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Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Seeking an antidote to the holiday season's traditional tidings of great joy? Director Takeshi Kitano (1997's Fireworks) returns this week at the Lumiere Theatre with Outrage, a bloody, deliriously eccentric gangland drama about rival yakuza clans competing for the favor of their head family in the Japanese underworld. Elsewhere:

1.
Noir City Xmas
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Dec. 14

A Revolution by the Numbers: Billy Beane Rewrites the Baseball Rules in 'Moneyball'

The following is a transcript of a phone call that may or may not have taken place between Sony Pictures chairman Michael Lynton and Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, the subject of Bennett Miller’s new sports drama Moneyball. It could have taken place in July 2009, not long after the movie’s original director, Steven Soderbergh, was given the hook in favor of ace relievers Miller and script specialist Aaron Sorkin.
 
BB: “Michael, it’s Billy, calling to talk Moneyball. I know the movie’s in trouble. There’s speculation that the distribution deal is falling apart.”
 

A Cell's Eye View of San Diego Comic-Con

It’s a freeloader’s delight, if you charitably overlook the extravagant cost of room and board: San Diego’s Comic-Con International – founded in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention, by a fanatical crew of forward-thinking nerds – is a celebration of advertising slyly disguised as something like philanthropy. It is a unique opportunity for toy manufacturers, movie studios and publishing houses to give back to the fans, often in the form of complimentary t-shirts, posters, key chains and other disposable keepsakes.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The wait is over. After a brief, regrettable hiatus, the Indie Theater Roundup is back, locked and loaded for a long summer, ready with the antidote to the foppish banality of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and the calculated naughtiness of The Hangover Part II. So, without further ado:

1. A Place in the Sun

Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: May 28

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

San Francisco Indiefest's Another Hole in the Head festival keeps the body count rising through Thursday at the Roxie and Viz theaters, while Jean-Luc Godard's remarkable feature debut, Breathless, gets a rousing new restoration, on display this week at the Embarcadero. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.

1. Breathless

Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week


Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

San Francisco Indiefest's Another Hole in the Head festival soldiers on at the Roxie and Viz theaters, while Christopher Nolan's Inception, the brightest and boldest of the year's big-ticket attractions, arrives at the Sundance Kabuki. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.

1. Inception

Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., 415-929-4650
When: All Week


Mark and Jay Duplass Aim to Unsettle with ‘Cyrus’

Cyrus, a warmly received selection at this year’s San Francisco Film Festival, is a comedy that aims to make audiences laugh but seems willing to settle for making them cringe. But if you can stomach its enfant terrible – a selfish, shamelessly manipulative man-child, desperate to sabotage his mother’s latest romance – you might appreciate the lighter side of his Oedipal obsession.

An Odyssey Homer Never Envisioned: The Hilarious ‘Get Him to the Greek’

Aldous Snow is living the rock ’n’ roll nightmare, stuck on the downside of a career sabotaged by canceled gigs, bubble-brained vanity projects and addiction. He’s blazing a path to the front page of the tabloids, his days and nights a blur of sex and drugs, and it’s not just his music that’s suffering.

Enter Aaron Green, the junior record exec and diehard fan determined to resurrect Snow’s career – and jumpstart his own – by convincing the world’s most decadent rocker to revisit the stage that made him a star, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. Snow, now a laughable self-parody, embraces the plan, but following through is last on his list of priorities.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 More Movies to See at the San Francisco Film Festival

The San Francisco International Film Festival will continue through Thursday, May 6, with a closing-night screening of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work at the Castro Theatre. Until then, the festival's eclectic showcase of international offerings, probing documentaries and soon-to-be cult classics will be playing at its primary venues, including the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre, the Clay Theatre and the Pacific Film Archive. For tickets, showtimes and more information, click here.

1. Last Train Home
Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., 415-929-4650

Judd Apatow on the Well-Masked Anxieties of 'Funny People'

Judd Apatow is no stranger to labels.

Roger Ebert, Variety and ABC’s Nightline have independently declared him Hollywood’s new King of Comedy. The editors of Vanity Fair and the Los Angeles Times downgraded him to Mayor, though their praise was otherwise no less effusive. And Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton, never one to withhold a compliment, recently branded Apatow a “genius.”

But believe it or not, there was a time when the Syosset, New York, native, then in his early 20s, struggled to sustain a career as a stand-up comedian. Although he conceded that battle, choosing instead to write for fellow stand-ups like Roseanne Barr, his passion for the craft remained undiminished.

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