Frank Zappa doc forces you to Eat That Question

B- Documentary Directed by Thorsten Schütte Early in this documentary on the legendary musician and provocateur, Frank Zappa insists that you can't possibly know someone from an interview. It's artificial; it's unpleasant; it's only two steps away from the Inquisition. And that captures the film's biggest problem. We hear a lot of Zappa's words, but … Continue reading Frank Zappa doc forces you to Eat That Question

3 Views of America: What I saw in theaters this weekend

I saw three movies in theaters this weekend. Free State of Jones at the Elmwood Being a history buff, and particularly one interested in the Civil War and reconstruction, I couldn't help rushing out to see Gary Ross' Free State of Jones. I caught it at the Elmwood. Matthew McConaughey stars as an actual historical … Continue reading 3 Views of America: What I saw in theaters this weekend

Jewish Film Festival Preview, Part 1

Here are four films I've already seen that are coming to the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. A Indignation Already screened at San Francisco International Film Festival. Most coming of age movies are essentially optimistic. You know that the protagonist will come out alright. But in Indignation, you slowly begin to realize that, in the … Continue reading Jewish Film Festival Preview, Part 1

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

A- Music documentary Directed by Morgan Neville In the year 2000, cellist Yo-Yo Ma decided to take his musical career in a new direction. He gathered up musicians from various countries, all experts in their own cultures' music, and created The Silk Road Ensemble. The idea was to find the beauty in their different traditions … Continue reading The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

The SF Jewish Film Festival turns 36 (double chai)

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival turns 36 this year with 68 films (more than 50 of them features) from 16 countries. The films and presentations include comedies from Argentina and California, several coming-of-age dramas--including one about an Iranian family in Israel, a new TV series from the creator of Arab Labor, a Freedom of … Continue reading The SF Jewish Film Festival turns 36 (double chai)

A+ List: The world ends with a bang, a whimper, and a lot of laughs in Criterion’s Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove

Stanley Kubrick's only out-and-out comedy, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, manages to terrify the audience, hold them in suspense, and trick them into rooting for people about to cause Armageddon, all the while generating side-splitting laughter. As the darkest of dark comedies, Dr. Strangelove earns its place … Continue reading A+ List: The world ends with a bang, a whimper, and a lot of laughs in Criterion’s Blu-ray of Dr. Strangelove