What’s Screening: April 14 – 20

Believe it or not, there’s more to Bay Area moviegoing right now than the big festival.


Promising events

A Tribute to Miloš Forman, Sunday, 2:00

Miloš Forman started his career as a filmmaker in his native Czechoslovakia, under Communist rule. There and in Hollywood, he’s made movies that celebrate freedom. And in doing so, he created an impressive body of work, including Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Hair, and The Fireman’s Ball. This documentary explores his personal and professional life.

The Grateful Dead Movie, various theaters, Thursday

It’s been at least 30 years since I’ve seen the only feature film co-directed by Jerry Garcia, but I remember it fondly (to be honest, I was in an altered state at the time). It starts with some very psychedelic animation, then splits most of its runtime between the band onstage and the adoring and colorful audience. The screening will include a preview of the upcoming documentary, Long Strange Trip, that will have already played at the SFFilm Festival Saturday night.

Recommended revivals

A- Blue is the Warmest Color, New Parkway, Thursday, 9:00

The full arc of a long relationship seen through the eyes of Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a high school girl at the start of the movie and an elementary school teacher by the end. When she meets the older, more experienced Emma (Léa Seydoux) sparks fly. They build a life together, than grow apart. A few gaps in the story annoyed me, but for the most part, the intense emotions and careful pacing deftly capture an experience that almost all human beings can understand and relate to. And yes, there’s some very explicit soft-core sex, and yes, it would have been a weaker movie without it.

B- San Francisco, Castro, Tuesday, 7:00

A big, silly, melodramatic special effects vehicle (unusual in 1936), San Francisco is a classic example of code-era Hollywood trying to have it both ways. It celebrates, through Clark Gables’ saloon owner, the non-conformist, hedonistic, open-minded joy that – at least to the screen-writers – symbolized the Barbary Coast. But it covers itself in a thick layer of Christian moralizing through Jeanette MacDonald’s innocent singer. And it features the best song ever written about a city. The movie will follow a live concert of Barbary Coast music performed by Blackie Norton’s Paradise Club Band.

Lebowskies (frequently-revived classics)