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Critics Choice

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Lecture: A decade at Saturn
Wednesday, January 28 | 5 p.m. | Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Carolyn PorcoA glistening spaceship, with seven lonely years and billions of miles behind it, glides into orbit around a softly-hued, ringed planet. A flying-saucer shaped machine descends through a hazy atmosphere and lands on the surface of an alien moon, ten times farther from the Sun than the Earth. Fantastic though they seem, these visions are not a dream. For seven years, the Cassini spacecraft and its Huygens probe traveled invisible interplanetary roads to the place we call Saturn. Their successful entry into orbit in the summer of 2004, the mythic landing of Huygens on the cold, dark equatorial plains of Titan, and Cassini’s subsequent decade-long exploration of the Saturnian environment have become the stuff of legends. What they have shown us, and the images they have collected, are being closely examined in the pursuit of invaluable scientific insights on the nature of this very remote planetary system. Dr. Carolyn Porco of the Cassini Science team will discuss the findings.

Film: African Film Festival 2015, short films
Wednesday, January 28 | 7 p.m. | PFA Theater

Every year, the African Film Festival features the voices of emerging artists from the African diaspora. In this year's selection of short narratives by women, Cameroon filmmaker Eka Christa Assam takes a quirky look at gender roles in Beleh, her short film centered on a disgruntled married couple. The Tanzanian-American filmmaker Ekwa Msangi-Omari grew up in Kenya, and lives in New York. Her short The Market King chronicles the travails of a father who takes his daughter to get her hair braided. In Tunisian director Kaouther Ben Hania's humorous recent film, a young girl goes to great lengths to avoid Koran school.

 $5.50 BAM/PFA members; UC Berkeley students,  $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and retirees; Non-UC Berkeley students; Senior citizens (65 & over); Disabled persons; Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General Admission
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-5249.

Film: Battleship Potemkin
Wednesday, January 28 | 3:10 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from Battleship PotemkinInstructed to make a film to commemorate the 1905 revolution, Sergei Eisenstein chose to base his script on the mutiny on the battleship Potemkin of the Black Sea Fleet and the ensuing involvement of the people of Odessa. The sailors’ revolt against being served maggoty meat is both premise and metaphor for a tale told virtually entirely through images and their rhythmic juxtaposition and repetition, the purest cinema imaginable; the massacre on the Odessa steps is justifiably one of the most celebrated sequences in film history. Live music accompaniment by Judith Rosenberg.

 $5.50 UC Berkeley students,  $7.50 BAM/PFA Members,  $8.50 Seniors; Disabled persons; UC Berkeley faculty and staff; Non-UC Berkeley students; Youth 17 and under,  $11.50 General Admission
Buy tickets by calling 510-642-5249.

Lecture: Sheila Kennedy on the Portable Light Project
Wednesday, January 28 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | 112 Wurster Hall

Building designed by Sheila KennedySheila Kennedy, principal architect at Kennedy & Violich, will discuss soft infrastructure including her work on the Portable Light Project—a MATx non-profit design, research and engineering initiative that builds upon the skill sets of women makers in the developing world by integrating clean energy and lighting with textile craft traditions.

Film: Meerkats in 3D
September 20, 2014 – February 6, 2015 every day | 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. | Lawrence Hall of Science

MeerkatsFilmed over the course of a year, Meerkats 3D follows an extraordinary—not to mention adorable—family that stands just 12 inches tall. Discover how these tiny but strong creatures survive in the harsh desert, led by the family’s tenacious matriarch, Klinky. Together, this family of 20 will battle a rival gang to protect their territory, their pups, and their very lives. The Lawrence Hall of Science's National Geographic 3D Theater plays Meerkats 3D daily.

Exhibit: 2015 first year MFA
January 28 – February 13, 2015 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday | 12-5 p.m. | Worth Ryder Art Gallery (116) Kroeber Hall

Composite image of artists' worksThe Worth Ryder Art Gallery is excited to present “6”, an exhibition of works by our six first-year graduate students. The MFA program encourages experimentation with new methods, media, and modes of artmaking, and the artists have each built on their existing practices to create an exciting new body of work while immersing themselves in contemporary theory, seeking out new interdisciplinary influences, and responding to intense critical feedback by peers and mentors. The result is an exhibition that is fresh, vital, and immediate.

Exhibit: Following in Bartrams' Footsteps
December 15, 2014 – February 15, 2015 every day with exceptions | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | UC Botanical Garden

Bartram botanical paintingThis major art exhibition includes forty-four original artworks based on the native plant discoveries made by John and William Bartram in their renowned and influential travels throughout the eastern wilderness between the 1730s and 1790s. The UC Botanical Garden will be the only West Coast showing of the exhibition.

Botanical garden: Plants illustrated exhibition
January 7 – February 15, 2015 every day with exceptions | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | UC Botanical Garden

Ferns in the gardenView the 6th annual Plants Illustrated exhibition of botanical art featuring work by the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists. This year the pieces will represent plants in the Garden's collection. Free with garden Admission.

Exhibit: California, Captured on Canvas
October 8, 2014 – March 6, 2015 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday | Bancroft Library

This exhibit portrays California both as a vast landscape of mountains, ocean, and forests and as an intimate home for vastly different inhabitants. Scenes of Yosemite and the Gold Rush are displayed, along with more recent work such as colorful paintings by John Sackas of the Golden Gate Produce Market. Also featured are Augustus John’s vibrant portrait of San Francisco’s tennis champion Helen Wills, and an imposing painting by Charles Grant of the Great White Fleet entering the Golden Gate on May 5th 1908. The exhibit conveys the variety of artistic prisms through which the Golden State has been captured on canvas.

Exhibit: The Secret Language of Flowers
January 27 – June 26, 2015 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life (2121 Allston Way)

Botanical drawingIn 1984, The Magnes acquired a portfolio of botanical drawings by Shmuel (Samuel) Lerner, a Ukraine-born amateur artist from California. While Lerner’s biography and many details surrounding this work remain obscure, today his drawings open for us a unique window into the landscape, the history and the languages of Israel in the period immediately following the establishment of the State. The exhibition features a selection of 26 botanical drawings from 1949, complete with the author's annotations about plants, places, and language.

ThursdayBack to top

Reading: Chana Bloch
Thursday, January 29 | 5-7 p.m. | Morrison Room Doe Library

Chana BlochChana Bloch, award-winning poet, translator, scholar and teacher, will read from her new book. She is the author of five books of poems, six books of translation from Hebrew poetry, ancient and contemporary, and a critical study of George Herbert. Bloch is Professor Emerita of English Literature and Creative Writing at Mills College, where she taught for many years and directed the Creative Writing Program.

Film: The Throwaways
Thursday, January 29 | 6 p.m. | Home Room International House

Promotional image for The ThrowawaysHomeless filmmaker, activist and co-director Ira McKinley, using his unique perspective, exposes how the current economic crisis is having a devastating effect on those who are in greatest need. This documentary challenges viewers to confront the daily struggles and hopes of those living on the fringes of a society that has rejected and forgotten them.

Register online.

Presentation: The forces re-shaping market research and applied social sciences
Thursday, January 29 | 4-6 p.m. | 8th Floor Barrows Hall

Scott McDonaldScott McDonald, adjunct professor of marketing at Columbia Business School former senior VP of research for Conde Nast, will discuss the the increasing availability of “digital footprints” and computational power to analyze them. This data is transforming the practice of market research. Firms are shifting from asking their customers direct questions to analyzing behavioral data that is collected passively. This transformation has profound implications for the kinds of skills required to conduct market research, for how research is organized, and for the shape of future jobs in these fields.

FridayBack to top

Colloqium: The China Model, civil society under authoritarianism
Friday, January 30 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

Book jacket for Civil Society under AuthoritarianismJessica Teets, professor of political science at Middlebury College, will discuss her book and the increasing civil society activity in China despite the authoritarian government’s fears of civil society serving as a Trojan horse of democracy. The author argues that two decades of direct experience with these organizations has taught local officials that civil society also offers many benefits, such as delivering social services and improving governance, and has resulted in the construction of a consultative authoritarianism model attempting to balance the benefits and dangers of civil society.

Special event:Conversation and performance with Myra Melford
Friday, January 30 | 6-9 p.m. | Home of Harry Bernstein and Caren Meghreblian

Myra MelfordJoin a lively evening of food, cocktails, and a special piano performance and salon conversation with UC Berkeley faculty member, composer, and Guggenheim Fellow, Myra Melford. Start the evening with a signature cocktail prepared by Shanna Farrell, head researcher for “West Coast Cocktails: An Oral History” project at UC Berkeley’s Regional Oral History Office, before Melford performs music from her recent solo recording: Life Carries Me This Way, work inspired by original artwork of the late Sacramento-based artist Don Reich. After the performance, UC Berkeley assistant professor of Music Tamara Roberts and Melford will talk about the work, Melford’s role as a curator of New Frequencies Fest/Jazz@YBCA, and the course they taught on “Improvising Community” which explored community engagement through musical improvisation.

Buy tickets online.

Film: Something Necessary
Friday, January 30 | 7 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from Something NecessaryJudy Kibinge's moving, beautifully filmed narrative is set in the period subsequent to the civil unrest that erupted in Kenya after the disputed 2007 elections and left over a thousand dead and hundreds of thousands displaced. A woman awakes in a hospital and learns that her husband has died in the riots, her young son is in a coma, and their farm has been destroyed. As she attempts to rebuild her life, her path crosses with that of a young man who participated in the violence. The film was released just prior to the 2013 elections, and according to the director this "meant we were confronting audiences with memories that many would rather forget."

 $5.50 BAM/PFA members; UC Berkeley students,  $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and retirees; Non-UC Berkeley students; Senior citizens (65 & over); Disabled persons; Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General Admission
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-5249.

Film: The Lost Weekend
Friday, January 30 | 8:45 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from The Lost WeekendThe Lost Weekend is probably the forties’ most famous problem picture, and today loses little of its original power. Ray Milland’s Don Birnam is a failed writer, an anxiety-prone weakling who uses alcohol as an escape. A number of short, episodic scenes mount gradually in intensity until the two climactic passages, which occur respectively in an alcoholic ward and at Birnam’s apartment during a fit of delirium tremens. Wilder has seldom used his camera more daringly. Telephones, overturned lampshades and, of course, bottles loom menacingly in the foreground of the compositions, while John F. Seitz’s New York exteriors capture in drab grays and blacks a city stripped of glamour and allure. Holding it all together is Milland’s admirable performance.

 $5.50 BAM/PFA members; UC Berkeley students,  $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and retirees; Non-UC Berkeley students; Senior citizens (65 & over); Disabled persons; Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General Admission
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-5249.

SaturdayBack to top

Film: Histoire(s) du cinéma (Chapters 1 and 2)
Saturday, January 31 | 7:45 p.m. | PFA Theater

Godard mourns the death of cinema and chronicles its vitality in the dazzling video series Histoire(s) du cinéma. Histoire(s) du cinema emphasizes the influence film exercises on viewers—the impact of an image, the different realities that it provides, and the various frames of mind it engenders. Godard's purpose in these elliptical, epigrammatic montage essays is, he says, "to show that the history of film is, first of all, not history but consisting of histories. And then show that all histories are intertwined with the history of the twentieth century. Not showing a chronological order, names or dates, but a gust of wind, starting from the basic idea that the entire twentieth century was the stage for a merciless fight between image and sound (the newborn) and word (the grown–up, the government)."

 $5.50 BAM/PFA members; UC Berkeley students,  $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and retirees; Non-UC Berkeley students; Senior citizens (65 & over); Disabled persons; Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General Admission
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-5249.

Film: Some Interviews on Personal Matters
Saturday, January 31 | 5 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from Some Interviews on Personal MattersSofiko, a young newspaper employee, is passionately involved in her work interviewing people who have submitted complaint letters to the editor. One of the women Sofiko interviews is her mother, and the pair’s onscreen relationship strongly resembles the tragic early life of the director and her mother, making this a very personal film for Lana Gogoberidze. A bold mixture of documentary and social-psychological drama—and the first film to make mention of Stalin’s camps—Some Interviews on Personal Matters makes powerful statements about women, work, family, and marriage that earned it international acclaim as the first feminist film of the Soviet cinema.

 $5.50 BAM/PFA members; UC Berkeley students,  $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and retirees; Non-UC Berkeley students; Senior citizens (65 & over); Disabled persons; Youth (17 & under),  $9.50 General Admission
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-5249.

Music: Matthew Polenzani, tenor, and Julius Drake, piano
Saturday, January 31 | 8 p.m. | First Congregational Church

Matthew PolenzaniMatthew Polenzani has become one of the most ubiquitous and beloved lyric tenors of his generation. Here he sings a wide range of repertoire, including Liszt's French songs set to poems by Victor Hugo, and Samuel Barber's emotionally expansive Hermit Songs, based on writings by medieval Irish monks.

Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-9988, or by emailing

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