Searching for a hearth, any hearth, in front of which to warm my toes on this cold, cold night, I headed to Blackbird Bar, a lower Castro haunt that I find myself at more often than not when I'm in the area, for this week's picks and drinks. In a city rumored to tip the scales at more than 800 bars, opportunities to be pretentious about your cocktail selection lurk, suspender clad, around every corner, and I've always noticed Blackbird to be refreshingly casual and comfortable considering the breadth of their selection.
With studios and movie-goers still emerging from their holiday comas and Oscar creating all that static rubbing his golden mitts together in anticipation, January can be a sleepy time for independent releases. Fear not though, the winter thaw is already beginning--have a peek at this weekend's offerings:
If the beginning of your year is like ours, it's jam-packed as ever with new rules, hopes and promises of good behavior... all made mostly in vain. With clear eyes, we make resolutions we're sure to break almost immediately and jot down lists of unrealistic goals that are soon to be lost behind a desk somewhere.
The first few weeks are, at their heart, a fantasy of sorts. In that spirit, instead of starting the year off with a list of the films we all know will be huge in 2013 (A Good Day to Die Hard or The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp for example), we've elected to begin on a more idealistic foot with a quick look at the deserving few we hope to be seeing a whole lot more of in the year to come. Mark your calendars!
Before this column takes a break for a few weeks, we bring you a quick peek at ten of the big movies around the Bay this holiday season and share an inkling of who you might want to bring along (if you really, really have to). See you in the New Year!
It could be the way the letters of 'SANTA' conveniently rearrange to spell 'SATAN' at the hands of distracted preschoolers, or it could just be the tendency of the stressful season to pressurize folks (until they POP), but there's something uncanny about Christmas that inspires filmmakers to maim and murder en masse on the big screen.
Youtube be damned. Since they started collecting tapes in 1991, Found Footage Festival curators Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett have an abiding relationship with oddball VHS tapes (and their "stars") culled from thrift stores, garage sales, and, sometimes, dumpsters that's led them all the way to the Late Show with David Letterman, a twice-weekly spot on the Onion's AV Club, and around the country for the last six years and counting.
As someone who spends a good part of the year either working, attending, or poring over film festival catalogues, I infrequently run into a movie I haven't heard of, or I don't know at least a little bit about. As such, I look forward to IndieFest's yearly blood-splattered grindhouse fiesta, Another Hole in the Head. This year the fest smartly expands beyond the Roxie to three other venues, The Victoria Theatre, Terra Gallery downtown and the underground genre paradise The Vortex Room. Here are some of the most intriguing underground flicks splashing the screen at this year's edition.
Don't try and deny it: Thanksgiving is a stay at home holiday.
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