The Sonoma Film Festival and the San Francisco Women's Film Festival are both underway through Sunday, while Super, an ultra-violent comedy starring Rainn Wilson as a hopeless schlub turned vigilante superhero, ratchets up the body count at the Embarcadero. Elsewhere:
1. Bill Cunningham New York
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
Inspired by the true story of Danny Greene, a onetime labor leader turned gangster who rose to fame during the summer of 1976 as the man Cleveland's Italian mafia couldn't seem to murder, Kill the Irishman arrives at the Century Centre 9 on Market Street today, bringing with it a stellar cast led by Ray Stevenson, Christopher Walken, Vincent D'Onofrio and Paul Sorvino. Elsewhere:
1. The Wizard of Oz Sing-Along
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: All Week
Exposed on Film, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's ongoing film series presented in conjunction with Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera Since 1870, returns to the Castro this weekend with Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool, a cinema verité-style exploration of social tension in America during the 1960s, and David Lynch's macabre fantasy Lost Highway. Elsewhere:
1. The Found Footage Festival
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: March 4-5
With the city's 13th Independent Film Festival set to kick off next week, now is the time to catch up on all the major players in this year's Oscar sweepstakes, including Best Actor favorite Colin Firth (The King's Speech, playing at the Embarcadero) and Best Actress favorite Natalie Portman, whose tour-de-force performance in Black Swan is currently the featured attraction at the Balboa.
1. The Illusionist
Where: Clay Theatre, 2261 Fillmore St., 415-346-1124
When: All Week
With Noir City 9 descending on the Castro for the next 10 days and San Francisco's 13th Independent Film Festival arriving in early February, the new year is already heating up for local cinephiles. Here, as always, are some of the finest selections currently playing at an indie theater (and, in this week's edition, a Loews cineplex) near you.
1. Barney's Version
Neither Christopher Plummer, 80, nor Helen Mirren, 64, the stars of Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station, took home Oscars from last Sunday’s awards ceremony. But as far as Hoffman is concerned, their work remains indispensable, the key to breathing the intensity of life into his screenplay, adapted from Jay Parini’s 1990 novel, about the last days of Leo Tolstoy.
The careers of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn have seemed linked (albeit tenuously, of late) since starring together in Swingers, Doug Liman's 1996 comedy about wannabe actors braving the L.A. social scene. Since then, the pair has collaborated on Made (2001), the Favreau-directed farce about ex-boxers learning the ropes of organized crime, and The Break-Up (2006), in which Vaughn played a freshly dumped man-child and Favreau a sage bartender.