Film Review

Mann up

PFA lures Anthony Mann's crime noirs out of the shadows

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Mumble, mumble, murder

A photographer shoots fake crime scenes in Joe Swanberg's meta-thriller '24 Exposures'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Joe Swanberg's latest film to play the Roxie, 24 Exposures, isn't actually his newest. That'd be family drama Happy Christmas, which just premiered at Sundance. Going by festival reviews, Christmas sounds like it's in the vein of Swanberg's Drinking Buddies — last year's Olivia Wilde-starring tiptoe into the mainstream, a departure for the indie writer-director-actor — with a marquee cast that includes Buddies' Anna Kendrick and hipster queen Lena Dunham.Read more »

Soft eyes

Chip Lord unearths unexpected details in urban landscapes

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Chip Lord first came to public attention as a founding member of art collective Ant Farm (1968-78), which allowed him to explore his interest in alternative architecture via projects like the Cadillac Ranch installation in Amarillo, Texas. He later segued into teaching (at UC Santa Cruz) and video art, with works that include a long-running series examining city spaces. A San Francisco resident, he'll be at the Exploratorium this week screening a trio of urban-themed works.Read more »

Bee true

The documentaries of Berlin and Beyond

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM It's January, and our premiere German language film festival, Berlin and Beyond, is back to its rightful place on the cinematic calendar after a year off for regrouping, kicking off the neues Jahr with films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland — as well as Turkey and France.Read more »

A tale of two

Actor-director Ralph Fiennes brings Dickens' love life into focus

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arts@sfbg.com

 

FILM No one reads Uncle Tom's Cabin today — Harriet Beecher Stowe's enormously popular novel that almost single-handedly tilted public opinion against slavery enough to support the Civil War — for anything but historical-footnote interest. Yet fellow 19th-century celebrity author Charles Dickens, who had nearly as direct and significant a reformist influence across the Atlantic, is still ubiquitous.Read more »

Super Tramp

SF Silent Film Fest marks an icon's 100th anniversary

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Bad company

Stage hit 'August: Osage County' loses potency on the big screen
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Back in Burgundy

Director Adam McKay reports on 'Anchorman 2'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM The return of Ron Burgundy — the boorish, quotable Will Ferrell character immortalized in 2004's Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy — has been heralded for months, thanks to an extravagant marketing campaign that has included car commercials, a new Ben & Jerry's flavor, and Burgundy-branded Scotch.Read more »

All that glitters

David O. Russell's 'American Hustle' delivers a giddy caper elevated by memorable performances

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arts@sfbg.com

FILM If longer were better, this would be the platinum era of movies. Never before have so many mainstream releases staggered toward or beyond the two-and-a-half-hour mark once reserved for the truly epic — in storytelling breadth, not just in fight scenes, expensive CGI effects, or simple directorial inability to say "when."Read more »

Gore to the world

Scare yourself silly with 1984 cult classic 'Silent Night, Deadly Night'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM Consider the giants of ho-ho-horror. Bob Clark's Black Christmas (1974) boasted an above-average cast (Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea, John Saxon). Christmas Evil (1980) was dubbed "the greatest Christmas movie ever made" by no less an authority than John Waters, who recorded an audio commentary for its 2006 special-edition DVD.Read more »