A critical eye on 6 new political films

From Gorbachev to ‘Red Joan’: SFFILM Fest gets geopolitical Our Foreign Correspondent reviews films dealing with nuclear secrets, Perestroika, Syrian refugees, Afghan cinema under Communist rule, and more. https://48hills.org/2019/04/from-gorbachev-to-red-joan-sffilm-fest-gets-geopolitical/ By Reese Erlich – April 5, 2019, 48Hills The 62nd SFFILM Festival kicks off next week, and as usual there’s a plethora of movies to choose … Continue reading

  Is Jazz Dead? | The answer seems to be yes and no

East Bay Monthly, August 2017 By Reese Erlich In recent years, eight Bay Area jazz clubs have folded. Yoshi’s in Oakland, one of the leading jazz venues in the United States, now books less jazz and more blues, R&B, and other popular music. Jazz sales account for about 1 percent of all recordings sold in … Continue reading

Full-on French Noir | The Jean-Pierre Melville retrospective comes to BAMPFA.

East Bay Monthly, July 2017 | By Reese Erlich Back in the 1960s at UC Berkeley, I came to love old American gangster movies. In those days, before DVDs or even VHS tape, anti-Vietnam War activists would raise money by showing old movies in Dwinelle Hall using 16-mm projectors. Thus, a whole new generation came … Continue reading

Does new TV widen political boundaries?

East Bay Monthly, June, 2017 — Berkeley actor Ann Hallinan and friends were excited about making a web series of their own: no Hollywood producers, no boundaries, no censorship. These veterans of the Bay Area theater companies combined efforts to make a web series NEXT about women in the high-tech industry, available on YouTube. Technology … Continue reading

Media Culture Wars: Who’s right in these turbulent culture-clashing times?

By Reese Erlich, East Bay Monthly, June 2017  Politicians and reporters should operate in separate cultures. Journalists should be suspicious of politicos, who in turn, will claim media bias when they don’t like articles written about them. But now Donald Trump has raised this culture clash to a whole new level. Trump says The New … Continue reading


A look at political trends in streaming TV By Reese Erlich The East Bay Monthly, April 2017 The 1950s were once considered the golden age of television. Comedies such as The Honeymooners and Harvey graced the airwaves. Some shows were classics, such as The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents. On the whole, however, the … Continue reading

3 Important books on Mideast crisis

East Bay Monthly, March 2017 —   The East Bay has a strong culture of political resistance. We take pride in our history of opposing U.S. military interventions, from Vietnam to the Middle East. In January, some 100,000 people marched against Trump in Oakland. Now that we have President Donald Trump—I still have trouble writing … Continue reading

Comedy in the Era of Trump: Who gets the last laugh?

East Bay Monthly, Feb. 2017 —   Comedian and solo performer Sandra Tsing Loh says Left Coast theatergoers were in a state of shock after Trump came to power. So at the beginning of her recent Berkeley show, she invited the audience to let out an inner scream against Trump, whom she lovingly refers to … Continue reading

 Julieta and Manchester by the Sea – film reviews

  FROM THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BALCONY The Monthly,  January 2017 By Reese Erlich Two films opening this month in the Bay Area, by some cosmic coincidence, deal with the same theme. One finds a mother trying to unravel the mysterious disappearance of her daughter. The other finds a daughter searching for her mysterious … Continue reading

Cheapskates Unite to Save Environment

 The Original Cheapskate  Thoughts on environmentalism and the shocking election outcome. By Reese Erlich East Bay Monthly, December 2016 As the holiday season gets into gear, many East Bay residents spend far more than they can afford on gifts that end up in closets. So let me put in a word for the much-derided Ebenezer … Continue reading