Cheryl Eddy

Crazy sexy cruel

"Girls! Guns! Ghosts!" spotlights Japanese cult studio Shintoho

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FILM Long before VHS demon Sadako glared one eye through a tent of tangled black hair in 1998's Ring (American viewers may switch that to "Samara" and "2002"), another angry, swampy-coiffed dame was doing her best to scare the bejesus out of ticket buyers. The year was 1825, and the kabuki play was called Yotsuya Kaidan. Ghost Story of Yotsuya, the 1959 version of that oft-filmed tale — which contains visual motifs made famous by J-horror — kicks off the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' titillatingly-titled "Girls! Guns! Ghosts! Read more »

Rep Clock

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Schedules are for Wed/8-Tue/14 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ANSWER COALITION 2969 Mission, SF; www.answersf.org. $5-10 (no one turned away for lack of funds). The Battle of Chile: The Power of the People (Guzmán), Wed, 7. Read more »

'Iron Man 3' and everything else: new movies!

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This week: the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival continues (our second week picks here); hippie cult doc The Source Family opens at the Roxie (my interview with the filmmakers, who were able to access vast amounts of archival footage shot by the group itself, here); and Iron Man 3 follows the exploits of Tony Stark, Lord of Winterfell. My review of that low-budget indie that you probably haven't heard of below, plus more! Read more »

Aquarius rising

Free your mind and surrender to 'The Source Family'

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FILM Under the guidance of charismatic, luxuriously-bearded leader Father Yod (once named Jim Baker, later known as YaHoWha), the Source Family operated one of the country's first health food restaurants. They lived in a Hollywood Hills mansion, wore flowing robes, assumed dreamy new names, meditated, and studied Father Yod's custom blend of Eastern and Western philosophy and mysticism.Read more »

SFIFF + Hollywood = your weekend movie plans

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The San Francisco International Film Festival kicked off its 56th year last night; it continues through May 9 at venues around San Francisco and Berkeley. Read my take on standout docs here; Dennis Harvey's appreciation of Finnish cinema here; and short takes by both of us (plus Kimberly Chun) here.

Meanwhile, down in Hollywood, Michael Bay's musclebound latest opens today, along with a wedding comedy starring Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, and always-the-bride Amanda Seyfried. Reviews of both below, along with François Ozon's new film, a martial-arts slo-mo-stravaganza, and, yes, even more. Read more »

Rep Clock

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Schedules are for Wed/24-Tue/30 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $6-10. "Free Form Film Festival presents Transcomic Geometry," Thu, 8. "San Francisco Global Vietnamese Film Festival Opening Night Gala," Fri, 7:30. Other Cinema: "Animation in Action," Sat, 8:30.Read more »

Screening is believing

Five must-see documentaries at the huge San Francisco International Film Festival. Plus: Rare Finnish movies and a ton of SFIFF previews.

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Help fund Goldie winner Jamie Meltzer's latest doc!

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When I last spoke with filmmaker and Stanford assistant professor Jamie Meltzer, it was at the 2012 Guardian Local Outstanding Discovery (a.k.a. Goldie) awards ceremony. I selected him for that honor — the Goldies are meant to recognize up-and-coming artists who are making impressive work but haven't yet gotten widespread recognition — based on the two documentaries of his I'd seen: 2003's cult favorite Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story, and 2012's Informant, about a prickly activist-turned-FBI-informant-turned-Tea-Partier, which premiered at the 2012 San Francisco International Film Festival.

Well, chances are, that widespread recognition is soon to come Meltzer's way. Informant was picked up by Music Box Films for distribution (look for it late summer or early fall in the Bay Area), and his latest project, Freedom Fighters, sounds highly promising: "The film follows three exonerated men from Dallas, with 57 years in prison served between them, as they start their own detective agency to look for innocent people who are still behind bars," Meltzer wrote in an email late last week. "It's a documentary detective film — a documentary noir, if you will." (NPR broadcast a story about the men on April 16; listen here.)

I called him up to learn more, including details on the Kickstarter he just launched to help fund the next phase of shooting.

Read more »

Cruisin', obsessin', and drinkin': new movies!

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Hollywood is clearly bowing down to the power of Tom Cruise this week, opening no other contenders (sorry, Rob Zombie, The Lords of Salem doesn't count) to compete with what's sure to be an Oblivion-ated weekend box office. (And to be honest, the movie's big and dumb, but actually pretty entertaining. My review after the jump.)

Elsewhere, the must-see movie-obsessive doc Room 237 opens at the Roxie (check out my interview with director Rodney Ascher here; he'll be at the Roxie in person this weekend), and Dennis Harvey takes on a pair of imports that actually do fairy-tale adaptations proud: Blancanieves and Let My People Go! Also worth checking out is the latest from Ken Loach, a comedy about crime and whiskey ... what's not to love? My review follows.

Read more »

Rep Clock

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Schedules are for Wed/17-Tue/23 except where noted. Director and year are given when available. Double and triple features marked with a •. All times pm unless otherwise specified.

ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS 992 Valencia, SF; www.atasite.org. $6-10. "We Are Winning, Don't Forget: Short Works by Jean-Gabriel Périot," Fri, 8. Filmmaker in person. "Other Cinema: Optronica," works by sound artist John Davis and others, Sat, 8:30. Read more »