Film Features

Chopping spree

'Tis the season for ghouls and gore at Another Hole in the Head film fest

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Unlike the San Francisco Independent Film Festival's flagship event and its popular DocFest, which more or less put roots down at the Roxie, genre fest Another Hole in the Head spreads its horror, sci-fi, and just plain weird wealth around to various venues. Yeah, the Roxie's still on its list, but HoleHead also hosts events down 16th Street at the Victoria Theater, and at SOMA's Terra Gallery and the Vortex Room — the latter an inspired addition, given the Vortex's reputation as a haven for mondo cinema.Read more »

That's a wrap

Gift ideas for your favorite film fan

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GOLDIES 2012: Jamie Meltzer

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GOLDIES He may be a filmmaker, but the inspiration for Jamie Meltzer's first feature-length documentary came while he was flipping through the bins at a record store.

"I found this song-poem compilation," Meltzer remembers. At the time, he was a San Francisco State University MFA student. "It was such an amazing, undiscovered-to-me subculture that I started making the film that day. It took me two years to go around and meet all of these song poets and musicians, but it really started in the record store."Read more »

This much is true

Pirates, politicians, ogres, and cults: DocFest highlights

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM The San Francisco Documentary Film Festival returns for its 11th year with a typically strong program — whether you like your docs quirky, political, musical, experimental, or just plain strange, DocFest has you covered. Plus, there's an "80s New Wave Sing-a-Long," because who doesn't love screaming Spandau Ballet with a few hundred pals? Read on for more recommendations.Read more »

Locally grown

Fresh picks from 'Cinema By the Bay'
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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM First and foremost, make it your business to see Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, which is playing the San Francisco Film Society's "Cinema By the Bay" series and the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, both of which open this week. (See DocFest article elsewhere in this issue.)Read more »

Past lives

Startling family secrets come to light in 'The Flat'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM When filmmaker Arnon Goldfinger's grandmother, Gerda Tuchler, passed away at 98, she left behind a Tel Aviv apartment crammed with a life's worth of objects. As The Flat begins, Goldfinger and his family — particularly his mother, Gerda's daughter Hannah — have just started clearing out drawers and closets, sorting through the possessions of a woman who apparently never threw anything away. The discovery of several vintage fox-fur stoles, complete with faces and paws, elicits much mirth.Read more »

Black-belt Sabbath

'Miami Connection' is the greatest movie you've never seen

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Points of no return

Retro fear and loathing in 'Wake in Fright' and 'They Live'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Wake in Fright opens with a slow 360 degree pan across a dry, barren, isolated landscape. There are railroad tracks and two small structures, but the rest is filled with a whole lot of nothing.Read more »

Gimme Moors

Andrea Arnold offers a raw take on 'Wuthering Heights'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights has inspired multiple films, as varied in quality as the 1939 Best Picture nominee starring Sir Laurence Olivier — and the 2003 made-for-MTV adaptation, in which "Heath" is a pouty, motorcycle-riding himbo. The source material may seem an odd choice for acclaimed British director Andrea Arnold, best-known for 2006's Red Road and 2009's Fish Tank, both gritty films about working-class people, unfussily shot using hand-held cameras.Read more »

Darker than dark

'Not Necessarily Noir III' film fest roars into the Roxie

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM It is one of those hard truths one must learn to live with: Quentin Tarantino will always have seen more obscure exploitation movies than you. His new Django Unchained will arrive just in time for Christmas like a gift wrapped severed limb, leaving dedicated fanboy/fangirl types just weeks yet to immerse themselves in the world of spaghetti westerns to which it pays homage.Read more »