Features

2018 San Francisco International Film Festival ends this week

If you haven’t made it out to the SF International Film Festival yet, don’t worry – you still have one more day to catch some great films. The Festival ends tomorrow, Tuesday, April 17th, and tickets to remaining screenings can be found here.

Spinning Platters continues its coverage by taking a look at four films that screened at the Fest that will be opening soon here in the Bay Area (we note each film’s opening date below), so if you had hoped to see some of these at the Fest and missed them, you’ve got a second chance. And even though the Fest ends soon, stay tuned to Spinning Platters; we’ll have some wrap up coverage after the Fest concludes.

1.) Kodachrome
(Canada/USA 2017, 105 min. Marquee Presentations)

Matt (Jason Sudeikis, l.), Zoe, (Elizabeth Olsen), and Ben (Ed Harris) have some fun.

Upon hearing the title of director Mark Raso’s new film, you would be forgiven for thinking it might have something to do with Paul Simon’s 1973 single of the same name. That song is referenced in the film, but never played, which is for the best, since the last film to take its title from a Paul Simon song was a huge flop. Raso fares better here, working from a script by the author and screenwriter Jonathan Tropper (This is Where I Leave You). Based loosely on a 2010 article in the New York Times about the closing of the last photo lab in the country to develop Kodak’s famed color film, Kodachrome is a father-son redemption story that calls to mind Sam Shepard, and not just because Shepard stalwart Ed Harris plays Ben, the estranged, terminally ill famous photographer father to Jason Sudeikis’s wounded music producer son Matt. The actors are believable as a father and son with a complicated history, which helps detract from the cliché of their road trip from New York to Kansas to drop off old Kodachrome rolls of Ben’s before the lab closes. Accompanying the duo is Zoe (Elizabeth Olsen), Ben’s nurse and assistant and, of course, love interest for Matt. Olsen’s likable presence and her chemistry with Sudeikis also help keep the story from feeling too obvious, and you find yourself wanting to spend more time with them. The film does occasionally succumb to the hackneyed, though, as when Matt and Zoe finally look at Ben’s developed slides (you’ll have long since guessed what’s on them), in a somewhat cloying scene that may remind some viewers of the famous “The Wheel” episode of Mad Men. But with its nostalgic look at how our analog world has given way to digital, Raso and Tropper manage to pull off a charming narrative that would have felt derivative with a lesser cast at the helm.

Kodachrome will open in the Bay Area this Friday, April 20th.

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Make time for these three great documentaries at the 61st San Francisco International Film Festival

1.) Carcasse
(Iceland/France 2016, 61 min. Vanguard)

Faraway lands and anthropologic impulses lured filmmaker Gústav Geir Bollason to the subject of how we adapt the 21st century’s material bounty to the timeless problems of survival. Drawing heavily from Robert Flaherty and Basil Wright, Bollason is fascinated with the ways in which we repurpose the consumerist world to adapt quite nicely in the survivalist one. Aircraft fuselages become shelters for lamb flocks. Volkswagen bodies become boat bridges. Compact car bodies become horse drawn buggies. Flaherty showed how the Inuk bent nature to tame nature. Bollason shows both the pervasive nature of modern material culture, and our ingenuity at bending it our needs. Plays with the short The Art of Flying (Jan van Ijken, Netherlands 2015, 7 min).

Screenings (tickets available here):
— Saturday, April 14th, 3:15pm, YBCA Screening Room
— Sunday, April 15, 2018, 8:00pm, YBCA Screening Room 

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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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All photos by Natalia Perez.

I’d like you to close your eyes for a moment and think of the nerdiest concert you can imagine. What do you see when you do this? Apocalyptica Plays Metallica by Four Cellos? The Fair Maidens Play Iron Maiden by Four Ukuleles? Queensryche doing Operation Mindcrime AND Operation Mindcrime 2? Well, my fellow music nerds, I am here to report that I have a concert nerdier than my wildest dreams, and it was wonderful.

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Too much Johnson in my Oddsac

Joseph Cotton shows absolutely no respect for his suit.

Joseph Cotton shows absolutely no respect for his suit.

Let me say right here, at the outset of this double review, that I had no intention of deliberately pairing Too Much Johnson and Oddsac together for any comedic purposes. Yes, it’s very easy to “put too much Johnson into the oddsac” or snickeringly flippant to say something like “too much Johnson, the story of oddsac’s life.” Nope, not having it. You can’t pin it on me. Sure, accuse me of being wildly naive, but when I looked through the film offerings when the Noisepop 2018 schedule was released, I picked these two purely for what I thought was their cinematic possibilities. Too bad the best things about these two offerings are the many jokes that can be made from their titles.

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Maverick Spirit Award recipient Nicolas Cage

This week marks the beginning of one of California’s favorite film festivals, San Jose’s Cinequest. Running from 2/27 – 3/11 in a series of South Bay venues, this year Cinequest will present 229 feature and short films, including 74 world premieres over its two-week span. And you know what else? Nic Cage is going to be there.

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Film Feature: Carrie and Chris Pick the 2018 Oscars

February 25, 2018

Film critics Carrie and Chris on who will – and who should – win the 90th Academy Awards The 90th Academy Awards air this Sunday, March 4th on ABC at 5:00 pm PST (pre-show festivities start well before, if you want to weigh in on Oscar fashions). Spinning Platters film critics Carrie Kahn and Chris […]

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Noise Pop Review: The Album Leaf, Vákoum, Indy Nyles at Swedish American Hall, 2/23/18

February 25, 2018

I’ll start by telling you that I have The Album Leaf’s emblem tattooed on the inside of my right wrist.  Let’s just say, my love for their music runs deep, and my respect for them as musicians is significant. I’ve been able to see them perform live several times over the years, each time special […]

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Noise Pop Review: Amy Shark, BOWER, MILCK at The Independent, 2/21/18

February 23, 2018

Last night’s performances were raw, emotional, and beautiful. You know that feeling you get when someone chooses to open up to you, sharing a personal experience that may have hurt them deeply, but also helped shape them into who they are? All of the performers chose to open themselves up to a room full of […]

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Noise Pop Review: Jay Electronica, Michael Armstead, Sylvan LaCue at Mezzanine, 2/20/19

February 21, 2018

I walked into Mezzanine as the DJ played My Neck, My Back, and I saw the smallish crowd of early arrivals start to dance to the familiar song. The DJ transitioned to other fun, nostalgia-inducing songs, the crowd grew, and energy started to fill the room. 

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