Cheryl Eddy

Brutal fucking movie

An exquisite corpse review of Inland Empire

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A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course. And no one can talk to a corpse, of course. Unless, of course, that corpse is brought to you by the famous Mr. David Lynch. Read more »

Your life is calling

IndieFest films investigate senses of place -- earthly, cosmic, and otherwise
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cheryl@sfbg.com

Just outside Las Vegas sits a solitary phone booth, as isolated as the restaurant at the end of the universe. Despite its unlikely location, it's a magnet for lost souls; they appear at odd hours to pounce on the ringing receiver and chat with Greta (Shani Wallis), a mysterious, husky-voiced dispenser of advice and moral support. Read more »

Abandoned planet

Werner Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder trips out
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cheryl@sfbg.com

Read Kimberly Chun's interview with Werner Herzog here.

I thought for sure the next Werner Herzog movie I'd be writing about would be Rescue Dawn, a harrowing POW drama (and a remake of his 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly) due out in late March. Read more »

The devil wears Nolan Miller

Or, why we love That Girl and Phil
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TRASH TALKING BIO, TAKE ONE There are so many exquisite moments in steward Desmond Atholl's tell-all that tells all. This ain't no roman à clef, in other words; it's a cutting, richly detailed, tension-filled diary of overseeing the Marlo Thomas–Phil Donahue household. Neither my favorite chapter title ("Free to Be ... Read more »

Live free or die hard

Free to Be ... You and Me Invitational
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KIDS' TV GONE WILD There's a scene in Half Nelson — a top contender for most depressing scene in a movie loaded with 'em — in which Dan, Ryan Gosling's drugged-out high school teacher, trudges home for a meal with his post-hippie parents. As the evening shuffles into boozy awkwardness, his mom throws Free to Be ... You and Me on the hi-fi, and the sounds of "It's All Right to Cry" fill the house. It's the perfect choice for so many reasons; for Dan, a product of the 1970s, any song off that iconic '72 album would signal bittersweet nostalgia. Read more »

We accept you -- one of us!

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I've been at the Guardian awhile -- it'll be eight years next month, in fact. I started as a fresh-faced, eager intern, and since 1999 I've met many other fresh-faced, eager interns, intent on careers in media or academics or giraffe-tending (for real! If you're out there, intern-who-reviewed-movies-but-was-also-a-zookeeper, email me and let me know how you're doing.) But I've only known a few who were determined to segue from film writer to filmmaker -- and one of 'em was Dina Gachman, who just finished her graduate thesis film at USC.

Surreal genius

Kaspar Hauser's mighty wind
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Are Kasper Hauser's members the funniest people in San Francisco? Just try not busting a gut over the sketch troupe's new SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane, a takeoff on the SkyMall catalogs you find on airplanes. An uncanny takeoff. Read more »

NOISE: "Tennessee, you've been good to me"

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I first encounted Mindy Smith on VH-1 Country, of all places -- it was a video for her cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" (with the divine Ms. P providing backing vocals), which matched Smith's unfussy, dulcet voice with a mournful, almost eerie arrangement. Read more »

Mall-ancholy

Jem Cohen's Chain examines consumers and the consumed
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cheryl@sfbg.com

The world is chained to chains in Jem Cohen's Chain, a sort-of documentary that also weaves two narratives into its study of global economics. Hard-faced young squatter Amanda (musician Mira Billotte of White Magic) spends monotonous days haunting the nearest shopping center, a place so generic it could be positively anywhere, including the suburban hell of George A. Romero's darkest nightmares. Read more »

The sounds of Berlin and Beyond

Monks and Einsturzende Neubauten docs prick up Germanophile ears at this year's film fest.
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Einstürzende Neubauten (Danielle de Picciotto, Germany, 2006). Perhaps appropriately, April Fool's Day 1980 marked the first appearance of Einstürzende Neubauten, at the Moon Club in Berlin. After taking the stage frontperson Christian Emmerich (better known as Blixa Bargeld) and percussionist Andrew Chudy (N.U. Unruh), plus others, proceeded to bemuse their audience with a Dadaesque display of hammers banging on metal sheets mixed with accompanying electronic sound effects. Read more »