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Martin Scorsese

San Francisco's Matthew Leutwyler Searches for 'Answers,' Finds Dane Cook

Growing up in San Francisco, armed with a Super 8 camera to document his youthful forays into pyrotechnic mayhem, director Matthew Leutwyler’s journey to Hollywood is more than vaguely reminiscent of the trail blazed by so many innovators – guys with names like Scorsese, Lucas and Spielberg.

“I was always making little movies with my friends and stuff, even when I was at the Town School,” says Leutwyler, 42, whose new drama, Answers to Nothing, opened Friday at the AMC Metreon. “I was 8 or 9, and my brother and a couple friends, Robert and Alexander, we did stupid thing like put a tripod with a camera on it in the middle of our backyard.

'Hugo' a Beautiful, Brilliantly Crafted Love Letter to a Forgotten Forefather of Cinema

Martin Scorsese approaches Hugo, his delightfully inventive adaptation of Brian Selznick’s elaborately illustrated children’s novel, with a profound sense of wonder, and the feeling is contagious. 



Here, in the bittersweet saga of a clockmaker’s orphaned son who reconnects with his father through the earliest machinery of cinema, we find one of the director’s most personal stories to date, a love letter not only to his craft, but also to one of its earliest innovators, Georges Méliès.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Martin Scorsese's Public Speaking, a revealing portrait of Fran Lebowitz in which the outspoken author and social critic shares her thoughts on gender, celebrity culture, gay rights, smoking bans and strollers, continues its run through Thanksgiving at the Roxie Theater. Elsewhere:

1. The Harry Potter Marathon

Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Nov. 19-20

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Hungry for something new? Head to the Roxie this weekend for San Francisco's annual International Festival of Short Films, featuring dozens of cutting-edge documentaries, music videos and animations representing 20 countries. Otherwise, check yourself into the Castro for a week of bona-fide American classics, including:

1.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Where:
Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Sept. 9

That's a Wrap! At 40, Kevin Smith to Retire from a Colorful Career in Filmmaking

To say that critics made Kevin Smith’s career might seem to ascribe too much significance to the whims of a vocal but oft-ignored minority. But to hear Smith tell it, it was New York Times writers Janet Maslin and Dave Kehr whose unreserved praise of his modestly budgeted Clerks (1994) helped put the former convenience-store cashier on Hollywood’s map.
 

Michael Rapaport, Phife Dawg Explore 'Beats Rhymes & Life' and the Tumultuous Travels of A Tribe Called Quest

In an industry dominated by larger-than-life personalities, sometimes with egos to match, even a touch of false modesty is refreshing. But for first-time feature director Michael Rapaport, better known for his acting turns in True Romance (1993) and TV’s Boston Public, humility is no act.
 
After a decade spent seeking the right opportunity to get behind the camera, the native New Yorker, a self-proclaimed “hard-core fan” of the seminal hip-hop trio (and sometime quartet) A Tribe Called Quest, saw the stars align in 2008, when Tribe reunited for an abbreviated summer tour.
 

10 for '10: The Year in Movies

With 2010 about to fade into our rearview, it's time to pay our respects to a year that produced its share of very good movies, but precious few great ones. It was a year dominated by memorable performances in supporting roles – Christian Bale as a crack-addicted burnout in The Fighter, John Hawkes as a rough-and-tumble hillbilly in Winter's Bone, Jacki Weaver as an insidious matriarch in the overlooked Australian import Animal Kingdom – and the visual bravura of Inception, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and TRON: Legacy.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The San Francisco Film Society's annual celebration of New Italian Cinema, which closes Sunday with Paolo Virzi's touching drama The First Beautiful Thing, takes center stage at the Embarcadero this weekend, while Harry Potter and his magical minions take the fight to the murderous Lord Voldemort in the first installment of David Yates' Deathly Hallows. Elsewhere:

1. Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer

Woody Allen Struggles with the Agony of Creation and the Perils of Wish Fulfillment with 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger'

Perhaps old dogs can’t be taught new tricks, but many veteran directors are learning to adapt in a Hollywood where sequels, remakes and treatments of popular comics are very much in season.
 
This fall, Stephen Frears, 69, will unveil his first take on a graphic novel, the romantic comedy Tamara Drewe, before tentatively laying the groundwork for a remake of his 1984 thriller The Hit. Oliver Stone, 64, has returned to Wall Street. And, at 67, Martin Scorsese is busy directing his first 3-D fantasy – next winter’s Hugo Cabret – and planning a Taxi Driver sequel.
 

Ambition Eclipses Suspense in ‘Prince of Persia’

Here’s the dilemma. On the one hand, Prince of Persia is everything you’d expect from a sprawling, two-hour fantasy inspired by a video game: frivolous and predictable, a collection of high-wire set pieces loosely strung together in a convoluted story.

On the other, it is handsomely shot and surprisingly ambitious, with an impressive cast led by a bulked-up Jake Gyllenhaal, whose scrappy hero recalls a better-humored Hamlet, and Ben Kingsley as his beguiling mentor. And there’s the rub.

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