Film Features

Twisted misters

From Australian serial killers to flighty Spanish ghosts, IndieFest 2012 explores the darker side of life (and the lighter side of the afterlife)

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM This year's San Francisco Independent Film Festival kicks off with a film that knows exactly what time it is: 4:44 Last Day on Earth.Read more »

Eternal return

Three evenings of Gregory Markopoulos' visionary early films at the Pacific Film Archive

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The story of hip-hop

At Sundance, Ice-T discusses his new documentary Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap

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By Courtney Garcia

MUSIC From the start, Ice-T was a versatile chameleon, the product of an integrated culture, and a student of the marginalized.

Born in New Jersey, raised in the Crenshaw District of LA, he joined the Crips then pursued the army to pay his bills. His career was blazed in rap, though he once flipped the game to heavy metal. Multifaceted talent that he is, Ice would later grow even more famous on television.Read more »

On the township

After 50 years, Lionel Rogosin's groundbreaking film Come Back, Africa finally gets its due

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FILM Opposition to apartheid didn't really pick up steam as a popular cause in the U.S. until the early 1980s. Which makes it all the more remarkable that New York City-based documentarian Lionel Rogosin made Come Back, Africa about a quarter-century earlier — though less surprisingly, the film itself was barely seen here at the time. Now finally playing American theaters outside his home town in a restored print, it's a time capsule whose background is as intriguing as the history it captures onscreen.Read more »

Cheers, puppeteers!

Gelfling classic The Dark Crystal is 30 years old -- join the celebration at Castro Theatre, but watch out for Skeksis

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Showcasing the boldly imaginative and innovative talents of the artisans at the Jim Henson Company, the 1982 fantasy film The Dark Crystal broke new ground when it came to visual special effects and believable creature creations.Read more »

Have you heard the good news?

Marjoe (and other praise-worthy oddities) at "The Second Coming of the Vortex Room"

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Today, seeing high-profile evangelical Christians reveal themselves to be charlatans or hypocrites is old news. Even the spectacle of homophobic mega church prig Ted Haggard, outed as a fan of male hustlers and crystal meth, resurfacing on Celebrity Wife Swap induced a few shudders but no real surprise. The plunge from public sanctimoniousness to scandal and newly angled self-promotion is by now too familiar to shock. Read more »

Ding dong, you're dead

Horrors await all who enter Lucio Fulci's The House By the Cemetery

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TRASH It takes a certain kind of sicko to fall in love with Italian horror, what with all the oozing maggots, spurting jugulars, WTF plot twists, weird zooms, jarring musical cues, and supporting characters who do completely bizarre things that are never explained.Read more »

Female trouble

Noir City X raises a glass to cinematic bad girls

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Rooney Mara's chalk-complected cyberpunk Lisbeth Salander is one of the more fearsome and curious creatures to stalk across movie screens in recent memory, her freak genius and impassive veneer concealing deep reservoirs of pain and rage — and also desire. Cold and distant to the extreme, Salander makes for an odd duck of a femme fatale to disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist's accidental gumshoe.Read more »

Let him entertain you

"Howard Hawks: The Measure of Man" showcases the director's crowd-pleasing career

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FILM The most famous and honored Hollywood directors have always been easily identifiable by style, genre, emotional tenor, or all the above. There's Hitchcock with his wryly misanthropic suspense, and John Ford's outdoor archetypes of masculinity. Even Steven Spielberg, who's made just about every kind of narrative, has a telltale penchant for sweep and sentimentality running through everything from Jaws (1975) to The Adventures of Tintin (2011).Read more »

So long, farewell

German Gems shines — and signs

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM When Ingrid Eggers announced that 2012 would mark her last German Gems film festival, the news came as a bittersweet reminder that nothing lasts forever. Read more »