Film Features

Watch out!

THE YEAR IN FILM: Films in 2013 favored solo peril, moody self-discovery, and greed-fueled plunges
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cheryl@sfbg.com

YEAR IN FILM What the hell am I watching? I muttered that phrase many times in 2013, with interpretations ranging all over the cinematic map. There was a sense of amazed "How did they do that?" during Gravity; feelings of intrigued unease during Upstream Color and The Act of Killing; and a genuine feeling of befuddlement as a book I thoroughly enjoyed, World War Z, was transformed into a puddle of CG mud with Brad Pitt bobbing at its center.Read more »

Bully pulpit

Why it doesn't "get better" for Carrie White

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arts@sfbg.com 

YEAR IN FILM While teen bullying might be quite topical, it's far from being a new issue, as evidenced by Stephen King's first published novel, Carrie. Set in the hormone-jittery corridors of a suburban high school, the 1974 tome details an outsider's humiliating entrance into womanhood, as well as the ruthless revenge she enacts on her cruel classmates after she discovers she has the power to move objects with her mind.Read more »

Spiking the box office

THE YEAR IN FILM: Looking back at a triumphant year for African American films
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arts@sfbg.com 

YEAR IN FILM It's tough to remember much of the '90s — what with the air horns and kindercore, flannel and Flavor Flav — but I seem to recall Spike Lee giving the orders that seemed to finally, fully come to pass in 2013: "Make black film."Read more »

This stuff'll kill ya

Feed your genre needs at Another Hole in the Head

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Clad only in a dingy T-shirt and tighty-whities, with an overgrown beard and a hollow look of defeat in his eyes, shut-in Ian (Adrian DiGiovanni) spends his days channel-surfing and plotting ways to commit suicide. When his beloved vintage TV ("His name was Kent," he tells the camera, in the first of many direct addresses) fizzles, smokes, and goes dark, he finally takes action.Read more »

Camp classic

Bloody long, and bloody fun: 'Crystal Lake Memories' documents the 'Friday the 13th' franchise in its gory entirety

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Daniel Farrands' 400-minute documentary Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th received coverage last month in an unlikely outlet: the New York Times. "A Seven-Hour Documentary About a Horror Franchise? The Director Explains," read the skeptical headline.

"A seven-hour documentary about a horror franchise?" I said. "Gotta get my mitts on that!"Read more »

The observer

Jem Cohen talks art, photography, and 'Museum Hours'

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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 »

Silver screen playbook

FALL ARTS: FILM Hustlers, slaves, anchormen, and Nebraskans -- Hollywood and rep-house picks for the season ahead

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FALL ARTS In the Bay Area film scene, the volume is pretty much turned all the way up, all year 'round. But fall is particularly jam-packed: we've got more festivals and art-house events than we know what to do with — and coupled with the buzzy Hollywood stuff, film fans best prep for a solid diet of popcorn until New Year's Eve. Or you could pick and choose the events and openings that excite you the most, using my multi-point plan as a jumping-off point.Read more »

Reel to real

Revisiting Shirley Clarke's 1967 'Portrait of Jason'

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