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    News, Feature

    Sex, Drugs, Rock 'n' Roll. Korea.

    A few decades ago, a controversial Bay Area critic named Pauline Kael -- yes, the same wild original who went on to become Pauline Kael -- wrote an excoriating review of the San Francisco International Film Festival for a now-defunct…
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    Film,

    Karen Morley: Still Sexy After All These Blacklisted Years

    LOS ANGELES -- There's an irony at the center of The Unvanquished, the festival series "that honors filmmakers who have faced repression and censorship." The blacklisted honorees have been sharp, humorous individuals -- though at the time of their persecution…
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    News, Feature

    Retouching Evil

    A pungent, ardent yearning permeated the big theater at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch one balmy evening in July. It felt like artistic homesickness. Walter Murch -- the renowned film editor and sound designer -- was making an audacious presentation to…
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    Film,

    Jonathan Demme's First Talking Heads Interview

    In February 1984, I went to Los Angeles partly to interview Jonathan Demme about the trouble he'd run into on Swing Shift, a dream project that, after star-dictated re-shoots, had turned into a nightmare. (Demme's own cut had been sublime,…
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    Film,

    The Larry David Show

    Not since the death of Diana has there been a pop phenomenon as cataclysmic as the demise of Seinfeld. The surrounding hoopla has reached such, well, titanic proportions that it has turned the series' saturnine co-creator -- balding, bespectacled Larry…
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    News, Feature

    Past Forward

    * Indicates films recommended by our reviewers. Thursday, April 24 (Opening Night) 7 p.m. Bliss (U.S.A., 1997) This movie is being promoted as the hottest thing since Last Tango in Paris, but it's closer to soft porn with a thick…
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    News, Feature

    Identity Crisis

    Americans are the western pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, sciences, vigour, and industry which began long since in the east; they will finish the great circle. -- De Crevecoe I. The Fugue State…
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    Film,

    Second Time Around

    "Robert Ryan: King of Noir" The first Hollywood release about anti-Semitism -- Crossfire -- was based on Richard Brooks' novel The Brick Foxhole, which involves the murder of a homosexual. The producer, Adrian Scott, and the screenwriter, John Paxton, changed…
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    Film,

    The Shock of the Past

    Film festival audiences are primed for rejoicing from the moment they take their seats. When they mind-lock with a movie actually worth rejoicing in, the effect can be electric and revitalizing. In my festival experience, forgotten pleasures (not brand-new ones)…
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    Film,

    Magical Mystery Tour

    Rough Magic Directed by Clare Peploe. Written by Robert Mundy, William Brookfield, and Peploe from the novel Miss Shumway Waves a Wand, by James Hadley Chase. Starring Bridget Fonda, Russell Crowe, Jim Broadbent, D.W. Moffett, Kenneth Mars, and Paul Rodriguez.…
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    Film,

    Ewok Don't Run

    Return of the Jedi Directed by Richard Marquand. Screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas, from a story by George Lucas. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and the voice of James Earl Jones. Opens Friday,…
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    Film,

    Full Disclosure

    I first met Mike Leigh 10 years ago, during his breakthrough retrospective at the 1986 San Francisco International Film Festival. It was at a dinner that promised a coming-together of opposites -- Leigh, contemporary Britain's reigning movie poet of the…
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    News, Feature

    Vertigo

    San Francisco isn't just the setting of Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo: It's the movie's muse. Along with composer Bernard Herrmann, who transforms convoluted psychology into resounding lyricism, and costar Kim Novak, whose pheromones and otherworldliness give body and soul to tortured…
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    News, Feature

    Building the Perfect Beast

    1. "I'm Extinct" Movie special-effects maestro Phil Tippett has won billowing praise for the jaw-dropping digital transformations that turned models of alien bugs into the fearsome insect armies of Starship Troopers. But the 46-year-old founder of Berkeley's Tippett Studio is…
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    Film,

    The Hoodlum Priest

    Mean Streets Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin. Starring Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, and David Proval. Opens Friday, March 20, at the Castro. When Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets opened in 1973,…
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    Film,

    Second Time Around

    The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage The sight of a man consumed in the act of creation becomes tumultuously moving in The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage, a lyrical, crystalline 34-minute documentary that features joltingly fresh images of…
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    Film,

    Peckinpah in Black and White and Color

    Directed, written, and edited by Paul Seydor. Narrated by Nick Redman, with the voices of Ed Harris, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O'Brien, and others. At the Opera Plaza, Dec. 6-12, with a restored 35mm print of The Wild Bunch. When I…
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    Second Time Around

    Crossroads Two grins compete for the comic face of popular culture: the idiot smile of those who refuse to see bad news, and the steady beam of those who see through it to better times ahead. The 1936 Crossroads, like…
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    Film,

    Body and Soul

    The Boxer Directed by Jim Sheridan. Written by Sheridan and Terry George. Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Emily Watson, and Brian Cox. At Bay Area theaters. Forget about the overgrown-adolescent lovers of Titanic and the May-December Looney Tunes lovebirds of As Good…
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    Second Time Around

    Walkabout Microcosmos and macrocosmos meet and make a terrific marriage in this Rousseau-tinged survival story, shot on location in Australia's Outback. Nicolas Roeg is the director: Serving as his own cinematographer, he takes in everything from insects burrowing into the…
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    Second Time Around

    White Heat and All About Eve James Cagney's surplus energy expressed itself on screen in fellow-feeling and psychosis, in youthful high spirits as well as embittered rage, and in a 100-proof charm that alternated with homicidal cruelty. Once he started,…
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    City of Angles

    Suckling at the Big Nipple Bernardo Bertolucci once dubbed Los Angeles the Big Nipple. Writer/director Curtis Hanson has been suckling at it all his life. Just how much nourishment he's drawn becomes clear in his terrific new L.A. film, L.A.…
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    Film,

    Full Force

    The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition Directed by Irvin Kershner. Written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan, from a story by George Lucas. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, and Frank Oz. Opens Friday, Feb. 21,…
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    Film,

    Week 2 of the 41st S.F. International Film Festival

    Animated by Dr. Freud (Various) Jim Trainor's peculiar The Fetishist is clearly the centerpiece of this program of animation for grown-ups, devoting 38 minutes to its deadpan tale of a deeply disturbed adolescent, drawn from an actual 1947 case study.…
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    Film,

    Exodus

    The Long Way Home Directed and written by Mark Jonathan Harris. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. With the voices of Edward Asner, Sean Astin, Martin Landau, Miriam Margolyes, David Paymer, Nina Siemaszko, Helen Slater, and Michael York. Plays Friday through Thursday,…
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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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