Harvey's list

YEAR IN FILM 2012: Dennis Harvey's top narrative films and documentaries



Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin, US)

Bernie (Richard Linklater, US, 2011)

The Eye of the Storm (Fred Schepisi, Australia)

Fat Kid Rules the World (Matthew Lillard, US)

Footnote (Joseph Cedar, Israel, 2011)

Girl Walk//All Day (Jacob Krupnick, US)

Hermano (Marcel Rasquin, Venezuela, 2010)

Holy Motors (Leos Carax, France/Germany)

The Hunter (David Nettheim, Australia, 2011) Read more »

Ficks' picks

YEAR IN FILM 2012: Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' top films and performances of the year 


1. Cosmopolis (David Cronenberg, Canada/France/Portugal/Italy) During the five times I watched this brilliantly slow-burning, transcendental flick, I saw dozens of audience members fall asleep, walk out early, and complain all the way down the corridor of the Embarcadero Center Cinema hallways. I had to watch it that many times (plus read the book and have countless late-night discussions) just to try and wrap my brain around this era-defining exploration of what it means to be a (hu)man in the Y2Ks. Read more »

Reel love

YEAR IN FILM 2012: A look back at the superheroes and standouts of 2012 -- and a sly peek at 2013


YEAR IN FILM "Oh — ninjas." "Argo-fuckyourself!" Any number of unprintable exclamations from Django Unchained. After a silent beginning to 2012 — courtesy of Best Picture winner The Artist — the year in film has proven to be quite quotable, not to mention memorable and even celebration-worthy.Read more »

Holiday movie massacre!

'Django Unchained,' 'Les Misérables,' and 10 more new flicks


FILM To paraphrase Christmas Vacation (1989), 2012 is poised to deliver the biggest late-December film glut since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Fucking Kaye. From Wednesday, December 19 to Tuesday, December 25, no less than 12 new movies are opening in the Bay Area, doomsday be damned.Read more »

San Francisco Film Critics Circle's 2012 awards!


Oscars and Golden Globes are one breed of animal — critics' groups are another beast entirely (hopefully, of the more free-thinking, out-of-the-box type). At the lively annual meeting of the San Francisco Film Critics' Circle Sun/16, several races came down to just one or two votes' difference. But we muddled through (there was wine, there were cookies) and came up with a slate of winners I'm proud to report here.

Read more »

Heroic shorties return! "The Hobbit" and more new movies


One more week until Hollywood unleashes a mighty flood of new films, in honor of noted multiplex fan Baby Jesus. This week's only big release is Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which at two hours and 46 minutes is definitely a pee-before, bring-snacks-to-eat-during experience. My review below the jump, along with takes on the Alan Cumming showcase Any Day Now and Israeli coming-of-age drama The Matchmaker.

Also worth the popcorn calories: documentarian Ken Burns' provocative look at one of New York City's most infamous crimes, The Central Park Five; less so is the FDR dramedy Hyde Park on Hudson, which does star Bill Murray, so at least it has that goin' for it, which is nice. I review both films here. Read more »

The awful truth

'The Central Park Five' examines a shocking crime — and its troubling outcome


FILM Early last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the 15-film shortlist from which the five Best Documentary nominees will be culled. There are some strong contenders — including The Waiting Room, set at Oakland's Highland Hospital — but two of 2012's highest-profile docs were oddly absent: Amy Berg's West of Memphis (which opens locally Feb. 8) and Ken Burns' The Central Park Five, which opens Friday. It might be ironic that both films are about injustice.Read more »

Dirty jokes

'Honk If You're Horny' brings retro porn to the YBCA


TRASH It has been noted that most people didn't experience "the Sixties" until the Seventies, at least in terms of all that Free Love and chemical entertainment. But even at the latter decade's most indulgent junctures, many people's minds remained stuck in the Fifties — sniggering about the very idea of sex, using terms like "boobies," insisting women be gorgeous idiots and men perma-adolescent clods.Read more »

Le grand career

A delightful series shines a new spotlight on French comedian Pierre Étaix


father and law

Make time for sensitive indie drama 'In the Family'


FILM With a running time of just under three hours, writer-director-star Patrick Wang's In the Family rewards patient viewers with its quietly observed tale of a man battling for custody of his son.Read more »