It's that time of the year again when filmmakers, film connoisseurs, and everyday movie lovers come together to celebrate the artistry of the motion picture industry. The longest-running film festival in the Americas is in its 54th year, and is opening with a world-class cinematic event, special guests, and a convivial celebration with live entertainment, dancing, food and drinks. Head to the opening night at The Castro Theatre on April 21 to catch "Beginners," starring Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge) and Christopher Plummer (think Captain Von Trapp from The Sound of Music).
Some of us are stuck in the non-digital age. And by some, I mean me. I still have a cell phone that simply makes calls and sends texts and only last year did I convert from a paper calendar to an iTouch. So, you can imagine my dismay when digital photography took the place of film. It was a sad, sad day last year when Kodak discontinued its Kodachrome film, best known for producing the most vibrant photographic colors. Soon, the only business still processing it will stop. And thus ends an era during which photographers had an entirely different understanding and appreciation of their art form.
If there’s one time of year when you can let the fond memories of Disneyland Christmas parades, Fantasia, and Swiss Family Robinson tug at your heartstrings, it’s now. Starting Nov. 26, the Walt Disney Family Museum presents Christmas With Walt Disney, a film that brings the iconic founder back to life alongside your favorite Disney faces. Directed by veteran filmmaker Don Hahn (known for his work on The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast), the film intersperses rare family footage of Disney himself with clips from the studio’s movies and television specials.
For the second year in a row, the Disposable Film Festival will join the Bike Week celebration with a bike-in movie screening in the parking lot of the Good Hotel. This year's festivities start at 4pm with tasty treats from ForageSF's Underground Market. Show up by 7 to get in on the raffle, which includes Crumpler bags, 2 nights at the Good Hotel, and a limited edition bicycle from Globe Bikes. Screening begins at 8pm. Cost? Nothing! Just bring a blanket or your camping chairs, and the SFBC volunteers will take care of parking your bike. Check out the video after the break for an idea of what last year's event looked like.
All My Friends are Funeral Singers, written and directed by Califone's Tim Rutili, weaves film and music together into a single narrative. An album of the same titleprovides the soundtrack for the film about a fortune teller confronted with spirits from the past. At this year's Sundance festival, the experimental, non-competitve showcase New Frontier featured Rutili's film, with Rutili providing the soundtrack live. As far as we can tell, Rutili won't be playing live when Noise Pop shows the film this Sunday at ATA (4:15p, $10), but he will be there for Q&A after the screening. Trailer after the jump.
Starting this Friday, Landmark Theaters will show the 2010 Oscar-nominated short films at Opera Plaza Cinema (Civic Center) and the Lumiere Theater (Russian Hill). Live shorts in the program include Instead of Abracadabra, about a magician far too old to still be living at home, and The New Tenants with Vincent D'Onofrio, about neighbors from hell. The animated shorts feature the latest Wallace & Gromit installment, A Matter of Loaf and Death. The special engagement ends next Thursday, 2/26.
It's probably every writer's dream to go to Hollywood, produce a single genius screenwrite and live off those livings for a century. Scriptapalooza is the chance for those handful of amateurs to pursue their dreams in getting picked up by the bigshots. Disney, Miramax, Big Light and Bender-Spinks, names that bring fear and admiration to the hearts of screenwriters, will be in attendance to review the works of hopefuls. The grand prize? Aside from the chance to be read and critiqued by industry leaders, the first place winner will receive $10,000 and a year-long promotion as Scriptapalooza staff.
In 2007, the Bolivian Constituent Assembly met to draft a new constitution for the country. The draft they produced became a polarizing source of political outrage because of its implied empowerment of indigenous people, and by December 2007, the struggle had become violent. Tonight at Artists' Television Access on Valencia, A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition will screen "Guerreros del Arcoiris" (Rainbow Warriors), a film that tells the story of the majority and minority sides of the conflict, followed by a report on the current state of the ongoing struggle. The film starts at 7:30 ($6).
Over the next two months, the Independent's Cinema Drafthouse—where you to the Indy to drink and watch a movie instead of drink and watch music—will feature the venue's favorite flicks of 2009. Cinema Drafthouse: Best of 2009 Edition begins tonight with "The Hangover," the film that launched Zach Galifianakis from underground comedy and music video appearances to mainstream, box office success, even though most people probably still can't spell his name. The Best of 2009 moves on to Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" next Monday, followed by apartheid alien thriller "District 9" (1/18).
If you've never checked out the screenings at Oddball Film (275 Capp Street) tonight is a good night to do it. Guest curator Pete Gowdy, host of weekly listening party Shellac Shack, will present the highlights of 2009's at Oddball, showing the one or two standout shorts from each of the year's screenings. The films include "Ersatz (Substitute)," winner of the 1961 Oscar for best animated short; "One-Eyed Men Are Kings," a 1974 Oscar winner; and "Black Sabbath Parade," footage of a 1970 gay/tranny parade to welcome Black Sabbath to San Francisco. Films start at 8:30 ($10) and RSVP is required (415-558-8117 or firstname.lastname@example.org).