Who was William Shakespeare? Was he the Bard of Avon, the poet and playwright of humble beginnings whose command of the language gave us Hamlet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Or was he a drunk, a fraud and a shameless opportunist?
Anonymous, Roland Emmerich’s sure-to-be controversial (at least in academic circles) historical epic, espouses the Oxfordian theory of Shakespearean authorship, attributing all those masterworks to Edward de Vere (Rhys Ifans), the 17th Earl of Oxford. Shakespeare (Rafe Spall), functionally illiterate and fulfilled more by gold and mead than the joy of artistic expression, is seem as a contemptible fool.
You might know him as Derek Smalls, the hirsute Spinal Tap bassist who sets off metal detectors with the aluminum-wrapped cucumber he stores in the crotch of his pants. Or perhaps you know him better as one of the many voices he provides for TV’s The Simpsons, including the reptilian mogul Montgomery Burns, his kowtowing assistant Waylon Smithers, or the aggressively upbeat Ned Flanders.
The San Francisco Film Festival begins Thursday, April 21, with Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor hosting a screening of the terrific new drama Beginners at the Castro, but until then, moviegoers can feast on this Saturday's "Heavy Metal Monster Mash" festival, featuring five rockin' adventures including Heavy Metal (1981), The Monster Squad (1987), Trick or Treat
It's a tradition older than The Land Before Time II – building direct-to-DVD franchises on the foundations laid by popular originals, including blockbuster titles like Home Alone, Ace Ventura and Bambi.
With the Mill Valley and Cinema by the Bay film festivals fast approaching, October promises to be one of the year's most exciting months for Bay Area moviegoers. Until then, there's no shortage of vital, engaging films awaiting you at the local indie theaters. Among them:
It’s easy to laugh at the members of Spinal Tap, whose bumbling misadventures, pompous observations and hackneyed sexual metaphors are so deliberately exaggerated, because they’re fictional. They were invented to lampoon the all-but-identical architects of an ’80s hair-metal subculture that had already ventured far into the realm of self-parody by the time the Christopher Guest-led trio arrived in 1984.
Get excited for UNWIGGED & UNPLUGGED, going down tomorrow at The Paramount Theater in Oakland. Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer of This is Spinal Tap, Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show, A Mighty Wind and the excellent sleeper For Your Consideration will perform hits from the films' original soundtracks.