Seven Films to Watch This Week
One review and six previews of this weekend's upcoming flicks.
You won't find Everything Comes from the Streets, Alberto Lopez Pulido's new documentary on Lowrider culture premiering at the 5th Cine+Mas Latino Film Festival this weekend, on imbd. As the future of San Francisco's vast Chicano population gets glossed over in the city's recent white people vs. other, richer white people wars, it's an interesting mini-reminder that the internet isn't the last word on culture, even in this age of relative "inclusion."
Made in collaboration with Oakland-based filmmaker Kelly Whalen (PBS' Frontline/World), Everything Comes from the Streets is a bright and colorful celebration of Lowrider culture with just enough history to tickle the PBS crowds, but plenty of gleaming chrome between its ears. The story begins in the 1950s with the advent of Jacket Clubs (think West Side Story but without the gangs), groups of youths who got together to throw dances and events, but doesn't really get started until the first Lowrider club, the Latin Lowriders, forms in 1969, inspired by Jacket Clubs and their car-culture counterparts in Tijuana.
After that it rolls through the scene, interviewing various car club luminaries (a surprising portion of them women) and limning chrome culture's alignment with the Chicano rights movement and the effects of the "cruising" ban, which effectively killed lowriding and still exists today in many cities.
Though it takes place predominately in San Diego, depicting the lowriding scene surrounding graffitied protest hub Chicano Park, the film could just as easily have been about the local scenes in Hayward and Oakland, two areas that were also lowriding strongholds in the 70s and 80s. Arguably the Oakland sideshow still exists in this tradition, though Lowriders would likely be loath to claim it due to it's commingled history with gangsterism and local violence.
The 5th Cine+Mas Latino Film Festival begins Friday 9/13 at the Victoria Theatre and continues through the 27th of the month at various Bay Area venues. Other highlights include Oscar-nominated director Carlos Bolado's Tlatelolco: Summer of '68 which opens the fest on Friday, Mark Kendall's La Camioneta: A Journey of One American School Bus, on Sunday, and the SF-set romance Delusions of Grandeur on Saturday. Get tickets here.
Salo, The 120 Days of Sodom - This X-rated (really) keystone of a small retrospective of the works of controversial Italian neorealist Pier Paolo Pasolini, on a mini-tour after dates at MOMA in NY and American, is his most infamous work--a realization of the Marquis de Sade's book of the same name. Roxie, Sunday only.
Atheist Film Festival - If the name of this day-long fest scandalizes, it's done it's job. This well-curated series of biting satires, scalding exposes and a scandalizing narratives is probably the most sane response to the hysterical state of our nation's current religious politics. Rotten Tomatoes: 69%. Roxie, Saturday only.
Populaire - This French SFFS alum about is the terrifically twee tale of a fabulous typist in the 1950s whose boss wants to make her the best in the world, and also romances her in the process. Basically, it's Mad Men without the misogyny. Rotten Tomatoes: 73%. Opera Plaza.
Dark Matter: The Films of William Friedkin - PFA offers a timely retro of the Cruising director's works, including To Live and Die in LA and The French Connection this week. Friedkin will appear for a signing of his new book on the 21st. PFA Berkeley, Sept 14-21.
The Family - Do you still like Robert DeNiro? So do the French. Rotten Tomatoes: 25%. AMC Van Ness.
The Manchurian Canidate/Scanners - This SFMOMA-sponsored double bill of the classic 1960s anti-government paranoia flick and David Cronenberg's most political film (albeit the one with the most heads exploding) seems oddly fitting. Not to be missed, especially if both are new to you. Castro, Friday only.