The Umbrellas of Cherbourg brings romance to Blu-ray

A young couple in the blush of first love get separated by war and other inconveniences. Their young dreams and the world's harsh realities come into conflict, bringing the story to an ending that is neither happy nor sad, but bittersweet. That sounds like a drama, but Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a … Continue reading The Umbrellas of Cherbourg brings romance to Blu-ray

What’s Screening: April 28 – May 4

A restored John Huston, a disturbing John Cassavetes, Minnelli's Hollywood noir, and a bunch of hippies grace Bay Area screens this week. Festivals The only festival this week is CyberiaVR, which opens Thursday. What is CyberiaVR? According to the website, it's "the first conventionally-styled film festival taking place entirely in Virtual Reality," and "SFIndieFest's endeavor … Continue reading What’s Screening: April 28 – May 4

What’s Screening: April 21 – 27

Cassavetes, Scorsese, Fellini, a new Student, and mid-century social justice movies grace this week's Bay Area screens. Festivals The San Francisco Green Film Festival continues through Wednesday Dino Risi: An Homage to the Master of the Comedy Italian Style takes over the Castro Saturday with four movies, all either new 35mm prints or new 4K … Continue reading What’s Screening: April 21 – 27

New takes on John Ford, William Shakespeare, & brotherly love: Tuesday at SFFilm Festival

Today (Wednesday) is the last day of the San Francisco International Film Festival. But yesterday, Tuesday, was my last day there. I saw three films Tuesday, all of them on their last SFFilm screening. None of them had filmmaker Q&As. Maliglutit (Searchers) I was looking forward to this rethinking of John Ford's classic western - … Continue reading New takes on John Ford, William Shakespeare, & brotherly love: Tuesday at SFFilm Festival

The Student teaches us about religious fascism

A Drama Written and directed by Kirill Serebrennikov One determined student can manipulate his schoolmates, teachers, and the administration, disrupting an entire high school. All he needs is a fanatical belief and the will to do anything to achieve his goals. Kirill Serebrennikov's powerful drama, The Student, shows exactly how it can be done. It's … Continue reading The Student teaches us about religious fascism

An Urban Vampire & Experimental Shorts: Monday at the SFFilm Festival

As this year's San Francisco International Film Festival reaches toward its closing night, I'm getting worn out. The rain makes it worse. But the movies are still worth watching. The Transfiguration Michael O'Shea found a new twist to the vampire genre: avoiding the supernatural. The Transfiguration is a vampire story that could, in theory, happen. … Continue reading An Urban Vampire & Experimental Shorts: Monday at the SFFilm Festival

Saturday at SFFilm Festival

Weddings and music go together. They certainly did Saturday, as the topics of the two San Francisco International Film Festival screenings I attended.  The Wedding Ring The first film financed entirely with African money takes a look at women's choices - specifically choices of whom one marries in a traditional, class-based, Muslim society. Tiyaa (Magaajyia … Continue reading Saturday at SFFilm Festival