Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
Friday, September 16th, 6:30-10 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)
Sunday, September 18th, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (59 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
San Francisco Native Alexandra Pelosi Chronicles the Naturalization Process in the HBO Documentary 'Citizen U.S.A.'
Alexandra Pelosi loves to travel. It was that passion, on full display in the new HBO documentary Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip, that partly inspired the Emmy-winning filmmaker (2002's Journeys with George) to crisscross America, attending naturalization ceremonies and interviewing the country’s newest citizens – among them, a nuclear scientist at the Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico and young Iraqi refugees in Nebraska.
With the second-ever Athiest Film Festival arriving at the Red Vic and the Sausalito Film Festival celebrating its opening night with the regional premiere of Ryan Piers Williams' The Dry Land, Bay Area cinephiles might find their dance cards full this Friday – and the rest of the week seems just as promising. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
Just a month remains before the September release of Casey Affleck's long-rumored documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's bumpy transition from the big screen to the recording studio. (The Oscar-nominated Walk the Line star reportedly aspires to rap.) You can try holding your breath in the meantime, but you'd be wiser to visit one of the city's lovely indie theaters, where the following fine films await you.
1. Rebel Without a Cause
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Aug. 6
Rather than wasting your weekend's entertainment dollar on a half-baked Dinner for Schmucks or the equally unpalatable Salt – sorry, I couldn't help myself – find your way to the Lumiere to catch the sleeper hit of the summer: Winnebago Man, Steinbauer's hugely entertaining tribute to an irascibly foul-mouthed pitchman. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.
When Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island had its long-awaited October 2009 release unceremoniously delayed by Paramount, it was only natural to assume the legendary director's new thriller, starring favorite son Leonardo DiCaprio, might have missed its mark. Hardly. (The studio blamed the decision on the economy and DiCaprio's lack of availability to the foreign press.) It opens today at the Sundance Kabuki for what should be a long, well-attended run, befitting one of the most cleverly confounding thrillers in recent memory.
Lionsgate Films declined to screen Saw VI for critics, but perhaps they should have. Despite employing the same media-blackout strategy for prior sequels to the 2004 original, time and an increasingly lackluster on-screen product seem to have finally caught up with the franchise. The latest installment has underperformed at theaters, where horror fans are embracing a fresher alternative, Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity.
After an open weekend highlighted by the regional premieres of Lone Scherfig’s An Education and Katherine Dieckmann’s Motherhood, which helped earn star Uma Thurman a festival award, Mill Valley’s annual celebration of cinema from all corners of the globe continues through next weekend. (Tickets for individual screenings are available, and can be purchased here.) The highlights include:
No stranger to controversy—on the contrary, he courts it with the passion of a man possessed—Michael Moore has never minced words in his rabblerousing tirades against on-screen targets including the NRA, America’s private health-care providers and the Bush administration. So it should come as no surprise that the Michigan-born documentarian, 55, is equally blunt in his assessment of American economic policy in his latest offering, Capitalism: A Love Story.