New Years Eve Guide

Clifton Lemon

SF Station Writer

Clifton Lemon's Articles
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Chekov’s Gun Control (Or Lack Thereof)
By Clifton Lemon (Feb 16, 2007)
David Denby, writing in [b]The New Yorker[/b] on March 5th of this year, commented on the recent trend in films of deploying increasingly complex, overlapping, fractured narratives. Think [b]Memento[/b], [b]Pulp Fiction[/b], [b]Babel[/b], and [b]Amores Perros[/b]. It’s not only a film trend though, and it’s actually been going on for several decades -- or more if you look back to the early twentieth century. More »
It Can’t Happen Here
By Clifton Lemon (Feb 08, 2007)
Slavery in California? I’m reminded of the Frank Zappa and the Mothers song "It Can’t Happen Here", which, in its 60's impressionistic way, is about our innate ability to block certain concepts from our image of everyday reality. One of the big shockers (and there are many shockers) about [b]Slavery: InHuman History[/b], currently at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, is that it did indeed happen here. Slavery in California was not widespread as in other states, but documents recently located by scholars give definite proof of its existence. Two of these rare documents comprise part of the exhibition. More »
Magnificently Mounted Masquerades of Metaphor
By Clifton Lemon (Feb 08, 2007)
I don’t remember exactly when or where I first encountered Carrie Mae Weems’ work, but she left me with a distinct impression. It was like the first undiluted moment of recognition you have when you meet someone who will eventually change your life -- a teacher, a friend, a lover, or an enemy. I don’t have much use for most art or most artists these days. I’m so over piles of dirt in corners, post-religious art object worship, and the narcissistic, academic, post-structuralist prattle about “gendering” that’s been inflicted upon us for the last generation or so. More »
Help Me Do the Right Thing
By Clifton Lemon (Jan 12, 2007)
This tasty and sometimes disturbing work explores the transformative and healing powers of sexuality. In it we witness sweet, prim Midwestern girl Peggy, masterfully played by Jennifer Claire, steadily unraveling as her inner erotic fantasy life begins to merge with her drab, staid real-world life. It’s by turns funny, scary, gripping, and sexy, with overtones of [b]Sex Lies and Videotape[/b], Michel Foucault, and BDSM master/slave interrelationships. More »
And the Tummler Rolls Along
By Clifton Lemon (Nov 14, 2006)
Fred Raker’s solo show is an exorcism, a thinly veiled vehicle for nonstop impressions, a tribute to great comedians, and a poignant parable, all rolled into one. Riffing on the general shape of the Frank Capra holiday classic of similar title, Raker has crafted a tight, multi-layered, clearly autobiographical piece in which he charts his journey through the Show Biz School of Hard Knocks, exploring success and failure, Jewish identity issues, and his own spiritual transformation as an artist. More »
Lustaholics Anonymous
By Clifton Lemon (Nov 07, 2006)
Hi, I’m Clifton and I’m a [b]cochino[/b]. You know, the holidays are always difficult, and this last week has been especially hard for me -- with so many temptations -- all these little [b]cochinas[/b] walking around in Santa Baby outfits, winking at me from every street corner. I’m really on the edge, you know? But after I shared at the last meeting, I was thinking, you know, I’m making progress on my first step. I mean, I am powerless over my [b]cochinismo[/b], but I’m struggling -- do I just give in, or do I try to stay on the straight and narrow way? More »
Fundamentally Free
By Clifton Lemon (Oct 17, 2006)
René Descartes, in his [b]Principles of Philosophy[/b] (1644) states “We experience within ourselves a certain freedom, which enables us always to abstain from believing anything which is not obviously certain and established.” For him, doubt was man’s fundamental freedom. John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt” brings the full weight of the existential dilemma of the existence of God in every line, every gesture, every scene. More »
O Glorious Cheesy Triangle!
By Clifton Lemon (Oct 09, 2006)
"Il Barbiere di Siviglia", Rossini’s best known work, is a facile and silly confection, and according to [b]Opera America[/b], the fifth most performed opera in North America. Like Mozart, to whom he was sometimes compared, Rossini was a prolific and lighting-quick producer of music. He wrote this opera in just thirteen days -- the zippy, spontaneous delivery is evident in the work. More »
Pick a Number
By Clifton Lemon (Oct 07, 2006)
“Mentalists” have been around for centuries, and there is a rich tradition of performance in the genre, with figures like Uri Geller, The Amazing Kreskin, and Derren Brown among the prominent practitioners. Rasputin was even seen as a practitioner of mentalism, which emphasizes the ability to exert uncanny influence upon others with non-verbal cues. Marc Salem is in this camp, but true to form, prefers the term “purveyor of mental games.” More »
Engagement by Alienation
By Clifton Lemon (Sep 05, 2006)
Bertolt Brecht, in devising his enduring brand of political theater, developed a signature technique -- historification: never referring directly to what he wanted to criticize, but instead using historical settings and characters in order to give the audience the intellectual distance necessary to see things clearly. In the case of "Mother Courage" it's the Nazi's role in starting World War Two in Germany that's the target (the play was written between 1939 and 1941) and the action is set during the Thirty Years War (1618 to 1648,) a war cemented in Europe's collective memory rather like the Civil War is in ours. More »
Clifton Lemon's Articles
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