Marlon Brando at the PFA (and the SFIFF)

Monday night I decided to attend the San Francisco International Film Festival without crossing the Bay to San Francisco. So I caught Listen to Me Marlon at the Pacific Film Archive. I've seen a lot of documentaries about movie stars. But I've never before seen one quite like this. Brando recorded his thoughts and feelings … Continue reading Marlon Brando at the PFA (and the SFIFF)

Fashions and fighting: Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I only caught two films yesterday. A- Iris I started the day with Albert Maysles’ latest film, Iris. What fun! Here's what I thought about it: Iris Apfel, a fixture in the New York fashion scene well in her 90s, dresses herself in loud, bright, and absurd clothes, augmented with even crazier accessories. And yet … Continue reading Fashions and fighting: Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Bees, detectives, abortions, and more more bees: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I caught three films, all narrative features, Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Two of them were by woman directors; that is, but shouldn't be, unusual. Two of them were about beekeepers. which really is unusual. B+ Mr. Holmes What a life! This weekend, I got to see the newest Sherlock Holmes feature … Continue reading Bees, detectives, abortions, and more more bees: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

SFIFF Friday: Great trains, bad entertainment

I caught two films at the Kabuki Friday. Here's what I saw: D+ Entertainment Being weird isn't always enough. A deeply depressed, horrifically inept stand-up comic (Gregg Turkington) travels through small towns in the desert, flopping over and over again. Between lousy material, a complete lack of taste, horrific delivery, and utter contempt for his audience, he's … Continue reading SFIFF Friday: Great trains, bad entertainment

Alex Gibney, Steve Jobs, and opening night for the San Francisco International Film Festival

The San Francisco International Film Festival opened last night with a mercifully short introduction, an excellent film, and a short but interesting Q&A. But the night started off on the wrong foot. When we entered the Castro, we found that almost all of the seats were "Reserved." Only the front three and back five rows … Continue reading Alex Gibney, Steve Jobs, and opening night for the San Francisco International Film Festival

Revisiting The Flame and the Arrow

Burt Lancaster, at his most acrobatic, takes on an Errol Flynn role and pulls it off with panache in The Flame and the Arrow, a Robin Hood-like story set in medieval Italy. Like all the best swashbucklers, it's witty, exciting, beautiful to look at, only slightly suspenseful, totally ridiculous, and a whole lot of fun. I'm … Continue reading Revisiting The Flame and the Arrow