Weekend Preview: Aphrodisiac Dinner Parties To Titanic Museum Exhibits
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February 9, 2012 1:39 p.m.
Barbarella Fokos, NBC Universal Correspondant and writer at the San Diego Reader
Maya Kroth, editor of "Where San Diego" and "Performance"
CAVANAUGH: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen Cavanaugh. Artifacts from the titanic, women on the verge of a horror breakdown, uplifting stories from Africa, and carved ducks. You pick your pleasure on this edition of the weekend preview. I'd like to introduce my guests. Maya Kroth.
KROTH: Hello, Maya.
CAVANAUGH: And Barbarella is here. NBC universal correspondent, and writer at San Diego read are. Welcome back.
BARBARELLA: It's great to be here.
CAVANAUGH: A fascinating exhibit at the San Diego natural history museum, the Titanic's one hundredth anniversary.
KROTH: It's 100 years since the titanic sank. And the movie is coming out again in 3D. But this exhibition, it features about 200 artifacts from the more than five thousand that have been discovered from the wreckage since it was found in 19852.5 miles under the Atlantic. And it's been to Paris and London and Singapore, and now San Diego.
CAVANAUGH: A lot of exhibits like this have interactive elements. Is that part of this as well?
KROTH: In a sense, the whole exhibition is interactive. You're handed a boarding pass. When you enter the exhibition, it tells you your name and your age, and the reason you were traveling on the titanic. Whether you were first class or steerage, and your reason for taking the journey, and at the end of the exhibition, there's a list of survivors versus those who sank with the ship, and you get to find out whether or not your character survived.
CAVANAUGH: Oh! Now, these are real artifacts from the titanic.
KROTH: It is incredible the kinds of things that survived 88 years on the bottom of the ocean. Postcard, pieces of paper, currency, a man's jacket, it's just in amazing condition. A little jar of cold cream that still has cream in it after 90 years. It's incredible the kinds of things that have held up.
CAVANAUGH: It sounds sad. Is there a bittersweet element to this?
KROTH: It is. There's definitely some -- because it's so focused on the individual people's stories, and I definitely sighed a lot. It was hard to get through it. But there are some uplifting stories as well about the survivors.
CAVANAUGH: How long will the exhibition be running?
KROTH: It starts a seven-month stint this weekend.
KROTH: So just a week after Labor Day.
CAVANAUGH: Are tickets pricey?
KROTH: A little more than the usual natural history museum price. $27 for adults. Then there's discounts for seniors, groups, kids.
BARBARELLA: My favorite thing about it was the sound. Every room sounded different. So there'd be a restaurant that was playing the music of the time, and in another room, you could almost hear the ship and the water. And this may be your last chance to see it because after this, the three different museums in the country, it's going to be sold as one collection. And you may never get to see it again.
CAVANAUGH: That's fascinating. Well, something to make you scream, the horrible imaginings film festival is celebrating women in horror month!
BARBARELLA: That's what it sounds like. It features women in horror, but it's part of the viscera film festival, which is a nonprofit organization set up to expand opportunities for female genre actors from acting to writing to producing, and this is their celebration of women in the genre of horror.
CAVANAUGH: Are film makers going to be present?
BARBARELLA: The actual event, Jessica Cameron, who's in a lot of campy horror movies, she's going to be hosting a film program. Before that, there's going to be a theatrical presentation of monologues. Will then it's going to go to this intermission, and then the flicks.
CAVANAUGH: It's being called an international film festival. What kitchens are represented?
BARBARELLA: Scotland, Venezuela, England, Portugal, France. And the one out of Scotland is a funny, comedy animation. It's not just slasher films.
CAVANAUGH: Will there be any other art than just film at this festival? There's a theatre that you mentioned, right?
TINKSY: Right, it'll be the live theatre.
CAVANAUGH: O theatre first, film second, and it takes place at tenth avenue theatre and art center downtown. Of the women in horror film festival is Saturday night.
BARBARELLA: Where's the scream?
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: After this segment is over, we'll all scream. What kind of a film is this?
KROTH: Decidedly less horrible. It's a film that's based on a true story. It's not a documentary, but it's based on a true story of a veteran Kenyan freedom fighter, who after Kenya has gotten its independence from Britain, he decides to go back to school at the age of 84. So he is the first grader.
CAVANAUGH: He is. The 84 year-old is the first grader. The first grader is showing at the museum of photographic art. What other movies are being shown?
KROTH: It's a festival that's focused on the theme of aging, which doesn't really sound like the sexiest topic. But the museum says they've gotten a huge response and the screenings fill up very quickly. So in addition to the first grader, next month there will be a film about a woman who uses poetry to cope with an Alzheimer's diagnosis. Harold and Maud, classic, the triplets of Bellevue, and the first indie film to come out of Jordan, and it won lots of awards at sun dance when it came out years ago.
CAVANAUGH: Is the first grader all right for first graders?
KROTH: Yeah, I think it is. It's always fun to talk about this topic with kids. Remember what you thought was old when you were 6? So it could be an interesting x-ray for parents to talk about these things with kids.
CAVANAUGH: The California open wildlife art festival in liberty station. What kind of art?
BARBARELLA: Mostly -- it's all kinds of art. Paintings, carvings, sculptures, but mostly decoys am it's amazing how life-like. You know this big water area in the center of the promenade there? And there are these guys out there, and there's basically a contest to float your decoys, which look most realistic, and I thought they were birds in the water.
[ LAUGHTER ]
BARBARELLA: Look at the birds! That ONE'S not moving. And of course, I sat there and watched it.
[ LAUGHTER ]
CAVANAUGH: So these are -- was I right in saying that they're duct sculptures?
BARBARELLA: They really are, but they're not just sculptures because they have to float right, they have to be realistic. It's beyond art. There's so much technical aspect to it. But they paint them, cav them, everything.
MAUREEN CAVANAUGH: The event is hosted by the Pacific southwest wildlife arts. What is that group?
BARBARELLA: They do a lot of outreach programs and try to educate and enrich the community through their seminars and workshops. At the event last year, they had local rescue organizations with real birds. So I met an owl and a hawk, and they care about the wildlife also.
CAVANAUGH: This is much bigger than I would have realized it is. And is any of the art actually for sale?
BARBARELLA: Yes. And inside, their exhibitors lined up. One woman, she has no arms, and she does these amazing paintings using her mouth to hold the brush. Her work is for sale, and photography is for sale, plus they also sell equipment you'd like to carve and/or fish. They have all kinds of things!
CAVANAUGH: Amazing. It's a whole world I'm not familiar with. It opens Saturday at the NTC promenade in liberty station. We're going to have to power through our remaining events. The cellar door. This is a unique dinner experience.
KROTH: It's a restaurant that's set up in a tiny apartment in normal heights. This couple Gary and Logan invite people for these once a month dinners. It's a different theme, different people every time, an underground pop-up supper club.
CAVANAUGH: It's not only a unique dinner, and really good food experience, but it's a social experience as well.
KROTH: It is. That was the thing they was most nervous about. What I'm worried about is sitting down to dinner with eight strangers. Who are these people going to be? But it was a really fascinating experience. Everybody there was interesting, everybody was really into food, and it's fun to get out there and make conversation with new people.
CAVANAUGH: How do you get chosen to be one of the guests?
KROTH: We were joking that you have to be glued to your e-mail when they send out the notices.
BARBARELLA: They sellout in five minutes.
KROTH: So you have to get on their mailing list, first of all, and then I have to just be sharp, keep your eyes on your e-mail.
CAVANAUGH: And they are doing something collaborative for Valentine's day; is that right?
KROTH: Yeah, it's not a supper at their apartment, but it is a cooking class on aphrodisiac foods.
CAVANAUGH: See if you can get to the next dinner at the cellar door, and visit their Facebook page. Now, an actual festival is taking place at Ken cinema this weekend, and it's all about music and Africa:
BARBARELLA: It's from Africa to America, a journey in music, four acts, live music acts. Rhythm 've the lost boys, the boohoos. They're basically going to trace the origins of music, beginning in Africa from tribal beats to the blues and jazz and modern rap in America.
BARBARELLA: And it will be narrated so you can understand the progression.
CAVANAUGH: And remind us about the Sudan ease lost boys
BARBARELLA: In the 1980s, when their villages were attacked in Sudan, they had to flee. And they fled to Ethiopia, just to have to flee again. And these are the survivors of that. There are about 100 who live here in San Diego.
CAVANAUGH: So this is a fund raiser for them. Where can people go to buy tickets?
BARBARELLA: Online is WWW.dreamtobemore.org.
CAVANAUGH: It's Sunday afternoon at landmark Ken cinema. Thank you both.
KROTH: Thanks Maureen.
BARBARELLA: Thank you.