Film Features

Zero for conduct

YEAR IN FILM: Contemplating the filmmaker as teacher

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arts@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM American cinema lost several of its troubadours this past year: genuine independents like Robert Breer, Owen Land, Adolfas Mekas, Richard Leacock, Jordan Belson, and George Kuchar. Critical appraisal of these sui generis filmmakers tends to rest upon masterpieces and technique, but several were also influential as teachers.Read more »

Hey girl

YEAR IN FILM: In praise of the actors who redefined "sex symbol" in 2011

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Reel, reel good

YEAR IN FILM: Guardian movie critics unveil their favorite flicks from the year that was

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DENNIS HARVEY'S FAVORITE DOCUMENTARIES OF 2011:

American Teacher (Vanessa Roth and Brian McGinn, U.S.)

The Arbor (Clio Barnard, U.K.)

Buck (Cindy Meehl, U.S.)

The Last Lions (Dereck Joubert, U.S./Botswana)

My Perestroika (Robin Hessman, U.S./U.K./Russia)

Nostalgia for the Light (Patricio Guzmán, France/Germany/Chile)

Pianomania (Robert Cibis and Lilian Franck, Austria/Germany)Read more »

Doom lens

YEAR IN FILM: Cheryl Eddy assesses 2011's cinematic contributions and wonders if the apocalypse isn't already upon us

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cheryl@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM As everyone and John Cusack knows, 2012 is it. And not in a "billboard-buying Alameda radio preacher Harold Camping's bungled Rapture predictions" kind of way. This is an all-in situation. The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, a complicated and ancient system most enthusiastically explained by conspiracy theorists, winds up its 13th 144,000 day cycle on December 21, 2012. TL; DR: we're toast.Read more »

Clark shadows

Totally awesome video games! 1970s and 80s schlock director Greydon Clark gets a tribute, Joy Sticks and all

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TRASH If you were around in the waning days of drive-ins and urban grindhouses, the heydays of video stores and 1980s late-night cable, or were a Mystery Science Theatre 3000 fan, the name Greydon Clark might ring a faint bell — maybe even a warning bell.Read more »

Small-screen hero

Honoring the versatile John Korty's 50-year career

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM While he's always kept a fairly low profile doing it, probably no director who calls the Bay Area home has balanced our penchant for documentary work and independence with a successful commercial (meaning Hollywood) career as gracefully, or as long, as John Korty. Now 75, the Marin resident is in the midst of a major retrospective — incredibly, his first — at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, which runs through December 4.Read more »

Visual wizard

Talking special effects with Bay Area legend Phil Tippett

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Having brought life to a host of magical creatures and creations in movies including the original Star Wars trilogy, Jurassic Park (1993), RoboCop (1987), Starship Troopers (1997), and more, special effects legend Phil Tippett's film credits span more than three decades and counting.Read more »

GOLDIES 2011 Lifetime Achievement: Ingrid Eggers

When she talks film her whole face lights up, a beatific glow.

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GOLDIES In a city that boasts far more film festivals than movie theaters, one of the most singularly focused is the annual Berlin and Beyond Film Festival — the largest German-language film festival in the United States. Carefully curated for 14 years by Dr. Ingrid Eggers, former program coordinator of the San Francisco branch of the Goethe-Institut, Berlin and Beyond has showcased an eclectic mix of movies by established filmmakers, debut features, documentaries, shorts, and silent films, from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Read more »

GOLDIES 2011: Paul Clipson

A keen appreciation for the interrelation between fine-grained detail and expansive volumes

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GOLDIES Whether we're talking about his verging live projections or crystalline short films, Paul Clipson makes things happen onscreen. His exploratory form of lyricism is composed for Super 8 film. That for is critical, since Clipson shoots with a well-practiced intuition for what shows up as gold in Super 8 (an increasingly rare form of presentiment). While taking great advantage of the small-gauge camera's pencil-like responsiveness to movement, Clipson works from a keen appreciation for the interrelation between fine-grained detail and expansive volumes. Read more »

Frame missing

The unorthodox visions of "Not Necessarily Noir"

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Of all Elliot Lavine's noir programs for the Roxie, "Not Necessarily Noir" is both the toughest sell and the most creative from a curatorial perspective. There are two programs in this abbreviated "Not Necessarily Noir" run that should have built-in audiences — a slam dunk Joan Crawford double bill of Johnny Guitar (1954) and Female on the Beach (1955), and a full course of Ed Wood — but the terrifically nervous movies at the start of the series do the most to stake out its intuitive terrain.Read more »