Frightened rabbits, frightened executives, and people with a good reason to be frightened because they’re not white males. And they’re all on Bay Area screens this week.
Also, two film festivals.
- The Albany Filmfest opens Saturday and runs through the week and beyond
- The Sonoma International Film Festival opens Wednesday and runs into the next week.
New films opening
A- Oh, Lucy!, Embarcadero Center, Shattuck, Rafael, opens Friday
It starts out almost as a surreal comedy. A middle-aged Tokyo woman lives a life of quiet desperation until she attends an English class and falls for her outgoing and handsome teacher. When the teacher suddenly disappears, her search takes her all the way to California. The laughs fall off as we realize that she suffers from severe depression, is probably delusional, and tries desperately to find something meaningful in her life. Read my full review. Director/Co-Writer Atsuko Hirayanagi will be on hand for Q&A at these theaters:
- Embarcadero: Friday, 7:20
- Shattuck: Saturday, 4:25 & 7:00
- Rafael: Sunday, 7:00
Watership Down, Castro, Sunday, 5:15
This animated adaptation of Richard Adams’s novel, an allegory using rabbits to comment on human society, blew me away in 1978. I haven’t seen it since. I suspect I’d still love it. On a triple bill with two other vintage fantasies that I saw long ago. I liked The Dark Crystal, but it didn’t blow me away. And I hated – truly hated – Ralph Bakshi’s horrible animated version of The Lord of the Rings.
UnSlut: A Documentary Film, New Parkway, Tuesday, 7:00
I’ve never heard of this documentary, but the theater’s website tells me that it “features conversations with those who have experienced sexual shaming, including…Samantha Gailey Geimer, who was publicly shamed by the media after being sexually assaulted by director Roman Polanski.” The 40-minute film will be followed by Q&A with the film’s director and UnSlut Project founder, Emily Lindin.
I’ve never seen The Stepford Wives, but I know enough about the plot to see why it would make a great double bill with Jordan Peele’s Get Out, one of the best films of 2017.
A High and Low, Castro, Thursday
Between his samurai movies and historical epics, Akira Kurosawa made one of the best crime thrillers of the 1960’s. A kidnapper attempts to snatch the son of a successful businessman (Toshiro Mifune), but accidentally grabs the chauffer’s child. But the criminal still insists on the tremendous ransom – large enough to wipe out the businessman. Can he let another man’s son die to save his career? Much of High and Low takes place in a single living room, and Kurosawa uses the wide, TohoScope frame brilliantly in the confined space. See my Kurosawa Diary entry and Blu-ray review. On a kidnap double bill with Raising Arizona, which I saw and liked long ago.
Lebowskies (frequently-revived classics)
- Citizen Kane, Paramount Oakland, Friday, 8:00. MY A+ REPORT.
- The Princess Bride, Cerrito, Saturday, 10:00AM (yes, in the morning)
- Vertigo, various theaters, Sunday and Thursday. A TCM-sponsored 60th anniversary event.