This week, catch the 3rd i South Asian Film Fest in Palo Alto, hear the story of a violinist who played for Stalin, and catch the big band tunes of the 1920s at Foothill College.
3rd i South Asian Film Festival
From feature films and documentaries to Bollywood musicals and independents, San Francisco's 3rd i South Asian Film Festival returns to Palo Alto this weekend. Now in its 12th year, 3rd i aims to present the full range of South Asian cultures and cinematic expressions. Following its five-day run in San Francisco Nov. 5-9, the festival comes to Palo Alto Saturday, Nov. 15. On the docket for the Midpeninsula are six films, among them "Nirnay," a documentary about love in contemporary middle-class Indian society, and "Zinda Bhaag," a rousing Pakistani musical. Evening screenings include "The Auction House," a documentary about two brothers struggling to save their family business (which happens to be India's oldest auction house), and "Liar's Dice," a drama set in the rural Himalayas that's also India's official 2014 Oscars contender for Best Foreign Language Film.
All films screen at CinéArts at Palo Alto Square, 3000 El Camino Real. Tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door. For more information, including a full festival calendar, go to thirdi.org.
In July 1945, at the close of WWII, Truman, Churchill and Stalin came together in occupied Germany to consider the fate of the modern world. Their meeting would come to be known as the Potsdam Conference. But before they got down to business, the three world leaders paused to listen as a 19-year-old American rifleman played his violin.
That young man was Pvt. Stuart Canin, an avid violinist who brought his instrument with him to the front, because "you never know." Now nearly 90 years old, Canin will make a live appearance at Stanford's Bing Concert hall this Wednesday in an event that combines musical performance, film and on-stage discussion. Joining Canin will be historian Norman Naimark, political scientist Scott Sagan and 60th Secretary of State George P. Shultz, who will hold a conversation about this pivotal moment in world history.
Citizen Film will also screen a documentary short, "The Rifleman's Violin," which tells Canin's remarkable story.
The former concertmaster of the San Francisco Symphony, Canin will give a 30-minute performance: a reprise of the same works by composers Fritz Kreisler, Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky and Henryk Wienawski that he played in Potsdam 60 years ago.
The event takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall, 327 Lasuen St. Tickets are $30 general admission and are free to Stanford students starting one hour before curtain. To learn more, go to potsdamatstanford.com. For tickets, go to live.stanford.edu or call 650-724-2464.
California Pops Orchestra
For a brief trip even further back in time, travel to Foothill College on Sunday afternoon to hear the California Pops Orchestra perform "Music from the Great Gatsby Era." Known as California's entertainment symphony, the 65-piece orchestra will evoke the era of flappers and bootleggers, Art Deco and ragtime with tunes by Irving Berlin, Benny Goodman, Cole Porter and others. Kim Venaas conducts the ensemble, which features guest artists including jazz pianist Frederick Hodges and big band singer Ann Gibson. Prepare to boogie in the aisles or even at your seat.
The concert takes place Sunday, Nov. 16, at 3 p.m. at Foothill College's Smithwick Theater, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. Tickets range from $37-$42; youth tickets are $15. Free parking is available in lots 5 and 6. For tickets, go to calpops.org or call 650-856-8432.