Arts + Culture
When Bob Rosenthal, executor of Allen Ginsberg’s estate, first approached filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman in 2005, asking them to do the seemingly impossible – adapt Ginsberg’s 1956 epic poem Howl for a movie – they immediately accepted his challenge. But how to do it?
“There was no way we were going to make the 50th anniversary, but we made the 55th,” says Friedman, 59. He and Epstein, an Oscar-winner for 1984’s The Times of Harvey Milk, had previously directed The Celluloid Closet, a 1995 documentary chronicling the history of gays in cinema.
Perhaps the greatest validation of Wall Street, Oliver Stone’s eloquent 1987 take on big-business corruption, was the eventual exposure of white-collar con men like Kenneth Lay and Bernie Madoff, whose unchecked greed would, years later, cost those who trusted them – and America – dearly.
Stone could at this point have let the facts speak for themselves, but instead chose to resurrect Gordon Gekko, the reptilian corporate raider, made famous by Michael Douglas, whose credo – “greed is good” – became the unofficial mantra of the Me Generation.
The constant wrangling we see in The Romantics, directed and adapted from her own novel by Prozac Nation screenwriter Galt Neiderhoffer, might leave us emotionally drained if only we cared more, or perhaps knew more, about the characters at the heart of her talky melodrama.
This much we do know: A group of well-to-do Yalies have gathered along the picturesque Long Island shore for the marriage of ruggedly handsome Tom (Josh Duhamel) and his spoiled, emotionally distant bride-to-be Lila (Anna Paquin).
Just what the Mission needs—another art offbeat gallery. But with the opening of Public Works, the neighborhood's hipsters are going to get a taste of something different (we'll call it Mission meets SoMa). The new multipurpose space is a gallery, bar, artist's workshop, and community room, with the goal of bringing underground scenes and styles together under one roof and promoting some of the Bay Area's most creatively-oriented nonprofits.
The second Oakland Underground Film Festival kicks off tonight at the historic Grand Lake Theater with South by Southwest Film Festival favorite Thunder Soul, about the charismatic band leader who turned an inner-city Houston high school's jazz band into a powerful funk outfit, and American Grindhouse, a revealing documentary about cheerfully trashy exploitation cinema. Elsewhere:
Founded in 2003, San Francisco's Irish Film Festival takes over the Roxie this weekend, kicking off the three-day festivities with the regional premiere of Ian Fitzgibbon's A Film with Me in It, a black comedy about a struggling actor (Mark Doherty) who seeks counsel from his hard-drinking best friend (Shaun of the Dead's Dylan Moran) when a series of freak accidents turns his run-down flat into a mass grave. Doherty, who wrote the script, will be on hand to field questions following the 9 p.m. screening.
Despite being named after such a delicious crustacean, it took Killing My Lobster more than a decade to haul their patented brand of quirky sketch comedy into the kitchen. Now that they’ve hit the pantry, their repertoire has expanded to include a bacon dominatrix (rather than the more obvious...stripper?) (sorry) (yeah, I’m not sorry at all), a warbling fish taco, and a man romancing his cake.
The 34th Toronto International Film Festival, billed by organizers as "the most important festival after Cannes," concluded Sunday, Sept. 19, with the announcement of this year's Audience Award winner: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's account of Bertie (A Single Man's Colin Firth), the man who overcame a humiliating stutter to become King George VI. (Bay Area moviegoers will get a sneak peek of Speech when it opens the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.) Here's an account of the 10-day Toronto festival's highlights, lowlights and (almost) everything in between.
On September 16, 2010, Brian Barneclo, the famed muralist whose cubist-inspired works adorn the walls of many a SF hot spot (Nopa, Rye, District, to name a few) presented new works in a show titled "Looped" at the W Hotel to benefit his Systems Mural Project, a community-funded 600 foot mural at 7th and Townsend in SOMA.