The votes are in: Magic Johnson is one of the most amazing human beings to walk the earth. The basketball player's announcement on November 7,1991 that he had the HIV virus forever changed the face of the disease. As the Nelson George-directed ESPN documentary, The Announcement -- which premieres Sun/11 -- tells us, after Johnson came out, suddenly everyone knew someone with HIV. Read more »
Read Nicole Gluckstern's interview with documentary filmmaker Marie Losier about her new film, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, here. Below, extended thoughts from Losier and film subject and musician-performance artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.
On serendipity: Genesis Breyer P-Orridge: It was Lady Jaye, when we started to take the whole idea of pandrogeny more seriously and dedicate our lives to it, she immediately said, "We really need to find somebody to just follow us around and film us." And within a week we'd met Marie. We call it the "of course" factor. "Of course" we met Marie, because we were supposed to meet Marie, and it's amazing how often that comes up, the "of course" thing. So from then on it wasn't conscious anymore, it was just that Marie was around whenever she felt there was something to film, or she would say "I have this idea that I would like you to dress as a mermaid and pretend to swim with a house on your back...."
On influence: Marie Losier: Mike [Kuchar] is the person who taught me how to make films, just to make them. He's actually the first person I made a film with, ever ... the person who taught me how to load a roll of film in my camera. And he's so clumsy, and everything always falls apart ... so I didn't think twice, like "Oh, ok, if I can make a film that way I don't have to think too much [about the process], no worry." And it works. It's also a joy. Mike and George [Kuchar] were always like, "filmmaking is a hobby, just enjoy it."
Yep, it's another remake of a foreign horror movie — but Uruguay's La casa muda is obscure enough that Silent House, which recycles its plot and filming style, feels like a brand-new experience. Co-directors Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, last seen bobbing in shark-infested waves for 2003's similarly bare-bones Open Water, apply another technical gimmick here: Silent House appears to be shot in one continuous take.
Though it's not actually made this way, each shot is extraordinarily long — way longer than you'd expect in a horror film, since the genre often relies on quick edits to build tension. Instead, the film's aim is "real fear captured in real time" (per its tag line), and there's no denying this is one shriek-filled experience.
Activist ire need a jump start? The Green Film Festival takes over Japantown's San Francisco Film Society Cinema now through Wed/7. Go for tidings on the fight for our planet around the world -- documentaries, expert panel presentations, and short films will be taking place. Check out Ali Lane's previous reviews from the festival here.
Chins up, enviros -- this week there's a slew of movies showing that prove that you're not alone in fighting the good fight. The Green Film Festival takes over Japantown's San Francisco Film Society Cinema now through Wed/7, and includes looks at exciting new forms of activism, as well as the film work from intrepid whistleblowers the earth over. Drop through for tidings on the fight for our planet around the world -- documentaries, expert panel presentations, and short films. And be sure to check out the rest of Ali Lane's reviews of Green Fest flicks.
Sushi: The Global Catch
The opening of this film shows Tokyo chef Mamoru Sugiyama carefully placing gorgeous transparent and artistically sliced pieces of nigiri atop perfectly formed mounds of vinegar rice, in his Michelin-starred restaurant kitchen. If you’re the kind of person who loves sushi, this scene makes your mouth water. It’s such a cruel tease. The film proceeds to tell you all the reasons why your San Franciscan appetite for sushi, so geographically remote from the land of its creation, is actually a very destructive thing. Read more »
Activist ire need a jump start? The Green Film Festival takes over Japantown's San Francisco Film Society Cinema now through Wed/7. Go for tidings on the fight for our planet around the world -- documentaries, expert panel presentations, and short films will be taking place for the next six days. Check out Ali Lane's review of Blood in the Mobile (screening Sun/4), and stay tuned for more Green Film Fest reviews next week.
You’ve Been Trumped
If you needed another reason to hate Donald Trump, besides the crazy hair and enormous ego, this is the film to watch. Turns out he’s destroying Scotland! The documentary follows the land preservation efforts of the town of Aberdeen in Scotland, in the face of the development of Trump’s new multi-million dollar golf resort. The entire project is based on international tourism, bound to generate huge carbon costs associated with jetting people to what Trump claims will be the “world’s greatest golf course.” Read more »
FILM It's almost impossible to describe Adult Swim hit Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, but "cable access on acid" comes pretty close. It's awkward, gross, repetitive, and quotable; it features unsettling characters portrayed by famous comedians and unknowns who may not actually be actors. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who are much more low-key than the amplified versions of themselves they play on the show and in the new Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie, discussed the spoils of cult fame the morning after a recent screening in San Francisco.Read more »
San Francisco is, famously, home to film festivals that wanna make a difference. The Transgender Film Festival, the Anti-Corporate Film Festival, the Bicycle Film Festival -- the list and cameras roll on. There's a reason for all these cinematic communes. The power of a film festival to make people sit down and hang out with open eyes and enough snacks to keep them in one place is formidable. It's prime time to absorb information -- or just catch that activist flame that the whipping winds of a presidential election year can threaten to extinguish.
This week, the second annual Green Film Festival hits the big screen starting today, from Thu/1-Wed/7, taking over the must-see-if-you-haven't-yet SF Film Society Cinema in the basement of Japantown's New People mall. So thrilled were we by its enviro-conscious, better world-making fervor (and its capable, enjoyable program of films) that we will be running brief reviews of its offerings for the next four -- business, c'mon now -- days. Here's the first of these, a Sun/4 screening that explains the connection between conflict and Africa and your cell phone. Read more »