Film Features

Reps rule

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: What's not coming to a megaplex near you

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FALL ARTS In 2010, I wrote a long piece on what Hollywood had in store for fall, and relegated rep houses to a shorter sidebar. But after a summer which produced exactly one truly great wide release (that'd be Attack the Block), and eye-bleeding amounts of unnecessary 3D, a switcheroo seemed only fair.Read more »

Deep in the heart

One Day's Lone Scherfig directs an uncommon rom-com

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Why do romantic comedies get such a bad rap? Blame it on the lame set-up, the contrived hurdles artificially buttressed by the obligatory chorus of BFFs, the superficial something-for-every-demographic-with-ADD multinarrative, and the implausible resolutions topped by something as simple as a kiss or as conventional as marriage, but often no deeper, more crafted, or heartfelt than an application of lip gloss.Read more »

Whose voice?

Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow explore how American Jews view Israel in Between Two Worlds

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM In 1981 Deborah Kaufman founded the nation's first Jewish Film Festival in San Francisco. Thirteen years later, with similar festivals burgeoning in the wake of SFJFF's success — there are now over a hundred around the globe — she left the festival to make documentaries of her own with life partner and veteran local TV producer Alan Snitow.Read more »

Over the edge

Two films about madness at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival

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The nonconformist

A retrospective (of new prints!) traces Bernardo Bertolucci's 50-year career

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Dearly beloved

Before her appearance at the Castro Theatre, Apollonia speaks of Prince and Purple Rain

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Pop historians have praised Prince's 1984 Purple Rain as the greatest soundtrack of all time, the greatest album of the 1980s, and even the greatest album (full stop) of all time. Fans agree — the Oscar-winning platter has sold more than 13 million copies.Read more »

Sing out

Musicals take center stage at Frameline 35

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Heroes and hoedowns

Spotlight on homegrown docs and narratives

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arts@sfbg.com

FRAMELINE This year's Bay Area-centric Frameline features run a thematic and identification gamut appropriate to the festival's ever-inclusive programming. Several are celebrations of local LGBT heroines and heroines, some recently deceased and some still-with-us.Read more »

Ladies first

Kinuyo Tanaka and other legends command the screen in "Japanese Divas"

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM The phenomenon of scene-stealing Japanese divas is all too familiar to this wannabe, having grown up in the clutches of unrepentantly demanding, real-life J-power matrons — the kind who will ply you with unsolicited advice, gifts, and edibles while smilingly applying the thumbscrews of sweet guile, pile-driving guilt, and sheer gambatte.Read more »

A fountain of Penn

The Pacific Film Archive's "Arthur Penn: A Liberal Helping" shows the noorious director in full

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When Arthur Penn died at 88 last September, obituaries listing career highlights reinforced the notion that he was one of those directors — others include Mike Nichols and George Roy Hill — who were BFDs in the 1960s and '70s yet rapidly faded from prominence thereafter. In Penn's case the decline was especially steep, particularly given that during arguably the single most roiling period of change in mainstream American filmmaking, he was at the top of the heap in terms of prestige and thematic adventure.Read more »