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Critics Choice

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Special event: The Big Give
Thursday, November 20 | Wherever you are!

Big Give logoBe a BIG part of a new Big Game week event: Berkeley’s first 24-hour online fundraising campaign to support students, faculty, and research. Explore photos, posts and give back to UC Berkeley’s schools and programs. Click here to learn more.

Panel discussion: Urban soils
Thursday, November 20 | 4-6 p.m. | Morgan Lounge Morgan Hall

Soil with earthwormsUrban Agriculture is becoming increasingly popular and touted as a tool for urban areas seeking a transition to a more sustainable, local food system. However, urban soils contamination is a major limiting factor to the scaling up of urban agriculture practices. There is a need for research of the local soils in the East Bay to find out what the common contaminants are and what health risks these contaminants pose to current and future urban agriculture practitioners, as well as consumers of produced grown in the surrounding cities. This presentation and panel highlights three current Bay Area urban soils research projects. The researchers will also speak on a panel about their work.

Film: Amerikanka
Thursday, November 20 | 7 p.m. | PFA Theater

The stylistically original Amerikanka is set in the revolutionary period and filmed at an underground printing shop in Moscow. Leo Esakya’s film foregrounds mechanical objects such as typewriters and printing presses along with typographic materials, using them in symbolic ways to advance the narrative. The film also displays distinctive cinematography by Mikhail Gal’per and Sergei Zabozlaev, who went on to work in documentary. Live piano accompaniment by Judiith Rosenberg.

 $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.

Exhibit: Siméon-Denis Poisson, mathematics in the service of science
November 7 – December 17, 2014 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday | Mathematics Statistics Library (100 Evans) Evans Hall

Mathematician PoissonSiméon-Denis Poisson (1781-1840) was a French mathematician who made important contributions to many areas including celestial mechanics, integration, probability theory, and mathematical physics. This exhibition includes original copies and facsimiles of some of Poisson's works as well as books and articles that illustrate Poisson’s scientific influence, the judgments contemporaries made concerning his role in science, and some of the domains of mathematics and physics where his work has been further developed, making his name familiar to all researchers.

Exhibit: Design Radicals, creativity and protest
October 16 – December 19, 2014 every day | 210 Wurster Hall

The shock waves of Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement of 1964 reverberated within Wurster Hall, transforming the College of Environmental Design into a Laboratory for experiments in countercultural art and politics. Design Radicals surveys student and faculty ventures in the graphic art of anti-war protest, hands-on research into commune building and the creation of ecologically sustainable structures, and efforts to recast architecture, landscape architecture and community planning as participatory enterprises. In telling the story of Wurster Hall’s Design Radicals, the rich holdings of the Environmental Design Archives and the privately held Dox Populi poster collection will provide inspiration for a new generation of design activists. The College of Environmental Design Library will display posters, images, and artifacts of Berkeley’s expanded field of countercultural design practice and pedagogy.

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.

FridayBack to top

Symposium: Population research in the age of big data
Friday, November 21 | 12-4:30 p.m. | Seaborg Room Faculty Club

Professors and PhD candidates from UC Berkeley, University of Washington, and Stanford University will come together for an interdisciplinary symposium on population research. What has changed in the era of 'Big Data,' and how will this new data be used?

Registration opens October 16. Register by November 7 by emailing E. Vasile at

Social event: Big Game bonfire rally
Friday, November 21 | 6 p.m. | Hearst Greek Theatre

Big Game bonfireJoin us for a Berkeley tradition – the annual Bonfire Rally in the Greek Theatre! The doors will open at 6pm and the rally will begin around 7pm. Let's show our support for Cal Football and beat Stanford! Get the Axe!

Theater: The Old Woman with Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe
Friday, November 21 | 8 p.m. | Zellerbach Hall

Baryshnikov and Dafoe in The Old WomanIconic theater artist Robert Wilson directs Willem Dafoe and Mikhail Baryshnikov in a surreal marriage of abstract storytelling, pitch-black comedy, and vaudeville. Dafoe and Baryshnikov portray multi-faceted characters inhabiting a disorienting world, forced to deal with an unexplained and unwanted houseguest.

 $40 and up
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-9988, or by emailing

Special event: Social innovation hackathon
Friday, November 21 | 6 p.m. | South Hall

Social innovation hackathon logoThe 2nd annual Social Innovation Hackathon is partnering with Heifer International for a day of hacking in support of their mission to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. The hackathon will present participants with a set of well-defined challenge statements to maximize information availability and the impact that a 24-hour event can have. Participants will have access to subject-matter experts, real datasets, in addition to the basics: Wi-fi, meals, snacks, caffeine, a dedicated nap room, and more. Everyone is invited to register. Participation is free with a valid student ID.

 Free Students,  $15 General Admissions
Register online.

Theater: Rhinoceros
November 14 – 23, 2014 every Sunday, Friday & Saturday | 8 p.m. | Durham Studio Theater (Dwinelle Hall)

Join the Herd. Everyone in Berenger’s town is turning into a rhinoceros. As Berenger loses his friends and co-workers to this unusual pandemic, he faces a difficult choice: defend his humanity, or follow the movement? Ionesco’s absurdist indictment of conformity brings big laughs and bigger ideas to the Berkeley stage. Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm, Sunday performances are at 2pm.

 $18 General Admission, online,  $20 General Admission, at the door,  $13 Students, Seniors, UCB Faculty & Staff online,  $15 Students, Seniors, UCB Faculty & Staff at the door
SaturdayBack to top

Football: Cal vs. Stanford
Saturday, November 22 | 1 p.m. | Memorial Stadium

Cal football playersCal vs. Stanford at the 2014 Big Game!

Film: A Nail in the Boot
Saturday, November 22 | 8 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from A Nail in the BootOstensibly an allegory on Soviet industry, as symbolized by the poor quality of a nail in a soldier’s boot that leads to the defeat of a military unit on maneuvers, this film was banned, its symbolism lost on literal-minded authorities who felt it reflected poorly on the military preparedness of the Red Army. But perhaps more threatening than its subject was its style; indeed, the camera offers nothing less than a study of fate, as personified by the hapless wearer of the eponymous boot. In the midst of the thrusts and explosions of war (cinematically rendered), here he is, as in a dream, on a lone journey across fields and mountains with only one good shoe.

 $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.

SundayBack to top

Lecture: Gandhi and the political enlightenment
Sunday, November 23 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Asian Art Museum, Samsung Hall, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco

GandhiThe Political Enlightenment of the West has articulated ideals that have no substantial counterpart in the folk and spiritual traditions of Asia and other countries of the Global South. Gandhi (1869-1948), appealing precisely to those traditions, made some harsh criticisms of modern Western civilization and constructed an alternative deeply radical political philosophy of his own. In his lecture, Akeel Bilgrami will present the main elements of Gandhi’s critique as well as his constructive philosophy, and inquire into the relevance of Gandhi’s ideas for our own time. UC Berkeley Chancellor and decorated historian and anthropologist, Nicholas Dirks, will join the discussion.

Film: The Agronomist
Sunday, November 23 | 6:30 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from The AgronomistUnfettered, responsive, and populist radio was Jean Léopold Dominique’s aspiration. In 1969, Radio Haiti began occupying Port-au-Prince’s airwaves, becoming the first independent broadcasts in this nation’s history. Dominique daringly aired unadulterated stories about the struggles for democracy in a style that was adored by the poor and powerless and in a language they understood, Haitian Creole. The use of patois itself was unquestioningly courageous, for it immediately set the station apart from a regime that favored French along with absolute power. This was ten years into "Papa Doc" Duvalier’s dictatorial reign, with “Baby Doc” just two years away. Jonathan Demme’s bristling The Agronomist profiles this Haiti-born broadcaster who was originally trained in France as an agronomist and returned to Haiti to teach the peasantry how to be self-sufficient.

 $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: Dido and Aeneas, UC Berkeley opera
Sunday, November 23 | 8-9:30 p.m. | Hertz Concert Hall

Hertz HallFor the first time in several decades, the Department of Music presents student opera at UC Berkeley. Henry Purcell's Dido and Aeneas, one of the most famous Baroque operas ever written, was famously believed to be premiered at Josias Priest's school for girls in the summer of 1688. This performance is conducted by Stefano Flavoni, a senior music major, and features student musicians Vanessa Aldrich, Elsa Bishop, Max Epstein-Shafir, and Nate Ben-Horin.

Music: St. Lawrence string quartet
Sunday, November 23 | 3 p.m. | Hertz Concert Hall

St. Lawrence string quartet musiciansThis year the St. Lawrence String Quartet celebrates 25 years as a premier American ensemble. The quartet is widely appreciated for illuminating and informal onstage musical descriptions, delivered by charismatic violinist Geoff Nuttall. The program shows off the quartet's versatility, from canonic treasures (Haydn's Emperor quartet), to trailblazing masterworks (Beethoven's late quartet in C-sharp minor) and contemporary gems (Golijov's haunting Qohelet).

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

MondayBack to top

Tour: Future cultural plazas on International Boulevard
Monday, November 24 | 1-4 p.m. | Various locations

Women hanging block party signs on a light postElena Serrano, Program Director of EastSide Arts Alliance, will host a small group accompanying Rick Lowe for a tour of five sites on International Boulevard in Oakland, and an exploration of the efforts of Eastside and other Oakland community organizations to shape development to benefit existing residents.

FridayBack to top

Film: The Cranes are Flying
Friday, November 28 | 5:30 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from The Cranes are FlyingOne of the most acclaimed Soviet films of all time, The Cranes Are Flying won the Grand Prize for Best Picture and the Palme d’Or for Best Director and Best Actress at the 1957 Cannes film festival. Set during World War II, it is a tragic story of the shattering of love and youthful ambitions by war. Two young sweethearts, Veronica and Boris, are certain they will marry and live happily ever after. Then, Boris volunteers for the army.

 $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: Keep Your Right Up
Friday, November 28 | 7:30 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from Keep Your Right Up"Keep Your Right Up" is a phrase from boxing; "Soigne ta droite" also has an immediate reference to Tati's film Soigne ta gauche; and both are at play in a slapstick that Godard described as "the camera versus landscapes over seventeen rounds." Yes, this is a comedy, full of slapstick action, peppered with puns. Godard, the Idiot Prince, is ordered by Gaumont to make a movie and deliver it the same day.

 $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.

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