Louis Peitzman

Welcome to Elm Street: Part Three

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In honor(?) of the new A Nightmare on Elm Street, we're recapping all of the Elms so far. Find more on the Pixel Vision blog.

“Live together, die alone.” I stole that line from Lost, but it sums up A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) all too well. The remaining Elm Street kids — you know, the ones whose parents enacted mob justice on Fred Krueger — find themselves locked in a psych ward. They’re not really crazy: they’re just having bad dreams. But these teens are (mostly) smarter than their predecessors, and they refuse to go down without a fight. The “dream warriors” pick up on two important facts: there’s safety in numbers, and you can do awesome shit when you’re dreaming. I believe The Simpsons’ Ralph Wiggum said it best: “Sleep! That’s where I’m a Viking.” Read more »

Welcome to Elm Street: Part Two

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In honor(?) of the new A Nightmare on Elm Street, we're recapping all of the Elms so far. Find more on the Pixel Vision blog.

A Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985) is probably the most reviled of all the Nightmare movies. Which is silly, because it’s awesome. OK, there are serious continuity problems and an utter lack of interior logic. You could skip right to part three without missing a beat — in fact, maybe you should. Freddy’s Revenge works better outside the context of the series. You have to appreciate this movie for what it is: a campy, homoerotic comedy. Dark comedy, but still.

Nancy (Heather Langenkamp) has been replaced by adorkable dweeb Jesse (Mark Patton). Freddy (Robert Englund) doesn’t want to kill Jesse; he wants to—wait for it — get inside him. And if you’re wondering how this Freddy relates to the original, don’t bother. Part 2’s Freddy seems to be able to torment people who are awake. He doesn’t murder teens on his own: he has to work through Jesse’s body. Or something. Screw the plot — the fun of Freddy’s Revenge is noting all the queer subtext.

Here’s my list of the 14 gayest things in this movie.

Read more »

Thumbs up

SFIFF pays tribute to veteran film critic Roger Ebert

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arts@sfbg.com

SFIFF I'm a film critic, but that's not something I'm always inclined to admit. Tell people you're a writer and they'll instantly construct a romantic fantasy. Tell them you review movies and suddenly you're a hypercritical elitist or a geek hammering out blog posts from his parents' basement.Read more »

Chatting with "The Yellow Handkerchief" star Eddie Redmayne

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English actor and model Eddie Redmayne isn’t yet a household name, but he’s achieved rising star status with a string of much lauded roles in indie and mainstream films. After playing Edward Wilson, Jr. in The Good Shepherd (2006) and murderous son Tony in Savage Grace (2007), he returns to American film as colorful outcast Gordy in The Yellow Handkerchief. I spoke to Redmayne about getting a handle on his strange character, which meant doing road trip research and adopting a Southern drawl.

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The importance of being earnest

Dear John's actors go beyond easy cheese

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FILM Say what you will about films adapted from Nicholas Sparks novels: there's no denying they attract some genuine talent. Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried know that many will dismiss Dear John as a "chick flick," but both believe there's more to the movie than that. "It's not just Channing Tatum without a shirt on," Seyfried insisted during a recent visit to San Francisco with her costar. "It's a real movie. It has a real message. It has a really good theme. I think everybody's going to leave feeling a little inspired."Read more »

Mockumentary, true love

The joys of Waiting for Guffman -- and an upcoming afternoon with Fred Willard
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QUOTABLE CULT CLASSIC I think Libby Mae said it best: Corky St. Clair has a vision. Or at least, Christopher Guest does — and since he cowrote, directed, and starred as Corky in Waiting for Guffman (1997), I'd say it's fair to make the connection.Read more »

False Idols

DECADE IN MUSIC: Pop went meta, exposing its gaga machinery
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Guardian illustration of the Jonas Brothers by Matt Furie and Aiyana Udesen

DECADE IN MUSIC Forget what you've heard: stars aren't born — they're made. Pop music over the past decade has been defined by the music industry, with standout stars manufactured to be, well, standout stars. We've reached the point where the biggest names are chosen by reality TV, the media, and, more often than not, the Disney corporation.

Does that sound cynical? Read more »

Ask, don't tell

Let's get at least one thing straight about Adam Lambert
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POP STAR ON FIRE Let's get one thing straight — despite what his album (For Your Entertainment, RCA) and single proclaim, Adam Lambert is not here for your entertainment. Well, sure, he's a performer, and as such he has certain obligations to his fans. But that doesn't mean he exists solely for our benefit. If he did, we'd be able to mold him to our liking, creating either a sexuality-defying glam rock god or, to use a Rufus Wainwright term, the gay messiah.

Lambert is neither of those things, simply because people aren't that easy to define. Read more »

Lights, camera, kink!

Good Vibrations' erotic film fest spreads reel love
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a&eletters@sfbg.com

For most of us, erotic film is more a means to an end than an event unto itself — not to mention something to be enjoyed in private. This month, Good Vibrations offers a prime opportunity to break free from that conception and celebrate erotica in a thoroughly public way. On Sept. Read more »

'Manhattan' 2.0?

Woody Allen sticks with what works for Whatever Works
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Every once in a while Woody Allen breaks new ground, uncovering a different side of the incomparably prolific filmmaker. Just as often, he doesn't. Whatever Works isn't exactly reinventing the wheel, but it's funny — in fact, it's one of the funniest and warmest of his recent films. It just goes to show that even when he's not the "new and improved" Woody Allen, he's still Woody Allen. And that's nothing to sniff at.

Allen doesn't star in Whatever Works, but he might as well. Read more »