Sam Stander

The man, the myth, the legend

Grant Morrison explores better living through comics in Supergods

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LIT To comics cognoscenti, Grant Morrison is something of a superhero himself. He is the scribe behind such subversions of comics convention as the avant-garde super team adventures of Doom Patrol and the confoundingly, sinisterly cartoonish Seaguy. But he's also taken on the heavy hitters, from Batman to the X-Men, winning new fans and pissing off purists in the process.Read more »

Edgar Wright vs. the World

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Go here to read Sam Stander's review of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in this week's Guardian. What follows is Stander's complete interview with director Edgar Wright.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: What is your favorite visual effect or sight gag in all of Scott Pilgrim?

Edgar Wright: Oh my god. There’s so much … I probably have to pick, off the top of my head, I like watching the twins scene because it was only very recently finished, so I’d have to pick that.
 
SFBG: How did you originally get involved in adapting Scott Pilgrim?

EW: I was given the book six years ago, when the first volume came out, by … the producers who had kind of leapt on the rights to it before it was even in bookstores. And I really loved the book, and I thought it would be a really interesting thing to try and adapt. At that point there was only the one book. [We] began a five-year process of working on it as [author Bryan Lee O'Malley] continued to develop the books, so the development of the film and the books kind of went in tandem in places. So it’s kind of been, six years ago I was given the book, and now the final book just was released, and the film is coming out, too. Read more »

Geek love

Edgar Wright brings a cult comic to the big screen

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Coilhouse rules

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Founded by three brilliant renaissance women with roots in L.A. and the Bay, the alt-everything institution known as Coilhouse exists both as a fantastic groupblog and a quasi-quarterly magazine. According to the mission statement on their website, “Coilhouse is a love letter to alternative culture, written in an era when alternative culture no longer exists.” They cover everything from fashion to visual art to film to comics, with a wealth of youtube clips and beautiful images in all their posts. These ladies — Zoetica Ebb, Meredith Yayanos, and Nadya Lev — and their various collaborators are down with Klaus Nomi and at home with esoteric Russian literature, and more than happy to share with you what made them weird. Read more »

The king is dead, love live SF Theater Pub

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SF Theater Pub’s one-night-only presentation of Alfred Jarry’s bawdy classic Ubu Roi this past Monday felt like nothing so much as a group of dedicated friends putting on a show because they thought it just might turn out awesome. The staged reading took place at SF lounge Café Royale, a pleasant venue with couches and balcony seats as well as standing room that rendered the production all the more intimate. Read more »

Against nostalgia

The spirit mediums of "Hauntology" carefully conjure the living presence of the past

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Seasick cinema

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An inspired idea for a film series if ever there was one — the SF Maritime National Historical Park is showing nautically themed films onboard the ferryboat Eureka at Hyde Street Pier. They began last month with 2003’s Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, and they’re picking up Thurs/15 with Lifeboat (1944), Alfred Hitchcock’s production of a John Steinbeck story, starring Tallulah Bankhead. Next month, step aboard the Eureka for Jaws (1975) — that is, if they don’t end up needing a bigger boat. Teasers and show info after the jump: Read more »

Docs! More Another Hole in the Head reviews

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More bloodthirsty coverage of the San Francisco IndieFest's horror-fest offshoot, Another Hole in the Head, in this week's Guardian.

Another Hole in the Head’s two documentary offerings concern themselves with the distinctly American roots of two related strains of genre filmmaking. Elijah Drenner’s American Grindhouse traces the history of exploitation film, with a particular focus on the grindhouse theater as a cultural institution. Narrator Robert Forster recounts the tendency of even the earliest films to cater to prurient interests, and how the establishment and eventual dissolution of the Motion Picture Production Code stimulated the development of exploitation subgenres. The featured film clips are impeccably selected, mixing titillation and shock with a healthy sense of humor about the over-the-top absurdity of films like Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975). Surprisingly candid interviews with gore luminary Herschell Gordon Lewis and blaxploitation director Larry Cohen prevent the film from taking on a too-self-important tone — these folks knew they were making b-pictures, and were damn proud of it. One of the most charming aspects of the documentary is the juxtaposition of different attitudes, wherein one interviewee will sing the praises of a classic, followed in quick succession by another talking head declaring it to be trash. It feels like John Landis gets the most screen time of any subject, but his charisma as well as the breadth of his oeuvre make it seem appropriate.

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Splattergories

Another Hole in the Head Fest bleeds cultural eclecticism.

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FILM FESTIVAL Now in its seventh year, San Francisco's Another Hole in the Head Film Festival aims to draw fans of fantastical and shocking cinema into the Roxie and Viz theaters for its slate of 32 films. Spanning horror, science fiction, and fantasy, Hole Head features films from Singapore to Serbia, including 10 flicks from Japan.Read more »

Fisher-priced cinema that isn't Pixelvision at SFMOMA

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This week SFMOMA inaugurates a film series called “A Portrait of the Artist, or Fisher-Inspired Films” with Dreams That Money Can Buy (1946), a surrealist collaboration directed by Hans Richter and featuring contributions by Max Ernst, Man Ray, and others. The series is constructed around the collection of Doris and Donald Fisher, featuring cinematic work by artists including Andy Warhol and Agnes Martin. Read more »