Pixel Vision

Sundance part 10: Happy Valentine's Day!

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Four memorable movies about frisky females from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival

1) Desiree Akhavan wrote, directed, and stars (with deadpan aplomb) in Appropriate Behavior (US/UK), a tremendously personal story about growing up as a bisexual woman in a Persian family in New York. 

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Trunk show: Anchor launches its new IPA

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Read Sam Devine's story on Anchor's planned waterfront brewery in this week's paper.

Last week, Anchor Brewing and Distilling launched an IPA to much fanfare at their Mariposa Street brewery. Initially, one may be surprised that Anchor has joined the frenzy of hoppy West Coast beers. But this is not the first IPA it has released. Originally brewed in 1975, its Liberty Ale was the first IPA to be brewed on the West Coast after Prohibition.

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Sundance, part nine: Foodies! Vampires! Kill! Kill!

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Miss any earlier Sundance coverage? Scroll down right here on Pixel Vision.

Blind (Norway/Netherlands) is the directorial debut of Eskil Vogt, screenwriter of Joachim Trier's Reprise (2006) and Oslo, August 31st (2012). It does not disappoint, and — appropriately enough, considering its writer-director's background — it won the World Cinema Prize for Screenwriting.

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Sole-searching: get to know local shoe designers Freda Salvador

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Freda is mysterious and anonymous.

She walks the hills of San Francisco with purpose. Her style is classic, a bit androgynous, with flair for edginess. She’s always up for new adventures. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She’s fashion-forward but she values comfort, veering away from the misconception that beauty is pain. She loves rock 'n' roll. She’s a San Francisco chick through and through.

Freda Salvador is the creation of San Francisco residents Cristina Palomo-Nelson and Megan Papay. Combining their mutual obsession for Frida Kalho (“more like her badass persona than her folkloric art”) and Palomo-Nelson’s El Salvadorian origins, the duo created footwear brand Freda Salvador. They launched the company two years ago with the intention of bringing contemporary artisan shoes to Bay Area Fredas.

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Sundance, part eight: a quickie, for Leos Carax lovers

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Tessa Louise-Salame's ode to France's punk-rock filmmaker Mr. leos caraX (France), or simply Mr. X,  traces his 30 year career while also showcasing Denis Lavant, who stars in all five of his feature films.

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Sundance, part seven: What is a BABADOOK?

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A quick tip for today's entry: make sure not to miss Jennifer Kent's hair-raising, toe-squinching, and all-around terrifying Australian horror film, The Babadook.

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New movies: Clooney, vampires, stellar imports, and more!

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This week's big release, George Clooney's The Monuments Men, is a dud. So what else should you see instead? Options include a pair of well-received foreign imports (Gloria and Stranger by the Lake), as well as a tribute to a 1980s comedy classic courtesy of SF Sketchfest. Read on!

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Sundance, part six: superlatives

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More Sundance right here on Pixel Vision.

My biggest excitement of Sundance 2014 was the random email I received asking if I would be able to attend a "super-secret screening of a highly anticipated film by a major filmmaker." (Answer: DUH.) The packed house at Park City's defining Main Street theater, the Egyptian, had no clue what film was to be screened, though many thought it might be Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel.

In fact, turned out to be the premiere of Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Part One (Denmark/Germany/France) which is rated NC-17 (look for its theatrical release on March 21, or catch it On Demand starting March 6). Nymphomaniac: Part Two will follow shortly afterward, with a VOD debut on April 3 and a theatrical release on April 18.

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Sundance, part five: Swanberg + Ross Perry

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Missed a previous Sundance post? Check out Pixel Vision for more.

Director and sometimes actor Joe Swanberg is a household name among South by Southwest fest-goers (and mumblecore fans everywhere), with such gems as Nights and Weekends (2009), Marriage Material (2012), All the Light in the Sky (2012), and his segment in V/H/S (2012) entitled "The Sick Thing That Happened to Emily When She Was Younger." 

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Sundance, part four: indie heroes and genre flicks

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Missed yesterday's Sundance installment? Right this way!

In Ira Sachs' Love Is Strange (US), Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) — together for 39 years — are finally married, and suddenly find themselves having to deal with the fallout from an ill-considered world. Both actors are pitch-perfect at portraying longtime lovers, and Marisa Tomei has an intelligent supporting role as a relative of the couple. 

Sundance favorite Sachs (2012's Keep the Lights On), who debuted with the shockingly memorable The Delta in 1996, treats the material with finesse, and the end result is genuinely earned heartache (and, likely, will yield serious crossover potential). It's a cliche, but true: at the screening I attended, there was not a dry eye in the house. 

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