Film Features

Snoop on the East side

The Lives of Others looks at peepers
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"Christmas on Earth" in February

Forbidden and Taboo
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The pull quote snagged by most critics from John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus was Justin Bond's quip "It's like the '60s, only with less hope," delivered while surveying the myriad sexual couplings and groupings in his salon's back room. Bond's pithy line encapsulated the film's ideal of community through polymorphous perversity, even if that vision is tempered by an awareness of the initial sexual revolution's blind spots and a hangover from the 20 years of sexual-identity politicking in its wake. Read more »

Brutal fucking movie

An exquisite corpse review of Inland Empire

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A corpse is a corpse, of course, of course. And no one can talk to a corpse, of course. Unless, of course, that corpse is brought to you by the famous Mr. David Lynch. Read more »

A few of the best -- and the rest -- from Indiefest

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Green Mind, Metal Bats (Kumakiri Kazuyoshi, Japan, 2006). Never mind Ichiro and his ballsy ilk — Japan has always had an inferiority complex when it comes to America's favorite pastime. So it fits like a glove when director Kumakiri collides baseball and the impressionable skulls of a few budding players in order to sort out the damage done to his small-town losers. Read more »

Your life is calling

IndieFest films investigate senses of place -- earthly, cosmic, and otherwise
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cheryl@sfbg.com

Just outside Las Vegas sits a solitary phone booth, as isolated as the restaurant at the end of the universe. Despite its unlikely location, it's a magnet for lost souls; they appear at odd hours to pounce on the ringing receiver and chat with Greta (Shani Wallis), a mysterious, husky-voiced dispenser of advice and moral support. Read more »

Abandoned planet

Werner Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder trips out
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cheryl@sfbg.com

Read Kimberly Chun's interview with Werner Herzog here.

I thought for sure the next Werner Herzog movie I'd be writing about would be Rescue Dawn, a harrowing POW drama (and a remake of his 1997 documentary, Little Dieter Needs to Fly) due out in late March. Read more »

Grizzly spawn

A chat with Werner Herzog
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First off, an embarrassing disclaimer: I'm not a Werner Herzog groupie — I just want him to be my grandpa. I'd like him to take me on long rambles over misty mountaintops, through the ice, snow, and sand; teach me about his ecstatic yet jeopardy-strewn path; and push me to jump into cacti, dance with chickens, and come out with poetry on the other side. And yet, as all good UFO films go, I suspect I'm not alone. Read more »

Czar of noir

Eddie Muller paints it black with the Noir City festival
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One doesn't feel far from the dark, stylized universe of classic film noir in Tosca, a long, obliquely angled bar in North Beach. Read more »

The ballad of Carmelo

Romantico proves documentaries can be gorgeous and soulful
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By the time you read this, a whole lot of filmmakers, publicists, journalists, and miscellaneous affiliates from Los Angeles will have once again descended on Utah for the annual feeding frenzy known as Sundance. Just what the aforementioned feed on isn't always or exactly movies — the original raison d'être can get lost in the general scuffle. Read more »

CineKink 2007

Education to titillate -- or titillation to educate?
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The simple act of witnessing can transform sex into politics, so it's not hard to see why privacy (like permission) is sacred. The quaint notion of the boudoir is ingrained in most acts of physical intimacy — whether lovers seek haven in the bedroom or take joy in rejecting it. Read more »