Film Review

Key of twee

'Once' filmmaker returns with lightweight music-biz fantasy 'Begin Again'

|
()

Reel pride

What to see (or skip) as the huge Frameline 38 LGBT film festival takes over the city

|
()

The Case Against 8 (Ben Cotner and Ryan White, US) This documentary follows the successful fight to have Proposition 8 overturned as unconstitutional and restore legality to gay marriage in California. There's way too much time spent on the couples chosen as plaintiffs, a Berkeley lesbian pair and two Los Angeles male partners — we get it, they're nice people — and the decisions to disallow broadcast of the eventual court proceedings means we get laborious recitations of what people have already said on record. Read more »

Go with a smile

SF screenwriter Sam Hamm remembers 'Batman', 25 years later

|
()

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Clad in his signature cape and cowl, Batman has been taking to the streets in the darkness of night and fighting crime in the imaginations of comic-book fans for 75 years.Read more »

Puff piece

Music-manager doc 'Supermensch' doth gush too much

|
()

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Sometimes a movie can only be called a gift — a gift intended for somebody other than the viewer. Clearly a film is a vanity project if its primary intent seems to flatter its maker. But what about when it's a love letter from one rich, entitled celebrity to another? Then the vanity grows complicated, not least by the fact that we're expected to pay for the privilege of watching one ass kiss another.Read more »

Peculiar thrills

Barbie art, wicker kittens, Harry Who, and jingle bells at DocFest 13

|
()

Where evil grows

A small-town hero discovers his dark side in Jim Mickle's pulpy 'Cold in July'

|
()

It's all reel

SUMMER MOVIE PREVIEW: The YA adaptations, heroes and villains, and many explosions of Hollywood's summer. Plus: local film festivals

|
()

Stony lonesome

'I Wake Up Dreaming' unspools rare, hard-boiled tales

|
()

arts@sfbg.com

FILM Prison should be the most natural setting for film noir, as that's where most of the genre's protagonists are headed (if they don't get bumped off first), and where many of them have already been. But it's had spotty representation onscreen, with time served either skipped over in the narrative (how many pulp fictions start with a hard-luck protagonist just getting out of long-term for what's sure to be short-term freedom?), or dominating entirely.Read more »

Home brew

New docs probe where the heart is — and isn't

|
()

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Jose Antonio Vargas' grandparents — who raised him in Mountain View after he was smuggled into America at age 12 from the Philippines — expected him to grow up, blend in, and live a perfectly ordinary life in his new country. He'd work a "menial job," as both of them had, and eventually legalize his immigration status by marrying an American woman.Read more »

Needs salt

'Tasting Menu' is a bland addition to the foodie-movie trend

|
()

cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Foodie movies — a perennially popular genre, thanks to standard-bearers like 1996's Big Night and 1994's Eat Drink Man Woman — are having a particularly heady moment. There's Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon's travelogue The Trip to Italy — as full of hilarious impressions as it is delectable pasta dishes — which screened to appreciative crowds at the San Francisco International Film Festival; and Jon Favreau's food-truck comedy, Chef, poised to open locally May 16 after taking the audience award at Tribeca.Read more »