The Transamerica Pyramid is the target of a nuclear strike in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, the latest thriller off one of Hollywood’s most dependable assembly lines. Pixar’s Brad Bird is not the first to wreak havoc on San Francisco, though the Golden Gate Bridge, rather than the city’s tallest skyscraper, is a more popular bull’s-eye.
The fifth San Francisco International Animation Festival kicks off tonight at the Embarcadero with Here Comes the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized, a colorfully eccentric interpretation (by four different artists) of the acclaimed 2009 album by indie-rock stalwarts The Decemberists. The festivities wind to a close Sunday with Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, Brent Green's moving tribute to a Kentucky hardware-store clerk who, during the 1970s, built a crazy-quilt house to cure his wife's cancer. Elsewhere:
The Giants are world champions, the season of Oscar contenders has arrived, and the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival is in full swing this weekend at the Castro. Whether you're a sports fan or a cinephile, it's a great time to be in the Bay Area. Here are some of the most exciting features now playing at an indie theater near you.
Director Niels Arden Oplev would probably defend his version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as “an unflinching look beneath the placid surface of Swedish society,” or something like that, but what he has made from the source novel of the same name instead brings to mind the book’s original title, Men Who Hate Women. Even if the intent was to expose lurking (or outright) misogyny, and even if at least one rape is satisfyingly avenged, the cumulative result smacks of a certain relish, a super-sadism fest of a movie – none of the mutuality of consenting S/M here – that titillates far more than critiques.