Kristen Schaal

61st annual San Francisco International Film Festival opens this Wednesday, April 4th

The 61st annual San Francisco International Film Festival begins this Wednesday, April 4th, and will run almost two weeks, until Thursday, April 17th. This year’s Festival features 186 films from over 40 countries, and will include eight world premieres, five North American premieres, and six U.S. premieres. Of special note is that over a third of this year’s selected films are directed by women. Tickets and more information about films and programs can be found here.

To help you plan your Fest schedule, we’ll start you off here with five Festival film spotlights (three narrative features and two documentaries). And be sure to bookmark Spinning Platters and check back frequently, as we’ll have more coverage throughout the Festival.

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Go take a hike: Redford, Nolte lead us on pleasant enough Walk

Bill (Robert Redford, left) and Stephen (Nick Nolte) wonder what they’ve gotten themselves into.

A Walk in the Woods, based on Bill Bryson’s popular 1998 memoir of attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail, is inevitably going to be compared to Wild, last year’s film of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, on the opposite side of the country. Aside from similar plots, though, the two films have little in common; Wild is the better picture by far, but A Walk in the Woods holds its own as a sort of lightweight, droll counterpart. What Wild did for solo women hikers on the PCT, A Walk in the Woods might do for the grandfather set on the AT.

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hotwives-of-orlando-cast-hulu

Panels for TV shows are an interesting thing. They can go in one of two ways: they can either be something educational, where you learn about how certain things work. Or it can a silly display of actors and writers getting together to have fun on stage outside the restrictions of the medium of television. Or, in the case of The Hotwives Of Orlando panel, it was a perfectly balanced version of the two.

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Coming to The New Parish

Coming to The New Parish

We live in a lovely place…. There is always too much to do.

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A brand new festival just outside my front door.

A brand new festival just outside my front door.

When rumors about the first ever BottleRock Napa festival began to circulate, they were impressive: early flyers listed Dave Matthews Band and Pearl Jam as headliners (neither was ever confirmed). Still, the festival had the attention of the Napa Valley and surrounding music lovers long ago.

Once the final lineup had been released and tickets purchased, however, it was time to finally see what all the hype had been about. Because my home is in such a central location within “Napa proper,” as we all call the city of Napa (so as not to confuse it with the rest of “the Valley”), I didn’t actually experience the crazy traffic so many locals worried about. And while I did hear on one of the first few days (Weds or Thurs, though I’m not 100% certain which) that it took someone approximately 90 minutes to reach the Napa Expo from Fairfield (normally a 25-30 minute drive), I know for sure that the traffic relaxed and was relatively comparable to any other holiday weekend. (Which is to say, not insane as predicted.) The parking situation was the same as it usually is, I know for sure. The first three days, I arrived well before noon. As such, I beat the crowds and was able to find nearby parking with such ease that I chalked that up to my knowledge of the neighborhood, vs. all those who were coming in from out of area who didn’t know where to look (and as a result, were paying $25-40 to park much farther away). [read the whole post]

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Spinning Platters loves Sketchfest. San Franciscans are generally really lucky, but for two and a half weeks every year, our lives get even brighter and more chaotic, because the best live comedy programming one could imagine is here, in the greatest place on Earth. Of course, it can be awfully intimidating. Hence this guide, to help you sort out everything that you should go to. For a complete schedule and tickets, please click here!

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Our Guide to the 2012 Outside Lands Music Festival

August 6, 2012

Every year, every festival in America claims to have the “best line up ever!” Well, San Francisco’s Outside Lands Music Festival has made to its 5th year, and they really are going to have a seriously difficult time topping this year’s event. Of course, this means that there are conflicts galore! You’ve got six stages […]

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Sketchfest Review: Delocated Witness Protection Program Variety Hour at Cobb’s Comedy Club, 1/15/11

January 17, 2011

Delocated is a show on Adult Swim about a family in the witness protection program that is moved to New York to appear on a reality show where they have their faces covered the entire time. Simple premise, but a difficult one to transfer to the stage. Also, the Sketchfest version of the show, which […]

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A Music Nerd’s Guide To SF Sketchfest 2011

January 10, 2011

To the uninitiated, San Francisco’s Sketchfest is probably the most overwhelming 2 1/2 weeks out of the entire year, in terms of live entertainment booking. Its closest cousin is probably Austin’s SXSW festival, where you have a wide array of up-and-coming talent mixed with veterans, all playing some very intimate spots. As a person that […]

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