Clifton Lemon

SF Station Writer

Clifton Lemon's Articles
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It Only Hurts the First Time
By Clifton Lemon (Jul 24, 2006)
Billed as a “send-up of 70's porn, cheerleader rivalry and high school heartbreak,” and a “silly, fun, porntastic romp,” this uneven theatrical confection has a colorful and peripatetic provenance: it’s the San Francisco premier and latest incarnation of an off-Broadway piece which started out as a 2001 New York Fringe Festival production which was a musical rendition of a 1978 blockbuster porn film that was evidently trying to break new ground by attempting to have a “real plot” and “real actors.” More »
Between the Coyotes and the Crickets
By Clifton Lemon (Jul 17, 2006)
In "True West", the Chekov’s Gun device is not a loaded gun per se, but the two main characters themselves -- they’re both loaded guns. The whole time, you’re kept guessing which one will shoot first, and which will die first, because from the git-go, you know someone’s gotta die. More »
Get It While You Can
By Clifton Lemon (Jun 21, 2006)
Five minutes into "Love, Janis", and I’m totally like “Whoa. Dude. The 60s.” Unlike many of you out there, I was around then and still remember a lot of it, like hearing Janis on the radio every day, along with Jimmy and Aretha and Carlos Santana and Sam and Dave and the Doors and the Mamas and the Papas and a lot more, all on the same station. I can honestly say that "Love, Janis" made me remember what acid flashbacks (or at least what we thought were acid flashbacks) felt like. More »
A Dam Shame
By Clifton Lemon (Apr 25, 2006)
Are dams evil? Are they necessary? What are their “hidden” costs, and, even if these costs turn out to be much greater than the supposed benefits (as is usually the case), why do we keep building them? The answers to these questions are as varied as the groups that conceive, approve, finance, construct, and operate dams, and the groups that oppose them, fight them actively, or lose their land, livelihoods, and cultures to them. More »
Local Festival Makes Good
By Clifton Lemon (Mar 04, 2006)
I was pleasantly surprised to learn recently that one of the top film festivals in the country is right up the road, so to speak, and that it offers a particularly tasty cinematic lineup as well as the opportunity to simultaneously indulge your culinary hankerings. The [b]Sonoma Valley Film Festival[/b] promises an "intimate five days of new, top-quality independent films, with gourmet wine and food pairings at each screening, as well as special events, VIP receptions and tributes." More »
Stepping Up to the Mic
By Clifton Lemon (Feb 03, 2006)
This arch, hilarious, wacky, and poignant romp of a musical uses the setting of a small town spelling bee as a jumping off point for an extended riff on perfectionism, adolescent insecurity, rejection, parental love (or rather, lack thereof), language, winning, losing, and…well, what else is there in life? The characters, a motley crew of nerdy high school students, bring all their festering angst and internal conflict to the microphone in their heartfelt attempts to spell correctly and win approval. Then they sing and dance and spell some more. More »
The Logo is Mightier than the Sword
By Clifton Lemon (Jan 17, 2006)
This compact exhibit of graphic arts explores the political agendas of American social activist movements and the potent symbols used to convey their underlying messages. The historical range of these movements spans abolitionism through gay rights, and includes the United Farm Workers, Black Panthers, AFL-CIO, anarchism, IWW, ecology, nuclear disarmament, feminism, and the Resistance. More »
Never the Same Thing
By Clifton Lemon (Dec 20, 2006)
"Sexual Perversity in Chicago" is the raunchy, biting, hilarious and occasionally tragic period piece about the intersecting love lives (and the concomitant discourse about them) of four typical, mid-seventies twentysomethings that launched David Mamet's illustrious career as a playwright. It's refreshing, entertaining, at times cruel, and simultaneously pointedly anachronistic and eminently relevant to the current "battle of the sexes", whatever form it happens to be taking today. More »
Fringe Benefits
By Clifton Lemon (Aug 09, 2005)
Ask your homies why they live in the Big City, and the answer is likely to include the phrase "all the cultural events…" But if you inquire what the last "cultural event" was that they had partaken in, you're likely to encounter long pauses, vacant looks, or maybe a vague recollection of a Quentin Tarantino flick. It's a shame; in the Bay Area, right under our noses, in our own backyards, there's a wealth of cutting-edge performance art and small theatre that seems to go largely unnoticed. We default to the cineplexes when we want out-of-home entertainment, but the problem is (in case you hadn't noticed) big studio movies kind of suck lately. More »
Internal Dialog
By Clifton Lemon (Mar 08, 2005)
One can easily imagine the ecstasy of 15th and 16th century artists and anatomists, especially Leonardo da Vinci, had they been able to see what we can now do -- carefully and accurately preserve human bodies, dissected, sliced, and revealed in almost any way possible. Thanks to a technology called plastination, whereby water and lipids in biological tissues are replaced by curable polymers (otherwise known as plastic), cadavers can be transformed into odorless, dry, durable specimens invaluable for anatomical study and analysis. More »
Clifton Lemon's Articles
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