Spending Memorial Day at the Movies


If you're not already on your way out of town or to the beach, let's face it: You'll probably spend this beautiful, sunny, bonus-day weekend on your couch, catching up on lapsed episodes of Game of Thrones, or, god forbid, Girls and wondering what everybody else is doing. Put down that bag of Match-Light and stop contemplating a trip to Reno for a second and consider spending your precious time in the dark enjoying some of this weekend's film picks instead:

Maggie Gyllenhaal is sharp but charming in Tanya Wexler's loopy but doggedly historical satire of the invention of the vibrator, originally devised as a device to combat female "hysteria" at the turn of the century. At the SFIFF screening co-presenters Good Vibrations surprised attendees with a give-away of tiny silver bullet vibrators--don't expect a repeat performance, but with the internets all aflutter with tales of Snoop Dogg, limos and gold vibrators expect someone in the audience to be packing! Starts today at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post Street, and Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Center.

Music Video Race
Last week the organizers of the Music Video Race paired up 20 filmmakers and 20 local artists, spanning the genre pool from dancehall to dub step, and tasked them with a set of simple instructions: shoot and edit a music video in 48 hours. On Sunday, Rickshaw screens the results along with live performances by participating bands Big Light, Le VICE and doppio. Screening party Sunday at 7:30, Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street, 415-861-2011.

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia
Nuri Bilge Ceylan's masterful, atmospheric procedural, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes last year, returns to SF for a week-long engagement courtesy of the SF Film Society. At 157 minutes, the film represents a serious chunk of time, but the payoff is well worth it--and you do have a whole extra day on your hands! Right now at Film Society Cinema, 1746 Post St. @ Webster, 415-525-8000.

Hugo & Tin Tin in 3D
Why anyone would be embarrassed to spend their Memorial Day indoors watching children's films is a mystery to me. In a climate where YA novels are considered serious fodder for intellectual discourse, having your eyes seared by the three dimensional childhood fantasies of one of our most decorated directors is tantamount to a trip to to the symphony, and less than 1/4 of the price. Both films play in a double feature Monday and Tuesday at Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, 415-621-6120.

War and Remembrance: The Films of Aleksei Guerman
The YBCA continues its series of films by long-suffering Russian director Guerman. Hailed by no less a personage than Andrei Tarkovsky as a master of Russian cinema, Guerman's constant bedevilment by censorship, financial issues and even complaints from his own studio leads one to wonder how long they'll have to wait to see his films, if not on YBCA's homey single-screen. Series runs through May 31st, YBCA Screening Room, 701 Mission Street, 415-978-2787.

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