Film Review

Johnny Ray Huston's top 10 viewing experiences of 2006

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(1) Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) on Oct. 3 at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Yes, it dug deeper into male-male romance than any hopelessly blinkered creation made and marketed as "gay," but I wasn't as amazed by Apichatpong's Cannes coronation creation Tropical Malady as I'd expected to be, especially given the hypnotism of Blissfully Yours. Read more »

Cinema 2006

Top 10s, rants, and raves
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CRAIG BALDWIN'S PRIZED CINEMATIC PEANUTS

Ever wonder why there's an Automotive section in the newspaper every week ... and perhaps consider that the Film section might also be driven by the same industry forces?

And so commercial cinema, dinosaurlike as it is, does continue to lumber along. Read more »

Monster dearest

The screen moms of 2006 look for redemption through desperate living, methadone, and visitation rights
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kimberly@sfbg.com

Move over, matchy-matchy Faye Dunaway of Mommie Dearest and much too armed and dangerous to hug Shelley Winters of Bloody Mama (possibly the lousy dowager emeritus, thanks to Lolita). Read more »

F stands for family ...

... and for fucked up -- an apt tag for 2006's movie kin
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It is not — finally — a good moment to be a social conservative, as the Republicans have finally failed enough on so many fronts that their failure is being acknowledged. Evidence increasingly suggests large segments of the population don't really care that much about the terrifying threat of gay marriage, don't want to turn the clock way back on abortion rights, and prefer keeping church and state as they're supposed to be: separate. Read more »

Eleven patriot acts

Cinema in 2006
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(1) Syndromes and a Century (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand). It isn't just the laugh-out-loud third-act arrival of a typically grin-struck and beehive-hairdoed MD who keeps a pint of Mekong whiskey in her prosthetic leg that'll leave you convinced that Syndromes is Apichatpong's funniest film to date. Read more »

A pirate diary

DVD loot in Mexico City
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When I got to Mexico City's main ceremonial drag, where national parades and military marches are flanked by the art nouveau–style Palacio de Bellas Artes and the most striking Sears department store building you will ever see, it had transformed into a full-on tent city: blue tarp, camping tents, and thousands of political cartoons flowed east for half a mile and filled the Zócalo, the city's vast central plaza. Just a few days before, Mexico's highest electoral court had confirmed National Action Party (PAN) candidate Felipe Calderón as the country's next president. Read more »

Heavenly battles and broken skies

It's past time to look beyond the big Hollywood three to emerge from Mexican cinema
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In 2006 the global media blitz continued to focus on the three Mexican directors — Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárritu — who've been lured by Hollywood. Read more »

Revolutions happen like refrains in a song ...

... or rather, are declared just as often. Amid a state of dependence, a new Philippine cinema is born
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The term independent once meant something in Philippine cinema. It was reserved for such luminaries as Rox Lee (the great animator), Raymond Red (the great short-film maker), and in recent years, Lav Diaz (the great stubborn filmmaker). Read more »

New generation, old joy

It was a good year for boy-men at the movies
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Once upon a time movie men were expected to be all action — confidence, whether in the form of a swagger or saunter, being the mark of the leading man. Such virility was served up uncooked by method actors such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, but it wasn't until the baby boom generation ushered in unlikely stars such as Dustin Hoffman and Jack Nicholson that the archetype really turned over. Realism was the new fantasy, and these actors went to great lengths to convey hurt. Read more »

Revenge of the sloth

It was a bad year of movies about boy-men
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cheryl@sfbg.com

Male malaise sure had a banner year in 2006 — at least as far as Hollywood was concerned. How many more times are we gonna have to sit through the same story about some supposedly endearing dude in his 20s or 30s whose quest to figure shit out exasperates everyone around him? Read more »