Jason Schwartzman

The healing power of a natural disaster

Dash Shaw’s film mixes genres and mediums.

To a teenager, the world is a boundless sea of experiences and hopes and fears and people and possibilities. But when the confines of a public high school, with its endless days of tedium, unquestionable authority, and worst of all – other teenagers – impose arbitrary bounds, the dramatic possibilities are endless, and have tempted artists of just about every medium, style, and approach.

My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, the first feature written and directed by graphic novelist and animator Dash Shaw, manages to jolt the venerable high school film genre with new life from some surprising places, and suggests that nothing short of disaster can save those between thirteen and eighteen years old.

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SFIFF logo

The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival


Welcome film lovers and moviegoers to the Spinning Platters coverage of the 58th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF). Bookmark this site because we’ll be bringing you tons of SFIFF coverage: previews, film spotlights, interviews, and special events coverage. Per usual, our spotlights will cover the films that you’re already excited to see, as well as many titles that you haven’t heard of. SFIFF program notes and tickets are available here.

We’ll be continuing our coverage this week and throughout the Festival. Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the special events in store and then five of the festival films:

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Sundance 2015 Spotlights: Five Feature Films


Braving the chill, the dry air, and the self-importance of the L.A. film industry folks who don’t turn off their cell phones during screenings, Senior Film Reviewer Carrie Kahn brings you these first spotlights (more to follow) from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT, which closes this Sunday, February 1st.

From the good, the mediocre, to the downright horrific, some of these films may receive distribution deals and be widely released in the coming year. Lucky for you, we here at Spinning Platters are ready and willing to let you know which films to see and which to miss. We’ll start with five feature films, and our handy Viewing Priority Level (VPL) Guide will steer you in the right direction. [read the whole post]


Anderson’s old fashioned adventure tale captivates, delights

Ralph Fiennes as Gustave H. and Tony Revolori as the Lobby Boy Zero contemplate their options in The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Ralph Fiennes as Gustave H. and Tony Revolori as the Lobby Boy Zero contemplate their options in The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Wes Anderson is one of those polarizing filmmakers whose films are either loved or hated. His legions of fans delight in his highly stylized artistry, whimsical storytelling, and quirky characters, while his detractors deride his pictures as pretentious at worst and lightweight at best. Anderson’s newest offering, The Grand Budapest Hotel, however, should satisfy his fans and critics alike, as it melds his trademark fairy tale sensibility with an undercurrent of melancholy and solemnity that keep the picture from being too cloying or precious. [read the whole post]


Film Review: Saving Mr. Banks

by Carrie Kahn on December 13, 2013

Mrs. Travers goes to Los Angeles: It’s Mickey vs. Mary in well crafted, absorbing film

Genial Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) has to deal with the prickly P.T. Travers (Emma Thompson) in Saving Mr. Banks.

P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) is decidedly unamused by Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and Disneyland.

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical going into Saving Mr. Banks, the new film from Disney Pictures and director John Lee Hancock, the writer and director of 2011’s feel-good The Blind Side. I was afraid this film might be too treacly and sentimental, and be nothing more than a glorification of Walt Disney and the Disney canon, in much the same way The Internship glorified Google. But my fears were allayed when I found myself utterly engrossed and thoroughly entertained by Hancock’s picture, which features a compelling narrative, complex characters, and excellent performances. [read the whole post]


Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman in MOONRISE KINGDOM

starring: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban

written by: Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola

directed by: Wes Anderson

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking

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