drama Written and directed by S. Pierre Yameogo Children mysteriously die in an African village, and the elders suspect witchcraft. But the ancient traditions they use to find the witch appear to have more to do with local politics than detective work or even magic. And so Napoko, the wife of an elder and the … Continue reading Delwende

Burn After Reading

[B] Espionage comedy Written and directed by Ethan Coen and Joel Coen The Coen brothers are back to their old tricks, mining the dark comic prospects of a crime gone wrong. While Burn After Reading lacks the humanity of Fargo and the blazing, non-stop lunacy of Intolerable Cruelty, it still provides 95 very entertaining minutes. … Continue reading Burn After Reading


Political biopic Written by Stanley Weiser Directed by Oliver Stone The very fact of W.'s existence raises an interesting and important question: Why go to an Oliver Stone movie after all the times he's disappointed us? And W. provides an answer: There is no good reason. Judging from the final result, Stone didn't know whether … Continue reading W.


Contemporary Drama Written and directed by Lance Hammer Vast, flat, cold, muddy landscapes make a perfect metaphor for the lonely human heart in Lance Hammer's directorial debut. I've been seeing a lot of low-key chamber dramas lately--all of them forgoing such comforting movie conventions as music, glamour, and a tripod. I like the trend. The … Continue reading Ballast

What’s Screening: October 10-16

Festivals, of course. The Mill Valley Film Festival continues through the weekend, and the Oakland International Film Festival runs through the week. Plus, the CounterCorp Anti-Corporate Film Festival opens Wednesday, and the Taiwan and Arab Film Festivals open Thursday. I've placed Mill Valley screenings at the bottom of this newsletter. Sadko, Pacific Film Archive, Sunday, … Continue reading What’s Screening: October 10-16