Film

Occupational hazards

Geof Oppenheimer's politically charged new show at Ratio 3 juxtaposes polyphony with cacophany

|
(5)

HAIRY EYEBALL  Weds/2 marks the first citywide general strike in our country since 1946. Spearheaded by Occupy Oakland in the wake of the Oakland Police's grossly excessive use of force against protestors last week, the strike is further proof that the only definitive thing one can say about the Occupy movement is that it is growing at a remarkable pace.Read more »

Deep south

3rd I's festival goes to Bollywood — and beyond

|
(0)

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM It's a sunny day in Los Angeles, and Omi Vaidya is puttering around, looking for a neighbor who'll loan him a lawnmower. Vaidya is an actor of the "working" (as opposed to "unemployed" or "superstar") variety, with bit parts on shows like Arrested Development and The Office dotting his resume. Finding work as an Indian American actor can be frustrating — "a lot of it is typecasting," he notes. Computer nerds and such.Read more »

Peel your eyes for the SF Underground Short Film Fest

|
(0)
See video

The ininimitable Peaches Christ has just released the teaser for her annual filmic funfest for those who take their movies wee, happening Nov. 19. Talking head in a toilet! Need we say more.

Remembering Pina Bausch onscreen ... and onstage

|
(1)

One reason I love dance so much is the transcendence I feel when I watch really powerful dance. It is the feeling that somehow the bodies onstage have moved beyond being simple dancers on an elevated platform and are instead communicators of something that can’t be written or painted, but can only be communicated through the medium of physical movement. When I have this feeling I know I will once again be swept up in dance and cry or laugh or simply feel my soul reverberate. 

Read more »

Twin Peaks witch house, y'all

|
(0)

We're stoked about the upcoming 20th anniversary tribute to Twin Peaks at the Roxie this Saturday -- and we found this witch house tribute to really bring the uncanny spookiness home. Shivers.   

Notes from the indie underground: the ATA Film Festival

|
(0)

For more reviews from the sixth ATA Film and Video Festival, check out this week's film listings. The fest kicks off tonight with an opening reception.

Piena En Mi Alexandra Cuesta’s short film “Piena En Mi” is an impressionistic portrait of Los Angeles, where, in addition to Quito, Ecuador, the filmmaker lives and works. Primarily shot from a bus that traverses the sprawling metropolitan, the film is told with the the city’s different neighborhoods, its sounds, and its patchwork of ethnic groups. It’s an honest portrait of  LA — economically depressed in most places, polluted, congested – but beautiful, nonetheless, and unapologetic. Cuesta treats her city with tenderness and it renders her film graceful and intimate. It’s sensitive to the very subtlties that make LA radiate with character, whether it’s odd haircuts, dirty bus windows, or bells on an ice cream carriage. It’s in these shots that the filmmaker’s background in street photography shows, and make it a highlight of the ATA festival. Program One, "City Symphonies" Read more »

A decade of DocFest: more reviews!

|
(0)

Check out more coverage of the 10th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival in this week's Guardian.

Beaverbrook (Matthew Callahan, U.S., 2010) If you attended Camp Beaverbrook, which operated in California's Lake County from 1961-85, this film is required viewing. It offers an intensely wistful look at an old-fashioned sleepaway camp that thrived in an era before insurance companies started frowning on things like helmet-free kids galloping wildly on horseback. If you don't have Beaverbrook in your blood, however, watching 1979's Meatballs will offer a similar overdose of nostalgia, plus the huge added bonus of Bill Murray. Sun/16, 5 p.m. and Oct. 18, 7:15 p.m., Roxie; Fri/14, 7:15 p.m., Shattuck.

Heavy Metal Picnic (Jeff Krulik, U.S., 2010) Everyone's seen Heavy Metal Parking Lot, the 1986 Jeff Krulik and John Heyn short that became a pre-internet cult classic. Shot amid the beer-y, mullet-y, "party-as-a-verb" shenanigans that transpired before a Judas Priest-Dokken show, Parking Lot is a seminal document for metalheads and anthropologists alike. Twenty-five years later, the prolific Krulik, again with Hayn, returns to the subject matter that made him famous with Heavy Metal Picnic, a 666 ... er, 66-minute look at an notorious 1985 concert known as "The Full Moon Jamboree" — described as a "heavy metal Woodstock" by the nervous local press at the time. Basically, this is Parking Lot shifted to the Maryland woods; there's a concert going on in the background (the bigger acts were Pentagram and the Obsessed, but there's hardly any footage of them; local boys Asylum and show organizer Billy Gordon of Blue Rockers are prominently featured, however) but the main attraction is, as ever, the fans assembled for raucous raging.

Read more »

The Performant: Cinéma contradictoire

|
(2)

While I spent a good deal of time out of doors last weekend taking in, among other things, an obligatory pilgrimage to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a jaunt on the historic schooner Alma with the WE Players, the 30-year anniversary of the Sea Chantey Sing, and Chicken John’s book release party, it was the introspective medium of the cinema that captured my attentions most of all. From the Star of Tyche at ATA, to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at Lost Weekend’s “Offline In-Store” Film Festival, I devoured a sumptuous visual feast the satiating effects of which still linger days after. Read more »

28 films in six days: Jesse Hawthorne Ficks at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (part three)

|
(0)

Check out parts one (here) and two (here).

21) Wuthering Heights (Andrea Arnold, UK) Adapting Emily Brontë's novel from 1847 is a perfect project for the stark realist Andrea Arnold. Her previous films Fish Tank (2009) and Red Road (2006) have captured audiences with their brutal honesty and inspired storytelling. With perhaps the most visually poetic atmosphere since Lynne Ramsey and Claire Denis, Arnold manages to emphasize every snowflake in this austere tale of lost love without a single lazy hint of narration. Do not miss this for the world.

22) The Kid with a Bike (Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy) Can these Belgian brothers make a bad film? Seriously? Like their Rosetta (1999), The Son (2002), and L'enfant (2005), this is yet another hypnotic neo-realist journey portraying modern-day youth like no other in cinema. Every character makes unexpected and inevitable decisions. No moment is false. The Dardennes create movies that make life feel more real.

Read more »

28 films in six days: Jesse Hawthorne Ficks at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival (part two)

|
(0)

Check out part one here and part three here. More from the man who slept nary a wink at TIFF 2011 (or so it seems!) follows.

11) Twenty Cigarettes (James Benning, USA) Following the basic concept of 20 different people smoking an entire cigarette gives each segment its own time frame. It allows the viewer to get into a rhythm that becomes as addictive as smoking itself. Being a non-smoker, I found myself hypnotized by each person's physical stance and style as well as what each participant must have been thinking about during the five to eight minute process. Museum cinema at its finest.

12) La folie Almayer (Chantal Akerman, Belgium/France) Adapting Joseph Conrad doesn't sound that exciting, even for fans of Chantal Akerman (Jeanne Dielman, 1975). But there is something absolutely alluring about this experimental mood piece. Feeling abandoned and lost in the jungle becomes a state of mind here; the film sincerely builds towards two of the most beautiful shots Akerman has ever created. With an audacity that can infuriate even the most weathered cinephile, this 65-year-old French auteur has created a new work that is crisp, inventive, and quite alive. For anyone who was also ignited by Godard's most recent abstraction, 2010's Film socialisme — here's another from an innovator who we too often take for granted.

Read more »