Dennis Harvey

Highbrow-beaten

The King's Speech tempts Oscar

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More than child's play

What's the matter with the grimly fiendish stage treatment of Coraline?

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Cash and Carrey

Gay romantic comedy I Love You Phillip Morris inches toward the mainstream

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM You had to forgive most of the gay press for getting a little too excited over Brokeback Mountain (2005). Oh, no doubt it's a great movie, or that the Oscar going to the fraudulent Crash (2004) said less about that film's virtues than a skittishness that other movie stirred. But its excellence and commercial success induced widespread bouts of wishful thinking in the form of announcing new trends that never came to pass.Read more »

Ho-ho-horror

YBCA offers up a bloody cinematic antidote to holiday smarm

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM There is probably nowhere in the Christian-majority world where it's as OK to wax hum-buggy about Christmas and all it entails as San Francisco. Allergies to carols (admit it, they're horrible), frantically enabled shopaholicism, and forced contact with those people you moved here to get away from are all tolerated, even encouraged here.Read more »

Mädchen gone wild

Schoolgirl Report DVD series revives salacious '70s German sexploitation

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Every nation had its distinct cinematic response to the sexual revolution of the 1960s and '70s. Germany's was characteristic in offering the pretense of order, "scientific" educational value, and encouraging a healthy collective morality — even if all this was usually mere gloss over the usual, more marketable qualities of copious T&A.Read more »

Hungary for more

The Roxie offers a rare Kornél Mundruczó double feature

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM In recent years, on the film festival circuit at least, it seems like everything Romania puts out is gold — not that it puts out more than a handful of features per year. This vogue has overshadowed trends elsewhere in the region, notably neighbor Hungary, whose more richly historied, prolific film industry has produced some very interesting work of late. (On a less personalized level, its relatively pristine period architecture and low overhead draw a lot of foreign film shoots — Budapest subbing for Victorian Read more »

Oi yay!

Destroy All Movies!!! traces punks -- and their general like -- on film

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MOVIES WITH MOHAWKS Punk and the movies met when the former was very young. When punk eventually grew up, the movies still insisted on viewing it as a child. Their union, nowadays perverted by mutual materialistic bloat, has been rather like an arranged marriage: long-lasting, with moments of real understanding, but fundamentally fraudulent.Read more »

Rock rolled

Danny Boyle's latest (127 Hours starring James Franco) is, as always, a change of pace

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Danny Boyle is a director whose projects seem chosen largely to have nothing in common with anything he's done before. Mid-career at 54, he's been good at a lot of things. But what, exactly, is his ideal fit?Read more »

The Good Shepard

The Punk'd prodigy takes another big-screen stab in The Freebie

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Noe thanks

Enter the Void is polarizing — and pretentious

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Gaspar Noé wants to share. Yet after three features, it's still unclear whether what he's got on his mind is worth sharing, let alone anywhere near as urgent as his need to share it.Read more »