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THE GUEST opens today! Plus more new movies!

FINALLY, clever, retro-styled thriller The Guest is here. Check out our interview with the filmmakers and star here, and then go see The Guest this weekend. You're welcome. After you've TCB in that regard, you might...

Essay: Revisiting the Coen Brothers’ 2013 ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’

Joel and Ethan Coen have been creating films for 30 years, dating back to their still-stunning, low-budget debut, neo-noir Blood Simple (1984); it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and won the Grand Jury...

“All our families are f-ed up:” Director David Dobkin on his Duvall vs. Downey drama ‘The Judge’

With dysfunctional family tale-meets-courtroom drama The Judge (out Fri/10), director David Dobkin is no longer simply "the guy who directed The Wedding Crashers (2005)" — he's also the guy who got Robert Downey, Jr....

Mill Valley, ‘Gone Girl,’ and TWO flicks featuring Satan: yep, must be time for new movies!

The 37th annual Mill Valley Film Festival opened last night and runs through October 12 at all the big Marin venues (Larkspur's Lark Theater, Mill Valley's Cinearts@Sequoia, and San Rafael's Smith Rafael Film Center)....

Festival-sized doses of art, food, and technology at Portland’s TBA fest

As the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) presented the 12th iteration of the Time-Based Art Festival September 11-21, two newer festivals (Feast Portland and XOXO) also peppered the Rose City with foodie events and tech...

TIFF 2014: Three more notables, plus a lucky top 13

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!Three films at this year's Toronto Film Film Festival achieved a consistently exhilarating cinematic aesthetic. The first was instant horror classic...

Sound sneak preview: Ai WeiWei Alcatraz exhibition

Here’s a taste from @Large, the exhibition by internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai WeiWei, which will open to the public on Alcatraz Sat/27. This recording is from Illumination, one of the sound installations, which...

Extended review: British prison drama ‘Starred Up’

By Haley BrucatoScottish filmmaker David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up is a brutally raw indie film starring rising actor Jack O’Connell as Eric, a 19-year-old offender who has just been “starred up,” or transferred...

TIFF 2014: American standouts

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!In high school, Hal Hartley was my first cinematic battle. On paper, his existential themes of truth, his French New...

Mezcal: Mexico In a Bottle fest sets high bar for mezcal lovers

When it comes to tasting mezcal, the experts have some generally accepted rules. Chief among them is that "you should never taste more than four together," cautioned Oaxaca's Graciela Carreño of Mezcal Real Minero...

TIFF 2014: Foreign favorites, part two (Asia and beyond)

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!Zhang Yimou's Ju Dou (1990) was an unofficial remake of the American film noir The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)...

TIFF 2014: Foreign favorites, part one

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!** Working steadily for over 40 years, achieving more than 20 features, Mike Leigh has stayed true to his "kitchen...

Questions of the week: Who is the walrus? And who is Liam Neeson gonna take down next? New movies!

If Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' ongoing Pixel Vision posts about the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival have you longing for your own festival experience, check out the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's one-day "Silent Autumn"...

Dave Chappelle kept me up until 5am this morning and I’m still trying to process what just happened

The first time I saw Dave Chappelle perform live was 10 years and three months ago, in a large, echo-y gymnasium at UC San Diego. It was my 20th birthday and I was so...

TIFF 2014: Joshua Oppenheimer’s ‘The Look of Silence’

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from the recent 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Previous installment here!News broke earlier this week that Joshua Oppenheimer — the Texas-born, Copenhagen-based filmmaker who scored an Oscar nomination for 2012's...

Hockey! Drums! Pianos! And TRASHY MOVIES! Passions ruled TIFF 2014

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks reports from an epic Toronto International Film Festival. Read his first installment here.Despite notable entries like George Roy Hill's defining Slap Shot (1977) and Michael Dowse's remarkable Goon (2011), hockey films...

Toronto International Film Festival report: in defense of the long, long movie

The unstoppable Jesse Hawthorne Ficks keeps his eyes open 24/7 through another Toronto International Film Festival, and lives to tell the tale (but shares no spoilers!) Read on for the first in several reports back...

UPDATED Drag queens plan to protest Facebook over name-change policy

UPDATE: Sister Roma just posted this to her Facebook page:  "BREAKING: FACEBOOK AGREES TO FACE-TO-FACE MEETING. DEMONSTRATION CANCELED (for now)Just got off the phone with Supervisor David Campos and representatives from Facebook. They have agreed...

Tenderloin upstart Book & Job aims to level the art-gallery playing field

Carson Lancaster is tired of the bullshit. He’s tired of watching the same handful of mainstream galleries hang the same artists and shun a majority of San Francisco’s young, talented artists. “It’s like that...

Catching up with burlesque star and fashion icon Dita Von Teese

With a seductive and sexy nod to the past, modern pin-up and burlesque queen Dita Von Teese has been at the forefront of reviving a once nearly lost art form for two decades.Bringing back...

Joel Daniel Phillips illustrates the overlooked in ‘I Am Another Yourself’

Joel Daniel Phillips draws people. He draws them with charcoal and pencil and is known for his life-sized renderings of eccentric, seemingly homeless men and women he meets on the corner of Sixth and Mission Streets...

A master of observation: chatting with author Sean Wilsey

“We used to call this Café High,” author Sean Wilsey says of Café International, our meeting spot, before letting out a hearty chortle. By “we” he means his late-80s classmates at the Urban School,...

SF queer arts community mourns Arturo Galster, “drag queen’s drag queen”

To call seminal SF perfomer and alpha theater aficionado Arturo Galster merely a "drag queen" is to do his range -- from the legendary Vegas in Space movie and pitch-perfect live-sung Pasty Cline interpretations...

To boldly go…beyond the grave! This week’s new movies

A mask-wearing musician, a Star Trek alum, coming-of-age tales, a rom-com with a sci-fi twist, a rom-com with a zombie twist, and a romantic drama (rom-dram?) with a metaphysical twist are all part of...