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    Film, Set the Alarm

    Set the Alarm

    There is a downside to having a family trade, especially when that trade is murder for hire. "What do you do for a living?" becomes a loaded question, the answer a conversation stopper. Then there are the hidden responsibilities: While…
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    Film, Lusty Ladies

    Lusty Ladies

    Sometimes you just can't get no respect. But desire for respect (and workers' rights) was just what drove a group of dancers at the Lusty Lady peep show in San Francisco to unionize. Though disdained by feminists and union organizations,…
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    Film, Vive La France!

    Vive La France!

    If the selection of films at this year's festival is any indication, French cinema is as vital, sophisticated, and quirky as ever. In terms of subject matter and style, these films run the gamut from lightweight trifles to intense explorations…
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    Film,

    Her Brilliant Career

    Australian director Gillian Armstrong was making films with independent, tough-minded female leads before the "scarcity of women directors" became a subject for festival seminars. In the mid-'70s, Armstrong was a select member of the inaugural class at the National Film…
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    Film,

    Wired for Sound

    Wired for SoundSound designers lament that, often, sound in a film is an afterthought. As a result, those who practice the craft of sound design find themselves in the shadow of those showy visual-effects guys, who get all the press…
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    Film,

    Zoom Lens

    Ann Arbor in San Rafael The Ann Arbor Film Festival, the oldest experimental film fest in the country, is committed to film as an art form -- a quaint notion in this summer of Lucas. Its tour, which features 18…
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    Film,

    Zoom Lens

    Truffaut Retrospective In the freeze frame that ends The 400 Blows, Antoine Doinel, a rebellious, unwanted kid, has just escaped from a reformatory and run to the edge of the sea. That final image captures the face of a child…
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    Film,

    And Now, On With the Show: SFIFF Week 2

    American Cuisine (France, 1998) In this gentle farce in which sexual love is a poor cousin to the passion aroused by good food, U.S. Navy chef Loren (Jason Lee) is dismissed from his post after being deemed incapable of "making…
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    Film,

    New France

    One of the best-represented nations at this year's festival is France. The 30 French films on the roster include three from the masters of French cinema -- Alain Resnais, Erich Rohmer, and Claude Chabrol -- as well as a vital…
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    Film,

    S.F. International Film Festival

    The 42nd annual San Francisco International Film Festival runs over 15 days and presents over 100 movies. It's the biggest annual celebration of cinema in this city -- which is saying a lot, given that we seem to have a…
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    Film,

    Zoom Lens

    Universal Hitchcock In celebration of the centenary of Alfred Hitchcock's birth, Universal is presenting 13 of his films, though the studio is waiting until Aug. 13, Hitchcock's birthday, to unveil its fully restored version of Rear Window. The erotically charged…
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    Film,

    Zoom Lens

    Berlin & Beyond Now in its fourth year, the Berlin & Beyond Festival has grown steadily in popularity since its inception. The 20 films in this year's program, curated by Ingrid Eggers, program director for the Goethe-Institut, and Anita Monga,…
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    Film,

    The Dress

    A fabric designer is told by a disgruntled stewardess that he's a lousy lover. Moments later, his employer derides him as a frustrated artist and gives him one week to come up with material for the perfect dress. Subsequently the…
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    Zoom Lens

    SlamNation Slamming is poetry as a spectator sport. Part rap, part performance art, and part stand-up, it's raucous, sometimes crude, and pulsating with the rhythm of the streets. Independent filmmaker Paul Devlin, who previously made a TV pilot called Slammin,…
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    Last Picture Shows

    The second week of the Mill Valley Film Festival, running through Sunday at various venues in that town and also at Larkspur's Lark Theater, features some of its best offerings, including a repeat of Bill Condon's Gods and Monsters (this…
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    Film,

    Festival Harvest

    Every autumn Mill Valley is transformed into a movie festival town that, while perhaps not on par with Cannes or Telluride, has at least some of the glamour of the former and the small-town ambience of the latter. This year…
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    Film,

    Tribute to Sir Derek Jacobi

    Sir Derek Jacobi is the least pretentious knight you're likely to encounter. Although he has a reputation as one of the great actors of the English stage, he's best known stateside as the major player in I, Claudius, the popular…
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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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  • 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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