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Mark Holcomb

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Category: Film19 Night&Day6

Year: 201215 201110

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Film, "Samsara": Smug Message Wrapped in a Beautiful Package

"Samsara": Smug Message Wrapped in a Beautiful Package

Whether it strikes you as a profound, perspective-shifting spiritual travelogue, or the cinematic equivalent of a forgettable New Age music loop, this follow-up to 1992's Baraka by director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson nails its intent as "guided meditation."…
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Film, "Kumare": Clever Doc Satirizes New Age Nonsense

"Kumare": Clever Doc Satirizes New Age Nonsense

Prepare to have your assumptions pitched out the window by this tense, surprisingly probing satirical documentary — not just about religious longing and "spirituality," its ostensible subjects, either, but also about how deep the genre that gave us Borat can…
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Film, "Searching for Sugar Man": Interrogating Celebrity Culture

"Searching for Sugar Man": Interrogating Celebrity Culture

Fluid, open-ended documentaries that demand more of an audience than foregone assent or fleeting bouts of passive outrage are rare these days, which is what makes Malik Bendjelloul's Searching for Sugar Man such a gift. In telling the tale of…
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Film, "Corpo Celeste": Adolescence and Faith Clash

"Corpo Celeste": Adolescence and Faith Clash

First-time writer-director Alice Rohrwachers minutely observed, emotionally complex Corpo Celeste would be a treat in any season, but it's particularly refreshing amid the summer-movie bombast. An anti-spectacle in every way, the film focuses on 13-year-old Marta (Yle Vianello, a nonpro),…
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Film, "Pink Ribbons, Inc.": Unwrapping Some Ugly Truths

"Pink Ribbons, Inc.": Unwrapping Some Ugly Truths

An exposé in the purest, most pissed-off sense, director Léa Pool's Pink Ribbons, Inc. digs into the bizarre elision of philanthropy, corporate sponsorship, and sanitized pseudo-activism that comprises the breast-cancer-awareness industry. The hallmark of this "movement," of course, is the…
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Calendar, Night&Day Corpo Celeste

Corpo Celeste

First-time writer-director Alice Rohrwacher's minutely observed, emotionally complex Corpo Celeste would be a treat in any season, but it's particularly refreshing amid the summer-movie bombast. An anti-spectacle in every way, the film focuses on 13-year-old Marta (Yle Vianello, a nonpro),…
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Film, "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World": Apocalyptically Dull

"Seeking a Friend for the End of the World": Apocalyptically Dull

What's missing from first-time director Lorene Scafaria's Steve Carell — vehicle misfire is the one element any apocalypse narrative suffocates without — urgency. Scafaria, screenwriter of the chipper, inexplicably lauded Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, has created an end-times comedy…
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Film, "5 Broken Cameras": A Documentary of Personal Resistance

"5 Broken Cameras": A Documentary of Personal Resistance

Startlingly intimate and direct, this first-person doc by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi requires multiple viewings for anyone eager to work out how it could have been shot with such precision and visual ingenuity under such plainly chaotic conditions. The…
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Film, "Whores' Glory": A Humane Look at International Prostitution

"Whores' Glory": A Humane Look at International Prostitution

As with meat processing and politics, the day-to-day drama, tedium, and heartbreak of prostitution have little to do with our spoon-fed fantasies about the profession. Michael Glawogger's fearless Whores' Glory demystifies trick-turning with a bluntness and artistry that's sure to…
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Film, "Payback": Overambitious Doc Explores Modern Debt

"Payback": Overambitious Doc Explores Modern Debt

With its novel approach and wider-than-usual scope, this riff on Margaret Atwood's 2008 book-length essay, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, avoids the traps of recent social-problem documentaries. But if there's value in Payback's all-encompassing point of view,…
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Film, "Wrath of the Titans": Sequel Muddles Action, Loses Star Power

"Wrath of the Titans": Sequel Muddles Action, Loses Star Power

Like many a franchise-killer, this big, flailing dud of a sequel to 2010's Clash of the Titans is more (retina-herniating CGI), less (fun), and the same (basic plot) as its predecessor. What it lacks are the very elements that made…
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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"

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