Film

Skin deep

Costume drama Belle takes on race and class in 18th century England

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Spider-Man and other men (some more amazing than others...) in new movies!

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It won't be summer according to the calendar for another month or so, but it's already summer at the movies. We're already on our second superhero movie of the season! Our second Stan Lee cameo in as many months, people! Read on for reviews of everything that's opening this week, from the obvious (see: Slinger, Web) to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it-but-you-really-shouldn't (Singaporean drama Ilo Ilo, for one). And confidential to late arrivals: the San Francisco International Film Festival is heading into its second weekend; check out our coverage from last week's paper here.

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Big batch of SF archival films new on YouTube, featuring 'Hello Girls' of Chinatown, bay swimming 'Frog Man', city-stopping strikes, and more!

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Media company British Pathé uploaded thousands of archival films to its Youtube channel, and in the batch are hundreds of vintage newsreels showcasing San Francisco history as far back as the 1906 earthquake.

The films cover milestones in Baghdad by the Bay's history, but more obscure films like "Hello Girls" of Chinatown (1929) and Frog Man Swims Under Golden Gate Bridge (1954) offer a look at quirky San Franciscans of the past. Read more »

Manscape

The male protagonists of 'Fading Gigolo' and 'Locke' do what they gotta do

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Mr. Nice Guy

'Super Duper Alice Cooper' goes through the looking glass with a rock legend

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Projections

A long list of short takes on SFIFF 57, in chronological order

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The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs April 24-May 8. Screening venues include the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, SF; New People Cinema, 1746 Post, SF; Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft, Berk; and Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post, SF. For tickets (most shows $15) and complete schedule, visit festival.sffs.org.Read more »

New direction

SF Film Society head Noah Cowan settles into the job — and eagerly awaits his first SFIFF

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cheryl@sfbg.com

SFIFF First things first: Brand-new San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Noah Cowan's two favorite movies are 1942 Preston Sturges screwball comedy The Palm Beach Story and 1974 disaster drama The Towering Inferno. Appropriately, our first meeting takes place in downtown San Francisco, where that fictional world's tallest building (containing Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, and O.J. Simpson, among others) went up in flames.Read more »

Devil's advocate

Sokurov's 2011 'Faust' finally makes its local debut

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Aliens, haunted mirrors, photographic mysteries, and isolated islands: new movies!

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It's Friday, which means only one thing: new movies R herrre! Though Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier will probably keep body-slamming all the box-office competition, there are some not-to-be-missed flicks just arriving in theaters, including two fascinating docs and two eerie tales, including the remarkable Under the Skin. Read on! 

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The hunger

Jonathan Glazer on his eerie, haunting alien tale 'Under the Skin'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM At the moment, Scarlett Johansson is playing a superhero in the world's top blockbuster. Her concurrent role in Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin — the gorgeously crafted tale of an alien who comes to earth to capture men, but goes rogue once her curiosity about the human world gets the better of her — could not be more different in story or scope. There's also the matter of its edgy presentation of its usually glamorous star.Read more »