Film Review

Arctic vessels

Matthew Barney serves up cold fish in Drawing Restraint 9
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johnny@sfbg.com

The significance of a different numeral is noted near the finale, but the number in the title of Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9 makes it clear that the film is but one chapter within a gargantuan project that Barney has been working on for close to two decades, the first seven entries an array of vitrines and video installations predating and possibly even anticipating his Cremaster cycle. Read more »

Behind the public machine

"Public Image Ltd."
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The sales pitch is "democracy," suggesting national autonomy and individual choice. But the reality here and abroad is free-market corptocracy, which delivers pretty much the opposite. Yet for all their control on government policy and civilian life, corporations largely remain invisible to those not directly involved with them.

So, corporate culture — and the face-lifted culture it exports for public consumption — may be this century's Esperanto, a language everyone ought to speak but few have bothered to learn. Read more »

That's amore

DocFest loves up pizza, pageants, and pinball
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cheryl@sfbg.com

There are some serious-minded films on the program of this year's San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, like Cracked Not Broken, about a stockbroker turned crack addict, and The Chances of the World Changing, about one man's crusade to save endangered turtles. But when there's an option in life to sample something called Pizza! The Movie, there's really no way around it. You have to go for the pie.Read more »

Tragic replay

Are filmgoers ready for United 93?
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San Francisco International Film Festival: Week two

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WED/26

*Art School Confidential (Terry Zwigoff, USA, 2005). Read more »

Occult classic

SFIFF taps into the magic of Harry
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Harry Smith is a folk hero. Smith's masterwork, the definitive, meticulously edited Anthology of American Folk Music (1952), was the bible of the ’60s folk movement that spawned Dylan, Baez, Fahey, and others. To discover it is to stumble into a forgotten, marginalized world, a portal to as Greil Marcus put it in his book about Dylan's Basement Tapes "a weird but clearly recognizable America."Read more »

The 49er

The San Francisco International Film Festival turns a corner before turning 50
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Singin' in the watermelon juice

This year's SFIFF revives the movie musical -- for better and worse
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› a&eletters@sfbg.com

Imagine being a moviegoer, say, 60 years ago. Then, as now, Hollywood prompted wiseguys and eggheads to complain that the average picture was made by idiots for idiots. In particular, what could be more brain-deadening than yet another 90 minutes spent enduring gaudy production numbers, rickety romance plots, stale patter, throwaway songs, and forced (as they used to put it) gaiety?Read more »

Headbanger's a ball

Canadian doc Metal honors the metal gods
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cheryl@sfbg.comRead more »

Hit by the mystery train

Sarah Watt animates death and dramatizes life with Look Both Ways
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