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

Russian Ark & Buena Vista Social Club: Saturday night at the Pacific Film Archive

I saw Aleksandr Sokurov's Russian Ark and Wim Wender's Buena Vista Social Club Saturday night at the Pacific Film Archive. The first film was part of the ongoing series Guided Tour: Museums in Cinema. The second one closed the long-running series Wim Wenders: Portraits Along the Road. But they had an interesting thing in common. … Continue reading Russian Ark & Buena Vista Social Club: Saturday night at the Pacific Film Archive

Frank Zappa doc forces you to Eat That Question

B- Documentary Directed by Thorsten Schütte Early in this documentary on the legendary musician and provocateur, Frank Zappa insists that you can't possibly know someone from an interview. It's artificial; it's unpleasant; it's only two steps away from the Inquisition. And that captures the film's biggest problem. We hear a lot of Zappa's words, but … Continue reading Frank Zappa doc forces you to Eat That Question

The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

A- Music documentary Directed by Morgan Neville In the year 2000, cellist Yo-Yo Ma decided to take his musical career in a new direction. He gathered up musicians from various countries, all experts in their own cultures' music, and created The Silk Road Ensemble. The idea was to find the beauty in their different traditions … Continue reading The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble

A+ List: The Last Waltz (also Fargo & The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp)

Talk about the musical stars aligning perfectly. The Band decides to break up. Bill Graham produces their farewell concert--a Thanksgiving extravaganza filled with some of the greatest names in rock and roll. Then Martin Scorsese, fresh from Taxi Driver, brings together some of Hollywood's brightest to record the event. The Last Waltz captures one of … Continue reading A+ List: The Last Waltz (also Fargo & The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp)

Salt Flats and Music: Tuesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I saw two films, both documentaries, at the San Francisco International Film Festival on Tuesday. One was about the world coming to a previously isolated stretch of Bolivia. The other was about music of the world. B+ Salero Before the screening, Director Mike Plunkett told us that the film was "a passion project of mine. It … Continue reading Salt Flats and Music: Tuesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Music and exercise: Friday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I caught two movies Friday, a music documentary at the Roxie and a very unique coming-of-age story at the New Mission's Theater 1. B+ Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music Like The Wrecking Crew, Soundbreaking looks at how music--specifically rock and roll--is created in the studio. But it isn't about session musicians. It's … Continue reading Music and exercise: Friday at the San Francisco International Film Festival