Dennis Harvey

When in Venice

An author struggles with his relationships in André Téchiné's casually intense 'Unforgivable'
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The Friedkin connection

The veteran director re-teams with Tracy Letts for NC-17 howler 'Killer Joe'
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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Like many directors who emerged in the 1960s, William Friedkin started out in television before trying his luck on the big screen. Between 1967 and 1970 he directed four films from which it was difficult to perceive anything beyond a rather wild flexibility.Read more »

Love to Lovecraft

Follow the tentacles: spooky films possess Bay Area screens

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TRASH The movies had barely begun when adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories began appearing onscreen. However, that author's closest inheritor, H.P. Lovecraft, sparked no interest from the medium until a good quarter century after he died in 1937 at age 46, a death as premature following a life by all accounts as miserable as his predecessor's. Read more »

Do not disturb

Todd Solondz's latest, the slight 'Dark Horse,' is not his greatest

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Todd Solondz elicits a variety of responses, nearly all of them extreme, and nearly all reasonable enough. You can look at his work and find it brilliant, savage, challenging; or show-offy, contrived, fraudulent. The circles of interpersonal (especially familial) hell he describes are simultaneously brutal, banal, and baroque.Read more »

Delta delight

Believe the hype: Beasts of the Southern Wild is poetic and enchanting

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Midnight in Woodyland

Try as it might, Allen's latest is hardly a Roman holiday

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM Woody Allen's film legacy is not like anybody else's — his imitators don't count — and is likely to grow ever more interesting in retrospect, as it becomes clear how even his (by now many) bad or indifferent movies still provided some idiosyncratic diversity in American comedy. (For the most part his few straight dramas are, face it, only really interesting as digressions from his strengths.)Read more »

Most likely to succeed

With two new movies (and more on the horizon), Mark Duplass is on the cusp of household-name status

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Womb raiders

A Filipino horror gem unearthed -- and on the loose

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TRASH A primary figure in Philippine folklore dating back centuries, the aswang is a monster that has taken many forms — shape shifting being one constant. But arguably the most prevalent, at least in pop culture today, is that of a vampiric "witch" who uses the guise of a seemingly harmless old woman to ingratiate herself wherever there are pregnant women or young families, with the goal of eventually making a snack of the newborn or not-quite-yet-born. They manage the latter selection by using an extremely long proboscis to suck the ... oh, you don't want to know. Read more »

Pinoy rising

"New Filipino Cinema" spotlights the island nation's burgeoning, work-in-progress filmmaking scene

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