She’s a classic diva, self-obsessed and desperate for attention. She’s famously voluptuous. And her first marriage lost its luster not long after the honeymoon, if even there was one.
We’re not talking about some basic-cable reality queen. We speak, of course, of Miss Piggy, the blonde, blue-eyed star of Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show who ranked 23rd on TV Guide’s 1996 list of the 50 greatest television stars ever – right behind Edward R. Murrow.
It’s the kind of snub that would normally provoke the hot-tempered swine to turn up her snout – she wanted the top spot – except that Piggy has been largely MIA since 2005, when the Muppets briefly reunited for the made-for-TV Muppets’ Wizard of Oz. But her luck is about to change.
Paddy Considine, whose 12-year career in film began with a bruising performance in Shane Meadows’ 1999 coming-of-age drama A Room for Romeo Brass, has spent enough time on movie sets to recognize promise.
Where has Alexander Payne been? The Stanford graduate and critically adored director of Election, About Schmidt and Sideways used to churn out a movie every “two, two-and-a-half” years, a pace he plans to resume after Friday’s release of The Descendants, his poignantly funny adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings’ 2007 novel.
Martin Scorsese's Public Speaking, a revealing portrait of Fran Lebowitz in which the outspoken author and social critic shares her thoughts on gender, celebrity culture, gay rights, smoking bans and strollers, continues its run through Thanksgiving at the Roxie Theater. Elsewhere:
1. The Harry Potter Marathon
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Nov. 19-20
Film Noir Foundation founder and president Eddie Muller hosts Thomas Jane (HBO's Hung) for a special one-night-only screening of the actor’s overlooked 2009 directorial feature debut, the phantasmagorical road thriller Dark Country, tonight at the Castro Theatre. Tickets are available via Ticketweb.
It's the End of the World As We Know It, and She Feels Fine: Kirsten Dunst Embraces Misery in 'Melancholia'
Kirsten Dunst needs a jolt. It’s 10 a.m. on the first Sunday of this year’s Toronto Film Festival, where Lars von Trier’s apocalyptic new drama Melancholia is making its North American debut. And though she arrives not a second late – punctuality is a point of pride with the Point Pleasant, New Jersey, native – the jetlag is beginning to show.
“Look at me, this is totally pathetic,” she says with a bemused grin. “Coca-Cola in one hand, a coffee in the other. Coca-Cola is absolutely terrible for you, but I drink it anyway. It’s one way to start the morning.”
J. Edgar Hoover may have savored his tough-guy image as America’s top cop, a rule-bending maverick unrelenting in his pursuit of justice, but Clint Eastwood, whose fascinating biography of the FBI’s first and longest-tenured director opened Wednesday at the Century SF Centre, the AMC Van Ness and the Sundance Kabuki, says there’s no similarity between Hoover and “Dirty” Harry Callahan.
“Harry was a mythical character,” Eastwood says of the rogue San Francisco detective he created in 1971 with director Don Siegel. “He was a man concerned with the rights of victims at a time when everyone was obsessed with the rights of the accused. And his story was very violent.
Forget Fred Claus. (You already have? Great!) The "12 Days of Arthur Christmas" – Sony's upcoming animated fantasy about Santa's clumsy but well-meaning son, entrusted to deliver an overlooked gift before the holiday morning – kick off tomorrow at the Union Square Ice Rink, where guests of all ages are invited to make seasonal greeting cards, play games and roll around in a designated snow zone.
The 3rd i's International South Asian Film Festival, featuring shorts, documentaries and dramatic features from countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet and England, runs through the weekend at the Roxie, with a special Saturday engagement at the Castro Theatre highlighting Lester James Peries' acclaimed 1964 family drama Gamperaliya and Abhinay Deo's new, Hangover-inspired Bollywood farce Delhi Belly. Elsewhere:
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
In 1983, Compton resident Deborah Peagler was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for arranging the murder of Oliver Wilson, the man who abused her, forced her into prostitution and molested her daughters. Nearly 20 years later, after California legislators passed a law allowing incarcerated domestic-violence victims to reopen their cases, her case became a cause, quickly adopted by two land-use attorneys (Berkeley’s Joshua Safran and Nadia Costa) determined to see her freed.
Essential SF knowledge in your inbox
Sign up for our email newsletters to keep up on events, restaurants and SF haps.