Orinda

'Chat' about Americans in 1930s Paris

Americans in Paris during the exhilarating days of the 1920s and 1930s is the topic of Orinda Library's next Fireside Chat, Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the library, 26 Orinda Way.

George Hammond from Humanities West returns to discuss the American expatriates who pushed the boundaries of artistic expression and the city that inspired them. Hammond has been a popular speaker, offering a 50-minute preview of Humanities West's two-day interdisciplinary programs on a variety of subjects

For more information about this free program, call 925-254-2184 or visit the library's website at ccclib.org

Documentary 'These Amazing Shadows'

A free screening of the documentary "These Amazing Shadows," a 2011 Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival, will be presented Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Orinda Library.

Every year since 1989 a panel of experts has selected 25 "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" films to be acknowledged as works of art by the Library of Congress. "These Amazing Shadows" describes how the 25 films are chosen, discusses efforts to preserve and restore the listed movies, and celebrates cinema as an art form. The incredible variety of great films, highlighted with dozens of clips, makes "These Amazing Shadows" a treat for all movie lovers. A question-and-answer session with directors Kurt Norton and Paul Mariano will follow the screening.


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This program will take place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Library, 26 Orinda Way. For more information, visit the library website at ccclib.org or call 925-254-2184.

Next International Showcase film, 'Noodle'

The October selection for the International Film Showcase is "Noodle" from Israel, to open at the Orinda Theatre Oct. 19.

At 37, Miri is a twice-widowed flight attendant whose well-regulated existence is suddenly turned upside down by an abandoned Chinese boy whose migrant-worker mother has been summarily deported from Israel. The film is a touching comic-drama in which two human beings -- as different from each other as Tel Aviv is from Beijing -- accompany each other on a remarkable journey, one that takes them both back to a meaningful life.

The Orinda run, as well as showings in Antioch and Cupertino, are this film's Bay Area commercial premieres. For show times go to www.lfef.org or www.lamorindatheatres.com

Lafayette

Big Band of Rossmoor harkens back to Astaire

Swing the sounds of the 40's with the Big Band of Rossmoor Friday, Oct. 19 starting at 8 p.m. at the Lafayette Veterans Memorial building (also called the Lafayette Events Center) at 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd.

The Rossmoor Big Band features some of the finest senior musicians performing alongside talented student associates. The players range in age from 12 to 93.

In addition, vocalist Mary Anne Meltzter joins the band as a guest artist singing some of Harry James' best songs.

On the set list will be songs from 10 Fred Astaire movies.

This is a dance and variety show; dancers and listeners are all welcome. And free dance lessons by Gail Enright will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and available from the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce at 100 Lafayette Circle, and at the door. Call 925-284-7404 for tickets, or more information.

Local couple to show at SF center

Dean and Juliet MacCannel, husband and wife artists and Lafayette residents, are part of "Calling on the Spirits to Face the Future: Día de los Muertos 2012," the Day of the Dead exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center, where the centuries-old tradition of building altars to welcome and celebrate deceased loved ones fuses with present-day artists' sentiments on the state of life and politics.

Elaborate, traditional altars and multidimensional art installations will be on display Oct. 13-Nov. 10.

The MacCannels are creating an installation that includes a large frame in the form of a giant page from a comic book, telenovela or photo-roman. The cells of the frame contain a series of images of the Romney family, with thought and dialogue bubbles, as they dream, muse about and discuss the future and the future they envision for themselves and for us.

The exhibit will be at the SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan St., San Francisco. Free admission during gallery hours Tuesday-Friday noon to 7 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WALNUT CREEK

Writers Guild evening of member readings

Members of the Walnut Creek Writers Guild will host an evening of original readings by its members Thursday, Oct. 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Library. 1644 N. Broadway, in the Las Trampas Room.

The evening will feature Elaine Starkman of Walnut Creek, one of the guild's members, reading some of the poetry from her newest published work, "Hearing Beyond Sound." Copies of that book will be available for purchase.

Other contributing guild members expected to participate are Norma Armon of Oakland, Alessandro Baktyar of Walnut Creek, Lindsay Levin of Dublin, Ramon Sevilla of Lafayette, Sandy Shaller of Walnut Creek and Webb Johnson of Walnut Creek.

The Walnut Creek Writers Guild was started a year ago by Shaller, who had just retired from 43 years as a teacher and school principal and moved with his wife from New York to Walnut Creek to be closer to their older son and his family.

The purpose of the group (www.meetup.com/The-Walnut-Creek-Writers-Guild-com/) is to provide honest and supportive feedback for writers (published and nonpublished) with the goal of furthering their art. The group meets once a month at the Walnut Creek Library. Two weeks after each meeting, members submit a piece of writing they would like read and critiqued. At the monthly meeting, we offer deep and thoughtful feedback on each piece. Writers are encouraged to revise and resubmit.

The group also has a reference page on its website with helpful information on agents, publishing and writing guidelines to which all members contribute.

Sing in an 'Instant Chorus'

Anyone age 8 and older who wants to sing harmonies and cool rhythms in three- or four-part a cappella is invited to an "Instant Chorus" session from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Shadelands Art Center, 111 N. Wiget Lane at Ygnacio Valley Road.

Singers can choose an easy or challenging part. Optional body percussion. Come fragrance-free.

Cost is $23 at the door; for more information, call 510-387-4462.

Morning classical music concert Oct. 26

Members of the Contra Costa Performing Arts Society will perform a free classical music concert at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at Grace Presbyterian Church, 2100 Tice Valley Blvd., Walnut Creek

Pieces performed will include the B flat Major Sonata for solo piano by Franz Schubert, followed by Bohuslav Martinu's Quartet for Oboe, Violin, Cello and Piano. Two solo piano works conclude the concert, the Ballade No. 1 by Chopin and La Campanella by Franz Liszt.

The society was incorporated in 1974 as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization. Its goals are to foster an appreciation of music within the community and to provide opportunities for community artists to perform and to share their musical talents. Free concerts are generally given at least twice per month September through June. Everyone is welcome; it's free but donations are always appreciated. Go to www.ccpas.org for more information

Local lecture on William S. Paley exhibit in S.F.

Marsha Holm, a docent for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, gives an illustrated art lecture in Walnut Creek about a special exhibition that opens this fall at the de Young Museums in San Francisco.

Holm will speak about "The William S. Paley Collection: A Taste of Modernism" at a presentation Oct. 10 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Walnut Creek Library, Oak View Room, 1644 N. Broadway.

Major works from the Paley Collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York will be featured in an exhibition opening this fall at the de Young in San Francisco.

To attend the Walnut Creek lecture, register at http://www.wclibrary.org/event/william-paley/