From the Ashes comes the death of coal (we hope)

Is it possible to make an optimistic documentary about climate change in the age of Trump? Michael Bonfiglio manages to do just that in From the Ashes. I saw the Bloomberg Philanthropies documentary Wednesday night at a special screening., hosted by San Francisco mayor Ed Lee. The film will probably not receive a theatrical run … Continue reading From the Ashes comes the death of coal (we hope)

A Clichéd Drama & a Moving Documentary: My SFFilm Thursday

Here's what I saw Thursday at the San Francisco International Film Festival: The Hero I caught this Sam Elliott vehicle at a matinee at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission. I felt it was about time that someone built a movie around Elliott. Now someone needs to make a good one. My problem with The Hero … Continue reading A Clichéd Drama & a Moving Documentary: My SFFilm Thursday

The Roxie celebrates 41 years as an arthouse cinema

I probably first visited San Francisco's Roxie Cinema in 1977, soon after I moved from Marin County to The City. I'm not sure, but I think my first movie there was Akira Kurosawa's Dodes'ka-den. At that time, I had no idea that the Roxie was both America's oldest continuously-operated cinema and one of its youngest … Continue reading The Roxie celebrates 41 years as an arthouse cinema

A+ List: Paths of Glory (also The Passion of Joan of Arc)

Young men die so that older, richer, and more powerful men can amass greater wealth and power. That's pretty much the basic function of war. Stanley Kurbrick's best film, Paths of Glory, dramatizes that truth better than any other motion picture I've seen. For its strong story, dazzling visuals (which never dazzle for their own … Continue reading A+ List: Paths of Glory (also The Passion of Joan of Arc)

Living in Oblivion finds humor in the frustrations of filmmaking

Sports fans like sports movies. Foodies love food porn. So it's no surprise that we cinephiles have a soft spot in our hearts for movies about movies. Few movies about movies are as funny as Living in Oblivion, Tom DiCillo's low-budget comedy about the making of a low-budget drama. Released in 1995--when independent filmmaking's popularly … Continue reading Living in Oblivion finds humor in the frustrations of filmmaking