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Bay Area filmmakers make right choice with guide dog documentary ‘Pick of the Litter’

Documentary filmmaker Dana Nachman was in the midst of a conference call about “Pick of the Litter,” her revelatory new film on training guide dogs. Suddenly, a bark could be heard in the background. It emanated from her own pet, PC (short for Princess Chaling) who, she believes, got excited by a gardener’s knock at her home in Los Altos.Almost in unison came another bark, this time from co-filmmaker Don Hardy’s mutt, Buddy, greeting a FedEx deliveryman at Hardy’s place in Alameda.But there might be another reason for PC and Buddy making their voices heard. They could be expressing delight hearing their owners talk about the astonishing skills of guide dogs, distant relatives in the canine family tree.

Ruth Wilson of ‘The Affair’ moves on to postwar England in ‘Little Stranger’

Now we know the fate of Ruth Wilson’s revered character Alison on the Showtime melodrama “The Affair.” On an episode earlier this month, she’s beaten up by a duplicitous lover, fatally hitting her head on a statue during a fall. Her attacker scoops her body into his arms and unceremoniously dumps her into the Atlantic Ocean like so much debris. While Alison hangs out with the fishes, Wilson will soon be back on the screen in “The Little Stranger.” She plays Caroline, a fading local aristocrat in postwar England. Bright and ambitious, she’s been summoned back to their decaying family mansion after her brother is seriously wounded in the war.

‘Supergirl’ and ‘Alias’ star Carl Lumbly takes on James Baldwin at Theatrefirst in Berkeley

Carl Lumbly first came across James Baldwin’s writing in the 1970s, when the future actor was in college. He began with Baldwin’s first semiautobiographical novel, “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and has now plowed through almost all of his fiction, nonfiction and essays. “I heard he had written 6,895 pages. I have to assume I missed some of it. I have read probably I would say 6,000 pages,” said Lumbly, a veteran of TV series including “Cagney & Lacey,” “Alias” and his current show, “Supergirl,” in which he plays a Martian. But his passion for years has been writing the one-man show “Jimmy: According to Me ...

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