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.
Perhaps the greatest validation of Wall Street, Oliver Stone’s eloquent 1987 take on big-business corruption, was the eventual exposure of white-collar con men like Kenneth Lay and Bernie Madoff, whose unchecked greed would, years later, cost those who trusted them – and America – dearly.
Stone could at this point have let the facts speak for themselves, but instead chose to resurrect Gordon Gekko, the reptilian corporate raider, made famous by Michael Douglas, whose credo – “greed is good” – became the unofficial mantra of the Me Generation.
Frameline34 continues through Sunday's closing-night presentation of Howl – an revealing portrait of poet Allen Ginsberg's early years, starring James Franco – with a full slate of screenings scheduled at the Castro, Roxie and Victoria theaters. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
1. I Am Love
No need to pity the fool. If spending your weekend with B.A. Baracus and the rest of the reconstituted A-Team doesn't strike your fancy, you still have time to catch Michael Douglas' mesmerizing turn in Solitary Man, or Noomi Rapace's astonishing coming-out party in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Here, as always, are some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
1. Burning Man Film Festival
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: June 12-13
The return of Japanese filmmaking master Akira Kurosawa to the big screen should be reason enough to abandon the beautiful sunshine for nearly three hours. If not, a strong weekend of debuts should sweeten the deal. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
I have not yet seen Wall Street 2, Oliver Stone’s forthcoming sequel to the 1987 drama that introduced us to Michael Douglas’ Gordon Gekko, the reptilian stock-market overlord who coined the unofficial ’80s motto, “Greed is good.” But I cannot imagine a more fitting coda to Gekko’s saga than Brian Koppelman’s story of a down-on-his-luck car dealer nosediving to the nadir of a midlife crisis.