It’s been a long time since Cary Fukunaga earned his first break in the movie business at a now-defunct filmmakers’ co-op just south of Market. But sitting in a posh suite at the St. Regis Hotel, promoting his captivating new adaptation of Jane Eyre, the Oakland-born director seems inclined to reminisce.
“It was sort of like the Bay Area’s independent film bureau,” says Fukunaga, 33. “You went there if you wanted to get low-end indie-movie production jobs. I found a flier for some really low-budget horror film looking for a location scout, and I got the job, working for free.
OK, one last time for the cheap seats. If you haven't seen this year's crop of Oscar heavyweights by now, the chances are good you never will. But if you want to shore up your rooting interests this Sunday night, or just to impress your friends at their awards party by reeling off useful facts about the nominees, get to an indie theater tonight.
1. Oscar-Nominated Shorts
Where: Lumiere Theatre, 1572 California St., 415-885-3201; Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness Ave., 415-771-0183
When: All Week
With 2010 about to fade into our rearview, it's time to pay our respects to a year that produced its share of very good movies, but precious few great ones. It was a year dominated by memorable performances in supporting roles – Christian Bale as a crack-addicted burnout in The Fighter, John Hawkes as a rough-and-tumble hillbilly in Winter's Bone, Jacki Weaver as an insidious matriarch in the overlooked Australian import Animal Kingdom – and the visual bravura of Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and TRON: Legacy.
Accidental Billionaire? Ultimate Wannabe? 'The Social Network' Deconstructs Facebook Co-Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Unlike MySpace co-founder Tom Anderson, who once greeted the social networking site’s newest users as a default friend, his smiling face plastered on the screen like a digital welcome mat, Mark Zuckerberg rarely seems to have used his position as Facebook co-founder to collect pals, real or imagined.
Until now, the man most responsible for the world’s largest online clubhouse, who innocently describes his mission as making the world “a more open place by helping people connect and share” – neglecting to mention the roughly $7 billion his unique brand of altruism is reportedly worth – has managed to remain largely anonymous outside his circle of business associates, who should never be confused with his buddies.
Just a month remains before the September release of Casey Affleck's long-rumored documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's bumpy transition from the big screen to the recording studio. (The Oscar-nominated Walk the Line star reportedly aspires to rap.) You can try holding your breath in the meantime, but you'd be wiser to visit one of the city's lovely indie theaters, where the following fine films await you.
1. Rebel Without a Cause
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Aug. 6
Rather than wasting your weekend's entertainment dollar on a half-baked Dinner for Schmucks or the equally unpalatable Salt – sorry, I couldn't help myself – find your way to the Lumiere to catch the sleeper hit of the summer: Winnebago Man, Steinbauer's hugely entertaining tribute to an irascibly foul-mouthed pitchman. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
San Francisco Indiefest's Another Hole in the Head festival keeps the body count rising through Thursday at the Roxie and Viz theaters, while Jean-Luc Godard's remarkable feature debut, Breathless, gets a rousing new restoration, on display this week at the Embarcadero. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
The final days of December are not just an excuse to eat, drink and be merry, but also to organize our most beloved cultural offerings into a series of lists. Who am I to buck the trend? With 2009 winding to a close, the time is right to reflect on the past decade and the movies that made it great. Among those honored: Michel Gondry, the French-born auteur whose Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep proved two of the most poignant romances in recent memory, and Jake Gyllenhaal, the quietly effective star of Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain and Zodiac.