.Arts & Culture | Staff Picks

The Stanford Theatre keeps the golden age of Hollywood alive on the big screen.

Best Place to See
a Classic Movie

Stanford Theatre
221 University Ave., Palo Alto; 650.324.3700. The 85-year-old Stanford Theatre, and the accompanying gallery of classic film posters, is the next best thing to a time machine. It’s a beautifully restored auditorium operated by one of the world’s most important nonprofit film-restoration foundations. The fare is almost always family, and the concessions have 1955 prices: it’s unique for a classy date, or a solitary session of brooding over the essence rare of the Hollywood studio system.

Best Local Cartoonist

Peter S. Conrad
Paperdummy.com. Sunnyvale artist Conrad innovatively packages his semiautobiographical cartoons in a number of shapes. One brilliant device from a few years back: a Rubik’s cube covered with his panels that allowed the reader to twist up his own narrative. This year, it was a minicomic folded into the plastic case of a cassette tape. In Attempted Not Known and in his most recent collection, Paper Dummy, Conrad transcends the normal “daily foibles” grist of the cartoonist being a husband and father; instead, as he has for years, he finds haikulike moments of insight, delicacy and humor.

Best Movie Made in the South Bay

Harold and Maude (1971)
The Michael Cera of his day, Bud Cort is a wealthy boy/man half in love with easeful death, courting the peace activist Maude (Ruth Gordon). As modern, as unstoppable and as often as lethal a fixed-wheeled bike, this anti-war comedy has a gentle Zen that lends itself to whatever counterculture is around. It also has a scad of local locations, including the St. Thomas Aquinas Church in downtown Palo Alto and the Dumbarton Bridge.

Best Murals in a Public Building

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