11257658_10152754556540124_1048040374_nDo you like reading my weekly show suggestions? Wanna listen to me play records all night? Come to Doc’s Lab on Saturday Night! [read the whole post]

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It’s a mad, mad, mad, Mad Max world!

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!

WHAT A LOVELY DAY!

It’s been 30 years since we last saw Max Rockatansky AKA Mad Max roam the dystopian post-apocalyptic landscape created by the great visionary filmmaker George Miller. During that time, Miller directed only a handful of films, primarily talking animal family films such as Babe 2: Pig in the City and the Oscar winning Happy Feet. Despite it being a work-in progress for many years, Mad Max: Fury Road seems to be Miller’s way of delivering a strict how-to lesson to all the action director wannabes who are flooding cineplexes these days with CG-filled shlock. Fury Road has its fair share of CG, but only when necessary…or when super cool. The practical effects (you know… actual people and actual cars and actual explosions) are unparalleled. Fury Road will set the precedent for what all forthcoming action films will be compared against, and not only for its action. Mad Max: Fury Road manages to showcase some of the greatest frenetic visuals in at least a decade while still delivering a worthy story and characters. It’s style AND substance — a rare treat. ‘What a lovely day!’ indeed.

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Coming to Brick & Mortar!

Coming to Brick & Mortar!

Enjoy another fine week of rock n roll in the bay! [read the whole post]

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This post must begin with a huge thank you to the entire SFIFF58 staff. Thank you! From the awesome crew that ran the press lounge, those manning the box office, the publicists, and programmers, to the volunteers and event coordinators, your tremendous effort was not overlooked or taken for granted by us covering the festival for Spinning Platters. We can’t thank you enough. We can’t wait for next year! Here’s a last look at one final film (appropriately titled) and the festival winners at this year’s SFIFF Golden Gate Awards:

The End of the Tour
(USA, 2015, 106 min., Big Nights)

The-End-of-the-Tour

THE END OF THE TOUR

Based on Rolling Stone journalist David Lipsky’s Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself, The End of the Tour depicts Lipsky’s conversations with author David Foster Wallace during the home stretch of his Infinite Jest book tour. Breaking out of his Apatow-produced shell, Segal proves he is ready for more dramatic roles with his honest and understated portrayal of the late author, who committed suicide in 2008. Comprised mostly of dialogue amidst some gorgeously shot muted midwest colors, The End of the Tour never loses our attention as the two central figures discuss universal topics that we are sometimes too afraid to face, or too afraid to hear.

Info available here.

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Tonight at Brick & Mortar!

Tonight at Brick & Mortar!

Because nobody WANTS to be a responsible adult…

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The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival closes tomorrow, Thursday, May 7th, but that still leaves you time to see some films, including the closing night film, Experimenter (with Winona Ryder in attendance for the Q&A!). The screening is at 7:00pm at the Castro Theatre, and info and tickets are available here.

In the meantime, we’re spotlighting three other films that played during the Fest. And be sure check back after Thursday for our final wrap up.

Welcome to Me
(USA, 2014, 86 min, Marquee Presentations)

Alice (Kristen Wiig) and Gabe (Wes Bentley) form a connection.

Saturday Night Live and Bridesmaids alum Kristen Wiig stars in director Shira Piven’s new film, but the picture is no lightweight comedy. It has some rich laughs, to be sure, but, ultimately, it’s a smart, compassionate, and serious look at mental illness and the narcissism of new social media and reality TV platforms. Wiig plays Alice, a Palm Desert former veterinary nurse with borderline personality disorder who wins the lottery and decides to invest her winnings in a local talk show hosted by, and entirely about, her. The film deftly explores the collision between mental and cultural illness, and Wiig continues to flex the dramatic muscle we saw in last year’s The Skeleton Twins by giving her bravest performance yet. A stellar supporting cast, helmed by Tim Robbins as a patient but firm therapist, and the wonderful Joan Cusack, channeling her famous Broadcast News character, help to shape the picture’s serio-comic tone. Wes Bentley, James Marsden, Linda Cardellini, and Jennifer Jason Leigh nicely complement the proceedings as well, but this is Wiig’s show all the way, and she’s absolutely masterful. Put this one on your must-see list now.

Screenings:

  • Opens this Friday, May 8th, in limited release in the Bay Area, including at the AMC Van Ness and the Presidio Theatres in San Francisco, and the Elmwood Theater in Berkeley. You can watch the trailer here.

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Show Review: Two Nights with Sleater-Kinney at The Masonic, 5/2/15-5/3/15

May 5, 2015

The last time Sleater-Kinney played a show in San Francisco, it was a two-night stand at the Great American Music Hall that ran May 2nd and 3rd, 2006. Exactly nine years to the day, they returned to San Francisco, only instead of returning to that intimate, 600-seat club, they played nine blocks away at the newly-restored Masonic […]

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SFIFF58 Interview: ‘Vincent’ director/writer/actor Thomas Salvador

May 5, 2015
www.youtube.com/watch?v=zerzLBh1XWI

For me, one of the many highlights of SFIFF58 was seeing Vincent, the new French “superhero” film from dir. Thomas Salvador. Having previously made only a handful of short films, Mr. Salvador took the plunge into feature films with this new wonderfully understated audience charmer, which he directed, wrote, and stars in. I sat down with […]

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SFIFF58 Spotlights #6: Eden/Results/Democrats/Far From Men/Hill of Freedom/Goodnight Mother

May 3, 2015

Less than a week left and sadly there are many great titles that have finished screening at SFIFF58. But we here like to keep you in the loop nonetheless, so here’s six more titles to add to your cinema radar (including Democrats, which still has some screenings left!): Eden (France, 2014, 131 min, Marquee Presentations) […]

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Film Review: Avengers Age of Ultron

May 1, 2015
www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAUoeqvedMo

Not so much a movie as it is an issue of a comic book series drawn by a great artist. You’ve already decided if you’re seeing Avengers Age of Ultron. You are. Of course you are. Everybody who sees movies on a regular basis is seeing this movie, and you’re not making a bad decision. You’ll […]

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