Former SF resident Dee Simon wrote a very funny, very raunchy book of short stories about his experiences spinning tunes at local strip clubs; it's called Play Something Dancy. Clearly I had to talk to him and get the inside scoop.
San Francisco Bay Guardian Standard first question: how did you become a strip club DJ?
Dee Simon I moved to SF in 2000 to pursue a career in broadcasting. Unable to land a paying radio job, I started hosting Rampage Radio at KUSF 90.3FM and eventually found a job in production at The Industry Standard magazine. The Standard was very successful for about a year and then folded once the crash happened. I was unemployed for about eight months until that fateful day I ran into my weed dealer who hooked me up with an audition at a club on Broadway, which launched my illustrious five-year career as a DJ at clubs across the city.
SFBG When you lived in San Francisco, I used to see you at punk and metal shows all the time. Did you ever get to sneak that kind of music into your playlist?
The newly-renamed CAAMfest (the film festival formerly known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival) opens tonight with its own slice of March Madness: basketball-themed doc Linsanity. For more on that film and other CAAMfest documentaries, go here. You'll find a rundown of films focusing on troubled family ties here.
Also this week: Park Chan-wook's first English-language film, Stoker, opens tomorrow — it's a creepy delight, and I spoke with Park about Hitchcock and more in this interview.
For those so inclined, Hollywood rolls out Halle Berrythriller The Call(make your own "phoning in her performance" joke here) and Steves Carell and Buscemi, plus Jim Carrey, as battling magicians in comedy The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
Read on for short takes on a new horror omnibus, a stirring tale from Romania, the Oscar-nominated War Witch, two music docs (Journey + Snoop Lion), and more. Read more »
FILM None of the characters in Park Chan-wook's English-language debut, Stoker, devour a full plate of still-squirming octopus. (For that, see Park's international breakthrough, 2003's Oldboy; chances are the meal won't be duplicated in the Spike Lee remake due later this year.)Read more »
Cristian Mungiu — one of the main reasons everyone's all excited about the Romanian New Wave — follows up his Palme d'Or winner, 2007's 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, with another stark look at a troubled friendship between two women. Beyond the Hills' Voichita and Alina (Cosmina Stratan and Cristina Flutur, who shared the Best Actress prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival; for his part, Mungiu won Best Screenplay) were BFFs and, we slowly realize, lovers while growing up at a Romanian orphanage.
When they aged out of the facility, the reserved Voichita moved to a rural monastery to become a nun, and the outburst-prone Alina pinballed around, doing a stint as a barmaid in Germany before turning up in Voichita's village, lugging emotional baggage of the jealous, needy, possibly mentally ill, and definitely misunderstood variety. It can't end well for anyone, as all involved — dismissive local doctors, Alina's no-longer-accommodating foster family, the priest (Valeriu Andriuta), and the other nuns — would rather not spend any time or energy caring for a troubled, destitute outsider. Even Voichita can only look on helplessly as an exorcism, a brutal and cruel procedure, is decided upon as Alina's last, best hope.
Based on a real 2005 incident in Moldavia, Mungiu's unsettling film is a masterpiece of exquisitely composed shots, harsh themes, and naturalistic performances. I conducted the following email interview with Mungiu ahead of Beyond the Hills' Fri/15 Bay Area release.
Literally something for everyone this week: pregnant women, environmentalists, Mumia supporters, World War II buffs, Latin American history buffs, Abbas Kiarostami fan club members, German and French-film devotees, and anyone who's ever dreamed of going over the rainbow (in 3D). I hope you don't sleep much because this weekend is jammed up with new flicks.
Oh, gawd. Another movie awards show? Ain't we done with the tired old titles of 2012? MTV's just announced its nominees for the 2013 MTV Movie Awards, an all-style-and-no-substance annual event that, HOLD UP, may actually be worth watching this year (airdate is April 14).
FILM Anytime you start taking about a robot uprising, people are going to listen — even if you mean it in a theoretical sense, not in a Cyberdyne Systems sense. Local filmmaker Doug Wolens (he made 2000's Butterfly, about activist Julia Hill) tackles artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, conscious machines, and, yes, science fiction in his new doc The Singularity. I spoke with him recently about all of the above.
San Francisco Bay Guardian What is the singularity?Read more »