Film

Old joy -- and pain

San Francisco filmmaker (and Oscar nominee!) Sari Gilman talks 'Kings Point'

|
(1)

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Film editor Sari Gilman — her resume includes 2007's Ghosts of Abu Ghraib and 2002's Blue Vinyl — made her directorial debut with the 30-minute documentary Kings Point, a bittersweet exploration of a Florida retirement community. The film first screened locally as part of the 2012 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, and will air on HBO in March. In the meantime, it's been nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Short. I caught up with Gilman to talk about her film — and little gold men.Read more »

Smith happens

|
(1)

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Every year there's at least one: the adorable-old-coot fest, usually British, that proves harmless and reassuring and lightly tear/laughter producing enough to convince a certain demographic that it's safe to go to the movies again, just this once. The last months have seen two, both starring Maggie Smith (who's also queen of that audience's home viewing via Downton Abbey), and in this case more is probably less.Read more »

Arnold's baaaack! Plus more new movies

|
(1)

Get to the theatah! California's (thankfully, former) Governor returns to the multiplex to do what he does best: speak in one-liners and carry a big gun. My review of The Last Stand below the jump, along with short takes on the Mark Wahlberg-Russell Crowe crime drama Broken City, and more.

Also this week: Hellbound?, a doc about damnation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (Dennis Harvey's take here); the Mostly British Film Festival (my round-up here); and the Guillermo del Toro-endorsed horror flick Mama, starring Jessica "Zero Dark Oscar" Chastain. Plus, tonight, the original Django (1966) screens at the Castro! More here.

Read more »

Damnation investigation

A new doc goes to hell and back

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

FILM It's a peculiarity of our moment that the worse things get, the more people seem inclined to think everyone else is going to hell. Their interpretation of the Bible (or Quran, or whatever) is seemingly absolute, yet God seems to stay on their side no matter which way the worldly wind might blow. Righteous judgment of others has practically become the American way, not that we were ever less than an opinionated bunch.Read more »

Hardly strictly British

Classics, premieres, and a 2013 Oscar nominee at the Mostly British Film Festival

|
(0)

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM "In Somalia there are no such things as kid actors and stage moms," explains the trailer for Asad, an 18-minute film about a Somali boy forced to choose between fishing and piracy. "There are just survivors telling a story."Read more »

Nero worship

The original 'Django' rides again at the Castro

|
(0)

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Though it's much more a Southern than a Western — closer to Mandingo (1975) than Red River (1948), that's for sure — Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained nonetheless pays specific homage to spaghetti westerns in its title and some stylistic fillips.Read more »

Gangsters, death, and spaghetti westerns: must be another week of movies!

|
(0)

Well, they announced the Oscar nominations yesterday, and much-lauded import Amour is opening today (review below the jump), so if you're curious about the hype and don't mind having a downer of a Friday night ... you're set. Other films opening this week include the Robert Carlyle drama California Solo (Dennis Harvey's review here), Marlon Wayans horror spoof A Haunted House, Ryan Gosling-in-a-fedora cop flick Gangster Squad, and (at the Roxie), teen-skater doc Only the Young.

Also! The Pacific Film Archive's "The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond" series starts this week. Plenty of good spaghetti western action to be had; check out my round-up here. Read on for more short takes on this week's releases.

Read more »

Honest Abe and everyone else: Oscar nominations

|
(0)

Congratulations, Mr. President. Better luck next time, Ms. Bigelow, Mr. Affleck, and Mr. Anderson.

Yep, as you already know, the Oscar nominations were handed down this AM. Like every year, there were some predictable picks and some shocks, snubs, and head-scratchers. The ceremony is Feb. 24; I predict it'll be a three-way tie for Best Dressed among Jennifer Lawrence, Denzel Washington, and Quvenzhané Wallis. As for the big five categories ... let's discuss. (Full list of nominees here!)

Best Picture: Nine nominees but no spot for The Master or dark horse The Dark Knight Rises. Lincoln, which raked in the highest number of nominations overall, is a shoo-in. Second place: Silver Linings Playbook, followed by upstart indie Beasts of the Southern Wild.

The rest: Amour (will win Best Foreign Language Film); Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, and my original pick to win, Zero Dark Thirty (these all have lesser chances, since their directors weren't nominated); and Life of Pi (likely to clean up in the technical categories).

Read more »

High midnight

'The Hills Run Red' fest showcases lesser-known spaghetti westerns

|
(0)

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM With Django Unchained-related posts currently filling up your Facebook feed (and box-office receipts stuffing Quentin Tarantino's pockets), now seems the perfect time to amble over to Berkeley for the Pacific Film Archive's spaghetti western series.Read more »

The damage done

The versatile Robert Carlyle hits a melancholy note in 'California Solo'

|
(5)

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Robert Carlyle is the kind of actor who usually elicits a slow-dawning response in realm of "Oh, right ... that guy. What was he in again?" Well, a lot, but if you're not British (let alone Scottish), his visibility has probably been erratic and infrequent — plus he does that exasperating English thing of taking TV assignments like they're perfectly OK, as opposed to the US approach of doing series work only when your big-screen career is in the toilet.Read more »