With roughly 120 films to complement its delectable menu of musical performances and interactive-art exhibits, the 29th International Asian American Film Festival is now underway, through March 20, in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. For tickets, click here. Elsewhere:
1. Dazed and Confused
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: March 15-16
If Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left was, as Roger Ebert put it, “a tough, bitter little sleeper of a movie that's about four times as good as you'd expect,” Dennis Iliadis’ no-frills remake is roughly the same – slicker, perhaps, but no less brutally effective. There are those who will find it repugnant, and others who will be stunned silent by its raw graphic violence. Nobody ever said going to the movies has to be fun.
While the low-budget original, which has become something of a cult favorite among hardened horror fans, has an air of disquieting authenticity thanks to its grainy, home movie-style footage and its shockingly intimate portrayals of depravity, this latest version is a far handsomer production. Is it more sanitized? Yes and no.
Hyperbole runs rampant in the entertainment industry, but it’s hardly effusive to call Woody Allen a living legend.
At 72, the Brooklyn-born director of Annie Hall and Manhattan has received 21 Oscar nominations during his four-plus decades behind the camera, taking home the statuette three times. He has expanded his canon at the astonishing rate of a movie each year since 1992, and his latest, the remarkable romantic comedy Vicky Cristina Barcelona, won an Academy Award nomination for Penélope Cruz. In short, he has earned his place in the fraternity of the finest filmmakers of any era: among them, Fellini, Scorsese and the man Allen once described as “the great cinematic poet of morality,” Ingmar Bergman.