Organizers of the 34th Mill Valley Film Festival, an 11-day celebration of independent and international cinema that kicked off last year with the Northern California premiere of eventual Best Picture winner The King's Speech, have unveiled this year's lineup, including festival openers Albert Nobbs and Jeff Who Lives at Home.
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.
Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., 415-929-4650
When: All Week
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.
Winner of the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival, Thirst was largely overlooked at the time of its American theatrical release, even amid the biggest vampire craze in recent memory. That's a shame, because Chan-wook Park's latest, about a deeply devoted Roman Catholic priest (Kang-ho Song, of The Host) who turns into a reluctant Nosferatu after an ill-fated transfusion leaves him hungry for blood, is one of the year's most chilling fantasies – gory, funny and thoroughly entertaining.
If you've never seen Dr. Strangelove or the original Nosferatu, here's your chance – both are returning to the big screen this week in extremely limited engagements. Elsewhere, Roy Andersson's acclaimed comedy You, the Living (currently boasting a perfect score on the Rotten Tomatometer) arrives at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, making this week a fine time to visit the Bay Area's indie theaters.
The Jewish Film Festival is entering its first weekend, the Red Vic is celebrating its 29th birthday, and David Byrne's Talking Heads are taking the stage (in a manner of speaking) for two nights only. It's looking like a promising week for moviegoers seeking an alternative to the mindless savagery of Orphan and the magical incantations of Harry Potter. Here's a list of some of the finest films arriving at an indie theater near you.
Lounging in a conference room at San Francisco’s Four Seasons hotel, Lynn Shelton, the 43-year-old director anointed “the female Apatow” by her burgeoning legion of online fans, seems relaxed. She’s naturally handsome without seeming glamorized. She’s welcoming, quick to offer guests a drink from her modestly stacked beverage tray. And, thanks to her Sundance sensation Humpday, she’s finally enjoying a slice of the limelight.
If Muggles and the fresh-faced wizards and witches of Hogwarts aren't magical enough to pique your interest, here's a list of the most satisfying alternatives currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.
1. Dead Snow
Where: Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., 415-863-1087
When: All Week
Why: Blood spills early and often in director Tommy Wirkola’s amusingly campy tale of eight medical students on vacation in Norway, where the snow-swept hills boast a terrifying secret: A battalion of Nazi zombies whose sadism seems to have been dulled by neither time nor death.