The Mill Valley Film Festival is in full swing, Napa Valley's first is just around the corner, and with the arrival of Take Shelter and George Clooney's Ides of March, the season of Oscar has begun in earnest. Here's a look at what's playing this week at an indie theater near you.
1. Take Shelter
Looking to avoid the crowds flocking to bask in Green Lantern's faint afterglow this weekend? Not a problem. Frameline35 is currently in full swing at the Castro, Roxie and Victoria theaters, proudly showcasing the world's best LGBT cinema through June 26. Meanwhile, Terrence Malick's critically lauded Tree of Life continues its run at the Embarcadero.
With IndieFest's Another Hole in the Head Festival continuing through Friday at the Roxie and Frameline35 arriving at the Castro this Thursday, Bay Area moviegoers should have little trouble satisfying their appetites for something slightly more cutting-edge than, say, the upcoming Mr. Popper's Penguins. And if you'd rather steer clear of the festival crowds? No problem.
So many directors describe their movies as “personal” that the sentiment becomes commonplace, even cliché. Not so with Mike Mills – the Thumbsucker director, not the R.E.M. bassist – who drew on intimate details from his private life as the starting point for his powerful new drama Beginners, which opens Friday.
Sure, he changed the names and embellished the timeline – Mills, 45, says he never intended to make an autobiography, much less portray close friends on screen without their blessing. But in his real-life story, fraught with unexpected revelations and profound self-realizations, the director saw a unique opportunity to connect with wider audiences.
The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival opens tomorrow with Beginners, writer-director Mike Mills' hopeful meditation on family and how our formative experiences inevitably influence our choices in life and love, featuring powerful performances by Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer and Inglourious Basterds' Mélanie Laurent. The lights go down promptly at 7 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, with the festival's Opening Night party to follow at 9:30 at the Terra Gallery on Harrison Street.
The San Francisco Film Festival begins Thursday, April 21, with Mike Mills and Ewan McGregor hosting a screening of the terrific new drama Beginners at the Castro, but until then, moviegoers can feast on this Saturday's "Heavy Metal Monster Mash" festival, featuring five rockin' adventures including Heavy Metal (1981), The Monster Squad (1987), Trick or Treat