FILM Has the landfill, junkyard, and lowly dumpster supplanted the factory as a site of documentary interest and even inspiration? Yerba Buena Center for the Arts features two 2010 docs this week to add to the growing list of recent films centering on scavenging, gleaning, dumpster diving, trash humping, and scrapping — activities illustrating resourcefulness in the shadow of colossal waste.Read more »
Actor Michael Rapaport probably didn't set out to make a hip-hop Metallica: Some Kind of Monster (2004), but that's pretty much where his portrait of A Tribe Called Quest ends up. The first half of Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest is predictably worshipful, slathering on low angles and slow motion to cover mediocre live shows. More effectively, Rapaport traces the Queens group's brief incubation period and subsequent breakthroughs in what would later be called alternative or, more obnoxiously, conscious hip-hop. Read more »
The drab realism of Hong Sang-soo’s films is more testing apparatus than window. His romantic narratives foreground structural operations (doublings, loops, intersections) in a gamely way; a set template of characters and situations also contributes to the impression of his films as moral prisms.
Oki’s Movie, one of only three movies the South Korean auteur has released in the last two years, is split into four sections of perplexing relation, but which together establish a lucid distance from a conventional love triangle. Doubters look upon Hong’s prodigious output as evidence of artistic complacency, while admirers point to the centrality of revision in his work (it’s the process by which he peels the onion of art in life and life in art). What sometimes gets lost in the discussion is that Hong’s narratives still have a delightful capacity to surprise. Oki’s Movie looks like it was shot fast and cheap, but its fluid shifts in perspective and rueful examination of the storytelling impulse are very fine indeed.
There is such a thing as festival fatigue, but you'd do well to forget it with the ambitious programs ruling the 16th Street corridor this weekend. The Roxie launches Elliot Lavine's latest dive into film noir's deep end, while down at the Victoria San Francisco Cinematheque caps its spring season with the second annual Crossroads festival, a veritable bonanza of experimental cinema. I haven't seen many of the 50-odd works being shown, but the quality of the ones I have makes me think that I wouldn't trade Crossroads for Cannes.Read more »