Sure, you've only got eight days of Christmas shopping left, but rather than subject yourself to the bustle of the department stores, take refuge in a theater. Happy holidays!
1. Vincent: A Life in Color
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: Dec. 16
The fifth San Francisco International Animation Festival kicks off tonight at the Embarcadero with Here Comes the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized, a colorfully eccentric interpretation (by four different artists) of the acclaimed 2009 album by indie-rock stalwarts The Decemberists. The festivities wind to a close Sunday with Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, Brent Green's moving tribute to a Kentucky hardware-store clerk who, during the 1970s, built a crazy-quilt house to cure his wife's cancer. Elsewhere:
Actors usually feel an elevated sense of responsibility when playing real-life characters, a desire to do them justice without pulling any dramatic punches. Especially when their living alter egos are monitoring them on the set.
Just ask Naomi Watts, who stars as ex-CIA officer Valerie Plame in Doug Liman’s new thriller Fair Game. Watts first met Plame during filming, long after her cover with the agency had been blown as the result of a White House leak following her husband's public discrediting of the Bush administration's claim that Saddam Hussein had obtained weapons-grade uranium from the African nation of Niger. Getting to know the onetime covert operative presented a unique challenge.
New Year’s Day has come and gone, and by now you’re already too familiar with the films hailed by critics as the cream of last year’s crop, to the extent that the official announcement of nominees for the 81st Academy Awards (due in the wee morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 22) may seem like something of a formality.