What’s Screening: November 29 – December 5

Today is Black Friday--a very appropriate date to open Another Hole in the Head Film Festival. It runs through December 19, and is the only Bay Area film festival at the moment. A RiffTrax Live Presents Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, various theaters, Thursday. The very title should tell you that Santa Claus Conquers the … Continue reading What’s Screening: November 29 – December 5

Music, Fame, and American Insanity: My Blu-ray review of Robert Altman’s Nashville

For an all-too-brief time in the 1970s, the Hollywood studios financed and released serious art. They greenlit films without likeable heroes, clearly-defined villains, or conventional, three-act plots. They even financed Robert Altman, who did his best work during that time. And Nashville was unquestionably one of his best. It's tragic, funny, thoughtful, and filled with … Continue reading Music, Fame, and American Insanity: My Blu-ray review of Robert Altman’s Nashville

What’s Screening: November 22 – 28

Not much is happening in festivals this week. Cinema by the Bay opens today and continues through Sunday. That's all until next week. On the other hand, you can see one family movie written and directed by Brad Bird on Saturday, then another one on Sunday. In fact, it's a very family-friendly newsletter this week…if … Continue reading What’s Screening: November 22 – 28

Life as we all must some day know it: My Blu-ray review of Tokyo Story

Before watching the Blu-ray Sunday night, it had been years since I'd last seen Yasujirō Ozu's 1953 masterpiece, Tokyo Story. I remember loving the film, but I wasn't ready for the emotional wallop it delivered. Perhaps my own mental state contributed to the experience--I've seen my son get married and lost two close relatives this … Continue reading Life as we all must some day know it: My Blu-ray review of Tokyo Story

Comic Perfection: My Blu-ray Review of City Lights

A great comedy seamlessly mixes a good story, an intelligent observation on the human condition, and a lot of laughs. Everything works together, and only on the third or fourth viewing do you become aware of how the filmmakers balanced all these ingredients, so that the gags and the emotional reality compliment each other instead … Continue reading Comic Perfection: My Blu-ray Review of City Lights

What’s Screening: November 15 – 21

In festival news, New Italian Cinema continues through Sunday, and the  Chinese American Film Festival keeps going until Tuesday. The United Film Festival opens today and runs through Sunday. After a few day's hiatus, 3rd i's South Asian Film Festival returns for one more day on Saturday. B- Persistence of Vision, Rafael, Thursday, 7:00. Filmmaker … Continue reading What’s Screening: November 15 – 21