Searching for a hearth, any hearth, in front of which to warm my toes on this cold, cold night, I headed to Blackbird Bar, a lower Castro haunt that I find myself at more often than not when I'm in the area, for this week's picks and drinks. In a city rumored to tip the scales at more than 800 bars, opportunities to be pretentious about your cocktail selection lurk, suspender clad, around every corner, and I've always noticed Blackbird to be refreshingly casual and comfortable considering the breadth of their selection.
With studios and movie-goers still emerging from their holiday comas and Oscar creating all that static rubbing his golden mitts together in anticipation, January can be a sleepy time for independent releases. Fear not though, the winter thaw is already beginning--have a peek at this weekend's offerings:
If the beginning of your year is like ours, it's jam-packed as ever with new rules, hopes and promises of good behavior... all made mostly in vain. With clear eyes, we make resolutions we're sure to break almost immediately and jot down lists of unrealistic goals that are soon to be lost behind a desk somewhere.
The first few weeks are, at their heart, a fantasy of sorts. In that spirit, instead of starting the year off with a list of the films we all know will be huge in 2013 (A Good Day to Die Hard or The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp for example), we've elected to begin on a more idealistic foot with a quick look at the deserving few we hope to be seeing a whole lot more of in the year to come. Mark your calendars!
Fans of reggae music will not want to miss the latest film detailing the life of the genre’s undeniably biggest luminary, Bob Marley.
Last night marked the opening of the second annual SF Green Film Festival with the premiere of Island President, the work of Bay Area filmmaker Jon Shenk. The doc follows former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed (he was forced to resign on Feb. 7) for two years and tracks his efforts to fight the already devastating effects of climate change on his country. Your next chance to catch the film is March 20 as part of the SF Film Society's Global Threats Film Series before it's released at Landmark Theatres Embarcadero Center Cinema on April 6.
The festival runs through Wed. 3/7 and includes a diverse mix of short and feature-length films.
Before local ODC Theater resident Catherine Galasso jets off to Paris and New York with her latest show, she's premiering Bring On The Lumière! right here at homebase. The show—a combination of dance, theater, light, and illusion—is inspired by the French forefathers of film, the Lumière brothers. Like all of her work, Galasso pushes the boundaries of traditional performance in an exploration of uncharted territories. We took a few minutes of Galasso's time to talk about Bring On The Lumière!.
Isn't it refreshing when brands get off their butts and do something to help the world? Do-good local winery Barefoot Wine has launched a Facebook campaign to promote their beach rescue initiatives through a viral film called One Beach: A film about creativity, optimism, and fun, while cleaning the world's beaches. Directed by surfer and filmmaker Jason Baffa, this environmental documentary about beach preservation, is in collaboration with Surfrider and BBDO SF. Blending the world's of wine, the environment, the arts, advertising, and social media, it's a short film with a lot of gumption.
Remember those hokey booths on the boardwalk at the shore where you could dress up in old-fashioned Western garb and get your picture taken? Well, Vince Donovan and Michael Shindler, two local photographers who specialize in alternative processes, took that idea and made it cool with Photobooth. Starting this weekend, anyone can pop into their concept shop and get a unique portrait created instantly onsite using alternative techniques including tintypes and Polaroid shots.
Capp Street's Oddball Films—home of the Film+Video stock film archive specializing in the rare and the bizarre–will present a beer-themed program of films titled "Home Brewed Cinema: From Popular Drink to Pop Culture" tomorrow at 8pm. Highlights include a 1973 documentary about the brewing process, filmed at Germany's Dortmund Brewery; a 1933 W.C. Fields parody film on the evils of drinking, using his son Chester as the comitragic boozer; and "The Cat Who Drank Too Much," the description of which sounds like LOLcats meets anti-drug PSA.