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    Film, Miss Sharon Jones!

    Miss Sharon Jones!

    With all due respect to Nuts! and Aferim!, no film this year has earned its exclamation point quite like famed documentarian Barbara Kopple's Miss Sharon Jones!. Miss Jones is a gifted soul singer who was marginalized for decades by a…
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    Film, Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

    Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt

    The phrase "the banality of evil" was coined by Hannah Arendt, the controversial subject of Ada Ushpiz's documentary Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt. She was inspired (for want of a better word) by the 1961 trial of Adolf…
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    Film, Little Men

    Little Men

    At first glance, Ira Sachs' Little Men would appear to be geared toward those who thought his previous film Love Is Strange didn't spend nearly enough time on the travails of the straight teenage boy. Thankfully, it's playing on a…
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    Film, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

    Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You

    The subject of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is the legendary television producer. Still working at 93(!), Lear looks back on the highs and lows of his life — tracing his strong…
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    Film, All of Me (Llévate Mis Amores)

    All of Me (Llévate Mis Amores)

    Based in the Mexican village of La Patrona, Arturo González Villaseñor's documentary All of Me (Llévate Mis Amores) is about a multigenerational group of women appropriately known as the Patronas. As freight trains pass by, carrying migrants heading to the…
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    Film, Suicide Squad

    Suicide Squad

    Shenanigans! The bright colors and high energy the marketing for David Ayer's superhero film Suicide Squad promised fades in the first 20 minutes, and the movie remains mired in Zach Snyder's gray-on-gray DC Gloomiverse. Government agent Waller (Viola Davis, rising…
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    Film, Tallulah

    Tallulah

    Perhaps unsurprisingly for the feature debut from a writer and producer on Orange is the New Black, Sian Heder's dramedy Tallulah might have worked better as a miniseries. Tallulah (Ellen Page) and Nico (Evan Jonigkeit) are free spirits roaming the…
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    Film, The Witness

    The Witness

    Humans are capable of some astonishing inhumanity to one another, and they're also strangely eager to believe the worst about each other. Consider one of the most notorious tales of post-World War II apathy: the 1964 rape and murder of…
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    Culture, The Exhibitionist Tales from the 2016 J-POP SUMMIT Festival: Space Toilets, Zombie Kitties, and the New Vocaloid in Town

    Tales from the 2016 J-POP SUMMIT Festival: Space Toilets, Zombie Kitties, and the New Vocaloid in Town

    The J-POP SUMMIT Festival is a celebration of all things related to Japanese pop culture – music, food, art, film, and many points between – and it's always my favorite weekend of the year. Held on July 23-24, this…
    @The Exhibitionist  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Film, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 36

    San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 36

    For its 36th year, the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival brings a week and a half of delicious cinematic noshes to the Castro Theatre and beyond. Highlights include Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, a documentary about the legendary…
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    Film, Breaking a Monster

    Breaking a Monster

    Depending on your point of view, Luke Meyer's fly-on-the-wall documentary Breaking a Monster is either about the breakthrough and rise of a heavy metal band, or about their capture and taming. The band in question is Unlocking the Truth, comprised…
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    Film, The Blackout Experiments

    The Blackout Experiments

    The Blackout Haunted House is an "extreme immersive horror experience" in which all manner of degradation and torture is consensually committed upon the patron, who is given both a safeword and a waiver to sign beforehand promising not to sue…
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    Music, All Shook Down J-POP Star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on Her Music, Her Image, and Her Olympian Aspirations

    J-POP Star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu on Her Music, Her Image, and Her Olympian Aspirations

    Five years is a long career for anyone in the music business, particularly for women, but Japan’s pop princess Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has reached the half-decade mark and is still going strong. She just released her first compilation…
    @All Shook Down  Tags: , , , ,
    Film, Seoul Searching

    Seoul Searching

    Benson Lee's Seoul Searching is a funny and often poignant meditation on both ethnic identity and drinking games. In 1986, a group of Korean teenagers born and raised abroad arrive at the Seoul Summer Camp, created by the Korean government…
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    Film, Microbe & Gasoline

    Microbe & Gasoline

    Michel Gondry's Microbe & Gasoline is a teen buddy movie that's charming enough, though not up to Gondry's usual levels of inventiveness. Daniel (Ange Dargent), nicknamed Microbe due to his diminutive stature, is unhappy at both school and home, and…
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    Film, From This Day Forward

    From This Day Forward

    One of the more positive cultural shifts in recent years is the increased visibility and acceptance of transgender youth. And that's important, but Sharon Shattuck's very personal From This Day Forward looks at her aging father, Trisha, who came out…
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    Film, The Innocents

    The Innocents

    The famous 1961 film The Innocents is about a governess who comes to believe her charges are possessed by ghosts. Anne Fontaine's 2016 film of the same name also involves women, children, and the supernatural, but from a very different…
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    Film, From Afar

    From Afar

    As its title suggests, Lorenzo Vigas's film is all about distances, both literal and less so. Armando (Alfredo Castro) is a well-to-do, middle-aged bachelor who hires young hustlers so he can masturbate to — though not with — them from…
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    Film, Last Cab to Darwin

    Last Cab to Darwin

    Jeremy Sims' Last Cab to Darwin is a formulaic but still heart-tugging road movie. Rex (Michael Caton) is a taxi driver who's lived his entire life in the tiny Australian hamlet of Broken Hill. He knows everyone in town, but…
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    Film, Cosmos

    Cosmos

    His first film in 15 years and the last before his recent death, Andrzej Zulawski's surreal whatsit Cosmos is very much a Zulawski picture, and you can't take that away from it. Witold (Jonathan Genet) is a failed lawyer and…
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    Film, Nuts!

    Nuts!

    Well, that was quick: A few months after Beth Harrington's The Winding Stream made it clear that the border radio station XERA needs its own documentary, that documentary appears in the shape ofPenny Lane's Nuts! It tells the too-strange-to-not-be-true story…
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    Film, Zero Days

    Zero Days

    Whenever the power goes out, it's hard not to wonder in the back of your mind if it'll ever come back on. The newest film by the Church of Scientology's least-favorite documentarian, Alex Gibney's Zero Days demonstrates that it's easier…
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    Film, Wedding Doll

    Wedding Doll

    Nitzan Giladi's Wedding Doll is a low-key, occasionally heartbreaking drama. Hagit (Moran Rosenblatt) is a cheerful, mildly developmentally disabled 24-year-old who lives on the edge of the picturesque Ramon Crater in Israel with her protective mother, Sara (Assi Levy). The…
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    Film, Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words

    Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words

    Unlike the subjects of other found-audio documentaries such as Marlon Brando and Janis Joplin, musician Frank Zappa has always been an acquired taste, and Thorsten Schütte's otherwise terrific documentary Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words may not…
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    Film, The Neon Demon

    The Neon Demon

    Nicolas Winding Refn's hypnotic The Neon Demon is everything one might hope his follow-up to Only God Forgives would be, particularly for those few who recognized that much-maligned film's brilliance. Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) moves to Hollywood to become a…
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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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