Textually Yours

and another film festival

Posted in Film, Independent Filmmaking, phillum, san francisco by arpitaincuba on October 21, 2009

.holding it together. will be screening at the 3rd i film festival in November in San Francisco.


Of poetry and performances

Posted in admiration, fartsy, Film, Hampshire College, Literature, phillum, poetry, san francisco, Uncategorized by arpitaincuba on July 26, 2009

Yesterday, I attended the San Francisco International Poetry Festival at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and was transported back in time to Amherst, MA where I had first experienced that undiluted pleasure of poetry in performance. I had thought I had moved away from poetry because I had stopped performing it infront of an audience but yesterday watching the poet Ziba Karbassi helped me realize how I had used performed poetry in every film that I have made  and it was the throw of the voice and the poignancy of the words that created the magic for my images. What a serendipitous moment for an artist! I realized how I make films for poetry–so that text as a visual element and poetry as performance consummate on screen to create the magic of cinema!

I am going to CalArts this fall to creat many more  such films but I will talk about that later.

I want to use this post to introduce to you three poets that moved me greatly last night.

First was Ziba Karbassi.

Ziba Karbassi at the Iranian Literary Arts Festival

Ziba Karbassi at the Iranian Literary Arts Festival

Her poem,Love is lemony, was performed by her in farsi. The eroticism of the poem manifested itself through the spoken short sudden words that mimiced the breathlessness of lovemaking and the languidness of her voice that reminded one of gentle yet all encompassing love.

Here is a youtube link of a translator reading her poem


Film Screening

Posted in Film, Independent Filmmaking, phillum, san francisco, women by arpitaincuba on May 15, 2009

womanbellyLast night my film screened at the Bay Area Women in Film and Media Film Festival in San Francisco.

Lunafest also contacted to and inquired if they can screen .holding it together. in their film festival.

The ball has started rolling!

Bike to work 2009

Posted in bike, san francisco by arpitaincuba on May 14, 2009

Bike to work banner from the websiteEveryday I’m too asleep to even appreciate the community that has build up in the bike car of the Caltrain. I see the same mixed heritage hip-hop dude with his cool addidas shoes, the same Palo Alto bound woman, the same Mountain View bound  Marketing  guy, and the same Silicon Valley nerd twich a day and never acknowledge them. However, today was different.

Today we all choose not to stop to get our free bag, coffee cake and coupons celebrating Bike to Work Day 2009 because we wanted to get on that Southbound Caltrain only to find out on the 22nd st stop that the train will be delayed for 50 minutes at Hillsdale.

This is the 3rd time in the past two weeks that we have been stuck on the train because there was another Caltrain “incident.” So we bitched Caltrain out, we heartlessly hated on this “incident,” and in our commiserating process we all remarked at how comforting it was to see the same faces twice a day on this train–to have a community.

I know its corny but I’m feeling fuzzy and warm for all my Caltrain biker friends!

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My city in the gay bay :)

Posted in san francisco by arpitaincuba on February 11, 2009
A map of San Francisco by JesseB

A map of San Francisco by JesseB

Today, I got lost again in the city–and loved it.

In the past couple of months almost everyone I know has visited me, and I rediscovered San Francisco during every expedition of showing them around. When P was around, I marvelled at the pantless party in the Castro, and with C, I photograhped every graffiti-ed wall in the Mission.

The illustration above is by a SF resident. He has brilliantly mapped the city with a remarkable inter-play between text and space.

So, now when I talk about the city, I’m always going to reference this textual map.

A Gastronomical Exploration of the Bay

Posted in food, san francisco by arpitaincuba on February 10, 2009


Its been more than half a year living in San Francisco and this post was long due.

It has been established that the Bay Area is a gastronomical paradise.  The Big East SF lists a hundred places I need to eat at before I die. I’m happy to report that from the list I have eaten at/tried the following:

11. Pork sugo with pappardelle at Delfina

21. Pizza margherita at Pizzeria Delfina

25. Loaf of bread straight out of the oven at Tartine (bonus: sliced while still warm and slathered with Brillat- Savarin cheese from Bi-Rite, down the block)

28. A Gibraltar at Blue Bottle Café

35. Salted-caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery

45. Galapagos cocktail at Absinthe

64. Paper masala dosa at Dosa

92. Bacon-wrapped hot dog from a cart in the Mission (preferably when you’re drunk)


Below  is Arpita’s stellar list of places to eat in the Bay Area:

1. Gynormous sized Chola Bhatura from Viks Chaat Cafe, Berkeley

2. Hookah and the hummous affair at Kan Zaman, Upper Haight, SF

3. A Caribbean brunch at our local Primo Patio, Soma, SF

4. Raw Honeycomb, blue cheese, and fresh fruit platter at Samovar Lounge in Castro, and Buena Yerba, SF

5. Super Quesadilla at Cancun Taqueria in the Mission

6. Pad Thai at Koh Samui and The Monkey, Soma, SF

7. Warm biscuits and gravy at Absinthe, Hayes Valley, SF

8. Ham Crepe at Chez Mama, Potrero Hill, SF

9. Brunch at Frjtz Mission, SF

10. Croquetas at Picaro and Ramblas in the Mission, SF

11. Bolani Kachalu (our own aloo ka parantha but Afghani style) Salang Pass, Fremont

12. Kathi roll at Amber Cafe, Mountain View

13. Tomato Bisque at Brickhouse, Soma SF

14. Pupusas at El Zocalo, Mission, SF

15. Meatball Ravioli at Calzones in North Beach, SF

16. Mu Shu Chicken at Nanking, Chinatown SF

17. Non-vegetarian platter at Maharani Restaurant, Van Ness, SF

18. Dungeness Crab Cake at Cliff House, SF

19. Rainbow Salad at Burma Superstar,SF

20. Seafood basquaise in a spicy roasted red pepper & tomato sauce at Fringale, Soma SF

21. Lentil Meatloaf at  Herbivore, Mission, SF

22. Gruyere and Evelyn’s Cake at Phillipe Patisserie , Soma SF

23. Best Lamb Tagine and Moroccan Mint Tea in the Bay is at Aicha on Post St, SF

24. Pistachio donut at Four Barrells in the Mission, SF

25. Veggie Omellete at Fattoush, in Noe Valley

26. The Cod at Tokyo Go Go (Expensive but delish)

27. Mango Mojito at El Jardin in San Jose

28.  Veggie plate at the Mediterranean Grill in Mountain View

29. Arepas at Pomelo in the Noe Valley

30. Pisco at La  Mar at Embarcadero

31. French toast at Zumi Cafe in Castro

To be continued, my fellow culinary connoisseurs.

The gulabi gang and this hullaballoo

Posted in admiration, frustration, India, san francisco, women by arpitaincuba on January 22, 2009

a still from a film about the Gulabi Gang

a still from a film about the Gulabi Gang

hot PINK

Celebrated as the “bad-ass sari vigilantes of bumble-fuck India,” the Gulabi Gang is a fierce women’s group belonging to the lowest socio-economic strata of rural Uttar Pradesh who have taken up lathis(a cane that is traditionally a symbol of self-defence) to fight against female exploitation, unemployment, government corruption, male alcoholism, and crime. No doubt this is a group that deserves all the admiration for their efforts in community created solutions and resistance in action. However, I’m more concerned about how they might get exploited as “commodities of cool” here. When I observe the youth culture in the urban landscape of San Francisco, I notice that resistance is consumed more often as a fashion commdity.Images of Che Guevara and Chair Mao on Urban Outfitters shirts, and the keffiyeh around every pale necked hipster is an evidence of the appropriation of social justice figures

As my friend, Rosie right fully said–appropriation is the king to the wannabe intellectuals in United States. Appropriation is their intellectual capitalism.

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