FILM FESTIVAL After a week of stealth watching at the Vancouver International Film Festival, you wonder about odd things. Such as: what's with the trend of naming movies after post-punk touchstones? Jia Zhangke probably started it with 2002's Unknown Pleasures. In its wake came All Tomorrow's Parties by Jia's cinematographer Yu Lik-wai and the Smiths-inflected twist of Lee Yoon-Ki's terrific This Charming Girl. Read more »
The Film Arts Foundation turns 30 this year, and to celebrate it's throwing a party at the Castro Theatre. One-minute movies are a major element of the FAF's birthday bash — 60-second efforts by some of the organization's filmmaking members will be shown as part of an evening program MCed by Peter Coyote and Nancy Kelly. Read more »
HALLOWEEN BEAUTY The Oakland salon and boutique Down at Lulus is copowered by members of Gravy Train!!! and the Bobbyteens. Seth Bogart of the former and Tina Lucchesi of the latter got together with me recently to first discuss the greatness of Davines hair care products from Italy ("If you have dry hair, they will blow your mind," Lucchesi says), then get down to ghost boobs, hot sweet and sticky treats, and other things Halloween-y.
SFBG What are your best or worst Halloween experiences?
TINA LUCCHESI None are very memorable because I'm always pretty wasted. Read more »
This Halloween's colors aren't orange and black — they're emerald, sapphire, and gold, because ESG is coming to town for the first time. One night after what people in the English village of Hinton St. George call Punkie Night, San Francisco will celebrate Funky Night, as sisters Renee, Marie, and Valerie Scroggins (and Renee's daughter, Nicole Nicholas, and Valerie's daughter, Christelle Polite) get everyone feeling moody, amped to tell off no-good lovers, and ready to keep it moving.
Rip it up and start again? Read more »
Back in the late ‘90s I lived in Portland for a brief spell. At the time, Old Joy writer Jon Raymond was editing the magazine Plazm, and I contributed some articles on subjects such as a band with a robotic drummer. Occasionally, he and I would have lunch or go to a party or a movie, sometimes with Miranda July, who was just beginning to make short films. Read more »
I am beyond tardy with my Vancouver reports. An endless array of office tasks leaves me to merely imagine writing them while (cue violins) riding the bus to or from work.
But an hour or two of "free" time has opened up, and today, as the 25th VIFF winds down, is as good a time as any to talk briefly about this year's Dragons and Tigers Award for Young Cinema. Read more »
This weekend brings a major event: the rare return of Bruce Baillie — whose visions of San Francisco are just as brilliant and uncanny, if not as famous, as Alfred Hitchcock’s — to a movie screen in the city. Contemporary filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the director making the most revelatory commercial features today, cites Baillie as his favorite experimental filmmaker. Though Baillie primarily made short films, the philosophical rivers of beauty that run between their works are deep. Read more »
REVIEW There are different doors through which one can enter dunya dinlemiyor (the world won't listen), a 2005 video installation by British artist Phil Collins. One can chart the many passages that lead from Collins's work to the music of the Smiths, whose vocalist Morrissey chose an image from Andy Warhol's Trash to adorn the cover of the group's second attempt at creating a proper first album. In turn, those doors lead to Warhol's earlier screen tests, which Collins deliberately invokes through dunya dinlemiyor’s song-length portraits of Smiths fans in Istanbul. Read more »
The weekend is a time for perversion and penance, so what better way to begin mine at the Vancouver International Film Festival than with The Pervert's Guide to Cinema, a Slavoj Zizek-guided psychoanalytic tour through the works of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, and others? And what could be a more monastic way to end the weekend than with the devotional cinema of Jacques Rivette's 12-plus hour long Out 1: Noli me tangere? Read more »