It's not a big news week here in San Francisco: The Guardian is writing about weed again, and the Weekly's cover story is about a disaster that happened in 1900. With everyone's eyes still rolling from Outside Lands and the weather moving from cloudy to …partly cloudy, who can blame you for wanting to take it easy? Unfortunately, movie distribs are also taking it easy and the new releases really aren't much to look at. As Colonel Kurtz might have said: When the dominating culture doesn't satisfy, the best thing to do is go native. Here are 7 films worth catching in the smaller rooms around town during this mini-movie-drought.
Yesterday the San Francisco Film Society broke some incredibly exciting news, announcing that indie bigwig Ted Hope would be stepping up to the plate as the new executive director of the San Francisco Film Society.
Let me offer this analogy for those to whom the impact of this isn't immediately apparent (or who don't spend as much time scrutinizing film credits as I do):
It's famously said that "truth is stranger than fiction," but if the reflux of utterly expected 'reality' TV available at any given time is any indication, most producers have forgotten that wisdom at this point. Even in film, the prospect of a fine documentary has become almost haunted by the specter of activism, a hidden (and often not-so-hidden) agenda that propels funding as well viewership, but ultimately has very little to do with the craft of filmmaking as such.
"The Exorcist" Director William Friedkin Brings Balls and Brio to the SF Presentation of "Killer Joe"
William Friedkin is a director who's never failed to ruffle a few feathers. Best known as the director of The Exorcist, The French Connection, the imperiled Sorceror, and the contested Cruising (protested by gay rights groups everywhere), he's also one of the last "great" directors of his generation to be producing work that still feels alive and exciting. Killer Joe, arguably the most chilling of his films since The Exorcist, opens Friday around the Bay Area.
Inspired by the free beer garden hosted on the SFAI campus this weekend (RSVP here), for this week's picks and drinks I decided to take a detour from the usual cocktails and travel to the cozy Haight Street standby Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery and give this week's picks the cicerone treatment.
Hewing to its diasporic theme, the Jewish Film Festival hosts screenings all around the Bay for the next three weeks, doing duty for it's first week at the hallowed Castro Theatre before stops in Berkeley, San Rafael and points south. We've chosen five can't-miss picks from the 63 films screening in this year's fest:
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