Dennis Harvey

Exile on Main St. USA

'Escape From Tomorrow' creeps inside the Mouse House

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Escape From Tomorrow acquired cachet at Sundance this year as a movie you ought to see because it probably wouldn't surface again — not because it was that bad, but because any regular release seemed sure to be legally blocked. The reason was its setting, which composites two of the most photographed (and "happiest") places on Earth. They're also among the most heavily guarded from any commercial usage not of their own choosing.Read more »

The great divide

Robert Reich breaks down the economic breakdown in 'Inequality for All'

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Whatever the wisdom of Obama's strategy for Syria, public response has made it clear that most Americans no longer want the US to meddle in foreign affairs — at least not if it costs money and might embroil our troops in another endless, winless imbroglio. This is a little flummoxing, since not so long ago we gave another president a free pass to invade countries for far more dubious reasons, and are still paying the price for those rubber stamps in many, many ways a decade later.Read more »

Highway to hell

'Blue Caprice' explores the murky motives of the Beltway snipers

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Provoc-auteur

A multi-venue series highlights edgy filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini

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FILM It still boggles the mind that perhaps the most important single figure in the socio-religiously conservative Italy's artistic media of the 1960s through the mid-'70s — an extraordinarily fertile period, particularly for cinema — was an openly queer Marxist atheist and relentless church critic. Pier Paolo Pasolini stirred innumerable controversies during his life, ending prematurely in his alleged 1975 murder by a teenage hustler. Read more »

Blah lust

Brian De Palma's tame, lame 'Passion'

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Scenes from a marriage

'Cutie and the Boxer' showcases one artistic couple's functional dysfunction

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FILM At least since Grey Gardens in 1975 provided a peek at mother-and daughter eccentrics living in squalor — distinguished from your average crazy cat ladies by being closely related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis — there's been a documentary subgenre devoted to, well, weirdos. Errol Morris and Werner Herzog have devoted a sizable chunk of their output to them, those people who might make you nervous or annoyed if they lived next door but are fascinating to gawk at for 90 minutes or so. Read more »

Reel to real

Revisiting Shirley Clarke's 1967 'Portrait of Jason'

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Catch a falling star

Paul Schrader talks celebrity, post-theatrical cinema, and 'The Canyons'

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Now that "train wreck" is an official celebrity category popular media ignores at its peril, certain people and projects are deemed doomed automatically. Lindsay Lohan can't redeem herself — she'd lose her entertainment value by regaining any respect. Ergo, The Canyons — the first theatrical feature she's starred in since 2007, the year of triple A-bombs Georgia Rule, Chapter 27, and I Know Who Killed Me — was earmarked as a disaster from the outset.Read more »

Downwardly mobile

Woody Allen's highly anticipated 'Blue Jasmine' has less San Francisco in it than expected — but it's still his best film in years

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Hysterical blindness

A false accusation devastates a man and his community in 'The Hunt'

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Mads Mikkelsen has the kind of face that is at once strikingly handsome and unconventional enough to get him typecast in villain roles. (A good Hollywood parallel would be Jack Palance in his prime — they've got the same vaguely Slavic features, with sharp cheekbones and narrow eyes.)Read more »