiveGood to collect phones. “Each time you’re recycling enough gold for a wedding band, that’s 20 tons less of waste, and that’s not even considering the cyanide used or metals released into the environment if water goes through the process.” This also doesn’t take into account the energy saved. According to Thea &'

2010 The gold, sliver and bronze used in the 2010 Winter Olympics metals are from recycled circuit boards


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NEWS FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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McManus, acting director of the Municipal and Industrial Solid Waste Division at the EPA, “If we took 100 million cell phones that we believe are ready today, and we recycled them and mined them, we could produce enough energy with electricity to heat and cool 194,000 homes for a year.” Before that happens, companies have to wrestle phones from their greatest enemy: the desk drawer. In 2005, there were about 500 million old cell phones sitting in drawers or closets, and with a cell phone turnover rate of about once a year, it’s only increasing. “The issue with phones is that there isn’t much of a negative impact from storing one,” says Boswell. “It’s not like it’s a 65-inch TV that every time you walk by it you think, ‘I don’t need this in the middle of my living room.’ [But] when you stop using a certain phone, that’s the time to recycle it.” The Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health, as well as many of the cities in the area, hosts events where people can drop off electronic waste. Kao warns consumers to be cautious of some of the programs that are not sponsored by the city. He says that at some recycling drop-off events that are done under the name of fundraising for a charity organization, companies or organizations “cherry pick” the items that are valuable

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while the other items are sold to a broker who exports and dumps them. Meanwhile, the metals that are being mined now either go into electronics or to jewelers. But don’t expect to walk into a jewelry store and request a necklace from recycled material any time soon. “Smelters are constantly feeding in materials, and by and large they’ll see used electronics, process them, then put in some raw ore. It’s hard to say what came out of the end at any given time was from electronics,” says Mike Newman, vice president of ReCellular. To solve that issue, organizations like Earthworks are working to define the conditions under which one might produce metals in a responsible manner. The goal is a labeling system that comes with the assurance that a particular product was made from recycled metal. In terms of the final product, the only difference between the recycled metals and those that come out of the ground, are a much friendlier environmental impact. “Copper is copper and gold is gold,” Newman says. “There’s no question that we’re better off as a global society by mining these old phones or other electronics than pulling new metals out of the ground, because it works just as well.” M Wj^aY^c\ildigV^ah^cZmX]Vc\Z[dgjc^kZgh^in ZmeVch^dc#DcZigV^agjchVadc\i]ZlZhiZgcWdgYZg d[jc^kZgh^inaVcYdc6ae^cZGdVY^cHVcBViZd 8djcin!i]ZhZXdcYldjaYgjcVadc\h^YZEV\Z B^aaGdVY^cHVciV8aVgV8djcin#I]Z8<;aVlhj^i X]Vg\ZYi]Vii]Z6ae^cZGdVYigV^ai]gZViZcZYHVc ;gVcX^hfj^id8gZZ`ÅVcYed^ciZYdjii]Vii]ZigV^a ^ihZa[^hgZVaan_jhiVh^YZlVa`!cdiVbZVcYZg^c\ higdaai]gdj\]kZgYVciHiVc[dgYegdeZgin#Æ6ae^cZ GdVY^hVkZgnWjhngdVY0eZdeaZXVcVagZVYn VXXZhhi]Vi!ÇhVnhHX]b^Yi#ÆHiVc[dgYlVhign^c\ id\Zidjid[dcZd[^ihXdbb^ibZcih#Ç7jih^cXZ i]ZXVhZ]VhWZZcidhhZYdci]ZiZX]c^XVa^in! 8<;gZbV^ch]deZ[jai]ViHVcBViZd8djcinl^aa Xdci^cjZidfjZhi^dci]Z6ae^cZGdVYegd_ZXi! bZVc^c\i]ZgZbVnWZbdgZidXdbZWZil^mii]Z igV^aWaVoZghVcY]ZaagV^hZgh# M


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y   FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010SAN JOSE INSIDE

a look inside san jose politics and culture

Thinking Small, Like Guinea Pigs By Dan Pulcrano

Past San Jose mayors have used the annual State of the City speech to announce big projects or initiatives. Commandeering a broke city, however, limits Chuck Reed to talking about already dry cement like the swoopy new airport terminal or trumpeting minor capital spending projects, such as fixing the convention center’s leaky roof or reopening the Happy Hollow Zoo with a renovated Guinea Pig Island. When it comes to mayoral speeches in San Jose, no detail is too small. Reed one time encouraged citizens to save water by turning off the faucet when brushing their teeth. His predecessor, Ron Gonzales, used one annual speech to announce the opening of Starbucks and Krispy Kreme franchises in the Convention Center.

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While listening to all the budget talk about expenses rising faster than revenues and the costs of maintaining new facilities, the neighborhood champions and public-paycheck recipients who filled the convention center might have begun to feel like guinea pigs themselves, trapped on an island awaiting the next round of budget experiments—while the big elephants in the room remain in the shadows. The pachyderms, of course, were the baseball commissioner’s teeth gnashing over moving the money-losing Oakland A’s to San Jose, and impending pay and staffing level cuts for public safety workers. A’s owner Lew Wolff appeared at the podium to introduce and heap praise on the mayor but offered no clues to the status of the stadium plan. Reed mostly talked about the city’s strengths and positive qualities, while taking a veiled shot at his critics and predecessors. “We eliminated the practice of making back-room deals and springing them on the public at the last minute,” he said. “We stopped making policy by surprise so the public can participate in the debate.” Referring to critics of the police department’s use of force as “weapons of mass exaggeration,” Reed dismissed the problems as “a small number of incidents.” Calling SJPD “one of the best departments in the nation,” he thanked police leadership and members of the Police Officers Association for continued willingness to improve the department. Reed may be hoping that the verbal tip will make pay cuts easier to swallow. “It’s clear after Tuesday’s study session that 5 percent is not enough,” the mayor said. “We need every bargaining unit to give back 10 to 15 percent to avoid layoffs. It’s time for everyone to share the pain to save the jobs of your friends and co-workers.” &)

[13]


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SAN JOSE INSIDE FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

&(

His chief critic on the council, Assembly candidate Nora Campos, was quick to pounce. “It’s one thing to praise police and fire fighters,” she told the media. “It wasn’t clear how we’re going to save public safety jobs.”

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Her Chief of Staff, Ryan Ford, suggested that the talks with the bargaining units will be part of “a long, drawn-out budgeting process. It’s going to be messy.” Police leadership is already bracing for bad news. “At Bureau of Field Operations, we’ll be prepared to police the city with whatever they give us,” SJPD Deputy Chief Christopher Moore said. “It will be at a different level, though. We won’t be able to do some of the things we used to.”

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In a major reversal of a controversial decision, Dan Fenton of Team San Jose, the group that operates the San Jose Convention Center, has backed down from an earlier decision granting Teamsters Local 287 exclusive rights to set up trade shows at the Convention Center. The original ruling threatened business at the center because many scheduled groups had already contracted with Local 85 of San Francisco to do the work instead. Fenton explained that the original decision was made in order to promote local jobs and reduce costs, but it erupted into controversy following an outcry from the convention center industry. Cindy Chavez, co-chair of the Team San Jose Board of Directors and head of the South Bay Labor Council, portrayed the defeat as a victory: “The Team San Jose Board of Directors looks forward to working with the decorating community. Our strong relationship will have lasting positive impacts in our community and will grow San Jose jobs and improve service quality.” I]^h^hVcdi]ZgW^\adhh[dgjc^dch#=Vh8^cYn]VYVcnl^ch h^cXZiV`^c\dkZg4Å6#BZZYZVc

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

A

A

A

Dodge Ridge BASE: 60"- 64" TRAILS OPEN: 61 OF 61

Donner Ski Ranch

Northstar-at-Tahoe

BASE: 82" TRAILS OPEN: 91 OF 92

www.northstarattahoe.com PHONE: (530) 562-1330

Sierra-at-Tahoe

A

BASE: 42â&#x20AC;? - 90" TRAILS OPEN: 46 OF 49

www.sierraattahoe.com PHONE: (530) 659-7475

BASE: 88" - 98" TRAILS OPEN: 45 OF 45

www.sierrasummit.com PHONE: (530) 426-1111

Soda Springs www.skisodasprings.com PHONE: (530) 462-3901

BASE: 80â&#x20AC;?- 109" TRAILS OPEN: 170 OF 177

Sugar Bowl

Tahoe Donner BASE: 82â&#x20AC;? - 135" TRAILS OPEN: 14 OF 14

www.squaw.com PHONE: (530) 583-6955

www.sugarbowl.com PHONE: (530) 426-9000

www.skitahoedonner.com PHONE: (530) 587-9444

While considering cost and value, keep in mind Sierra Summit offers special savings on college, group, military and high school tickets as well as lesson and equipment packages. Sierra Summit is truly Central Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best winter recreational Value! Whether you ski, snowboard, or want to learn with their â&#x20AC;&#x153;Learn In Two Days Guaranteedâ&#x20AC;? lesson package, Sierra Summit makes for memorable experience. Sierra Summit is located 65 miles northeast of Fresno on Hwy. 168. Visit SierraSummit.com or call (559) 233-2500. For lodging call (559) 233-1200.

A

BASE: 87â&#x20AC;? - 139" TRAILS OPEN: 94 OF 94

A AA A

Squaw Valley USA

A

BASE: 65" - 100" TRAILS OPEN: 16 OF 16

With relatively low prices and close proximity, Sierra Summit is a quick day trip or an even longer stay can be had at the Sierra Summit Inn without breaking the bank. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stay and Play Packageâ&#x20AC;?, available any day for the rest of this season, starts as low as $69 per person double occupancy and includes a room at the Inn and an all day lift ticket valid the following day.

AA

Sierra Summit

In recent years, Sierra Summit has spent over $5,000,000 in area improvements resulting in a greatly improved skiing and riding experiences for the mountainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guests. These improvements have included Chair #7 which is a triple chair lift serving the areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s West Ridge with five intermediate runs, expanded snow making capabilities, and the on-hill Midway â&#x20AC;&#x153;Chill & Grillâ&#x20AC;? serving hot and cold drinks and BBQ with a view.

AA

$58

www.kirkwood.com PHONE: 877-KIRKWOOD

Sierra Summit is especially well suited for families and last year received On The Snow Visitorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Choice Award for â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Most Family Friendly Resortâ&#x20AC;? in the Far West. Additionally, Central California Parent Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Readers Choice Awards selected Sierra Summit as the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Number One Family Favorite Ski Resort in California.â&#x20AC;?

AA

BASE: 118" - 165" TRAILS OPEN: 72 OF 72

Sierra Summit Resort

A

Kirkwood

Resort of the Week:

A

$66

www.skihomewood.com PHONE: (530) 525-2900

AA

A

AA

We W e Sell Discount Di co t Lift Tickets! T ets! Tick et ! Adult: $49 Adult: Teen n: $39 Teen: Child: Child d: $17

BASE: 73" - 96" TRAILS OPEN: 55 OF 63

A

30

Pants & % Ski Jackets From: off

www.skiheavenly.com PHONE: (775) 586-7000 x1

Homewood

A

Ski & Board Carriers

www.donnerskiranch.com PHONE: (530) 426-3635

Heavenly Ski Resort BASE: 41" - 62" TRAILS OPEN: 85 OF 94

AA A

A AA A

15

% off

www.dodgeridge.com PHONE: (209) 965-4444 x5

BASE: 95" - 132" TRAILS OPEN: 53 OF 53

AA

AA

%off

www.rideboreal.com PHONE: (530) 426-3666

AA A

BASE: 90"- 130" TRAILS OPEN: 41 OF 41

AA A

A

20-50

Winter Boots & Socks From:

A

Boreal

A

30%off

09/10 Skis, Boards, Boots, Bindings, Snowboard Outerwear From:

www.bearvalley.com PHONE: (209) 753-2301

AA A A AA

Save Big On This Yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ski & Snowboard Gear

www.skialpine.com PHONE: (530) 581-8374

Bear Valley BASE: 48"- 72â&#x20AC;? TRAILS OPEN: 67 OF 67

AA A

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BASE: 73"- 121" TRAILS OPEN: 79 OF 130

A

Alpine Meadows

A

A

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RESORTS AND SNOW CONDITIONS

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010SPORTS

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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

mind body & spirit g Classes & Instruction

Focus Learn How To Meditate - And Why! Enjoy life! Calm the mind. Improve relationships. Make better decisions. Meditation and Buddhist View with Reed Sherman. Everyone is welcome. No previous experience necessary. $10 per class. Every Wednesday evening, 7:30-9, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Los Gatos, 15980 Blossom Hill Rd. Los Gatos, 95032. Call Kelsang Gamo 408/226-0595 for information or visit us at www.MeditationInSanJose.org

g Massage & Relaxation

Massage By Michael

Great massage by Asian man. In $50. Outcall $70. By CMT. For days 408-551-0767 or after 7pm 408-893-1966.

Nurturing Touch By Pete. Relaxing full body massage. In/out, open 7 days. 408-515-5778


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010STYLE

BIONIC BENZ Mpt!Hbupt!Ijhi!hvjebodf!dpvotfmps!boe!cfmu.cvdlmf!!

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Buckle Up

J

OHN BENZ leads a secret life. A guidance counselor at Los Gatos High School by day, at night he gives himself over to his true creative passion: making belt buckles. Seeking a new creative outlet, the 28-year-old New York native got into handmanufacturing his original belt-buckle designs after looking around at other custom belt-buckle makers on the web and thinking he could do better. “Maybe it was too many episodes of Project Runway or whatever, but I just felt like, I can definitely do that. It seemed like a cool idea,” says Benz. Thus started his process of trial and error, coming up with buckle designs constructed from recycled mixed media, such as photographs, cutouts, papier-mâché and repurposed books. Most of Benz’s pieces of wearable art are decidedly masculine. They feature lots of creatively used neutral colors and images of wildlife and text sealed into their antiqued nickel backing with Benz’s own concoction of permanent resin. “I really like the idea of industrial decomposition, that whole process of creation and it being changed by things that aren’t by human hands,” Benz says of his artistic inspiration. “I don’t know if that comes across in the buckles, but that’s kind of the direction I’m going in.” It was after he named his operation Bionic Benz and started selling his belt buckles online that things really blew up. Last June, Benz’s small company was selected as a featured seller by the staff of Etsy.com, and Benz and his belt buckles earned a write-up on the crafting community’s homepage. Suddenly, Bionic Benz’s belt buckles showed up on several fashion websites and style blogs, and the orders from all over the world came flooding in. Benz says that the most challenging part about making his collection is keeping the artistic side of the creative process interesting and fun. Since Benz runs a one-person operation out of his home in San Jose, he says he had to streamline and limit his production because keeping up with demand was draining the fun out of the process. “I was looking at it as a craft, and it just got to the point where it was just, like, crazy, like I was selling way too many of these things. So, I just sort of cut back there,” says Benz. “It’s something I do on the side, and it keeps me in that zone where I’m creating things, and where I’m able to kind of do something different, something that’s not the daily nine-to-five sort of thing.” Bionic Benz belt buckles can be purchased online at www.etsy.com/shop/BionicBenz. Jessica Fromm

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[30]   EVENTS

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010MENU

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[31]

tjmjdpo!wbmmfzĂ&#x2013;t!hvjef!up!Ă&#x;of!ejojoh Mjwf!Gffe Silicon restaurants coming and going_34

Thai Surprise 9VkZ8VWZWZ

Santa Claraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thaibodia rises above the familiar favorites of most Thai restaurants in Silicon Valley By Stett Holbrook

SILVER STEAMER Uif!ips!npl!bu! Uibjcpejb!jt!tmju!pqfo!up! sfmfbtf!jut!bspnb/

Thaibodia 6YYgZhh/'&**:a8Vb^cd GZVa!HVciV8aVgV# E]dcZ/)%-#')-#--+-# =djgh/&&VbĂ&#x201E;./(%eb BdcĂ&#x201E;I]j!&&VbĂ&#x201E;&%ebHVi VcY&&VbĂ&#x201E;./(%ebHjc# 8j^h^cZ/I]V^# Eg^XZGVc\Z/:cigZZh ,#.*Ă&#x201E;&'#.*# LZWh^iZ/]iie/$$i]V^WdY^V #Xdb#

FEW WEEKS AGO, a reader sent me an email urging me to try the tempura vegetables at Thaibodia in Santa Clara. Now, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve pretty much given up on Thai food in Silicon Valley. We have scores of Thai restaurants that all basically serve the same thing. I like pad thai and green curry chicken just ďŹ ne, but there has to be more to Thai cuisine than the same two dozen or so dishes that appear at every Thai restaurant I go to. Whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the regional variation? Special seasonal dishes? Apparently not in Silicon Valley. So I was dubious, but this reader was so emphatic about the ethereal quality of the tempura that I ďŹ gured it was time to drop my skepticism and give another Thai restaurant a try. So I went. And I was disappointed . . . at ďŹ rst. As far as tempura goes, it was pretty good for $6.95. The panko batter was light and brittle with nary a trace of oil. In the end, however, it was just battered vegetables, not enough to change

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my opinion of Thai food in the South Bay. The tempura was an appetizer, and I was about to just call it quits right there, but I decided to give the menu another chance. And thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s when I saw it: hor mok. Hello, whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s this? The menu listed hor mok as its lone house specialty. Why not? One hor mok, please, with rock cod ($10.95). Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s described on the menu as â&#x20AC;&#x153;sautĂŠed with fresh Napa cabbage, basil, egg, coconut milk and red curry,â&#x20AC;? which really doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do the dish justice. What came out of the kitchen looked like an aluminum-foilwrapped bowling ball that had been slit open with an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Xâ&#x20AC;? to release an aromatic cloud of steam perfumed with the delicious aroma of kaffir lime leaves. Hor mok is like a giant ďŹ sh cake bound together with coconut milk and egg whites. The cabbage, basil and spicy red curry give the dish texture and color. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s traditionally served in banana leaves, but the foil package is still impressive. I loved it. The sweetness of the

mild ďŹ sh and coconut milk combined with ďŹ ery curry sauce and redolent kaffir lime made me want to come back for a second visit to see what else I might ďŹ nd on the menu. I discovered more to like when I returned. Crispy love ($7.95) conjures up odd mental pictures, but on the plate, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a delicious, simple-looking appetizer made from ground shrimp and cuttleďŹ sh cloaked in eggroll wrappers and then fried crisp. Although I had a hard time seeing the seafood, the ďŹ&#x201A;avor was deďŹ nitely there. It tasted great dipped in sweet-andsour sauce. The roti was another winner. The fried bread was heavier than Malaysian versions I have had but still steamy and rich; the peanut sauce served with it was good enough to drink. The spicy bamboo with duck ($8.95) was another surprise. Instead of making it with those uniform little rectangles of bamboo shoots, the kitchen serves the dish with big, ragged chunks

of bamboo shoots in all their sweet and funky goodness tossed with onions, tomatoes, green bell peppers and basil in a delicious red ginger sauce. The Thai barbecue chicken ($8.95) wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as unusual as some of the other dishes I tried but just as good. The half chicken isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t barbecued but grilled up tender and juicy. I found myself picking at it well past the point of full. I saw the requisite fried banana and sticky rice for dessert and ďŹ gured I would stop while I was ahead. My run of bad Thai restaurant luck had been broken. You might think that with a name like Thaibodia the restaurant would serve a mix of Thai and Cambodian food, but you would be wrong. The menu consists of just Thai food. But in this case, the result is better than the same old thing most Silicon Valley Thai restaurants serve.


[32]   DINING GUIDE

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010   DINING GUIDE

dpmvno xjof Wine Notes

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PRING IS near and that means E>CDI E6G69>H:is right around the corner, too. The sixth-annual celebration of Santa Cruz Mountains pinot noir is set for March 27, 11am–5pm, at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. Thirty local wineries will be pouring wine, while top Silicon Valley restaurants will be on hand with great bites of food. A $25 entry fee includes a free glass. The event will also include a silent auction and raffle featuring local wines, artisan foods, arts and crafts, winery tours and vacations. Go to scmwa.com for more information. The <G6E:K>C:in Willow Glen will host winemaker ADJ>HAJ86Hof AJ86H6C9A:L:AA:C K>C:N6G9Hon Feb. 25, 7–8:30pm. Lucas’ vineyard spans three climate zones in Santa Barbara. For $10, wine lovers can try a flight of his latest vintages and talk wine with the man. Go to grapevinewillowglen.com or call 408.293.7574 for more information. Head up to Boulder Creek’s 7><76H>CK>C:N6G9Hon Feb. 28, noon–5pm, for a barrel tasting and barrel burn. The event will feature a sneak peak of the 2009 vintage as well as some of the 2008s that are almost ready to bottle. Winemaker 7G69A:N7GDLCwill also be pouring tastes of currently available wines, such as the 2007 Santa Cruz/Monterey Syrah, the 2007 Bald Mountain Pinot Noir and the 2007 Fairview Road Ranch Syrah. In celebration of the event, Brown will burn a couple of old barrels because he can. The cost is $10. More information is available at bigbasinvineyards.com. Be sure to get directions from the website; relying on GPS will get you very lost. Also on Feb. 28, Santa Cruz’s K>CDI67>L>C:GNhosts a Rhone wine education session and tasting with French wine expert B>@6:AL6G<>C. Participants will be guided through the region with glass in hand. The cost is $30. For an additional $10, visitors can apply what they’ve learned in a special wine tasting offered afterward. For details: vino-tabi-wine.com or call 408.813.8384. All aboard the wine train. It’s a few months out, but the H6CI68GJOBDJCI6>CHL>C: :MEG:HHevent on May 17 is worth putting on the calendar. The event will showcase all 70 Santa Cruz Mountains wineries at Felton’s Roaring Camp Railroad. There will also be bocce ball courtesy of Campo de Bocce of Los Gatos and a live auction with wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres from local restaurants. The cost is $55 in advance and $65 the day of the event; $20 for children under 12; children under 3 are free. Dogs on leash are welcome for tasting and on train rides. Reservations or for more information, contact the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association at 831.6858463 or email info@scmwa.com. Stett Holbrook (Twitter.com/SVdining)

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[33]


[34]   DINING GUIDE

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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N SPITE of Silicon Valleyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s limping economy, the restaurant scene continues to show signs of life. For every restaurant that closes, it seems there are two new ones that open. Here are some of the new restaurants as well as changes to old restaurants. @66B6ADJC<:6C9G:HI6JG6CIopens March 18 on the site of the late ;J:A G:HI6JG6CIin San Jose. Chef B6IIB:GBD9plans to offer â&#x20AC;&#x153;global comfort food.â&#x20AC;? Look for creative riffs on classics like spaghetti and meatballs, nachos and even the peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 385 S. Winchester Ave., San Jose. ;G:99>:?Ă&#x2030;H76GADJC<:has opened in place of the late, great B>HH>DC6A:=DJH:. Freddie Jâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offers two bars, a lounge area, an outdoor patio and Philly cheese steaks available every day until 3am. As for music, look for old-school hip-hop and R&B every night. 97 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose. I=:BBDDCwill bring fresh-baked, Argentine-style empanadas to downtown San Jose sometime in May. The family-run restaurant will replace Zahirâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. 177 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose. =6GJB>HJH=>opened earlier this month at 19754 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, where HJH=>I6IHJB>used to be. Look (out) for the â&#x20AC;&#x153;ďŹ&#x201A;aming dragon roll,â&#x20AC;? a specialty that comes with a ďŹ re underneath and includes deep-fried shrimp, snow crab, avocado, spicy tuna, yellowtail tuna and tobiko. Every Wednesday and Thursday are â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sake Fever Nightsâ&#x20AC;? when small glasses of sake are only 99 cents. B>A6CDreopens March 16 at 394 S. Second St., San Jose. The renovated restaurant will offer a new PaciďŹ c Rim menu featuring ingredients and wines from local vendors and wineries. Stett Holbrook (Twitter.com/SVdining)

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

[35]


[36]   DINING GUIDE

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010   DINING GUIDE

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[37]


[38]   DINING GUIDE

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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408.295.4200 408.295 .4200

408.286.8636 408.286 .8 8636

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408.995.6220 408.995 .6220

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010   ARTS

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[43]

METROGUIDE

Gjmn ‘The Real Revolutionaries’ leads a full slate of Cinequest screenings_48

Romeo and Juliet ?d]c<ZgWZio

Ballet San Jose needs all the male dancers it can find for a new version of Shakespeare By Jody Amable

FATAL EMBRACE Nfsdvujp!)Sbnpo! Npsfop*!ejft!jo!uif!bsnt! pg!Spnfp!)Nbzlfm!Tpmbt*! jo!ÕSpnfp!boe!Kvmjfu/Ö!

N A Thursday afternoon in an old building on North First Street, Ballet San Jose’s artistic director, Dennis Nahat, is just receiving word that his third Romeo, Maximo Califano, is officially dropping out. “What? Oh no!” he exclaims in a distressed falsetto. Nahat has been running Romeo’s parts with company dancer Rudy Candia in preparation for the worst. Califano broke his foot, and it was uncertain how soon he would recover. Candia will have to learn Romeo’s part in 10 days, but it doesn’t bother him. He’s a professional. “I’ve been watching; since injuries happen all the time,” he says to a co-worker later over lunch. This weekend, Ballet San Jose will premiere its version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, set to the score by Prokofiev. For such an old story, one that has been interpreted in every artistic medium available, Ballet San Jose is taking measures to make sure

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its version stands out. The ballet is triple-cast, with three different casts handling different performance dates. All three of the Romeos are from Cuba. Cuba is a country that takes its ballet very seriously. Home to the largest ballet school in the world, Cuba breeds talent from a young age. “It’s very strict,” says Ramon Moreno, the second Romeo. Moreno has been dancing since the age of 20. “In the United States, we can dance with more freedom. There are more options; different kinds of classical, contemporary dance.” Nahat echoes his sentiment. “You don’t want to ever look like you’re doing some classical, romantic ballet,” he calls to Candia as they run the scene without music. “There’s an urgency to this one.” And there’s a new urgency, now that Califano’s foot is broken. As Candia steps in, the first Romeo, Maykel Solas, sits in a folding chair

off to the side in striped socks, his feet mimicking Candia’s steps. Every so often, he gets up to demonstrate something to Candia, and Candia does his best to match it. And on they go, communicating with barely a word between the two of them.

‘You don’t want to ever look like you’re doing some classical, romantic ballet,’ Nahat calls to Candia as they run the scene without music “The great thing about this ballet is that it is so much more

interpretive. That Cirque du Soleil show? It’s not the same,” Solas says, waving his hand toward the window, which faces the tent the latest Cirque du Soleil show is set up under. “This is artistic, not acrobatic.” Romeo and Juliet is a ballet that relies heavily on storytelling, something that isn’t always a factor in dance. “There’s a lot of pantomime; doing everything big so everyone can see it,” says Candia. “It’s a romantic, free ballet, but there’s a lot of drama,” adds Solas. “It’s not just about technique. Por ejemplo, when Mercutio dies, everyone has to react. When Tybalt dies, everyone has to react.” “It’s called Romeo and Juliet, but it’s not just Romeo and Juliet. It’s everybody,” says Moreno. ROMEO AND JULIET, a Ballet San Jose production, plays Feb. 27, March 4–6 at 8pm and Feb. 28 and March 7 at 1:30pm the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Blvd., San Jose. Tickets are $30–$85. (408.288.2800)


[44]   STAGE/ART/LIT

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

[45]

“The most textured and finely detailed ‘Romeo’ in dance... not-to-be-missed.”

Karen Gabay and Maykel Solas by John Gerbetz.

- San Jose Mercury News

Romeo o and Juliet Juliet SAN S AN JOSE JO SE CENTER F FOR OR THE PER PERFORMING RF ORMING ARTS AR T S

BATT LIVE LEFEST

BUY ONLINE WITH PROMO CO CODE “METRO” FOR 10% OFF

SINGLE TICKETS TIC CKETS $30 – 85

Nova Vista Symphony

Old Worlds, New Beginnings Anthony Quartuccio, Conductor

Saturday, February 27, 8 PM Handel: Concerto Grosso in A Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture Dvorak: Symphony No. 9 (From the New World)

FEBRUARY 27, 2010

SAN JOSE CIVIC AUDITORIUM

Church of the Ascension 12033 Miller Ave, Saratoga Tix: $20/15/10 www.novavista.org

South Bay Guitar Society guitarist, singer

Vicki Genfan

Friday, March 12, 7:30 PM master guitarist

Carlos Perez

Saturday, March 13, 8 PM each concert event:

Tickets: $20 each 4 Pack Special: $75 For more information and ticket sales, please visit www.battlefestlive.com

Le Petit Trianon Theatre 72 N. 5th St, downtown San Jose Tix: $25/20/15 www.sbgs.org

Discover the Arts www.svArts.org

408.288.2800 408. 288.2800

balletsj.org ba alletsj.org


[46]   STAGE/ART/LIT

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HE SCARIEST thing in Dickens is the warning by a ghost: he who fails to go forth in this world will be doing a lot of traveling in the next world. Paul Theroux need have no fear; he is famous globally as a travel writer, whose love of trains makes him a spokesman for the most elegant form of travel. Among his many hymns to the slower, better rhythms of railroad sightseeing (with some dyspeptic asides about his forced encounters with RIDING THE RAILS!!Usbwfm!xsjufs!boe! opwfmjtu!Qbvm!Uifspvy!qsfgfst!up!tff!uif!! often annoying fellow travelers) are The xpsme!gspn!b!npwjoh!usbjo/ Great Railway Bazaar, The Old Patagonian Express and Riding the Iron Rooster. My favorite of his books: The Kingdom by the Sea (1983), in which a New Englander goes to circumnavigate the coast of Old England even as the celebrated Bradshaw-scheduled railways were being taken apart by privatizers and ornery unions. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Fawlty Towers, British punk rock and the strange selfdeprecation that leads a nation to name a coastal town â&#x20AC;&#x153;Foulness.â&#x20AC;? (â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was.â&#x20AC;? Theroux notes.) In addition to heroic journeys, Theroux is also a consummate crafter of ďŹ ctions, most notably The Mosquito Coast. His new novel is A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; $26). The protagonist is a Holly Martins type: a writer on the skids earning a living on the lecture circuit. Still big in Bengal for some reason, Jerry Delfont goes to the treacherous city to talk about his writing life; there, he meets a fellow American, a provocative female culture-vulture who seems to have a kinship with Mother Kali. Theroux appears at a special event sponsored by the Peninsula Open Space Trust. (Full Disclosure, one of Mr. Therouxâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sons, Louis, now a noted documentary ďŹ lmmaker, once worked at Metro.) Richard von Busack PAUL THEROUX appears for a Peninsula Open Space Trust lecture event on Monday (March 1) at 8pm at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. Tickets are $22. (650.903.6000)

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y   FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010STAGE/ART/LIT

BOOK REVIEW

Salad Days

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ABRIEL THOMPSON may have spent two months cutting lettuce (no one says â&#x20AC;&#x153;picking lettuce,â&#x20AC;? as he discovered) in the blisteringly hot ďŹ elds of Yuma, Ariz., for his new book, but he had his ďŹ rst glimpses of the backbreaking work of immigrant laborers closer to his childhood home in Cupertino. LABOR MOVEMENT!!Hbcsjfm!Uipnqtpo! â&#x20AC;&#x153;I grew up surďŹ ng Manresa and Sunset Beach, upjmfe!xjui!gbsnxpslfst!gps!ijt!ofx!cppl/ very close to Watsonville,â&#x20AC;? says the New York Times and Nation contributor. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d often drive through the strawberry ďŹ elds just off of Highway 1, and I would just pull over and watch people work. I would be very curious about what it was like to do the work and who the people were. It seemed like a completely foreign place.â&#x20AC;? This strange world in his own backyard prompted Thompson, many years later, to spend a year of his life working ďŹ rst in the ďŹ elds, then in a chicken slaughterhouse in Alabama, next in a ďŹ&#x201A;ower shop and ďŹ nally as a delivery boy in Manhattan. He will appear at the First Christian Church in San Jose on Saturday to discuss the resulting book, Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Do. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No matter where you fall on the immigration question, it would probably be helpful before you become so certain of your ideas to understand what they go through,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People are generally ignorant about what the day to day life experience of immigrants is and how this work is beneďŹ ting even the most anti-immigration activists.â&#x20AC;? In a world increasingly interested in local, organic and slow food, Thompson imagines a world where, â&#x20AC;&#x153;As youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re asking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Is it organic?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also asking â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Are the farmworkers getting a living wage?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? So he challenged himself to highlight that need by getting these invisible jobs and keeping them. It wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t as easy as it sounds. Working in the lettuce ďŹ elds left Thompson physically drained, and he never did get good enough to consistently keep up with la maquina, the machine that putters along the rows driving the pace of the crews. Surviving the gauntlet of reckless town cars by bike was another obstacle, as was the mind-numbing repetitiveness of ripping chicken breast after chicken breast in two. The toughest part of all, however, was the psychological terror of a browbeating ďŹ&#x201A;ower-shop boss. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They treated their workers as if they merited no respect. From the very beginning, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be shouting at you,â&#x20AC;? he recalls. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not just low wages [and] low beneďŹ ts, but that they have to deal with very abusive bosses.â&#x20AC;? The point of the long hours, bad wages and physical degradation he says, was to bring readers closer to the surprisingly difficult work that anti-immigration pundits claim is being stolen from Americans. Thompsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lettuce crew was astounded that he lasted two months, unlike the other gringos who quit after one day. He didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t even survive two months at other jobs without getting ďŹ red. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How I earned my U.S. citizenshipâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;I did nothing. My co-workers ďŹ&#x201A;ed civil war, picked tomatoes and are surviving in industries that very few people can keep doing. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to say in any way Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve earned my citizenship in any way they havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t,â&#x20AC;? he says. Although he had to cover up his journalistic intentions from the workers who became his friends, Thompson found that their desire to be understood came out organically. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Many times people would tell me, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;When you ďŹ nish doing this job, you should really go tell your friends, your fellow white friends, what itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like to cut lettuce.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; They had a sense that Americans didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have any knowledge about what it was like to do the work, not only how hard it was but how skilled it was,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They said, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;You really have an opportunity to tell people about the work we do here.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Jessica Lussenhop

WORKING IN THE SHADOWS: A YEAR OF DOING THE JOBS (MOST) AMERICANS WONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T DO by Gabriel Thompson; Nation Books; 320 pages; hardback. Thompson will appear Thursday (Feb. 25) at 7:30pm at Capitola Book Cafe, 1475 41st Ave., Capitola, and Saturday (Feb. 27) at 3pm at First Christian Church, 80 S. Fifth St., San Jose. EVjaI]Zgdjm

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AB/<4=@2 P E R F O R M I N G A RT S S E A S O N

A new book looks at life in the picking ďŹ elds

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[47]

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;A tender and moving comedydrama.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201D; The New York Times Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s theater, Bollywood-style: Live music, singing, and dancing transform an acclaimed childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s book into an hour-long stage spectacular for the whole family. (Ages 6 & up.)

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Jazz trumpeter and 2010 Grammywinner Terence Blanchard joins the Stanford Symphony Orchestra in a powerful multimedia work in response to Hurricane Katrina.

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UPCOMING EVENTS AT MONTALVO An Evening with Bob James :: Feb 25, 7:30 pm :: $35/30, Members $31/27 Grammy-winning pianist with more than 30 solo albums. Founder of the jazz ensemble Fourplay. â&#x20AC;&#x153;... his many years of dedication to smooth sounds and rhythms have not diminished his inventiveness or his sense of swing ...â&#x20AC;? - Los Angeles Times

Ladysmith Black Mambazo :: Mar 10, 7:30 pm :: $50/45, Members $45/40 The legendary South African vocal ensemble, performing for more than 40 years, won a 2009 Grammy for â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t merely the grace and power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention, but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being.â&#x20AC;? - Paul Simon

Women of the Blues: A Tribute to Koko Taylor :: Mar 19, 8 pm :: $32/27, Members $29/24 A tribute to the late Grammy-winning blues genius Koko Taylor presented by J.C. Smith featuring Sista Monica Parker, Pat Wilder & Sharon Lewis. The Chicago-Sun Times said of Koko Taylor...â&#x20AC;?Chicagoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best blues singerâ&#x20AC;Ś she has ďŹ re in her lungs.â&#x20AC;?

Anoushka Shankar Project :: Apr 29, 7:30 pm :: $40/35; Members $36/31 Sitar Master Ravi Shankarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s daughter is a leading ďŹ gure in World Music today. On her latest record she teamed up with sister Norah Jones! The Chicago Tribune raved about Anoushkaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stellar talent â&#x20AC;&#x153;... sounding every bit the equal of her illustrious father.â&#x20AC;?

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All events at the Carriage House Theatre

Tickets: Montalvo Box OfďŹ ce 408.961.5858 M-F, 10am-4pm or ticketmaster.com :: montalvoarts.org

JOIN NOW :: montalvoarts.org/membership


[48]   FILM

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

METROGUIDE

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Thinking Differently Cinequest hosts world premiere of ‘The Real Revolutionaries,’ a documentary about the Fairchild Eight and the birth of high tech in Silicon Valley By Richard von Busack

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HE STORY of the Fairchild Eight is an example of the expression “history so recent that it’s been forgotten.” On Feb. 25 and 27, Cinequest 20 will screen the world premiere of The Real Revolutionaries, a documentary about the rift between William Shockley and the so-called “Traitorous Eight”: Julius Blank, Victor Grinich, Jean Hoerni, Eugene Kleiner, Jay Last, Gordon Moore, Robert Noyce and Sheldon Roberts. The conflict shaped the valley. Shockley, who lived in Palo Alto for the greater part of his life, was the genius who got the Nobel Prize as one of the inventors of the transistor; his reputation attracted the best physicists in the country, but his high-handed methods crushed the individuality of eight of his workers who struck out on their own in 1957—the first shot in what was to be a decades-long salvo between company men and individualists: The film is the newest offering by Diamond Docs, the company of a trio of filmmakers whose motto is “Find + Cut + Polish.” Diamond Docs is helping to change a oncemoribund style of film—the droning documentary—into something more immediate and popular, like rock music. Morgan Sackett, a longtime producer for TV’s Seinfeld, tends

Diamond Doc’s business end. The Real Revolutionaries’ director, Paul Crowder, even made the lateral transition from rock musician to documentary filmmaker; Crowder was the drummer in the successful Belfast band the Adventures before he became the editor on the greatest film about surfing, Riding Giants. Mark Monroe, the third member of Diamond Docs, wrote The Real Revolutionaries, as well as the Oscar-nominated The Cove and The Tillman Story, the upcoming documentary on Pat Tillman. Via phone to his home in Los Angeles, I asked Monroe what exactly a documentary writer did. One has a mental picture, a bad one, of how documentaries are made: a documentary-maker goes out with a camera, films what happens and there’s your documentary. Monroe explains that what he does depends on cases. “Paul Crowder, Morgan Sackett and I founded Diamond Docs to make movies from scratch,” he says. “We soon found, in this economy, that wasn’t as easy as we thought. But we’ve made our own films. And we’ve also helped get several highly acclaimed documentaries by other people across the finish line. “What a writer of documentaries does is to structure the world of the film. A writer for a fictional film plays God. A lot of documentaries,

by contrast, start out wanting to tell a specific story, but then that story changes as you film it. And some people are reluctant to let the film tell you where it wants to go. Even in a film without a lot of narration, the writer can give a film shape.” Monroe is a second-generation journalist. His father had a career with the Associated Press, and then downshifted to run a small-town newspaper in Idabel, Okla. Monroe went to journalism school in Norman. There he learned broadcast journalism, a craft Monroe practiced at CNN. “I slowly discovered I needed a more creative outlet,” Monroe says. After reading his fellow Oklahoman Leslie Berlin’s book The Man Behind the Microchip: Robert Noyce and the Invention of Silicon Valley, Monroe was taken with the idea of making a film version of the story of the valley in the early days. Monroe came to the Silicon Valley “a half-dozen times” to do interviews, but he wrote most of the film in an L.A. cafe. “I met with Ann Bowers, Noyce’s widow. She was down to earth and great; she said, ‘Let’s give this a shot.’ We had support within the industry and we got it off the ground.” Wait, let’s get back to the “hard to illustrate” part. How does one enliven a documentary in which most of the images have to be

photos of shirt-sleeved engineers diddling a slide rule? “We’ve taken great liberties,” Monroe notes. “If you look at our previous work, you know we like entertaining—we like music, and we like pictures. Not having a lot of footage or pictures to illustrate, we worked with a first-rate graphic artist to illustrate the guys and the mentality they fostered—this, more than the actual hardware.” It has been said that the modern documentary—the free-floating, entertaining kind—is predicated on having a villain and a hero. Monroe demurs. “I wouldn’t say that. William Shockley is portrayed in an accurate historical context. This is a guy who helped invent a revolutionary technology, and he’s not remembered for that invention. Instead, he’s remembered for his views on eugenics, on IQs and the gap between races. “The lesson of the film is that Noyce and his group of eight believed that if you had the right nurturing environment you’d get the best ideas. Shockley’s influence mattered. He influenced Noyce and the Fairchild Eight to be different than he, Shockley, was. And the Fairchild group went on to influence the Silicon Valley: a place where if you take a risk, you’re admired whether or not you succeed.” Trying to get corporations to

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ßmn talk to the camera can be a like crossing a minefield, but Monroe said this went smoothly: “The ones who were supportive were really helpful. Those who weren’t, we only spoke to them once.”

Beyond the Cove At the same time that Diamond Docs is readying The Real Revolutionaries, Monroe’s other film of local interest is being bid upon by distributors, after its success at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The proposed, irresistible title, I’m Pat Fucking Tillman—based on the local hero’s last words—seems to have been censored down to The Tillman Story. It is, of course, the story of Tillman’s death by friendly fire in Afghanistan and the subsequent Pentagon cover-up. Monroe tells me that he was brought into The Tillman Story late in the game by an executive producer. “My job was to clarify some things and do some writing. The film was all there, which is sometimes not the case when I get aboard. I couldn’t be more pleased with it. The Tillman family’s uniqueness shines through this movie. They’re very admirable people.” As for developments in Japan since The Cove was released, Monroe has very little good news. “They’re still killing cetaceans in Japan and trying to spin the PR. Ric O’Barry, the star of the film, has been back very recently, and he witnessed another dolphin harvest there. The good news is that the Oscar nomination is going to bring more attention to The Cove. The Oscar broadcast is more watched than anything besides the World Series, and it’s hugely popular in Japan. Regardless of how we do, we’ll make a splash.” The Cove hasn’t been released in Japan yet, though it has been screened. Once. “At the Tokyo Film Festival they scheduled a last-minute, politically motivated screening,” Monroe says. “We weren’t even on the film program, and we went on at 10am. The producer had Japanese warrants for his arrest, so he attended with lawyers in tow. There was a mixed reaction to the film and no standing ovation. It’ll be released when someone springs for a Japanese version . . . or we’ll blast it on YouTube.” Monroe has directed one film also: Morning Light, a documentary on the Transpac yacht race between San Francisco and Hawaii. He had never been a sailor before: “I grew up in Oklahoma, remember. That’s the beauty of documentaries: you become a quasi expert in a field in a very brief period of time. I couldn’t be happier with my lot in life; I wish it paid more, and I wish I could get more people to see documentaries, but otherwise . . .” However many people see The Real

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Cinequest Features Revolutionaries, the film will be hotly anticipated in this valley. “Not to brag,” Monroe says, “But we’re doing this film because I personally fell in love with it. The reason I fell in love with it is that I knew what it was like to have been these people. I was in my mid-to-late20s at the end of my journalism career, and I really want to do something with my life. And it was like that for Noyce and the rest of the Fairchild Eight. After their final interaction with Shockley—they didn’t go back East and take jobs; they stayed in the valley for the crest of the wave. It’s very admirable and very inspiring.

How does one enliven a documentary in which most of the images have to be photos of shirtsleeved engineers diddling a slide rule? “Well, that’s how we explained the film at first . . . but in the middle of making it, we realized how difficult and hugely complex it all was. I don’t think the story has been told before in a film: it’s hard to illustrate, hard to explain. I’m not a tech head, but I got this deep feeling that I take all this stuff for granted, and moreover, I’ve seen the history unfold in my lifetime. I’m not completely blown away anymore when I rent a car and there’s a GPS system in it.” Calling what happened at Fairchild “a revolution” makes The Real Revolutionaries sound like an alternative to alternative histories of the 1960s. “That was definitely my intention,” Monroe concludes. “I’m a great believer in irony, and the great irony of this story is this: the world remembers the political movements, the music and the art, and yet the valley’s revolution was going on at the same time. We now enjoy great liberties because of what was done in the Silicon Valley. All of us deal with this technology every day of our lives, and yet the story of how it happened has been short-changed: we celebrate it all not by remembering it, but by living it every day.” THE REAL REVOLUTIONARIES (U.S.; 89 min.), shows Feb. 25 at 7pm and Feb. 27 at 7pm, both at the California Theatre in San Jose.

Cinequest runs Feb. 23–March 7 in downtown San Jose at the Camera 12 Cinemas, San Jose Repertory Theatre and the California Theatre

glow that was all the rage in the ’90s, giving it a throwback feel. The acting is solid, especially Marika Barabantshikova as Hannes. He seems so young and innocent that it makes everything he goes through—and all the things he keeps hidden—all the more shocking. (SP) Feb. 25 at 2:15pm, C12; Feb. 27 at 11am, C12; March 4 at 1:30pm, C12

Anyone You Want (Australia; 80 min.) Bold and upbeat, Anyone You Want is Jonathan Demme’s Something Wild for the 21st century. Set in Sydney, it tells the story of a burned-out, bored businessman named Stirling who becomes fascinated by a homeless girl who tells him that “the everyday doesn’t interest me much.” This turns out to be a gigantic understatement; for starters, every day she changes her name and pretends not to recognize him. He throws himself into her fantasy world, trying on whatever identity fits her fancy. From hippie to punk, he follows her through dress-up exploits of all types and soaks up her theories on life, the universe and everything. But how long can they live a fantasy life and what will they have to face up to? Writer/director Campbell Graham revels in the unadulterated joy of their artificial reality but ultimately treats their characters with toughness and honesty. Socratis Otto and Tabrett Bethell are uninhibited in the lead roles and make this a surprisingly deep look at identity and desire. A world premiere. (SP) March 3 at 7pm, C12; March 5, 10pm; March 6 at 4:30pm, C12

Bank Robbery (Estonia; 90 min.) This strange little Estonian film is a bit misleading in its titling, so in order to keep viewers from the letdown that can come from wasting every minute waiting for the big heist, let me explain that mostly this is a road movie. The young Hannes is a kid growing up in the Estonian underclass, of which Andres Tuisk’s film doesn’t paint a pretty picture. He’s beat up by bullies and menaced by his dad. When his “uncle” Madis shows up after 10 years in jail, Hannes is fascinated by his stories of life as a bank robber and convinces Madis to let him go with him on a car trip. Along the way they run into an alienated upper-class rebel girl, and Madis’ former fiance, and the ride takes some weird detours. Meanwhile, Hannes gets more and more enthralled with the idea of a big score. The film has the green

Bummer Summer (U.S.; 79 min.) John Hughes constructed a nearly perfect world; cinema teenagers are still re-creating it today, always making sure there are a beginning, middle and an end to their perfect problems. Zach Weintraub’s Bummer Summer, on the other hand, is legit. This is what teen life is like: acne, awkward pauses and all. After 17-year-old Isaac breaks up with his very vanilla girlfriend, he embarks on a road trip with his brother, Ben, and Ben’s ex, Lila. It sounds like something that’s been done a million times, but Bummer Summer surprises. There’s little rhyme or reason, and some characters disappear almost as soon as they’re introduced. The meandering plot and constant coming and going make for a wistful and enjoyable representation of summer break, in real time. This is a world premiere for Cinequest. (JA) Feb. 27 at 6:45pm, C12; Feb. 28 at 4:30pm, C12; March 3 at 12:15pm, C12

Cellar (U.S.; 83 min.) This arty, low-budget New York character study from Cinequest favorite Steve Staso is a multilingual cultural smashup with a semi-improvised feel. Hell’s Kitchen lives up to its name as three main characters navigate garish and gritty streets while bobbing and weaving in and out of relationships with some incredibly bizarre people. Weal is an attractive young guy in exile from Lebanon; Luz is a writer from Columbia who wants everyone to think she can handle the city no problem while she works as a manicurist, trying to get her green card. Sly grew up in the Harlem projects with a crack-addict mother and *%


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an abusive uncle. He joined the Army and barely survived three tours in Iraq; now he’s a super who has plenty of issues. They all do, and living in New York doesn’t seem to be helping. Films with interconnected stories are a dime a dozen nowadays, and the film is far too talky, but Staso succeeds in bringing out the visual flair of the urban landscape, and there are some funny and touching moments. A world premiere. (SP) March 3 at 9:15pm; March 5 at 9pm, C12; March 6 at 7pm, C12

would have dared propose. The film features many fascinating interviews, with an appearance by director Neil LaBute, who turns out to have a Mormon background. It’s a terrific tale, even if the film never does answer the essential question, why would Mormons even want to see Kill Bill or The Big Lebowski in any form? (MSG) Feb. 27 at 4:15pm, C12; March 1 at 7:15pm, C12; March 3 at 11:45pm, C12

Order, Miss Congeniality) arrives to receive his Maverick Spirit award with this film about a man in crisis, directed by his brother Peter Bratt (of the very PC but static Follow Me Home). Bratt plays Che, an ex-con recovering alcoholic in San Francisco’s Mission District dealing with his drinking problem and working for Muni. The discovery Che makes about the secret life of his son, Jess (Jeremy Ray Valdez), brings him to the crisis point. Co-stars Talisa Soto Bratt, who was in the James Bond movie The Living Daylights. Director Bratt will introduce the film; a conversation with actor Bratt will follow. (RvB) March 4 at 7pm, California Theatre

Krews

Eamon *Cleanflix (U.S.; 85 min.) At first, Andrew James and Joshua Ligiri’s fascinating documentary Cleanflix seems to be about a no-brainer issue. Uncomfortable with sex, nudity and (to a lesser extent) violence, Mormon consumers want to watch cleaned-up DVD versions of mainstream Hollywood fare. Some canny entrepreneurs fill the need by creating Clean Flicks, an operation that uses digital editing software to cut out the swear words and stray boobs from hit movies and then rents the sanitized versions out of franchise stores in and around Salt Lake City. Of course that business plan rankles advocates of artistic freedom—not to mention copyright-conscious directors and movie studios. But wait. Directors have long stood still for bowdlerized versions of their films on TV and airplanes; many DVDs are recut to have more sex and violence than the theatrical version—so much for the integrity of the original release. If there is such a lucrative market for these DVDs, why doesn’t Hollywood just step in and rake off the profits? As the film progresses, motives and methods grow murky. The founder of Clean Flicks ends up in competition with some of his own franchisees; two store owners start a running feud. The legal arguments used to skirt obvious copyright violations soon succumb to a concentrated assault of big-firm suits. But a guerrilla market flourishes as the most dedicated and weirdly charismatic of the censored DVD sellers, Daniel Thompson, keeps finding ways around injunctions and other sanctions. By turns creepy, theatrical and even sympathetic, Thompson proclaims his mission to keep Mormons entertained but unoffended, even acting something of a cult leader to the grateful members of his DVD club. Things start to turn really weird when Thompson’s ex-girlfriend looks into the camera and starts dishing some serious dirt about Thompson. From there, Cleanflix cruises to a twist ending that no screenwriter

(Ireland; 85 min.) It takes some time for the blond 6-year-old title character to be fully revealed as a demon, but halfway through the film, manic little Eamon drinks a Coke and turns into the cute Irish cousin of The Omen’s Damien. Even so, he isn’t the real monster in this quirky dark tragicomedy—that would be his mother, Grace, a disturbingly selfish and hurtful creature, who barely puts up with the boy while relentlessly criticizing her slavish husband. The first film to be released under the auspices of Ireland’s Catalyst Project, which gives young filmmakers a budget and total creative control, Eamon’s Oedipal tale told in a remote Irish seaside town is a sad commentary on how a family can become something dangerous. (EJ) March 4 at 6:45pm, C12; March 6 at 11am, California Theatre

(U.S.; 104 min.) Krews starts out like a typical crooks-in-suits crime drama, bathed in the cold silver and blue of Collateral and every other L.A. thriller since Heat. But within the first 15 minutes, it goes crazy, throwing a finale’s worth of twists into the beginning and sending the movie in a whole other direction that has street gangs facing off with high-tech crackers. Will there be alliances, double-crosses and one big standoff where everybody points their guns at each other? You bet! The amateurish performances aren’t up to the character shadings the audience is supposed to buy into, and the music is god-awful over-the-top. A fifth-generation Tarantino rip-off isn’t the worst thing in the world, but about the time the twists start snowballing ludicrously in the last act, it feels like it is. (SP) Feb. 27 at 9:30pm, C12; Feb. 28 at 6:45pm, C12; March 4 at 4:15pm, C12

Kill the Habit (U.S.; 81 min.) Lili Mirojnick (if I say she was in Cloverfield, will you remember which one? I don’t) plays Galia, who gets her recreational drugs from a particularly obnoxious dealer. After an argument about money, Galia clobbers the dealer with his favorite mineral specimen. What do to with the body? Galia enlists the help of her fried Soti (ditto, The Hangover), but the arrival of the dealer’s mouthy ex-wife, Cardamosa (the names are all exceedingly quirky), complicates the operation. Director Laura Neri provides some mild laughs as the trio wrestles with smuggling the dealer’s body past clueless onlookers—most of them coming from Maria-Elena Laas’ Rosario Dawson imitation as the uninhibited, sassy Latina Cardamosa. An interesting layer comes from the revelation that Soti has a lesbian crush on Galia. The film, however, suffers from an excess of small-camera jitters. This is a world premiere for Cinequest. (MSG) Feb. 27 at 9:30pm, SJ Rep; March 2 at 6:45pm, C12; March 5 at noon, C12

*Love Life of a Gentle Coward (Croatia; 90 min.) “Come October, we all start telling the truth in my city. And if we accept the sadness that October brings us, then we have a chance to be happy.” The city is Zagreb, Croatia, and the speaker is a divorced dad, a restaurant critic named Sasha. His sadness is in part tied to that of his countrymen, as Croatia and all of the Eastern European frontier enter another winter, with so much turmoil so close on their heels. But what lends this elegant film so much poignancy is the specific sorrow of the title character, a feckless, cuckolded writer, who, over the course of the coming season, will find some courage. (EJ) March 1, 7pm, C12; March 3 at 9:30pm, California Theatre; March 5 at 2pm, C12

La Mission

Oil Rocks: City Above the Sea

(U.S.; 117 min.) Benjamin Bratt (TV’s Law and

(Switzerland; 54 min.) For those with

qualms about off-shore drilling, Oil Rocks will be a shock. After World War II, the Soviet Union constructed an “oil city” in the middle of the Caspian Sea—an entire complex of oil rigs, dormitories for workers and bridges linking everything together and even connecting to the mainline. Now the facility, which still produces some high-grade crude, is run by the Azerbijan government, which isn’t sure what to do with the place. Wear and ocean waves have taken their toil, and spills and pollution remain a problem. This short documentary combines some fascinating period propaganda footage with modern-day glimpses of life in the middle of nowhere. The workers seem to have adjusted reasonably well to their isolated, dead-end jobs, and one 80-plus-year-old woman regales the camera with feisty anecdotes. This Swiss documentary offers a fascinating look at a place unknown to the West, but as a film, Oil Rocks is strictly History Channel material. (MSG) March 3 at 9pm, C12; March 6 at 11am, C12

*Outsourced (2006) Welcome back to this good-natured, open-minded film on an unlikely subject; it won the Cinequest voting for all-time favorite festival entry. Hapless Seattleite Todd Anderson (Josh Hamilton) works for a company that sells Stars and Stripes–covered gewgaws to our born-again patriots. His boss orders him to India to open a call center. The “O” in Todd’s name is mispronounced from his arrival in the subcontinent. Now known as “Mr. Toad,” Todd receives a wild ride to the site of the call center: a half-finished pile of cinderblocks surrounded by lounging cows. He quickly picks an assistant, Asha, played by Ayesha Dharker, who was Queen Jamillia in Star Wars: Episode II, since she is flesh and blood, George Lucas hardly noticed her there—far less did he note Dharker’s smile, so lush and so wide that it seems to unfold in sections. Hamilton’s affable, lightweight performance is just right. Director John Jeffcoat and co-writer George Wing’s aims are modest. Outsourced has the pleasure of a travelog: the things that make this movie shine are humble commonplace events. It’s clear that only people who met India halfway could have made this movie. (RvB) March 6 at 4pm, California Theatre

The Over the Hill Band (Belgium; 100 min.) How do you say, “We’re getting the band back together” in Flemish? Well, somewhere in this movie, you’ll find the answer. Nevertheless, The Over the Hill Band is a poignant, funny and highly entertaining film about a newly widowed woman in her 60s—“The same age as Mick Jagger”—who decides to reunite her rock group, the Sisters of Love, from decades earlier. After her husband dies, she pays a visit to her estranged son, Alexander, who just happens to be a failed hip-hop musician and behind on his rent. Together, they set off to conquer the world and some lovely scenes emerge—young vs. old; family vs. loneliness;


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and the street language of rap vs. melody. A touching, heartfelt, intergenerational comedy set against the backdrop of a small Belgian city. (GS) Feb. 26 at 7pm, C12; Feb. 28 at 6:45pm, C12

The Puck Hogs (Canada; 96 min.) It’s one thing for a mockumentary to be inspired by This Is Spinal Tap—they all are, in one way or another—but this Canadian film is practically a retelling. From the opening segment and occasional appearances by the goofy and overzealous documentarian “Gyan Singh” to the plot about an over-the-hill band (of amateur hockey players) limping through their last tour of duty with one more shot at glory, it follows the template at every turn. OK, there’s something to be said for stealing from the best, but as Tap themselves used to say, there’s a fine line between clever and stupid. The Puck Hogs trips right over it; it has the mockumentary style down but no substance. Worst of all, it’s just not very funny. Compare the classic “Stonehenge” or tour-bus gags in Tap to this knee-slapper: one player’s gym bag smells up the locker room, and the team finds a dead mouse in it. But the bag still smells worse than the mouse, so they reach in again and find a dead cat. Rim shot? I don’t even know. Tap’s No. 1 contribution to the genre is probably the idea of fairly stupid people desperately trying to sound smart in interviews, but over the course of any mockumentary, we have to end up caring about the characters for some reason, no matter how dumb they supposedly are. No one on the Puck Hogs team is interesting enough to get behind, and the games themselves are shot so poorly (even the big climax) that it makes hockey look like maybe the most boring game ever devised. That’s too bad, since hockey isn’t lacking for comedy material. Is Slap Shot the best we’re ever gonna get? (SP) Feb. 28 at 4:30pm, Rep; March 2 at 9:30pm, C12; March 6 at 11:15pm, C12

Slovenian Girl (Slovenia et al.; 90 min.) Judging from Slovenian Girl, student loans trouble college kids there as much as they do here. Darkhaired Aleksandra (Nina Ivanisin) tries to solve her financial woes by working as a prostitute—a most disaffected and dispirited one, but apparently her ability to speak English is a real plus with the tourist trade. Damjan Kozole’s film begins with a very large red herring as one of Aleksandra’s clients drops dead of a heart attack after

gobbling two much Viagra. He turns out to be a major EU official, setting off a police hunt for the mysterious “Slovenian Girl” who was with him last. Although the police sirens continue to blare throughout the film, this is really a story about a troubled, lost young woman who keeps constructing elaborate lies to hide from the choices she needs to make. Her biggest problem (aside from some scary pimps) is coping with her broken family: Dad Edo (Peter Musevski), a shambling ex-rocker coping with depression, is separated from Aleksandra’s bitter and unyielding mother, who dismisses Aleksandra’s halting effort at reconciliation. The best scenes belong to Edo, who hopes to reunite his band Electroshock (“If it hadn’t been for punk, we’d still be gigging”) while staving off his own suicidal nightmares. He is a deeply sympathetic character, while Aleksandra remains a cipher. (MSG) Feb. 24 at 7pm, C12; Feb. 27 at 2pm, California Theatre; March 1 at 1:45pm, C12

Tercer Mundo (Costa Rica, Chile; 85 min.) The young Chilean filmmaker César Caro Cruz is inventing a new genre: the contemporary 20-something coming-of-age road-trip science-fiction movie. Tercer Mundo (Third World) is not like other sci-fi films. It feels at times like a very-low-budget farce, a la Troma’s Toxic Avenger. Moments later, it’s like a very-low-budget indie romantic flick, in this case about a trio of restless young people looking for love and trying to make sense of the world while en route from Chile to Bolivia to Costa Rica. Along the way, these earnest, good-looking kids deal with the classic sources of angst—plus a vague obsession with the upcoming 2012 solar eclipse predicted in ancient Mayan texts and the extraterrestrials that have arrived to prepare the Earth for doom. This weird juxtapositions work for the most part. Here’s an easy test to determine of you’re the type of person who will enjoy this film: If you think the title’s a clever pun, go; if you think it’s lame, skip it. (EJ) Feb. 24 at 7pm, SJ Rep; Feb. 25 at 8:45pm, C12; Feb. 28 at 3pm, C12

SHORTS PROGRAMS Shorts 1: The Darker Side of Growing Up *Strigoi (U.K.; 106 min.) This very dry and amusing feature taps into a new vein in the seemingly inexhaustible vampire genre. A young man conveniently named Vlad comes back to his village in Romania. A medical student who failed his final exams, Vlad has been working abroad selling fast-food chicken in Italy—a source of much amusement for his fellow villagers. While he’s been gone, a minirevolt put the local autocratic landowner and his wife in their graves, although they stubbornly refuse to stay put. Vlad is drawn into this intrigue when he learns that his name has been forged on the death certificate of an elderly local man. When the landowner’s wife returns from the dead with an insatiable appetite for raw food, all the old myths about “strigoi” (vampire both living and dead, apparently) take hold. First-time director Faye Jackson cleverly connects Romanian folk beliefs with decades of history—the Communists were, in their way, blood suckers, and their influence still causes rancor in the village. (There are other scapegoats as well—Vlad’s cranky grandfather blames everything on either the Communists or the Gypsies.) The mix of ghoulishness, superstition and Vlad’s helpless appeals to what’s left of rationalism in an irrational world is extremely witty— even the would-be doctor must put his surgical skills to work cutting the hearts out of bodies that just won’t stay in the ground. (MSG) March 3 at 9:45pm, C12; March 5 at 11:59pm, C12

Best of this round of shorts are two from New Zealand, both on the subject of punishment: Summer Agnew’s Patu Ihu concerns some Maori children taking five from a ritual funeral and an uncle (Calvin Tuteau, excellent) who uses a rough card game with penalties to help the kids get in touch with their feelings. The Six Dollar Fifty Cent Man by Mark Albiston and Louis Sutherland concerns a dreamy kid, the butt of his schoolyard, whose fantasies of being Steve Austin the Bionic Man end him up in the headmaster’s office, awaiting the Strap. The close-up, impressionistic focus on children’s lives is something done to perfection in Anzac cinema. Loved the headmaster, presented to us for most of the story as an unshaven jowl and a burning cigarette. Ana’s Playground by Eric D. Howell is an ambitious calling card, demonstrating the wow-factor of digital effects in a story of a pack of kids surviving a day in Gaza/ Bosnia/future America. Main problem: the child actors don’t look like they’ve been through a war, and the waste of ammo would distress any professional soldier. Runar Runarsson’s Anna has a lot going for it: Danish seaside exteriors that are like visual versions of Kurt Cobain songs (“Something in the Way” in particular), as a teen girl faces up to her parents’ breakup. Good, but long and irresolute. Mary Bing’s Brother: I liked the feral qualities in this tale of a rich ballerinaloving girl-child’s search for a solution to the problem of her stinky little brother.

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Reminded me of those erudite kid’s shorts they used to play on CBS in the late 1960s, complete here with the Manhattan vistas and the requisite piano and flute soundtrack. (RvB) Feb. 25 at 6:30pm, C3; Feb. 28 at 1:15pm, C3

*Shorts 4: Animated Worlds Kyle T. Bell’s The Mouse That Soared concerns a flyblown rodent fostered by a pair of birdies: promising work with fine gag writing. Her Morning Elegance, about a Manhattan girl dreaming her way to her job, won a music-video Grammy, and you’ll see why: Shir Shomron is the pixilation-animated sleeping beauty; the songwriter is Oren Lavie, both under the direction of animators Yuval and Meranth Nathan. Ollie and the Baked Halibut: pretty bad, slightly racist and the halibut is grilled. Ariadne’s Thread is a Hungarian animated version of the story of Theseus, with an alternative ending; I liked the bored Minotaur kicking a human skull around like a soccer ball. Dustin Grella’s Prayers for Peace uses what is reputedly the oldest form of animation: chalk on chalkboard (as per 1906’s Humorous Phases of Funny Faces). It is a story of one life lost in the Forever War, containing a last message from the front. Very touching. As for the Spine by Oscar winner (1994) Chris Landreth: I’ve seen National Film Board of Canada cartoons that I’ve thought about for decades, and this is going to be another of them. Dan is a corpse-colored figure, rotting from the head down: at group therapy, he experiences a moment of connection with a troubled fellow patient. Will this free him from his blimp-size ogress of a wife? The death in war that Grella reports is tragic. This is somehow worse, the highest kind of tragedy, the potential for beauty and love warped by the every-day horror of bad chemistry: the cell that metastasizes, the brain that breaks down, the tiny gland that goes wrong. The verse quoted is by John Dowland (1563– 1626). (RvB) March 2 at 9:30pm, C3; March 5 at 7pm, C3 For full schedule details, see the pullout in this issue. Our reviewers are Jody Amable (JA), Michael S. Gant (MSG), Stett Holbrook (SH), Eric Johnson (EJ), Steve Palopoli (SP), Gary Singh (GS) and Richard von Busack (RvB).


[52]

FILM FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FILM REVIEW

SALLY FORTH Nbf!Nbsti!qmbzt!Tbmmz-!ÕUif!Nfssz!Xjepx-Ö!gps!wpo!Tuspifjn/

Princes Charming ‘The Merry Widow’ and ‘The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg’: Cinequest screens two classics

C

INEQUEST’s silent-film contingent is represented this year by a pair of films handpicked by the Stanford Theatre Foundation and playing in San Jose’s glorious California Theatre. If you’ve ever admired vintage beer paraphernalia at an antique store, you know the place Germany played in fantasies of the Prohibition-wracked 1920s, with towers, flowers and star-crossed love. The 1889 love-suicide of Crown Prince Rudolph, heir to the throne of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia, added immeasurably to this sort of romance. Directors as disparate as Max Ophuls and Terence Young tackled the so-called Mayerling Incident; it was treated indirectly in a thousand movies. Once Groucho Marx baffled Thelma Todd—and young audiences in decades to come—in Horse Feathers by reciting a parody of just such Teutonic flourishes: “Come, Kapellmeister, let the violas throb; my regiment leaves at dawn.” Groucho (and scriptwriter S.J. Perelman) was going directly after The Merry Widow (which shows Feb. 26), MGM’s cinematic sachertorte of royal love amid political rot, a 1925 hit directed by Erich von Stroheim. (Groucho and his band of vandal brothers later stole more of the plot of The Merry Widow for Duck Soup.) In The Merry Widow, John Gilbert as Prince Danilo of Monteblanco has an unsuitable romance with Mae Marsh’s Sally, an American commoner. The king forbids Danilo to see the girl. Thus she is forced into the arms of a perverted noble (Tully Marshall), whose money keeps this postage-stamp country afloat. Sally is too much for the plutocrat on his wedding night, so she’s immediately back on the market as a “merry widow.” Danilo’s attempt to reconnect with her in Paris is crossed by his evil cousin (lewd Roy D’Arcy). As an early critic named Iris Barry noted in 1926, von Stroheim may have been famous for decadence, but he always gave the villains a good solid punishment: this, despite his sinister Viennese persona and a reputation as the kind of profligate who made sure his extras wore embroidered underwear so that they would play their parts right down to the skin. Andrew Sarris later recorded von Stroheim’s own definition of the difference between himself and Ernst Lubitsch: “Lubitsch shows you first the king in his throne, than as he is in his bedroom. I show you first the king in his bedroom, so you’ll know just what he is when you see him on his throne.” If Lubitsch had a longer career as a director, maybe it’s because of his get-alongto-go-along quality, later evinced in Lubitsch’s most famous disciple, Billy Wilder. Happily, Lubitsch also had the best talent for innuendo in pre-1950s Hollywood. The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (March 5), made in 1927, was, like The Merry Widow, an operetta first. It’s easy to see why this pretty tale about fleeting youth, lager, schlagers and flowering trees proved to be a perennial. Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer are equally breathless as class-crossed lovers: a Germanic prince and the innkeeper’s daughter. Proposing that all true love is as much a meeting of bodies as a meeting of true minds, Lubitsch makes this a bittersweet story of love that can’t be restrained. The two films, accompanied on the Wurlitzer by the one and only Dennis James, recall a parallel-universe cinematic Germany, not as a land of murderers in spiked helmets or twisted-cross armbands, but music-loving dreamy figures in beautiful toy-soldier uniforms, carrying beer steins big enough to bathe a toddler. Richard von Busack THE MERRY WIDOW plays Feb. 26 at 7pm; THE STUDENT PRINCE IN OLD HEIDELBERG plays March 5 at 7pm, both at the California Theatre. Tickets are $12.


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Reviews by Michael S. Gant and Richard von Busack.

New Cinequest See story on page 16. (Read more about Cinequest online at www.metroactive.com and joint the ďŹ lm conversation at www. metroactive.com/moviesandtvblog) Cop Out (R) A cop goes looking for a rare baseball card in a new comedy by Kevin Smith. Also stars Tracy Morgan (30 Rock). (Opens Feb 26.) The Crazies (R; 101 min.) Very bad things start to happen to the residents of a small town when their water supply is laced with poison. Stars Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. (Opens Feb 26.) The Ghost Writer (PG-13) Evan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan star in Roman Polanskiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new thriller. (Opens Feb 26 at CinĂŠArts Santana Row.) The 39 Steps No, not the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock version but a new Masterpiece Classic adaptation of John Buchanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous espionage escape about a British mining engineer returning home to London on the eve of World War I who is entrusted with a valuable notebook by a soon-to-be-murdered spy. Richard Hannay (Rupert Penry-Jones of MI-5) wants to turn the material over to the authorities but soon ďŹ nds himself on the run from both the German and British secret services. Along the way, he must kidnap a feisty suffragette, Victoria (Lydia Leonard), with whom he forms the usual screwball-comedy love-hate relationship. The pace is sprightly, even jokey, and the countryside as lovely as the descriptions in Romantic poetry. In the best scene, Hannay enlists the aid of a very expressive ventriloquistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dummy to evade the police. This 39 Steps, however, is no substitute for Hitchcockâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s superior take on the story (easily available on DVD). Author Buchan, a novelist/politican, was (and the British were masters of titles) 1st Baron Tweedsmuir and the 15th Governor General of Canada. In addition to a series of adventure novels, he also wrote many works of history. One wonders when he had time to govern. (Airs Feb 28 at 9pm on PBS channels.) Thrillville (1960/1957) Topless â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tallahassee tassel tosserâ&#x20AC;? Mamie Van Doren stars in Sex Kittens Go to College, an exposĂŠ of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s free and easy college students! Jackie Coogan! Arabs! Conway Twitty! Voltaire the Chimp (dubbed by Mel Blanc)! Straight from his engagement at the 1939 New York Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fair at the Westinghouse Pavilion: Elektro the Robot (as â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thinko the Robotâ&#x20AC;?)! Gangsters! Brigitte Bardotâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s easily affordable younger sister! Louie Nye, the Clean-Up Man! The actually good actress Tuesday Weld (if sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been known as Susan Weld, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be remembered as one of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best actresses, argues David Thomson). John Carradine! Vampira! If one were to scientiďŹ cally breed a psychotronic movie for generations, one couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get a bloodline this pure. Billed with Untamed Youth, in which Van Doren is made to pick cotton at a prison farm, while running around in her underwear. Such is Thrillville and Will the Thrillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tribute to Van Doren (as in the sentence â&#x20AC;&#x153;You wanted Marilyn Monroe, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d settle for Jayne MansďŹ eld, you got ...â&#x20AC;? ). Plus live music by Aardvark and the Rockabilly Models. (Plays Feb 25 at 7:30pm in San Jose at Camera 3; $10 admission.) (RvB)

M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010FILM

Revivals

Reviews

Kurosawa Festival (1954) Also see story on page 54 for other titles in festival. A Kurosawa festival begins at the Stanford Theatre with a screening The Seven Samurai, his extraordinary epic about a hardy band of 16th-century samurai who come to protect a beleaguered village. At ďŹ rst, they are in it for the money, but eventually, ďŹ ghting back becomes an existential statement. The classic story line, leading from the recruitment of the ďŹ ghters to the rustic interludes between attacks to the ďŹ nal astonishing mud-splattered showdown, has been plundered ever since (most notably by The MagniďŹ cent Seven). The blackand-white cinematography by Asakazu Nakai, Kurosawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s longtime collaborator, proves that compositions can be as thrilling as shock cuts. Stars Toshiro Mifune in a deďŹ ning role as an impetuous young swordsman. Not to be missed on the big screen. (Plays 24-25 at 7:30pm in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (MSG)

Avatar (PG-13; 162 min.) A victory for people who insist that science ďŹ ction has to be dumb. In the future, Earthling mercenaries are shipped to the planet Pandora, where 9-foot-tall, blueskinned noble savages called Naâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;vi live in a phosphorescent forest full of saurian beasts. Jake (Sam Worthington) is the paraplegic brother of a dead soldier hooked up to a Naâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;vi shell; the program is under the direction of a chain-smoking biologist (Sigourney Weaver). While it is a maxim of screenwriting that the plot ought to be the longest distance between two points, James Cameronâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terrible script for this putative end-of-the-decade experience really overworks the principle. The politics play it both ways; letting us swoon over the military hardware and still lament for the plundered forests. After an hour, the drugs wear off, and the appeal of synthespianism starts to drag; motion capture isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t exactly

*)

[53]


[54]

FILM FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FILM REVIEW

UNRELIABLE WITNESSES Uptijsp!Njgvof!boe!Nbdijlp!Lzp!!

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To Live The Stanford Theatre hosts an Akira Kurosawa Festival with masterworks and early rarities

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NTIL THE ADVENT of anime, Akira Kurosawa was the Westâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s main gateway to Japanese ďŹ lm. The Stanford Theatreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 100th birthday observance brings back the directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best ďŹ lms, starting with the famed epic Seven Samurai (now playing through Feb. 26). The rest of this weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offerings consider, directly and indirectly, the problems of postwar Japan subject to an unleashed press, a moribund civil service and the cracking open of a belief in divine authority. Kurosawa addresses these topics with fast cutting, sturdy character acting and William Wellmanâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;style wipes. The bestknown ďŹ lm is 1950â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Rashomon (Feb. 27â&#x20AC;&#x201C;March 2), Kurosawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s masterpiece. In war-torn Japan of the 11th century, the body of a samurai is found in a deep forest. His dishonored wife turns up shortly afterward. The crime apparently has three perpetrators and three victims, comprising three people total. During the inquest, the mystery is only deepened, even though the dead man himself testiďŹ es, his voice brought back from hell by a female medium. The weather is part of the storyâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;three days of heat followed by an end-of-theworld cloudburst. This weather has to be one reason the accused murderer, played by a ridiculously virile Toshiro Mifune, is studying the skies during his trial in an open courtyard. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on trial is actually Man himself: accused of the-serving egoism that is, in Kurosawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s view, a kind of original sin. Seeing the bombed-out ruin of the monumental Rashomon gate, it can be guessed that Kurosawa had in mind the way ego leads to ruinous war. Among the metaphysics, though, is an almost barbaric sensuousness, staged in the kind of forest primeval not seen since Murnau. Scandal (1950, showing with Rashomon) is also a courtroom drama but a much more mainstream one. A rugged artist (Mifune) is accused by a magazine of an affair with a deeply shy but famous singer. In this Capraesque plot, a shabby, alcoholic lawyer (Takashi Shimura) volunteers his services and is redeemed by his effort. Any crossword puzzle clue would answer â&#x20AC;&#x153;Kurosawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s starâ&#x20AC;? with â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mifune.â&#x20AC;? Mifune was often called Kurosawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s John Wayneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;admittedly, he was a lot broader than Wayne, more given to Peter Panish, theatrical capering. But Shimura was Kurosawaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Thomas Mitchell: a heavy lifting character actor, portly, humane, thick featured. In Rashomon, he plays the commoner who serves as the sounding board between a jesting scavenger and a suffering priest. Shimura holds his own with Mifune in a Christmastime drunk scene in Scandal. Shimura is the star of 1952â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ikiru (March 3â&#x20AC;&#x201C;5), the astonishing drama of a dying bureaucratâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chance to live (To Live is the title in Japanese). Old Watanabe spent 30 years presiding over a room of buck-passers and paperpushers. Then comes a diagnosis of stomach cancer. Having nothing to live for and nothing but ingratitude from the son he never really knew, Watanabe lumbers out in search of purpose. The Tokyo night-town scenes really breathe; the old manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corpse-faced mooning after a ďŹ&#x201A;ighty young girl expresses the essence of ďŹ lm noir. The last third relinquishes the ďŹ lmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s urgency, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lovely strange hybrid that smashes the static mold of terminal-illness movies: a Buddhist message in an MGM frame. It plays with about a young couple made in 1947, One Wonderful Sunday. Richard von Busack THE SEVEN SAMURAI plays through Feb. 26 at 7:30pm. RASHOMON plays Feb. 27â&#x20AC;&#x201C;March 2 at 7:30pm (plus 3:55pm Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;Sunday) with SCANDAL at 5:35 and 9:10pm. IKIRU plays March 3-5 at 7:30pm with ONE WONDERFUL SUNDAY at 5:30 and 10:05pm. Stanford Theatre, Palo Alto.

*(

motion release (compare the synthetic Weaver to the real thing), and the cobbledtogether story of eco-rebellion isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be eclipsed by the visuals. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to see it anyway, see it in 3-D. (RvB) Crazy Heart (R; 111 min.) Jeff Bridges is the draw in Scott Cooperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s typical softball Sundancian exercise. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a belly-baring role for this terriďŹ c actor, playing Bad Blake, a morose satyr of an outlaw musician. He travels via an ancient 1978 Chevy Suburban and slaps together sets with pickup bands. In his few sober moments, Blake lives with the humiliation of having been commercially surpassed by a country superstar named Billy Sweet (Colin Farrell), who was once one of his backup musicians. Touring in Santa Fe, Bad meets a newspaper reporter named Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who lets Bad pick her up. Despite the credited input by T-Bone Burnett, none of the tunes are really memorable, but you sink into them anyway, and the encircling camera gives the scenes some rhythm. What integrity Crazy Heart doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t borrow from Bridges it picks up from the glorious wide-open-spaces cinematography by Barry Markowitz (Sling Blade). (RvB) The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (PG-13; 122 min.) For Terry Gilliam, Don Quixote is still the ur-text. Despite the various stops and starts he has had adapting the Cervantes classic, Gilliam repeatedly makes ďŹ lms about fantasy as an escape from a cruel world. The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a very personal and not-so-coherent fantasy, has Christopher Plummer in the Man of la Mancha role this time, with Verne Troyer as Percy, a dwarf Sancho Panza. Plummer plays Doctor Parnassus, an immortal sage reduced to busking in a horse-drawn Gypsy wagon. He and his crew set up their stand in the streets of modern-day London at its vilest, trying to lure patrons into a world beyond the doctorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mirror. On board is his daughter, who doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know that she has been promised to the devil on her 16th birthday; Mr. Nick (Tom Waits) is snifďŹ ng around already. During their travels, the group rescues a hanged man named Tony (an irresolute Heath Ledger). Certainly, Gilliamâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love for antique theater is trueâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;although the greasepaint and cardboard make one wonder why he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t stage this story instead of ďŹ lming it. The autobiographical angle is plain regarding the showmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heartbreakâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;begging for money and coaxing an audience. We can understand

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010FILM why it’s hard for Gilliam when we see his vision of what the audience really is: rich matinee dames; wide-mouthed tarts coming out of a pub; a scurvy, violent little brat with a Game Boy. (RvB) The Last Station (R; 112 min.) Well cast, visually pleasant yet strangely toneless film about Tolstoy’s last days. Around 1910 in Moscow, Valentin (James McAvoy) is recruited by Chertkov (Paul Giamatti), who is dedicated to carrying out the author’s reformist ideas regarding celibacy and manual labor. Valentin will live on Tolstoy’s commune and record the great man’s thoughts. Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer) is enjoying a sort of Indian summer, watching his minifarm bloom and receiving the adulation of the world. But the count’s countess—Sofya, his wife of nearly 50 years, played by Helen Mirren—has tired of her husband’s utopian politics. Meanwhile, Valentin’s desire to stay pure and virginal is sorely tested by Masha (Kerry Condon). Mirren does the great lady thing with ease; Plummer plays Tolstoy with the gusto of a ham-loving actor tackling Fiddler on the Roof. Director Michael Hoffman gives us Tolstoy as a cracked, principled old grandfather, manipulated by outsiders. (RvB) The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Unrated; 92 min.) Directors Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith tell how this former Marine and game theorist became dangerous when he copied the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of the Vietnam War. Ellsberg tried to leak them to the Senate; the solons showed little desire to hold the hot potato. The spud in question passed to The New York Times. When the papers were published, Ellsberg became a fugitive, persecuted by a vengeful President Nixon. Not overly nostalgic for the smell of vintage teargas, for a change, and Ellsberg shows he’s still on the frontlines of protest. Concisely and intelligently told, this is a story to refresh the memories of the old and inspire the young. (RvB) North Face (Unrated; 121 min.) Philipp Stölzl’s direction is stodgy, but the true story has some punch. Two German soldiers and mountaineers go to Switzerland for the fateful scaling of the Eiger’s North Face in the 1930s. Benno Fürmann plays Toni, Viggo Mortensenian in seriousness; Florian Lukas is Andi, the more playful one. Johanna Wokalek plays Luisa, who works for a newspaper under the toxic Nazi mentoring of Berlin (hiss) editor Henry (Ulrich Tukur). She will be the photographer when Andi and Toni attack the mountain: several thousand sheer feet of crumbly rock and slippery ice. The ordeal itself is all about incremental things: lives depending on a decision to leave a rope in place or not, or the chance of a July snowstorm. Christian Kolonovitz’s clumsy orchestral soundtrack out-avalanches the avalanche. (RvB) Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010: Animated (Unrated, 101 min.) Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, acted by the Irish standup comedian Kathleen O’Rourke, concerns a bitter old piss pot working out her personal traumas on a terrified child. A knockout. More quietly droll is French Roast, a Tatiesque offering by Fabrice O. Joubert. Lady and the Reaper by Javier Recio Gracia stars a pious widow whose rendezvous with our eventual pal Mr. Happy Death is disturbed by a muscle-bound cardiologist. Nick Park’s A Matter of Loaf and Death reteams Wallace and Gromit, and it’s the happiest sequel one could ask for. But Logoland—the shoe-in for the Oscar—proves why the great is the enemy of the good. The French collective “H5” creates a Sim City of Southern California in which everything, from the humans to the zoo animals to the insects, is a living logo. Revolutionary as a year’s worth of The Simpsons, it’s dense, eye-popping and seriously subversive. (RvB) Oscar Nominated Short Films 2010: Live (Unrated, 101 min.) Except for the cute, inconsequential Instead of Abracadabra, each

of the five finalists here tries to tackle a social issue. Juanita Wilson’s funereal The Door was filmed on location in Chernobyl: more than anything, it is a quick answer to those insisting we need to ramp up nuclear power without delay. Kavi, by Gregg Helvey (also screening at Cinequest), addresses the global problem of slave labor at an Indian brickyard—and it makes Slumdog Millionaire look like Satyajit Ray. The New Tenants, with its ending celebrating gay partnership, has a witty script and a jaundiced eye and rich acting by Kevin Corrigan and Vincent D’Onofrio. Nothing here works as well as the Australian Luke Doolan’s Miracle Fish. On his birthday, a picked-upon little boy (Karl Beattie) gets a present from his mother: a celluloid fortunetelling fish. He receives a more important birthday present, however, in that he gets to keep living. It’s the highest-level tale of the unexpected, as in Roald Dahl or Ambrose Bierce. Doolan’s visions of abandonment are as the title suggests: miraculous. (RvB)

Percy Jackson and the Olympians (PG; 119 min.) A fantasy adventure about a young man caught up in the war between the gods of ancient Greece. Starings Logan Lerman, Uma Thurman and Pierce Brosnan. Shutter Island (R; 138 min.) In 1954, two federal marshals, Teddy and Chuck (Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo), are sent to a Skull Island–like promontory in Boston harbor. They match wits with the lord of the place: Dr. Cawley, the bald head psychiatrist (Ben Kingsley), and his assistant, a Mahler-loving Mitteleuropean (Max von Sydow). The two supervise a weird staff; we can’t tell them from the inmates without their uniforms. Bad storm, check; power outage, check; escaped lunatic, check. The traditions are honored: nightmare sequences, statues flickering in lightning and visits to Teddy by the ever-more persistent ghost of his dead wife, Dolores (Michelle Williams). The all-you-can-eat buffet of fruitcakes includes a disfigured Elias Koteas,

[55]

FILM REVIEW

COMIN’ AT YA ÕBwbubsÖ!tveefomz!nbef!4.E!ßobodjbmmz!bqqfbmjoh/

Dimensions Cinequest innovator forum looks at the future of 3-D

I

F A film festival had held a special event on 3-D any year before this one, it would have gotten nothing but the novelty vote—and most of the time, not even that. In the 1950s, 3-D was a gimmick. In the 1980s, it was a way to try to convince someone—anyone—to go to the crappy third installment of your horror franchise. The third-wave of 3-D is a whole different story. Not only did the most successful movie in history (yeah, yeah, not adjusted for inflation, whatever) make a huge chunk of its money from 3-D showings, but Avatar has changed the way audiences think about the technology. No longer are 3-D filmmakers desperately looking for way to get a spear (or a pickax, in the case of last year’s My Bloody Valentine remake) hurled at the screen. The 3-D aspect isn’t pure spectacle anymore, now it’s storytelling, too. Finally, the third dimension is part of the true architecture of film. That breakthrough has led to a new wave of serious films, like the upcoming Harry Potter film, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and The Clash of the Titans remake, being converted to 3-D. Ridley Scott wants his Robin Hood film to get the 3-D treatment, and the next Spider-Man movie will be shot the same way. Though 3-D has also gotten better from a viewing standpoint, it can be much better still, and this Cinequest event will demonstrate several of the latest advances and reveal how the technology’s potential for changing filmmaking has still barely been tapped. Steve Palopoli

3-D CINEMA will be presented at Camera 12 on Saturday (Feb. 27), 1:30–3pm. Admission is $10. (www.cinequest.org) Patricia Clarkson as a tragic cavewoman, Emily Mortimer as a suburban Medea and Jackie Earle Haley. It’s all laid out with panache, if with stagy chunks of backstory. It’s an entertaining throwback, not a step forward—a stumbling block for a baffled audience trained to believe “it must be important, because it’s Scorsese.” (RvB) The White Ribbon (R; 144 min.) In the insignificant village of Eichwald (“Oakwood”), just before World War I, we hear a series of stories. These stories concern acts of violence that disturbed the orderly progression of the years. The events are narrated by an old man who was, long ago, the town’s vacant-looking schoolteacher (Christian Friedel). He advises us that everything we will see is based on things halfheard and half-remembered. We can take this ineffectual man’s word for it. Clues pass him by, and he can’t provide a solid resolution for the story. He doesn’t seem to understand that Eichwald is poisoned, root and branch. The schoolteacher comments that what we see will help us understand “the events that came after.” By “the events,” director Michael Haneke may mean Germany’s next 30 years after 1914. Eichwald is a serpent’s-egg hatchery: the village’s obedient children will

be participants in the kaiser’s war and Hitler’s crime wave. (RvB) The Wolfman (R; 102 min.) It’s not a perfect film, but this is a loving remake, made by people who understood the romance, pathos and torment of the original 1941 film. This new animal has speed on his side, and there’s more viscera flying around. In 1891, after the horrific death of his brother, the noted Shakespearean actor Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) returns home to his family’s mansion. This means a re-encounter with his estranged father Sir John (Anthony Hopkins). The town gossip has it that Lawrence’s brother was killed by a tame dancing bear owned by a band of Gypsies; when investigating on a moonlit night, Lawrence himself is nearly killed by the real culprit. The fiancé of the late brother (Emily Blunt) stays to nurse Lawrence back to health. And when the next moon rises, well, you know. Probably you could hire a makeup man just to make Del Toro look less like a wolf. But the Talbot scenes suggest Del Toro was cast for his resemblance to Lon Chaney Jr., with his clouded, thick features and his air of suffering. We see the human under the fur. (RvB)


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METROGUIDE

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY24-MARCH 2, 2010MUSIC

[57]

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Is White Rap Racist? MC Lars ignites controversy, rocks his anniversary By Steve Palopoli

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CONFRONTING THE ISSUES ND!Gspoubmpu!jt!pof!pg! uif!ofsedpsf!bsujtut! xipÖwf!sfdpsefe!xjui! ND!Mbst/!MbstÖ!dpnnfout! po!ofsedpsf!boe!sbdjtn! tqbslfe!ifbufe!efcbuf! pomjof!uijt!xffl/

Y STORY on MC Lars in Metro last week got fans in the forum on his website riled up because he called nerdcore “racist,” generating page after page of heated remarks on both sides. It definitely struck a nerve. Some fans felt that the laptop rapper, who came up freestyling at the Stanford Coffee House and skewers everything from the local hip-hop scene to the record industry to Hot Topic, was calling all white rap racist. Besides the perception of hypocrisy, since Lars is white himself, there were accusations that he was biting the hand that feeds, since he’s often associated with nerdcore and raps with a lot of the scene’s major players. What was most fascinating about this whole little controversy was seeing the power that the mere mention of race in hip-hop still has to ignite an emotional response. It’s also interesting that even postEminem, rap is far from color blind. Though the media love affair with nerdcore has died down, the genre’s top rappers, like MC Frontalot (who drops his new album, Zero Day, in April), are still going strong, so a lot of artists and listeners have a stake in the question of whether these geeked-out raps are racist—which explains why emotions would be running high.

However, I think a lot of Internet posters missed Lars’ point. He’s always given props to nerdcore for what it does well, and he did so again in the article. So it’s never been like he’s just hating on white rappers or anything. What he said is that nerdcore shouldn’t be the only way kids experience hip-hop; there has to be a respect for the history of the music and its roots in the African American experience. Does anyone really disagree with that? Maybe the word “racism” just makes people crazy, but guess what? It was racism when Elvis stole “Hound Dog” and whitewashed Big Mama Thornton out of the picture. Gradually, rock artists learned to be a lot more honest about their music—the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton especially made it their mission to acknowledge the blues artists who paved the way. Why should we go back to the culture vulture mentality? Which is not to say that all nerdcore artists have that mentality or perpetuate that ignorance, and Lars did acknowledge over the course of the online discussion that he could have qualified his statement more. Even if you don’t agree with Lars on this, you have to acknowledge he puts his money where his mouth is. He devotes a lot of lyrics

to recognizing the hip-hop greats, and on his new album, This Gigantic Robot Kills, he even asks the racism question of himself: “But am I a culture thief making hip-hop sound white?” Finally, he decides to just “jump into this mosh pit, pants sagging like ‘What!’” But the point is he too struggles with the issue, and spells out those struggles in his music. Again, I’m not saying no other nerdcore rappers ever do this, but the genre could use a lot more of it, that’s for sure. For all his brainy theorizing, Lars does at another level just want to have fun, and his 10th anniversary show at Bottom of the Hill on Sunday was a riot. High-level music culture critique is no match for sing-alongs to Edgar Allan Poe and Shakespeare raps and the frenzied mosh pit that built for the closing “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock.” Lars was at the top of his game, using the breakdown in “Download This Song” to question the wisdom of writing what would become his only internationally charting hit thus far about how listeners should steal it, and then noting its melodic similarity to Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny,” and leading the audience in a sing-along of that song. He did a similar thing with the Hamlet rocker “Hey There Ophelia,” turning it into the

Offspring’s “Self Esteem,” which the audience responded to with a roar. (Lars no doubt learned this from his much-missed hero Adam Goren of Atom & His Package, who turned songs like “Punk Rock Academy” into Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight,” and he’s got it down). The set list was choice for an anniversary show, including not just his best-known songs (“White Kids Aren’t Hyphy,” “Signing Emo”) but also often-overlooked gems (“Space Game,” “Straight Outta Stockholm”) and newer songs like “We Have Arrived” that sounded even better live. He got emotional on the very personal anti-suicide anthem “Twenty-Three” and whipped the kids into a jumpa-thon with the Jay Z–warping “21 Concepts” and “Do the Bruce Campbell.” Props too to the MCs who backed him up onstage, and all left their own mark: his longtime friend Damondrick Jack (a.k.a. DJ), YT Cracker and K. Flay, who unexpectedly rocked some serious electric guitar chops. “Ten more years! Ten more years! Ten more years!” the audience chanted as Lars left the stage. “I’ll do it!” Lars responded. “Ten more years! Then I’m going to get my Ph.D. . . . in being fresh!” M


[58]   GALLERY

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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SPUTIN

MUSIC & DVDS Alkaline Trio This Addiction

Epitaph ATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seventh full length album is also their ¿UVWIRU(SLWDSKDQGLWEULQJVWKHLUSXQN EHJLQQLQJVPRUH¿UPO\WRWKHIURQWWKDQ WKH\¶YHEHHQUHFHQWO\Addiction is both a VWHSIRUZDUGDQGDORRNEDFNWRWKHLUJXLWDU GULYHQVODVKDQGEXUQSDVW

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[61]


[62]   MUSIC

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

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CONCERT FILE



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MAKING A STAND!!B!gsfftuzmf!dpnqfujups!tipxt!pgg!ijt!npwft!gps!

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Battlefest Live 360 I=:di]ZgYVn!>lVh`gjbe^c\VgdjcYi]Z]djhZl]Zc>hjYYZcani]dj\]i! Ă&#x2020;Ndj`cdl!>l^h]i]ZgZlVhVeaVXZidYdi]^hl]ZgZ>XdjaYh]dld[[bnh`^aah! l]^X]ldjaYVaadlbZideVnhdbZd[i]ZhZW^aah#Ă&#x2021;Ijgchdjii]ZgZĂ&#x2030;h7ViiaZ[Zhi A^kZ(+%!l]^X]V[iZgVabdhiVYZXVYZ^hi]Zadc\Zhi"gjcc^c\jgWVcYVcXZ XdbeZi^i^dc^cCdg8Va#>iYgVlhhdbZl]ZgZVgdjcY)%%YVcXZghZkZgnnZVgid i]Z8^k^X!i]ZWZhid[l]db]VkZ\dcZdcidh]dlha^`ZHdNdjI]^c`Ndj8Vc 9VcXZVcYBIKĂ&#x2030;h6bZg^XVĂ&#x2030;h7Zhi9VcXZ8gZl#I]ZhZXgZlhhfjVgZd[[^cV (+%"YZ\gZZ[dgbVii]ViaZihi]ZVjY^ZcXZhZZi]ZVXi^dc[gdbVaaVc\aZh# Steve Palopoli

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BATTLEFEST LIVE 360 will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, beginning at 5pm at the San Jose Civic, 135 W. San Carlos St. Tickets are $20â&#x20AC;&#x201C;$75; 408.209.8873.

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M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010   MUSIC

D[Ă&#x2019;XZ7Vg

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SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS!xjmm!cf!gsjhiufojoh!

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Scary Kids Scaring Kids

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Steve Palopoli SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS perform Friday, Feb. 26, at 6pm at the Avalon, 777 Lawrence Expwy., Santa Clara. Tickets are $15; 408.241.0777.

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[63]


[64]

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

TiedPresents Housea Special Brewery Brewmasterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dinner Benefiting the Can Do Foundation

Join us the evening of March 3rd, 2010 $50, Space Limited Please call 650.965.2739 for more info Tied House Brewery & Cafe 954 Villa Street, Mtn. View Open Daily at 11:30a.m. www.TiedHouse.com


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y    FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010   MUSIC

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CONCERT FILE



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DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T BOGARDUS THAT VENUS, vomftt!!

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VENUS BOGARDUS performs Wednesday (Feb. 24) at 9pm at the Blank Club, 44 S. Almaden Ave. San Jose. No cover. (408.29.BLANK)

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++

[65]


[66]   MUSIC

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When people talk about marriage as a partnership, they mean two people making decisions together, not one person announcing to the other, “I’m going out for a cup of some other guy’s sperm. Deal with it.” You signed yourself “Well Read,” apparently because you caught the bit about this woman wanting a baby and, well, read no further. If you had, you’d know the problem isn’t that Mr. Shell-Shocked hasn’t done his homework on the joys of spawning with older eggs, but that he’s married to a shrieking psycho who’s always been about two loose screws from holding him down and strangling him with her fallopian tubes. Raising kids—“the toughest job you’ll ever say you love”—tests the emotionally healthy, let alone the obviously unhinged. Like me, Mr. and Mrs. Shell-Shocked’s therapist believes you don’t have kids first and resolve Mommy’s mental health issues later. I told Mr. S to have no part of enabling his whackjob wife to become a mom, which means getting out before she gets her paws on his sperm. Sadly, once you’ve got that, all you need to give birth are working ovaries and such (only when you try to adopt do they do background checks and a psych evaluation). But, hey, what about her biological clock? Sorry, that’s just the breaks. A guy doesn’t say, “Gee, I think I’ll become a cage fighter at 58.” Sometimes life passes you by, and you need to admit that. I’m guessing she bought into

the feminist propaganda that you can “have it all,” then spent a couple decades trying to do that. I am of the mind that women who want kids should establish themselves in careers first in case they get left or widowed, but you also don’t wait to start a family until you hear your ovaries yelling “Last call!” As for your friend who trotted off to commit turkey-baster adultery, it’s dicey enough for a relationship when a guy comes home to some cutesy couch the wife blew his bonus money on. But, a blanket or throwthingie will cover up a country-kitsch sofa. And yeah, it’s sure to be a continuing money drain—but 11 cents here, 36 cents there, between the crevices, not $208,000 for four years at Brown. So, what if your girlfriend’s kid has some birth defect (more likely in pregnancies of women over 40), or is autistic? Lifetime care for somebody with autism can cost $3.2 million, according to Harvard School of Public Health’s Michael Ganz. If a husband is included in the decision to have a kid, and the kid turns out to be autistic, well, that’s rough, but . . . if you wouldn’t mind having supper ready, Daddy’ll be home from the office when he’s 190. A husband like your friend’s, on the other hand, might find himself somewhat less motivated in the face of “Awwww, the baby looks just like his . . . well, some kid who put himself through college by going into a room with a dirty magazine and a Dixie cup.”

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I hate to diminish your opinion of me, but on my wall, where the framed med school diploma and psychiatric license should be, there’s a picture of a monkey in a bowtie eating a plate of stewed prunes. Interestingly, lack of a diploma and therapist’s license didn’t stop you and about 10 other readers from writing to “diagnose” this woman by email. (In case you’re wondering, we’re running 10 to one for bipolar over borderline.) Never mind that actual therapists are supposed to put in faceto-face time before diagnosing somebody. Everybody who wrote me knew exactly

what was wrong after reading secondhand information about this woman, emailed by her husband, and edited down from a several-thousand-word exchange into a 175word question. Of course, even a professional’s diagnosis is just informed speculation (it’s not like they count your white cells). In my early 20s, I went to a Manhattan shrink. After 30 minutes of hearing me whine that I wasn’t making enough money and couldn’t find a boyfriend, he scribbled me a prescription— for lithium. Apparently, it’s a serious psychiatric disorder, being poor and lonely.

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CLASSIFIEDS

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

metro CLASSIFIEDS

CLASSIFIED INDEX 67 70 70 71

PLACING AN AD 72 71 70 74

Single Services Employment Family Services Music

Legal & Public Notices Automotive Home Improvement Real Estate

Call the Classified Department at 408.298.8000 Monday through Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm.

Fax your ad to the Classified Department at 408.271.3520.

@

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Mail to Metro Classifieds, 550 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113.

DEADLINES: For copy, payment, space reservation or cancellation: Display ads: Thursday 3pm Line ads: Friday 3pm

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Earth R Resources esources Technology, Techn e ology y, SScience cience Applications Application ns In ternational Corporation, Corporation, and International Eagle Applied Applied SSciences cien nces Eagle would lik o intr odu uce you you tto o our team team for for o the would likee tto introduce NASA Ames Safety, Saffety e y, Environmental, Environmental, and Medical Support S NASA procur o ement. Services (SEMSS) procurement. The ER ERT TT Team eam is se seeking eking subject mat matter ter eexperts xperts and ttechnical echniical eexperts xperts in areas: the following following ar eas: „ A Administrative dministrative Support Supp port „ Emplo Employee yee Assi Assistance stancee Pr Program ogram Special Specialists ists „ En Environmental vironmental Scientists/Engineers Scien ntists/Engineers „ F Facility/Construction acility/Construction n Saf Safety ety Engineers „ Fitness Center Center Man Manager/Monitors ager/Monitors „ Geologists „ GIS/A GIS/AutoCAD utoCAD Specia Specialists alists „ H Health ealth and Saf Safety fety e T Trainers rainers „ H Health ealth Physicists Physicists „ Industrial Hygienists Hygienistss „ ‡†‹…ƒŽ ‡†‹…ƒŽ”‘ˆ‡••‹‘ƒŽ•ȋ’Š›•‹…‹ƒ•ǡ—”•‡•ǡ•—’’‘”–•–ƒơȌ ”‘ˆ‡••‹‘ƒŽŽ•ȋ’Š›•‹…‹ƒ•ǡ—”•‡•ǡ•—’’‘”–•–ƒơ ơ Ȍ „ NEP NEPA PA Planning Speci Specialists ialists „ P Pollution ollution Pr Prevention/Sustainability evention n/Sustainability Special Specialists ists „ R Regulatory egulatory C Compliance omplian nce Special Specialists ists Resumes can be submitt Resumes submitted e at www.ertcorp.com. ed www w.ert . corp.com. C hoose “C areers,, “W ork Locat ion: Mountain V iew C A,,”and apply apply tto: o: Choose Careers,” Work Location: View CA,” “Saf Safety, Environmental, and Services etyy, En vironmental, an nd Medical Support Ser vices (SEMSS)” (SEM MSS)”

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6g^Zh(March 21–April 19): “Everything is

complicated,” wrote poet Wallace Stevens. “If that were not so, life and poetry and everything else would be a bore.” I hope you will choose his wisdom to serve as your guiding light in the coming weeks. It is high time, in my astrological opinion, for you to shed any resentment you might feel for the fact that life is a crazy tangle of mystifying and interesting stories. Celebrate it, Aries! Revel in it. Fall down on your knees and give holy thanks for it. And by the way, here’s a big secret: To the extent that you do glory in the complications, the complications will enlighten you, amuse you, and enrich you.

IVjgjh(April 20–May 20): This is one time when you can be both the river and the bridge. In fact, I strongly suggest that you make every effort to be both the river and the bridge. I’ll leave it up to you to interpret how this metaphor applies to your life, but here’s a clue to get you started. Be a force of nature that flows vigorously along even as you also provide a refuge for those who want to be close to your energy but are not yet ready to be inside it and flow along with it.

the best. Then there are those members of your tribe who sometimes bring out the worst in their fellow humans and other times bring out the best. Where do you fit in this spectrum? Regardless of your position up until now, I’m betting that in the coming months you’ll be moving in the direction of bringing out more of the best. And it all begins now. To get the process underway, think of five people you care about, and visualize the wonderful futures that it might be possible for them to create for themselves.

HV\^iiVg^jh(Nov. 22–Dec. 21): More than a few

fairy tales feature the theme of characters who accidentally find a treasure. They’re not searching for treasure, don’t feel worthy of it, and aren’t fully prepared for it. They may initially not even know what they’re looking at, and see it as preposterous or abnormal or disquieting. Who could blame them if they ran away from the treasure? In order to recognize and claim it, they might have to shed a number of their assumptions about the way the world works. And they might have to clear up a discrepancy between their unconscious longings and their conscious intentions.

<Zb^c^(May 21–June 20): Almost exactly ten years from now, you will be blessed with an eruption of personal power that’s so crafty and so practical that you will be able to visualize a solution to a problem that has stumped you for a long time. It may take you months to actually carry out that solution in its entirety, but all the while you will have the luxury of feeling perfect certainty about what must be done. And you know what the weird thing is, Gemini? Something very similar is in the works for the next few weeks: an eruption of crafty, practical power that will help you materialize the key to solving an old dilemma, hopefully followed by months of carrying out your lucid plan.

8Veg^Xdgc(Dec. 22–Jan. 19): Everyone alive has

8VcXZg( June 21–July 22): Last night I had a dream in which I was addressing a crowd of thousands of Cancerians in a large stadium. I was referring to them as dolphins rather than as crabs. “I say unto you, my fellow dolphins,” I proclaimed (I myself was born June 23), “that you have been given a sacred assignment by the great gods of time themselves. And that assignment is to master the art of Timeology.” When I awoke from the dream, I was awash with feelings of deep relaxation and ease, although I wasn’t sure why. I had never before heard that word “timeology,” so I googled it. Here’s how the Urban Dictionary defined it: “spending time doing what you want to do, not accomplishing anything major but also not wasting time.” It so happens that this prescription is well-suited to our current astrological omens. I suggest that you and I be as playful as dolphins.

6fjVg^jh( Jan. 20–Feb. 18): “We cannot change

AZd(July 23–Aug. 22): In an episode of the animated TV sci-fi series Futurama, we get to see inside the headquarters of Romanticorp, where “love research” is being done. One of the experiments involves robots delivering various pickup lines to actual women. The line that works best is “My two favorite things are commitment and changing myself.” I recommend that you make that your own catchphrase, Leo—not just this week but for the foreseeable future. The entire year of 2010 will be an excellent time to deepen your commitments and transform yourself, and the weeks ahead will bring unprecedented opportunities to intensify those efforts.

K^g\d(Aug. 23–Sept. 22): “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers,” advises a passage in the Bible, “for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” While that’s always good counsel, it’s especially apt for you in the coming days. I believe you will come into contact with people who can provide you with valuable teaching and healing, even if they’re disguised as baristas or pet shampooers or TV repairmen—and even if this will be the one and only time they will provide you with teaching and healing. A^WgV(Sept. 23–Oct. 22): Metaphorically speaking, you have recently begun crossing the water in a dream boat that has a small leak. If you keep going, it’s possible you will reach the far side before sinking. But that’s uncertain. And even if you were able to remain afloat the entire way, the shakiness of the situation would probably fill you with anxiety. My suggestion, then, is to head back to where you started and fix the leak. Scorpio (Oct. 23–Nov. 21): Some Scorpios bring out the worst in people. Other Scorpios draw out

some kind of learning disability. I know brilliant physicists who are dumb about poetry. There are fact-loving journalists whose brains freeze when they’re invited to consider the ambiguous truths of astrology. My friend John suffers from dyslexia, while I myself am incapable of mastering the mysteries of economics. What’s your blind spot, Capricorn? What’s your own personal learning disability? Whatever it is, this would be an excellent time, astrologically speaking, to work with it. For the next few months, you will be able to call on what you need in order to diminish its power to limit you.

anything until we accept it,” said psychologist Carl Jung. “Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.” Make that your hypothesis, Aquarius, and then conduct the following experiment. First, choose some situation you would like to transform. Next, open your heart to it with all the love and compassion you can muster. Go beyond merely tolerating it with a resigned disappointment. Work your way into a frame of mind in which you completely understand and sympathize with why it is the way it is. Imagine a scenario in which you could live your life with equanimity if the situation in question never changed. Finally, awash in this grace, meditate on how you might be able to actually help it evolve into something new.

E^hXZh(Feb. 19–March 20): If you were going to

launch a career as a rap artist any time soon, I’d suggest that maybe you use the alias “Big Try” as your stage name. If you were planning to convert to an exotic religious path and get a new spiritual name, I’d recommend something like “Bringit Harder” or “Pushit Stronger.” If you were about to join an activist group that fights for a righteous cause, and you wanted a new nickname to mark your transformation, I’d urge you to consider a tag like “Radical” or “Prime” or “Ultra.” And even if you’re not doing any of the above, I hope you’ll carry out some ritual of transition to intensify your commitment to your life’s vital dreams.

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STRAIGHT DOPE

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FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

Legal

FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FICTITIOUS BUSINESS #533162 The following person(s) is NAME STATEMENT (are) doing business as: G&R #533695 Cash Register Co., 1709 A Legal & Public Notices

The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: Peace Of Mind Insurance Services, Reid-Hillview Airport, 2635 Cunningham Ave., #D, San Jose, CA, 95148. This business is conducted by a limited liability company. Registrant has not yet begun transacting business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on. /s/Albert Manalo CEO #201002910185 This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Santa Clara County on 2/2/2010. (pub Metro 2/17, 2/24, 3/03, 3/10/2010)

Little Orchard St., San Jose, CA, 95125, Gene Bauer. This business is conducted by a individual. Registrant began transacting business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on Sept, 1976. Refile of previous file #487414 with changes. /s/Eugene Bauer This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Santa Clara County on 1/19/2010. (pub Metro 2/17, 2/24, 3/03, 3/10/2010)

SUMMONS (CITACION JUDICIAL) NOTICE TO DEFENDANT: FICTITIOUS BUSINESS (Aviso a Acusado)] ALFONSO GALAVEZ NAME STATEMENT YOU ARE BEING SUED #534079 BY PLANTIFF: The following person(s) is (are) doing business as: The (A Ud. le esta demanLeague Music Group, 4591 dando) Camden Ave., San Jose, CA, 95124, Allan C. Iida, 4012 W. FREIDELEEN LOU Campbell Ave., Campbell, CA, CASE NO. 95008, Thomas E Wheeler, 109CV153457 San Jose, CA, 95129, Damon T. Santo. This business is conducted by a general partnership. Registrant began transacting business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein on February 10, 2010. Refile of previous file #528528 with Due to publication not met on previous filing. /s/Allan Iida This statement was filed with the County Clerk of Santa Clara County on 2/10/10. (pub Metro 2/17, 2/24, 3/03, 3/10/10)

You have 30 CALENDAR DAYS after this summons is served on you to file a typewritten response at this court. A letter or phone call will not protect you; your typewritten response must be in proper legal form if you want the court to hear your case. If you do not file your response on time, you may lose the case, and your wages, money and property may be taken without further warning from the court. There are other legal requirements. You may want to call an attorney right away. If you do not know an attorney, you may call an attorney referral service or a legal aid office

(listed in the phone book). Despues de que le entreguen esta citacion judicial usted tiene un plazo de 30 DIAS CALENDARIOS para presentar una respuesta escrita a maquina en esta corte. Una carta o una llamada telefonica no le ofrecera proteccion; su respuesta escrita a maquina tiene que cumplir con las formalidades legales apropiadas si usted quiere que la corte escuche su caso. Si usted no presenta su respuesta a tiempo, puede perder el caso, y le pueden tras cosas de su propiedad sin aviso adicional por parte de la corte. Existen otros requistos legales. Puede que usted quiera llamar a un abogado inmediatamente. Si no conoce a un abogado, puede llamar a un servicio de referencia de abogados o a una oficina de ayuda legal (vea el directorio telefonico). The name and address of the court is: (El nombre y direccion de la corte es) Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara 191 North First Street San Jose, CA 95113 The name, address and telephone number of plaintiff’s attorney, or plaintiff without an attorney is: (El nombre, la direccion y el numero de telefono del abogado del deman

CECIL ADAMS

dante, o del demandante que no tiene abogado, es) MICHAEL P. BURNS, ESQ., 499 VAN BUREN STREET,P.O. BOX 3350, MONTEREY, CA, 939420-3350 831-373-4131 Date: SEPTEMEBER 25/2009 /DAVID YAMASAKI/County Clerk (Actuario) /J.CAO-NGUYEN/, Deputy (Delegado) (Pub 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3/10)

Publish Your Legal Document Here Call 408.298.8000

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[72]

L]nYdWVW^Zhgjc[ZkZghl]ZciZZi]^c\4 BdgZ^bedgiVci!l]nYdYdXidghXaV^bi]Vi i]ZnYdcÉi4>h^i_jhihdhije^Y$^cZmeZg^ZcXZY bVbVhldcÉi^\cdgZVhZg^djh^c[ZXi^dc l]Zci]ZnZggdcZdjhanViig^WjiZV[ZkZgid iZZi]^c\4DgYdi]ZYdXidgha^ZWZXVjhZi]Zn YdcÉijcYZghiVcYl]n^i]VeeZch4I]VihZZbh jca^`Zanh^cXZi]ZnVYb^iidcdi`cdl^c\ l]n$]dleaZcind[di]Zgi]^c\hldg`#>_jhi ]VYidh]ZaadjiVW^id[XVh][dgVc:Gk^h^ii]Vi lVhhZZb^c\anjccZXZhhVgn#I]ZYdXidg]ZghZa[ VYb^iiZYi]Vii]ZdcanXVjhZh]ZXdjaY[^cY[dg i]Z&%(#)"YZ\gZZ[ZkZglVhbnhdcÉhXjii^c\bdaVgh# ÅH^c\VedgZXVih'%%. You’ll have to excuse me. If I took my kid into the ER with a 103-degree fever and the doctor blamed it on teething, my reaction wouldn’t be “Why were all those other doctors lying?” but rather “What’s up with this quack?” However, I concede that the belief that teething causes fever (or worse) is a deep-rooted one. The ancient Greeks and Hindus thought teething caused illness; the Sumerians thought it was somehow connected to worms. In 1839 more than 5,000 deaths in England and Wales were attributed to teething by the registrar general, and in 1842 this same genius claimed nearly one in eight fatalities under the age of four were caused by incoming teeth. In 1894 a well-known dentist wrote, apparently seriously, “So deadly has teething become that one third of the human family die before 20 deciduous teeth have fully appeared.” Teething fears gave rise to all sorts of foolish remedies, including tying a penny on a string around the child’s neck, having a puppy lick the child’s mouth, placing a raw egg in a sock in a drawer, lancing the child’s gums, and administering purgatives, opiates, lead, or mercury salts. To be fair, infant mortality was high in the old days; it’s not like people were imagining these deaths. However, we see a pattern that persists to this day: if you couldn’t figure out what was wrong with a kid, you blamed it on the teeth. While most modern parents have gotten past the idea that baby’s first tooth is a holler to the angel of death, many think teething can cause fever, diarrhea, and infection. Recent surveys show that about 75 percent of parents of young children believe teething and fever are associated, and so do 83 percent of nurses and 64 percent of pediatric dentists. What’s the straight dope? Thumbing through the sparse research, I note the following: • An Israeli study found that of 46 babies studied over a six-month period, 20 had at least a mild fever the day a tooth emerged and 15 had a fever of at least 100.4. The average temperature on tooth-emergence day was 99.7.

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• A study of 111 children who produced a total of 475 teeth found a notably greater incidence of drooling, gum-rubbing, irritability, and decreased appetite on or near toothemergence day, and one baby in six ran a temperature above 100. Then again, of

more than 2,000 days where children had temperatures above 100, only 64 of those days were when a kid cut a tooth. Only one tooth made an appearance on a day when the kid’s temperature was above 103. • Both studies above relied on parents to take their child’s temperature and record symptoms. This kind of data has a high flake factor. Many parents don’t know how to take a child’s temperature properly, don’t understand what constitutes a fever, and aren’t reliable observers of what’s up with their babies. • Recognizing such failings, Australian researchers observed 21 children at three day care centers for seven months. A dental therapist determined when teeth appeared and took temperatures. Staff and parents filled out daily questionnaires on symptoms. Results: (1) Most parents thought their kids had teething symptoms, and half thought they had a fever. (2) By and large the kids didn’t. An analysis of staff-collected data found no relation between teething and fever, and minimal relation with any other symptom. Conclusion: “It is time to relinquish our longheld cultural beliefs about teething [and] acknowledge that . . . tooth eruption is not strongly associated with significant symptoms” (Wake et al, Pediatrics, 2000). My guess is you’re not buying this, Singaporecats, and I’ll grant you that basing sweeping conclusions on 21 kids is a stretch. However, even if we take the first two studies at face value, teething is associated with low fever at worst, arguably due to gum inflammation. High fever on a teething day is rare and most likely is due to something besides teeth. If you’ve got an MD blithely telling you a temperature of 103.4 is caused by an incoming molar, that’s a good sign you’re dealing with somebody who doesn’t know what’s going on, and you’d be smart to talk to someone else.

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places to live M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

REAL ESTATE

[73]

NEW WEST A polished concrete courtyard is one of several artfully designed shared spaces at Villa Fontana, which also features relatively spacious living areas.

A New Look

Villa Fontana offers imaginative layouts in an up and coming part of town BY LIZ FRANZ

J

ust a ten minute drive from either downtown San Jose or Santana Row, Villa Fontana offers stylish one- and two-bedroom units priced for first-time home buyers.

Just off Southwest Expressway and 280 is a neighborhood that is still coming into its own. Some of the surrounding buildings are either under construction or a bit worn down. Downtown Campbell, with its cool new restaurants and bars, is a bike ride away, as is Willow Glen for that matter. And there’s a nice little taqueria just down the street. Stepping through the gate at Villa Fontana, it seems almost as if San Jose has been left behind for an exotic resort. A polished concrete walkway, stained a nice clay orange, leads past the sound of trickling water coming from a nearby fountain. The entryway leads immediately past an aquamarine bottom-lighted pool. A small round hot tub is tucked into a far corner. The complex is brand-new (Google Maps street view hasn’t quite caught up with the completed structure). Beautifully laid out, it still feels new and is already half sold.

Most newer downtown condo buildings come with only one parking space. Villa Fontana comes with two—which tells a little bit about the overall design of the units. There’s some breathing room. Some units in other complexes seem to be designed for dollhouse furniture—is 9-by-9 really a bedroom? Makes you wonder if they expect occupants to use single beds. Villa Fontana offers enough space for real furniture. In fact, these units have room for king-size beds. The bathrooms are almost spacious. The master bath is complete with a separate tub and shower. The kitchens have pantries— one plan even has a walk-in.

All two-bedroom units have two full baths, and all masters have walk-in closets. Appliances are included with the purchase, including a stacked washer/ dryer unit.

with attached full baths on opposite sides of the unit. This is a bonus if you want to rent out your extra room. No shared bathrooms, so you can walk naked from shower to bed.

Two prospective buyers who stopped in to look around earlier this week said that they found the added space useful. Jerry Tanner and Pam Smith are looking to downsize from their current house. They’re tired of yardwork, but aren’t sure about condo living.

Families can chose more traditional arrangements if they prefer: rooms side by side, with one master bath and one common bathroom. The largest unit is a three-bedroom, twobathroom.

“We’re both graphic designers so we both need space for equipment,” Tanner said. “That’s why looking at condos is a bit of a challenge. These almost look like something that’s flexible enough that we might be able to make work. A lot of the other floor plans [elsewhere] were not quite balanced correctly.” Plans seem designed for either families or roomies. The most popular “roomie” plans offer dual master bedrooms. Plans 2B and 2A have two bedrooms

Aside from the hot tub and pool, the usual amenities are included. There’s a small fitness center, a community room for parties, and mini-cabanas around the pool. Fruitdale Avenue ends just a couple blocks down in a nice residential neighborhood. Heading the opposite direction will take you close to San Jose City College and by much older apartment buildings. Across the street another new condo complex is under construction. It’s a brand-new neighborhood.


[74]

REAL ESTATE

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010 M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

real estate ggg Real Estate Services

Real Estate Rentals

Real Estate Sales

Services

Homes

Land

First-time home buyer ALL AREAS - HOUSES workshop Saturday FOR RENT March 6, 2010 from 1- Browse thousands of rental listings with photos and 3pm maps. Advertise your rental www.home-buyers-seminar.com/ Where: Century 21 Alpha office 419 E. Hamilton Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

home for FREE! Visit: www.RealRentals.com (AAN CAN)

Spread the Word! Say you saw it in the Metro Classifieds!

Boulder Creek 40 acres. Timber Preserve Zoning. Creek frontage. Wild and serene. Off grid. Private Road. Small ridge top site. Good owner financing offered. $295,000. Shown by appointment only. Contact Deborah J. Donner, Donner Land and Mortgage Co., Inc., Broker at 408/395-5754 or www.donnerland.com

Los Gatos Mountains Highland Way. 5 acres. Double wide with wrap around deck. NICE. Spring and creek. Sunny. Private road. Off-grid. Possible owner financing. $289,000 Shown by appointment only. Contact Deborah J. Donner, Donner

Land and Mortgage Co., Inc. 408/395-5754 or www.donnerland.com

Boulder Creek 10 acres. Rough and rugged and a beautiful spot right on top! Long private bumpy road. Private road association. Good owner financing. $215,000. Shown by appointment only. Contact Deborah J. Donner, Donner Land and Mortgage Co., Inc. 408/395-5754 or www.donnerland.com

Boulder Creek 3 acres. Harmon Gulch. Creek. Private road. Quiet. Sunny possible site. Owner financing. Shown by appointment only. Contact Deborah J. Donner, Donner Land and Mortgage Co., Inc. 408/395-5754 or www.donnerland.com

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408.298.8000


M E T R O S I L I C O N VA L L E Y

FEBRUARY 24-MARCH 2, 2010

REAL ESTATE

[75]

You're invited to discover high-rise living in San Jose

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Open House Event Friday, March 5

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Magnificent views, modern amenities, convenience – these are just some of the perks of high-rise living in downtown San Jose. On Friday, March 5, from 5-7:30 p.m., four new high-rises – Axis, City Heights, The 88 and Three Sixty Residences – invite you to discover and celebrate downtown living and the arts in San Jose. All high-rises will have receptions, pedicabs and will be open late for touring. Afterward, stop by film festival or the South First Fridays art gallery crawl in the SoFA District. Experience life as it’s meant to be lived! Visit www. sjdowntown.com or call (408) 279-1775 for more information.

Prizes, giveaways and lots more!

Prices, terms, specifications and availability subject to change without notice.


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