Movies

Hard to be a filmmaker

Aleksei Guerman's five films (from the past 45 years) screen at YBCA

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM In 1987, Soviet critics were polled to create a list of the nation's greatest films. Landing on top was a movie still little-known abroad, whose maker has completed just five features in 45 years — one of which he doesn't even consider truly his own work.Read more »

How dark was my alley

Flick-packed Film Noir fest "I Wake up Dreaming" returns to the Roxie

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FILM The word that comes to mind when thinking of Elliot Lavine's semiannual film noir programs at the Roxie is inexhaustible. With 30 films packed into 14 days, "I Wake up Dreaming" wisely takes a pass on questions of noir's quintessence in favor of open-ended research into the mutations and paroxysms of mid-century malaise.Read more »

This is your brain on Zulawski

YBCA feeds the Possession obsession with a tribute to the Polish director

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For your further consideration

Short takes on SFIFF 2012, week two

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More reviews of films playing during the San Francisco Internation Film Festival. For more SFIFF coverage, click here. Read more »

Tiger woods

A lone tracker probes a troubled wilderness in The Hunter

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM The Tasmanian tiger wasn't a cat at all, but a pouched marsupial resembling a ring-tailed dog, with the most fearsome steel-trap jaws imaginable. It was hunted out of existence as a menace to domestic livestock; the last one died in captivity in 1936. Nonetheless, alleged sightings persist. Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, the tiger is kept alive at least in the imagination by the fervency of stubborn believers.Read more »

For your consideration: Short takes from SFIFF, week one

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The gargantuan San Francisco Film Festival opens this week after a particularly fraught year in which the San Francisco Film Society tragically lost two well-respected executive directors. But never fear! SFIFF is still tops, and we're here to guide you through it, from throught-provoking experimental flicks to unheralded-as-of-yet crowd-friendly fare. We've rustled upmore than a dozen previews of appealing flicks after the jump -- and check out our complete coverage, including indepth features and interviews, here.

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Truth or consequences

Solid-gold lifestyles and agents provocateurs: SFIFF's documentary highlights

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arts@sfbg.com

SFIFF It's possible to have an almost perfect Sundance Film Festival viewing experience if you hew to one simple rule: only go to the documentaries. Sure, see some of the dramatic entries too, after the 40th person has told you such-and-such title is great. But you can rarely go far wrong with the documentaries. Sundance has its pick of the annual crème de la crème in that genre (among U.S. if not necessarily international films).Read more »

A hundred visions and revisions

SFIFF: Sam Green explores the geodesic world of R. Buckminster Fuller in new documentary

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arts@sfbg.com

SFIFF R. Buckminster Fuller was born before the turn of the last century, and died before the start of this one. But place his philosophical and practical output next to any contemporary thinker, and something seems a bit off.

"He was totally out of sync with his time," says SF-based documentarian Sam Green (2004's The Weather Underground). "He was talking about green building in the 1930s or '40s."Read more »

Into new territory

SFIFF: Sailing off the map with Patience, Found Memories, It's the Earth Not the Moon, more at San Francisco International Film Festival

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You're gonna need to upsize that popcorn

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Guess how many movies are opening in the Bay Area Fri/13? Sixteen. Sixteen, y'all. That might be an all-time Ultimate Grand Supreme record. So in this saturated situation, what's worth seeing, considering this is your last weekend before the San Francisco International Film Festival sets up shop and dominates all your moviegoing brain cells?

First, check out Dennis Harvey's feature-length review of Applause, imported from Denmark and featuring "a flamboyant, arresting, faultless star turn" from Paprika Steen, a megastar in her home country.

Seeking more? Here are five (out of 16, remember — true fiends can check out our complete film listings if five ain't enough) to get you through the weekend.

A buzzed-about doc on the (unfortunately) hot topic of teen bullying:

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