FILM I had a lot of hope for Rad. Every month in BMX Actionthere'd be a new scrap of news about some top pro who was going to ride in the movie, including my personal favorite racer, "Hollywood" Mike Miranda. When photos of the Helltrack — site of the film's climactic race — came out, you could lean your ear to the ground and hear the hearts of BMX groms beat just a little faster.Read more »
FILM I was a vegetarian for 18 years more than half my life. But after quite a bit of soul-searching (and one incredibly triumphant taste of bacon), I recently realized that 18 years was plenty long enough. The honest truth is that meat is delicious, and I enjoy the hell out of eating it.
Coincidentally (or not), the Donner Party included several Eddys. I have no proof that I'm related to the ill-fated pioneers, but I feel a certain kinship nonetheless. They were the ultimate carnivores, after all. Read more »
If gnashing guitars, thundering drums, and growling vocals are suddenly silenced, will faces still find places to melt? It's been five months since Pound-SF closed, after reportedly being evicted by the San Francisco Port Authority. (As early as May 2006, owner Tony Carracci spoke at a San Francisco Entertainment Commission meeting about his frustration at not being able to obtain a long-term lease for the space.) The all-ages club, tucked into San Francisco's industrial bayside, hosted a large portion of the city's metal shows during its five-year lifespan. Read more »
THE ORIGINAL It starts as a joke, but it rarely ends well. You pick up a piece of slang to make fun of it and then, at some point far too late down the line, realize you are physically incapable of putting it down. Read more »
Aside from one upbeat depiction of Hawaii's only all-male hula school (Na Kamalei: The Men of Hula), the nominees in the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival's documentary competition are nearly as similar in execution as they are in theme. Immigration tales, filmed in high-definition video from a first-person perspective, abound. Though homelands (Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, and Korea) differ, there's remarkable commonality among the subjects, who display the kind of internal scars only great suffering can inflict. Read more »
Director and cowriter Bong Joon-ho insists that The Host is not really anti-American, and I'd agree. More accurately, it offers an incisive take on US foreign policy, echoing 2004's double punch of Fahrenheit 9/11 and Team America: World Police. The key difference is that The Host isn't homegrown, so it's not dabbling in self-satire. Read more »
At the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival blissfully far from any rivers concealing flesh-eating aquatic life forms I spoke (through a translator) with Bong Joon-ho, director and cowriter of The Host.
SFBG I've read that you make films you yourself want to see. Are you a fan of monster movies, and have you always been?
BONG JOON-HO I'm a fan of several monster films, but I was not necessarily fascinated exclusively by them. Read more »
Sitting in the theater the other night, it was with both great relief and great sadness that I realized I felt zero obligation to work out what was going on in David Lynch's Inland Empire. The movie practically dares you to be stupid enough to try, so I didn't. At first all I felt was the relief -- what a pleasure to let the movie's New Orleans funeral procession of words, sounds, images, and performances roll along without having to ask the left side of my brain to do anything. Read more »
First things fuckin' first: I know I'm not the only film fan who's still pissed about Crash winning over Brokeback Mountain in 2006's Best Picture race. In fact, let's change the subject before I punch the nearest preachy ensemble drama (look out, Babel!). Cinemaniacs actually have a bigger problem this year, with the prospect of an Academy Awards ceremony chockablock with predetermined winners. Read more »
Tonight's episode of ABC's Wife Swap pits Iowa farm family the Haigwoods (apocalypse-fixated and obsessed with raw food, they even eat raw meat; the kids are home-schooled and spend all day working on the farm; they don't clean their home because they think germs are helpful -- and that manure can cure cancer) and San Francisco sophisticates the Hess-Webbs (neat freaks who eat out several times a week and put great emphasis on their clothing and appearance).
Naturally, the sparks (essential in Wife Swap, which tee Read more »