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When I first read about Baz Luhrmann’s (Romeo and Juliet, Australia) plan to make The Great Gatsby in 3D, I was puzzled. The movie is expected to be released in 2012 with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire as three of its stars. But why 3D, I thought? It’s trendy right now — even art-house directors (Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog) are experimenting with it­­ — but is it right for every project?    

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On Saturday, June 4, we launched PAIFF 2011 with a lively, sophisticated cocktail party held at the beautiful Stonebrook Court (“the Castle”) ballroom owned by our sponsor Kelly Porter of Woodside Capital Partners.  Guests enjoyed an evening of appetizers and drinks below an authentic 16th Century gilded Venetian ceiling inlaid with paintings.  The 16th century was a time of unprecedented changes in every aspect of European life.  Since PAIFF celebrates the modern day renaissance in art and technology, the setting was ideal.

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Tucked away in an almost bucolic spot on the Stanford University campus, conceptual artist Gail Wight’s well-lit studio bears witness to her love affair with art and science. A large bookshelf and reading nook showcases her wide-ranging reading interests — from obscure scientific texts to books explicitly titled “Art and Technology.” On one far wall is a mandala made of tiny photographic representations of bones. In the middle of the room, is an enormous clear sculpture of a microscope. (more)

The San Francisco Film Society presents an annual “Persistence of Vision Award” to filmmakers. On April 30, 2011, however, SFFS presented the award to someone who stated onstage that he does not identify as a filmmaker: art world giant and San Francisco resident Matthew Barney who has been dubbed the most important artist of his generation by the New York Times.

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This Thursday, May 12 at 7:00 pm Director and screenwriter Christina Yao will be speaking at Stanford University about her experience making the film Empire of Silver. Yao holds a Ph.D. in Asian Theater from Stanford and comes from a strong background in theater as an actress, playwright and director. 

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Chilean director Patricio Guzman’s latest documentary, beautifully-titled Nostalgia for the Light, is not so much journalistic as it is an essayistic meditation on the power and ubiquity of the past as it exists in four parallels in the desolate Atacama Desert in northern Chile. A palette of blue, pale desert-copper and white visually ties together what seem to be images from disparate worlds: astronomy, archeology, geology, and the death of political prisoners.

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