Film

Things that make you go hmmm: new movies!

|
(0)

Better order your popcorn with a side of open-mindedness this week, what with To the Wonder (meh) and Upstream Color (woo!) launching themselves at audiences. Less experimental types can settle for ensemble drama Disconnect or Scary Movie 5, the latest in the pop-culture parody series.

Read on for the rest of this week's new films, including the latest from Danny Boyle and Robert Redford, plus a perfectly-timed-to-maximize-on-the-start-of-baseball-season Jackie Robinson biopic.

Read more »

Stop making sense

'Upstream Color' is a head-scratcher — but it's worth it

|
(0)

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM A woman, a man, a pig, a worm, Walden — what? If you enter into Shane Carruth's Upstream Color expecting things like a linear plot, exposition, and character development, you will exit baffled and distressed. Best to understand in advance that these elements are not part of Carruth's master plan. In fact, based on my own experiences watching the film twice, I'm fairly certain that not really understanding what's going on in Upstream Color is part of its loopy allure.Read more »

All killer, no filler: new movies!

|
(0)

Deadites, dino-junkies, indie supporters, doc watchers, foreign-film fans, "Hey Girl" lovers ... there's a little something for all y'all this week. (If you'd prefer to avoid the multiplex, check out the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts' Pen-ek Ratanaruang series and/or the San Francisco Cinematheque's Crossroads fest.)

Read more »

The Performant: The sacred and the profane

|
(0)

Putting the "good" back into Good Friday at “Sing-Along Jesus Christ Superstar” and Zombie Christ Haunted House

They might seem merely irreverent, or downright blasphemous, to conservative churchgoers, but I’m pretty sure the original JC Superstar would have dug the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence -- you know, the water-into-wine Jesus who supported sex workers and preached tolerance and respect for the marginalized.

The Sisters, who have been preaching the same since 1979, really get a chance to shine (and glitter) come Easter Weekend. One of SF’s most singular events, Easter Sunday in Dolores Park grabs the lion’s share of the attention, what with its iconic Easter Bonnet contest, the sainting of local community heroes, and the ever-popular Hunky Jesus competition, being rescheduled as we speak due to spring showers. But for those of us who find it difficult to get up early on a Sunday morning, hardbody of Christ or no hardbody of Christ, the Sisters have expanded their influence across the weekend, creating plenty of opportunity for the nocturnal among us to grab a little of the resurrection gusto for themselves.

Read more »

Local filmmaker's '50 Children' doc debuts on HBO

|
(1)

San Franciscan Steven Pressman makes his filmmaking debut with 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, an informative documentary about Philadelphia residents Gilbert and Eleanor Kraus — grandparents to Pressman's wife, Liz Perle — who hatched a daring plan in 1939 to rescue 50 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied Austria. The hour-long film airs Mon/8 on HBO.

Read more »

RIP Roger Ebert

|
(0)

A sad day for cinema fans everywhere today; veteran film critic, author, advocate, and (lately) blogger/Twitter master Roger Ebert has died after a long battle with cancer.

Below, some clips paying tribute to the man, the myth, the guy who co-wrote Russ Meyer's 1970 Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Read more »

Ennui and I

Pen-ek Ratanaruang's 'Thai Dreams' screen at YBCA

|
(0)

FILM Thai filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaruang's international breakthrough, Last Life in the Universe, came out 10 years ago, but its themes of isolation and loneliness still feel very much of the moment. Eternally cool Japanese star Tadanobu Asano plays librarian Kenji, whose Better Off Dead-style existential turmoil leads him to attempt suicide, or at least think long and hard about it, multiple times. Read more »

Are you experimental?

SF Cinematheque unleashes Crossroads 2013

|
(0)

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM At 52, the San Francisco Cinematheque is nearly the same age as the San Francisco International Film Festival, which kicks off its 56th incarnation later this month. And though there's bound to be some filmmaker overlap between SFIFF and SF Cinematheque's fourth annual Crossroads festival,

fans of avant-garde, experimental, and non-commercial films won't want to miss the latter, a weekend packed with works by 48 artists across eight esoterically-titled programs.Read more »

Spring into arts

Guardian writers select the season's most-anticipated performances, exhibits, film events, and more

It's true that San Francisco doesn't really have seasons, per se. We don't have a snow thaw, or a sudden riot of cherry blossoms, or even a perceptible change in the weather to mark calendar shifts. So grab that lightweight jacket you've been wearing since October, and use our selective guide to what music shows to see (dude ... Sparks is coming!), gallery and museum shows to hit up, films to catch, and can't-miss theater and dance performances — including, yep, a fresh take on The Rite of Spring.Read more »

Acclaimed director Sally Potter on redheads, the 1960s, and 'Ginger and Rosa'

|
(0)

It's the 1960s, nuclear war is a real possibility, and nuclear-family war is an absolute certainty, at least in the London house occupied by Ginger (Elle Fanning), her emotionally wounded mother (Mad Men's Christina Hendricks), and her narcissistic-intellectual father (Alessandro Nivola).

In Ginger and Rosa, a downbeat coming-of-age tale from Sally Potter (1992's Orlando), Ginger's teenage rebellion quickly morphs into angst when her BFF Rosa (Beautiful Creatures' Alice Englert, daughter of Aussie director Jane Campion) wedges her sexed-up neediness between Ginger's parents. Hendricks (playing the accordion — just like Joan!) and Annette Bening (as an American activist who encourages Ginger's political-protest leanings) are strong, but Fanning's powerhouse performance is the main focus — though even she's occasionally overshadowed by her artificially scarlet hair.

Ahead of the film's release Fri/22, I spoke with Potter about teen drama, redheads, and more.

San Francisco Bay Guardian Many, many films tell coming-of-age stories and tales of female friendship. What sets Ginger and Rosa apart from the rest?

Read more »