A Religious medieval drama Written by Bartosz Konopka, Przemyslaw Nowakowski, & Anna Wydra Directed by Bartosz Konopka Religious conflict makes for anger, hysteria, and violence. You get plenty of these emotions in this powerful, Polish tale. Set on a northern island in the early middle ages, Bartosz Konopka's frightfully striking film pits Christianity against a … Continue reading Sword of God clashes between Christians and pagans
B+ political mystery Written and directed by César Díaz César Díaz set out to make a documentary about Guatemala's genocide, but he changed his mind and made a fictional, narrative film instead. What he lost in that decision was information; he couldn't just have a narrator explaining what had happened. (Or at least it would … Continue reading Nuestras Madres (Our Mothers)
B+ Financial documentary Directed by Justin Pemberton Based on the book by Thomas Piketty I can't tell you how many documentaries I've seen about economic inequality. But this one is different. It's kind of fun while it makes you angry. It also takes a wide view of the problem, looking back into the 18th century … Continue reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century
Note: I have made errors in this article. You'll find them below. Movie theaters have been dark for almost two months now. It's hard on cinephiles, but it's much harder on the people who own, manage, and work in these palaces of the imagination. Independent distributors and art house cinemas have found a way to … Continue reading Virtual Cinema: Is it helping the theaters?
Before COVID-19, I usually saw new films theatrically near home…the East Bay. But until this week, I couldn't buy a streaming ticket that would help a theater within biking distance. Now that's changed. I'm happy to announce that three East Bay theaters - the BAMPFA, the Cerrito, and the Elmwood - are now selling streaming … Continue reading What’s Streaming: April 24 – 30
Roger Ebert once called movies "a machine that generates empathy." I'm not sure that's always true. Triumph of the Will generated a lot of emotions, but empathy wasn't one of them. And yet, the best films can help you understand those trapped in poverty, loneliness, and sickness. Ever since the invention of the close-up, motion … Continue reading Films that increase empathy
A couple of months ago, I thought I was going to spend last week at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Instead, I saw five other films at home. For the most part, they were disappointing. A The Mask of Zorro (1988), DVD I considered listing this totally delightful movie on my recent swashbuckler article, … Continue reading Movies I’ve Recently Seen: The Mask of Zorro, The More the Merrier, Flower Drum Song, The Booksellers & Tunes of Glory