Pixel Vision

A few quick hits from the SF International Film Festival as it comes to a close

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Sexual jealousy, filial betrayal, and bloodshed amid a civilization’s ruins. The SF International Film Festival began on these cheerful notes, with Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac, and Kirsten Dunst tensely keeping company in opening-night film The Two Faces of January, Hossein Amini’s adaptation of the 1964 Patricia Highsmith novel. Mortensen plays Chester MacFarland, a New York con artist who, having bilked investors out of large wads of cash back in the States, is on the lam in Greece with his pretty young wife, Colette (Dunst).

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'Neighbors,' 'Belle,' and more new movies!

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Not to detract from the drawing power of Seth Rogen's comic chops (or Zac Efron's abs, pecs, etc.) in this week's Neighbors, but it seems Hollywood is taking a little blockbuster breather between last week's Spider-Man cash grab and next week's Godzilla onslaught. So now's a great time to catch up on some smaller films that might've otherwise escaped your radar, including brains-and-beauty costume drama Belle, opening theatrically after its recent bow at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Reviews, trailers, and links below!

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Pow! Zap! Free comic book day with Ace of Geeks

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Saturday's Free Comic Book Day was like Christmas morning for comic lovers, and San Francisco is blessed with an abundance of comic book stores to celebrate from. Luckily for us, podcast Ace of Geeks decided to take a video tour of a few of SF's most beloved dens of geekery on the beloved nerd holiday.  Read more »

Swing away -- Urban Putt opens today!

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After a sneak peek and a couple of delays, Urban Putt finally opens at 4pm today. The high concept mini-golf course, restaurant, and bar combination arrives just in time for some Cinco de Drinko fiesta time.

The former mortuary at South Van Ness and 22nd Streets is freshly coated with a new paint job that seamlessly blends with the neighborhood. There’s nothing flashy about Urban Putt from the outside but as you step inside, you’re transported into a gadgety, steampunk world — a techie’s Disneyland.

The elaborate 14-hole golf course designed by the guys behind Mission Bowling Club can hold 40 golfers at a time, so expect a wait list as long as Nopa’s on a Friday night. Golfers start out at the Earthquake Hole where they navigate around Lotta’s Fountain and moving buildings into a fire hydrant hole. Expect kitschy San Francisco references scattered around the course: a Transamerica windmill, the Day of the Dead hole, and a robot hole built by the people from Make Magazine. Several other of our city’s landmarks also make an appearance.

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SFIFF 57: Strange love, Varda, Swedish grrrls, and more!

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The 57th San Francisco International Film Festival runs through May 8; all the details are here. Guardian correspondent and confirmed film fest addict Jesse Hawthorne Ficks checks in with his mid-SFIFF picks and reactions.

Charlie McDowell's The One I Love (screens tomorrow; ticket info here) showcases exceptional performances by Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss and should be a multiple Independent Spirit Award nominee come next statuette season. This unique genre fluster-cluck digs much deeper into marital problems than you would ever expect (audiences seemed quite flipped upside down after the film's world premiere at Sundance). Similar to films like Darren Araonfsky's Pi (1998), Christopher Nolan's Memento (2000), and Shane Caruth's Primer (2004), this will be a film that'll spark conversations and inspire repeat viewings.

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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 »

Hunky Jesus, Foxy Mary, and Easter bonnets to make your eggs spin

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The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence held their 35th anniversary Easter party — an "Emerald Jubilee" — at Golden Gate Park's Hellman Hollow on Sunday. The annual event once again featured an Easter bonnet competition and a Hunky Jesus contest, plus a brand-new Foxy Mary pageant. Several Pope lookalikes graced the crowd, and a Little Bo Peep burlesque show rounded out the scheduled entertainment.

All photos by Amanda Rhoades.

Q&A: Queer Rebels on accessibility, representation, and the challenges queer people of color still face

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It’s not that Modern Family and your Gender Studies reading list aren’t doing anything for queer and trans representation -- but there are still stories to be told, and ears to be reached.Read more »

Super Smash Bros. on the big screen, Sunday 4/13!

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The Nintendo game Super Smash Bros. Melee was supposed to be a party game, “fun for the whole family,” as the kids say. 

Mario sets Princess Zelda on fire. Donkey Kong smacks Pikachu so hard the little yellow rodent flies across the screen. Commercials for one version of the game feature Bugs Bunny-esque cartoon smackings, as costumed actors roll down a grassy knoll. The adorableness of Melee belies a mystery: How did a Nintendo game from 2001 become the focus of cutthroat national video game competitions?Read more »