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Critics Choice

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Lecture: Gamic Orientalism
Thursday, February 26 | 5-6:30 p.m. | 340 Moffitt Undergraduate Library

 ‘Raiden’ the cyborg ninja from the 2013 Konami video game, ‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.’ Public DomainSaid’s Orientalism has been (and remains) one of the most influential and controversial critiques of Europe’s engagement with Asia. It has provided powerful perspectives in literature, art, and cultural studies. In this lecture, Chris Goto-Jones, professor at Leiden University, asks what happens to Orientalism when it is applied to digital media such as video games. Rather than functioning as a representational critique, Goto-Jones argues that ‘Gamic Orientalism’ participates in a new form of the 'fantasy of becoming.’ Using the cases of Bushido and the martial arts as analogies, Goto-Jones explores the fantasy of enlightenment through the medium of video games, leading to the development of ‘virtual ninja theory’ as a new media manifesto.

Film and lecture: In Service to America
Thursday, February 26 | 6-8 p.m. | 209 Dwinelle Hall

UC Berkeley public service center logoUC Berkeley Public Service Center presents a film- and novel-based lecture series to complement student social action. This 5-part series, led by Prof. Arthur Blaustein, will focus on issues of equal opportunity and economic opportunity, as well as economic, environmental political and social justice. It will examine how individuals, groups and communities organize and mobilize to achieve these goals. It will, in particular, focus on, in succession: the Civil Rights movement; strategies and programs of the landmark Economic Opportunity Act (The War on Poverty); Community and Economic Development movement and its strategies and programs; de-industrialization of America and the decline of the blue collar working class; and growing economic inequality and the economic pressure on the middle class.

Lecture: US policy and the Middle East crisis
Thursday, February 26 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

Frank WisnerThroughout his term in office, President Obama has faced continuing crises in the Middle East: the Tunisian revolt, the Tahir Square demonstrations and turmoil in Egypt, the Libyan civil war and the Benghazi attack, the civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS, the Gaza war, relations with Israel – the list is long. IIS is pleased to welcome Ambassador Frank Wisner will discuss this fraught area of the world and the obstacles President Obama faces as he seeks to define his legacy. Ambassador Wisner’s diplomatic experience spans four decades and eight American presidents during his extensive career in the State Department. In addition to his role as Ambassador to Egypt, India, the Philippines and Zambia, he has served as Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and as Under Secretary of State for International Security Affairs.

Music: Afromerica Fest
Thursday, February 26 | 7 p.m. | Auditorium International House

Lift Every Voice graphicAn evening of live narrated music chronicling music history from African roots with drums and conga, to Gospel choir, R&B, Haitian Reggae, and Afro Salsa with Jean Gary Pierre’s Africombo band and others. Refreshments provided by Suya African-Carribean Grill. Visual art by Charles Curtis Blackwell will be exhibited. Free and open to the public.

Exhibit: SPEED, science in motion
February 7 – May 3, 2015 every day | Lawrence Hall of Science

children enjoying the speed exhibitJoin us to learn about the science, engineering, and finesse that goes into Formula One racing and find out if you have what it takes to drive a 1,400 pound car at 200 mph. This exhibit is free with admission.

Exhibit: Designing People
February 11 – May 19, 2015 every day | Environmental Design Library, room 210 Wurster Hall

The figures that inhabit architectural and landscape renderings are not the actual focus of the drawings. Homeowners, children, pets, shoppers, and condo-dwellers are included to convey the scale and functionality of a proposed design. They humanize and create an emotional appeal in what might otherwise appear to be sterile environments and allow the client to imagine how a space will be used. From the watercolor Victorian to the scalie hipster, this exhibit features more than a century of designers’ representations of people from the Environmental Design Archives.

Film: Wildest Weather in the solar system 3D
February 7 – June 12, 2015 every day | 10:30 a.m. | National Geographic 3D Theater Lawrence Hall of Science

Wildest Weather in the Solar System film stillWitness the most beautiful, powerful, and mysterious weather phenomena in the solar system, shown in 3D at the Lawrence Hall of Science. From a storm the size of a 100-megaton hydrogen bomb, to a 400-year-old hurricane, to a dust tempest that could engulf entire planets, you'll be glad you live on Earth! Fly through the thick atmosphere of Venus, magnetic storms on the sun, liquid methane showers on Titan, and anticyclones whirling at hundreds of miles per hour on Jupiter.

 $4 plus admission

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.

Exhibit: Berkeley's Ivory Tower, the Campanile at 100
February 16 – November 2, 2015 every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday | Rowell Cases Bancroft Library

Campanile under constructionSather Tower, also known as the Campanile, looms large both as a physical structure and as the most widely recognized symbol of the Berkeley campus. This exhibition celebrates the centennial of the landmark through holdings from the University Archives and The Bancroft Library's manuscript and pictorial collections.

FridayBack to top

Noon concert: Chamber music
Friday, February 27 | 12:15-1 p.m. | Hertz Concert Hall

Woman playing the fluteStudents from the Department of Music will perform Bach's Sonata in B minor for Flute and Piano and Chadwick's String Quartet in E minor, No. 4.

Film: The Chinatown Mystery
Friday, February 27 | 7 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from The Chinatown MysteriesRestored by the George Eastman House in 2001, this 1928 serial was considered a “last hurrah” for the silent-era serial, and brought together some of the biggest names of the era: director J.P. McGowan, actors Francis Ford and Joe Bonomo (a carnival strongman-turned-actor), producer Trem Carr (who would later help found Monogram Pictures), and a slew of silent-era supporting icons such as Ruth Hiatt, Grace Cunard, and more. Chapter names like “The Clutching Claw,” “The Devil’s Dice, “Galloping Fury,” and “The Invisible Hand” offer all one needs to know of the film’s concerns: to promise and deliver as much action and suspense as possible, and move our intrepid hero and heroine from one perilous situation to another.

 $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: Javanese gamelan gadhon
Friday, February 27 | 7-10 p.m. | 125 Morrison Hall

Midiyanto - Javanese Gamelan VirtuosoAn evening of small ensemble music highlighting the softer, elaborating instruments of the Javanese gamelan. Eight of the most accomplished gamelan musicians in the US gather to play traditional pieces from the Solonese court repertoire.

SaturdayBack to top

Film: The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Saturday, February 28 | 8:20 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from The Private Life of Sherlock HolmesOpening with a lengthy boondoggle designed to establish Sherlock Holmes's sexual proclivities and, in true Wilder fashion, leaving the question wide open, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is riddled with false clues, beginning with its title. Wilder and screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond play with a typically hyperbolic adventure involving twenty-four canaries, eight Trappist monks, six midgets, and guest appearances by Holmes' own Machiavellian brother Mycroft and the queen of all Victorian heroines, Victoria herself. Here is a film that revels in its artifice, and in the bold theatrics under which all—Holmes, the helpless heroine, and perhaps even the ingenuous Watson—hide their private lives.

 $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: Big Green Valley
Saturday, February 28 | 6:30 p.m. | PFA Theater

Still image from Big Green ValleyThe modern world comes to a forsaken section of the Soviet empire in Merab Kokochashvili’s neorealist village drama, one of the most singularly pessimistic works of sixties Soviet film. “Whether he likes it or not, life will bring him here,” states a collective figurehead outside a newly built worker’s hall; he’s referring to our hero Sosana, a burly sheepherder who could care less about answering to anyone, much less living in the modern new town going up nearby. But oil is coming, and with it changes that will leave Sosana with little choice. “Is everything lost forever?” he wonders, as he wanders through the region’s constant fog. Voicing the film’s underlying theme of hopelessness, his wife, meanwhile, can only mutter, “I don’t want to die in this godforsaken place.” Offering neither John Ford-like optimism nor Communist-era visions of collective good, and created during a brief thaw in Soviet censorship, Big Green Valley is refreshingly, almost shockingly unsentimental, and a willful thumb in the eye to both progress and tradition.

 $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.

Conference: Neoliberalism +Biopolitics
Saturday, February 28 | 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. | 315, Maude Fife Room Wheeler Hall

Critical Theory logoNeoliberalism and biopolitics have served as key ciphers over the past two decades for those attempting to appreciate the novelty of contemporary political rationalities, forms of social control, technological developments, and economic orders. Michel Foucault’s 1978-79 Collège de France lectures famously linked biopolitics and neoliberalism at both the historical and conceptual level; contemporary usage of both terms, extends well beyond Foucault’s original articulation. Part of the ambition of this conference is to interrogate the compatibility or of different approaches seeking to deploy both concepts. The Neoliberalism + Biopolitics Conference is free and open to the public.

SundayBack to top

Film: Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors
Sunday, March 1 | 3 p.m. | PFA Theater

With this gorgeous picture set among a small Ukrainian sect, Sergei Paradjanov was the first to indicate the degree to which folklore and local artistic tradition could once again become a source of visual wealth in Soviet national cinema. In the beautiful but fierce Carpathian mountains, an environment of overwhelming Christianpagan rituals, demonology, and constant struggle with overpowering elements, a story of love unfolds. Adopting the great master Dovzhenko’s use of symbolism and metaphor, and his lyric photography, Paradjanov adds a dynamically active camera suited to the requirements of his energetic and temperamental character.

 $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 by calling 510-642-5249.

Film: Godard shorts
Sunday, March 1 | 5 p.m. | PFA Theater

Filmmaker GodardA diverse array of shorts made by Godard over a twenty-five-year period. The video essay Scénario de Sauve qui peut (la vie) anticipates Godard’s second “first” film. In Meetin’ WA, Godard meets Woody Allen, the encounter of a philosopher and a fool. Liberté et patrie is an exquisite film in which Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville portray the painter Aimé Pache. In Changer d’image, Godard contemplates his place in film history. Drawing on Edgar Allan Poe, Puissance de la parole features a conversation between two angels. Hommage à Eric Rohmer is Godard’s moving goodbye to a fellow New Wave director.

 $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 by calling 510-642-5249.

Music: Cassandra Wilson, a celebration of Billie Holiday
Sunday, March 1 | 7 p.m. | Zellerbach Hall

Cassandra WilsonJazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson's unmistakable sound blends rural blues, urban eclecticism, and a true improviser's ability to make a song her own. This performance pays a loving homage to one of her great inspirations, the beloved and tragic vocalist Billie Holiday. In a Jazztimes interview, Wilson explains, "What I'm doing is more a Billie way of singing...It was not based on dexterity so much as on the roundness of her tone, the color inside the voice. And how much of her life is in that?"

 start at $36
Buy tickets online, or by calling 510-642-9988, or by emailing

Music: Susan Graham, mezzo soprano, and Malcolm Martineau, piano
Sunday, March 1 | 3 p.m. | Hertz Concert Hall

Susan GrahamOne of the foremost opera stars of our time, Graham is a rare presence in intimate recital venues. With a broad range of repertoire that spans centuries, Graham is especially renowned for her interpretations of French vocal music.

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

MondayBack to top

Lecture: Slow food and ecological economics
Monday, March 2 | 4-5 p.m. | Morgan Lounge Morgan Hall

Luis PradanosIn this lecture, Miami University assistant professor Luis Pradanos, will demonstrate that maintaining the conventional model of industrial agriculture for much longer is a biophysical impossibility due to energy restrictions (e.g. peak oil, global EROI decline, entropy, geopolitical conflicts). Although it is possible to stretch this agroindustrial model for a decade or two more, the social, political, and ecological consequences of doing so could be catastrophic. Slow Food Movement suggests (and is successfully implementing) alternatives to such a destructive model that are economically viable, socially desirable, and ecologically sound.

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