Film

Wish you weren't here

Ulrich Seidl's Paradise Trilogy mines vacation desperation

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Austrian Ulrich Seidl has been making films since the early 1980s, but didn't get much attention internationally until 2001's Dog Days, a bleak and nasty ensemble piece about some seemingly ordinary — but all variably pathetic, ugly and/or perverse — Viennese suburbanites sweating through a heat wave. It was the sort of movie that demanded attention, being grotesque, funny, surprising, meticulously crafted, and arguably just plain mean.Read more »

True tales, Shakespeare, interns, and more: new movies (plus DocFest)!

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The 12th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival kicked off last night with a screening of Spark: A Burning Man Story (even if you missed the opening event, you can check out Steven T. Jones' story about the film and changes underway at the Burning Man organization here). It continues through June 23 at venues in San Francisco (mostly the Roxie), Palo Alto, and Oakland; check out my article on the fest here and DocFest's official website for a full slate of films and ticket information.

Also in this week's paper: Dennis Harvey's round-up of "The Vortex Phenomena," the SOMA venue's monthlong series of conspiracy-theory films of the 1970s (Bermuda Triangle! Fog monsters! Yeti!)

And of course, we got all your first-run intel right here. This week's feast includes the reteaming of tight bros from way back Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, playing Google noobs in The Internship; Joss Whedon's detour from superheroes to Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing; and Wish You Were Here, an Aussie thriller about a vacation gone awry starring a very good (and very freaked-out) Joel Edgerton. Plus more, all after the jump.

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Eat your Oates at the Castro's amazing double-feature tonight

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Not even sure if "amazing" is a strong enough word, but the Castro Theatre is screening a pair of cool-ass movies on 35mm tonight. Frankly, I don't think you have anything better to do, because there isn't anything better than a WARREN OATES movie except maybe a WARREN OATES DOUBLE FEATURE.

Kicking things off at 7pm, it's Sam Peckinpah's Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). Oates plays a perpetually rumpled bartender whose determination to collect a huge bounty (the prize: see title) leads him into some mighty surreal adventures in Mexico's sinister outback. Co-stars include Kris Kristofferson (in particularly kreepy mode).

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In search of ...

'The Vortex Phenomena' unearths the unknown

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It's National Running Day! Motivate yo'self with these classic running films

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The San Francisco Marathon is a mere 11 days away, but today is National Running Day. So everyone gearing up for 26.2 is now trotting through shorter runs leading up to the big enchilada on June 16. What's a marathoner in mid-taper (or a couch 'tater needing motivation) to do? The sport of running, which tends to grab attention only during the Olympics or when there's a national tragedy or (natural disaster), has garnered a fair amount of cinematic interest over the years; long-distance runners, in particular, give great drama. Double-tie your laces and read on for flicks suitable for watching while you're foam-rolling and dreaming of medals.

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Realness

DocFest is back (already!) with a slate of standouts

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FILM First things first: yeah, you did just attend the 11th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival in November. The schedule shift for the 2013 fest — it's now sandwiched between the well-established San Francisco International Film Festival (which ended May 9) and Frameline (starts June 20) seasons — is a gamble. Will Bay Area film fans (who probably also attended the DocFest-affiliated SF IndieFest in February) suffer festival fatigue, or will DocFest's programming (Burning Man! Bettie Page! Pint-sized magicians!) lure 'em in anyway?Read more »

Triumph of queer comics: Justin Hall wins Lambda, 'Adèle' takes Cannes

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Two cool, queer graphic surprises, just in time for Pride month. First, local comics hero, Califormia College of the Arts professor, and frequent SFBG contributor (not to mention out-of-the-closet Batman lover) Justin Hall took the 2013 Lambda Award for Best Anthology yesterday with his groundbreaking historical queer comics survey No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics (Fantagraphics Books).

This a huge deal, as this is the first time a comics anthology has won. (A graphic novel by Oakland's Jon Macy, Teleny and Camille, won for Best Erotic Novel in 2011, also a first.)

Hall told me right after his win:

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Burning questions

Spark debuts at DocFest with a sympathetic look at Black Rock City LLC's intention to gift Burning Man back to the people. But is it true?

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steve@sfbg.com

A documentary called Spark: A Burning Man Story is arriving on the big screen, with dreams of wide distribution, at a pivotal moment for the San Francisco-based corporation that has transformed the annual desert festival into a valuable global brand supported by a growing web of interconnected burner collectives around the world.Read more »

The conversations

Ever-evolving characters Jesse and Celine return in 'Before Midnight'

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Tourist trappers

Murder takes a holiday: Hit the road with killer British comedy 'Sightseers'

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