Inspired by his father Henry, who turned to directing and producing after his run as Fonzie ended in 1984, Max Winkler spent his childhood with a camera in hand, constantly filming home movies and, in the process, honing the directorial skills he puts to appreciable use in his feature debut, Ceremony, opening Friday at the Lumiere.
Did Winkler, 27, hope to follow in the Fonz’s footsteps? Not exactly. As a preteen, he entertained thoughts of acting, even making a brief appearance in Henry’s 1993 family comedy Cop and a Half. Yet Max soon discovered his comfort zone behind the camera, where, as he puts it, he felt more focused, more in control.
Woody Allen Struggles with the Agony of Creation and the Perils of Wish Fulfillment with 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger'
Perhaps old dogs can’t be taught new tricks, but many veteran directors are learning to adapt in a Hollywood where sequels, remakes and treatments of popular comics are very much in season.
This fall, Stephen Frears, 69, will unveil his first take on a graphic novel, the romantic comedy Tamara Drewe, before tentatively laying the groundwork for a remake of his 1984 thriller The Hit. Oliver Stone, 64, has returned to Wall Street. And, at 67, Martin Scorsese is busy directing his first 3-D fantasy – next winter’s Hugo Cabret – and planning a Taxi Driver sequel.
The 34th Toronto International Film Festival, billed by organizers as "the most important festival after Cannes," concluded Sunday, Sept. 19, with the announcement of this year's Audience Award winner: The King's Speech, Tom Hooper's account of Bertie (A Single Man's Colin Firth), the man who overcame a humiliating stutter to become King George VI. (Bay Area moviegoers will get a sneak peek of Speech when it opens the 33rd Mill Valley Film Festival on Thursday, Oct. 7, at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center.) Here's an account of the 10-day Toronto festival's highlights, lowlights and (almost) everything in between.
The Independent Film Festival enters its second weekend, bringing with it Harmony and Me, this year's closing-night comedy about a slacker caught in the throes of a post-breakup malaise and seemingly incapable of snapping his way out of it. Also coming to the Roxie this Sunday afternoon: Double Take, Belgian filmmaker Johan Grimonprez's experimental rumination on Cold War paranoia featuring none other than the late Alfred Hitchcock. Elsewhere:
1. An Animated World
Where: Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., 415-863-1087
When: Feb. 14, 15
If Christian McKay seems uncannily accurate in his riveting portrayal of Orson Welles, the legendary star of stage, screen and radio whose outsize personality was as much a part of his mystique as the productions he so meticulously crafted, credit the man with doing his homework.
Compared to Tony Kushner’s two-part, 7 hour long opus, “Angels in America”, “Tiny Kushner” – at 2 hours and 20 minutes, is tiny indeed. But not tiny enough.
Angels, a (true) work of staggering genius, is not one minute too long. The new evening of five one-acts (which opened on Wednesday at Berkeley Rep.) is about three acts too long.
For Kushner-philes, these new works offer yet five more glimpses into the mind and preoccupations of a still living genius. Period.
Yes, it’s finally here. By now, you’ve probably seen the commercials billing The Hurt Locker as the year’s most acclaimed film to date – no exaggeration, given its enviable score on the all-important Tomatometer – and after two weeks in limited release, it opens in the Bay Area today. Along with Food, Inc., it ranks as the very best of the films currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.
1. The Hurt Locker
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
Now celebrating its 29th anniversary, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival begins Thursday, July 23, with an opening-night party at the Swedish American Hall followed by a screening of Cathy Randall’s coming-of-age comedy Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger at the Roxie. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start celebrating on your own a few days earlier.
With Frameline receding into the rearview and the Jewish Film Festival (July 23-Aug. 10) fast approaching, summer remains a busy time for Bay Area cinephiles. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at a San Francisco indie theater near you.
1. Jules and Jim
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: July 5-6