Little nutrition: My review of Soul of a Banquet

D documentary Directed by Wayne Wang Note: This documentary will screen twice at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Details below. I am posting a full review now because this picture was not on the Festival's list of films for which reviewers were asked to hold reviews. In his first documentary, the usually reliable Wayne Wang … Continue reading Little nutrition: My review of Soul of a Banquet

Mill Valley Film Festival Preview, Part II

Since I wrote Part 1, I've managed to see three additional movies that will screen at the upcoming Mill Valley Film Festival. Here's what I thought of them, in order of best to worst. A Hide and Seek  Four young adults, two women and two men, move into a large and remote country house, intent … Continue reading Mill Valley Film Festival Preview, Part II

Kubrick in digital and on film

Digital or film? For cinephiles, that's the great controversy of our age. And the arguments get particularly agitated when talking about classic pictures made at a time when digital projection wasn't an option. But in the coming weeks, you get your chance to watch two Stanley Kubrick classics on 35mm film, and then again on … Continue reading Kubrick in digital and on film

What’s Screening: September 26 – October 2

The Iranian Film Festival runs through the weekend. And the fall's biggie, the Mill Valley Film Festival, opens Thursday. A Samuel Fuller Triple Bill: Pickup on South Street, Park Row, & A Fuller Life, Castro, Sunday. The A goes Pickup on South Street, a fantastic Cold War noir written and directed by the great Samuel … Continue reading What’s Screening: September 26 – October 2

Five Came Back: Great film directors go to war

It's hard to imagine an America so entirely at war that every aspect of the economy is affected. Where GM and Ford stop making cars to concentrate on bomber planes and tanks. Where healthy young men all but disappear from civilian life. And where five of Hollywood's top directors (along with multiple screenwriters, cinematographers, and … Continue reading Five Came Back: Great film directors go to war

Valentino, Keaton, Caligari, Laurel and Hardy: My report on Silent Autumn

I could think of few better ways to spend a day then the way I spent last Saturday, at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's first Silent Autumn event. Over the course of the day, we were treated to three features, two collections of shorts, and a lot of great music. Let's take the day … Continue reading Valentino, Keaton, Caligari, Laurel and Hardy: My report on Silent Autumn

The enduring racism of Gone with the Wind

I find it disturbing that so many people still love Gone with the Wind. I'm not talking about esthetics here (although I do discuss those below), but content. Even by the standards of Hollywood in the first half of the 20th century, David O. Selznick's epic comes off as exceptionally racist. Warner Brothers, which did … Continue reading The enduring racism of Gone with the Wind