Film Features

Being Leonard Cohen

New Skin for the Old Ceremony is reimagined with short films

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arts@sfbg.com

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL "Is this what you wanted/ To live in a house that is haunted/ By the ghost of you and me?"

Likewise, try as its makers might, the specter of Leonard Cohen looms over the short films by Alex Da Corte, Christian Holstad, and the other artists who try their hand at making 11 new pieces inspired by the 11 tracks comprising New Skin for the Old Ceremony, the 1974 long-player that some consider the songwriter's most sublime.Read more »

What to watch

The Guardian staff's short takes on the San Francisco International Film Fest's must-sees

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THURS/21Read more »

Occupational hazards

Punching in with a few SFIFF films set in the workplace

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Transylvania twist

Scarin' up memories with the Monster Squad's Fred Dekker

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM For many devoted fans of horror films who grew up in the 1980s — especially those who were monster kids in spirit or became one in the ensuing years — the 1987 movie The Monster Squad has a special, firmly staked place in their hearts.

Paying tribute to the icons of the classic Universal monster pantheon while weaving a modern storyline into the mix, writer and director Fred Dekker created a now-cult favorite, a film that is scary and funny, entertaining and touching all at the same time.Read more »

Hanna and her sisters

Bullets, babes, and the new breed of girl power

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM With great girl power comes great responsibility — words that only a few of the Powerpuff Girls of 2011 have lived by. Behold the new generation, too young to settle down, prepped to suit up in skintight Lycra or schoolgirl gear, and eager to mete out punishment to the baddies. Girls mature faster than boys, sure, but that diary-keeping wimpy kid reigning the other half of the cineplex would have plenty to jot down in his diary if he met up with one of these slay-belles.Read more »

The world Maclaine made

SF Cinematheque pays tribute to a Beat legend

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Fruits of labor

Behold, a new imperfect cinema

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#Winning

Tom McCarthy goes to the mat for his new comedy

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Is Tom McCarthy the most versatile guy in Hollywood? He's a successful character actor (in big-budget movies like 2009's 2012; smaller-scale pictures like 2005's Good Night, and Good Luck; and the final season of The Wire). He's an Oscar-nominated screenwriter (2009's Up). And he's the writer-director of two highly acclaimed indie dramas, The Station Agent (2003) and The Visitor (2007).Read more »

Xavier university

The young multi-talent chats up his latest film, Heartbeats

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM "I'm not stupid."

For most filmmakers, that goes without saying, but Xavier Dolan is careful to acknowledge both his talents and limitations. The 21-year-old French Canadian auteur, who wrote, directed, and starred in 2009's I Killed My Mother, returns with the romantic farce Heartbeats. "I honestly did the film knowing that I would obviously not invent anything," Dolan admits. "This is not revolutionary directing or writing."Read more »

Youth in revolt

Coming of age tales spark at San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival

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arts@sfbg.com

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL What's the matter with kids today? Young people wrestle with issues that many adults would find beyond their ken at this year's SFIAAFF. Coming of age is a hazard in a Vietnam where street gangs grapple with injustice, under highly emotional — and entertaining — circumstances; in Iran, where oppressive fundamentalism colors even the most carefree youth; and in Hawaii, where the endless party of skate-rat slackitude hits the skids of very adult responsibilities.Read more »