Afghan Cinema, Laura Linney, & a Dysfunctional Family: Thursday at the SFFilm Festival

Thursday was the first full day of this year's SFFilm Festival, and I managed two events that day. I liked them both very much. What We Left Unfinished Afghanistan had a strong film industry when the Soviet Union controlled the country, but it was destroyed when fundamentalist Islam replaced fundamentalist Communism. Afghan-American filmmaker Mariam Ghani … Continue reading Afghan Cinema, Laura Linney, & a Dysfunctional Family: Thursday at the SFFilm Festival

What’s Screening: April 12 – 18

The SFFILM Festival pretty much takes over Bay Area art house theaters this week, but not entirely. We also have movies by William Wellman, Lon Chaney, Alfred Hitchock, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Monty Python. Festivals SFFILM (the San Francisco International Film Festival) runs through this week and beyond. You can follow my reports. The Tiburon International … Continue reading What’s Screening: April 12 – 18

Movies I’ve Recently Seen: Wanda, Kung-Fu Master & Race

In the last three weeks, outside of films sent to me for review purposes, I've only had time to watch only three movies. Here they are. A- Wanda (1970), Criterion Channel This extremely low-budget, independent crime thriller turns cheap production values and ugly, poverty-wrecked locations into virtues. Writer/director Barbara Loden plays the title character, a drifter … Continue reading Movies I’ve Recently Seen: Wanda, Kung-Fu Master & Race

Son of Filmstruck: The Criterion Channel is up and running (sometimes)

Last November, FilmStruck, the greatest cinephilic streaming service ever, was killed by its corporate overlords. As a combination of Criterion and Turner Classic Movies, it had the greatest collection of important films ever in one website. On Monday, Criterion opened The Criterion Channel, offering about half of what FilmStruck had, which still makes it an … Continue reading Son of Filmstruck: The Criterion Channel is up and running (sometimes)

What’s Screening: April 5 – 11

What's on Bay Area movie screens this week? Student films, silent films, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Tarantino films. Also, the SFFILM Festival opens this week. Festivals SFFILM (the San Francisco International Film Festival) opens Wednesday. You can read my reports. The Week's Big Event A Safety Last, Lark, Friday, 7:00 Even Alfred Hitchcock never mastered the … Continue reading What’s Screening: April 5 – 11

SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 3: Running from fundamentalists, standing up to fundamentalists, Raising Hell, and just being weird

Here's my third and last batch of films that will screen at the upcoming SFFILM Festival (also known as the San Francisco International Film Festival). All of the films are new, and none of them are narratives. A Midnight Traveler This documentary also works as a heart-stopping thriller. A family must leave Afghanistan; the father's name is … Continue reading SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 3: Running from fundamentalists, standing up to fundamentalists, Raising Hell, and just being weird

SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 2: French noir, New York hustlers, Miles Davis, and Hilary Rodham

Here's my second batch of films that will screen at the upcoming SFFILM Festival (also known as the San Francisco International Film Festival). As with the last one, it includes one old movie, and three new ones. A- Close Enemies This is the sort of movie that reminds you that the French invented Film Noir. … Continue reading SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 2: French noir, New York hustlers, Miles Davis, and Hilary Rodham