Dreaming of a white Christmas? You're probably out of luck. But for those whose holiday celebrations traditionally involve a trip to the movies – as well as those who've lost their taste for the TBS network's annual 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon – San Francisco's indie theaters are serving up a seasonal concoction of time-honored Hollywood classics and contemporary Oscar hopefuls. Among them:
1. War Horse
Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., 415-929-4650; Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St., 415-221-8184
When: All Week
For all the imitations and parodies it has inspired since its debut at New York’s Globe Theater on Dec. 20, 1946 – appropriately, a special screening for charity, one day before the movie’s official premiere – Frank Capra's yuletide classic remains one of America’s most enduring seasonal staples. Not bad for a family drama dismissed by critics of its day as sentimental slop, and all but ignored by moviegoers: It’s a Wonderful Life was the 26th highest-grossing picture of 1947, just ahead of another holiday offering, Miracle on 34th Street.
Looking to take refuge from the weekend traffic in the air-conditioned confines of a darkened theater? Check out the best of this summer's indie fare – including Bride Flight, Twin Sisters director Ben Sombogaart's award-winning epic romance – now playing at San Francisco's venerable arthouse cinemas, and enjoy your Fourth of July safely, merrily and with a hefty helping of holiday BBQ.
1. Page One: Inside the New York Times
Where: Bridge Theatre, 3010 Geary Blvd., 415-751-3213
When: All Week
With IndieFest's Another Hole in the Head Festival now scarring horror enthusiasts at the Roxie, and the 35th annual International LGBT Festival just around the corner, there's no shortage of intriguing options for Bay Area moviegoers in search of an evening's entertainment. Among this week's best:
1. Midnight in Paris
During a time when single-screen theaters have become dinosaurs, hopelessly outnumbered by overstuffed cineplexes where first-run features crowd shoebox-sized auditoriums, the Castro Theatre is a refreshing relic, a movie palace that treats films as works of art. As such, it is the only venue in San Francisco equipped to project in high-resolution 70-millimeter format, giving local cinephiles an increasingly rare opportunity to see big-screen classics like Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia as they were originally intended.
For fans of the 2008 Swedish import Let the Right One In who have angrily littered the Internet with cries of blasphemous imitation, Chloë Moretz, the 13-year-old star of Let Me In, opening Friday, has a simple request: Give Matt Reeves’ remake a chance.
“Put aside the controversy and watch the movie,” says Moretz, who plays Abby, a centuries-old vampire trapped in the pale, deceptively frail-looking body of a 12-year-old. “See if you take something new from it.”
Welcome, dear friends, to the first Indie Theater Roundup ever (partially) written and published from 30,000 feet above – hold on, let me check – Michigan! Will the wonders of technology ever cease to amaze? Let us all take a moment of silence to thank Richard Branson for this thrilling innovation to modern flight, then turn our attention to the matters at hand: movies! You want 'em, and the city's indie theaters have 'em. Check these out:
If you’re ready to experience Vertigo – the Hitchcock classic, not the super-friendly bar and dance club on Polk Street – now’s your chance. As always, here’s a list of some of the films currently in rotation at a San Francisco indie theater near you.
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: June 3-4