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Past Articles view current articles

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"The last refuge of democracy": a talk with B. Ruby Rich
By Jennie Rose
May 7, 2004 - 1:29 PM PDT

The "State of Cinema" address film critic, curator and author B. Ruby Rich delivered at the just-wrapped San Francisco International Film Festival was so thought-provoking Jennie Rose sat down with her afterwards and got her to carry those thoughts further - thoughts on revenge in current American movies, the true function of festivals and what's become of queer cinema.  Full Article >>
Tripping with Caveh Zahedi
By Craig Phillips
May 4, 2004 - 2:13 PM PDT

Indie with a capital "I," filmmaker Caveh Zahedi has appeared in his own films and in the films of others (including an animated version of himself in Richard Linklater's Waking Life). Unlike meeting other enigmatic filmmakers, when it's often hard to know how close you'll be getting to the real person, with Zahedi there's no such obstacle - what you've seen is what you get, up to a point. Craig Phillips spoke with the maverick director about sex, drugs, and the state of the film world.  Full Article >>
"The reconfiguration of film history": Guy Maddin
By Jonathan Marlow
April 28, 2004 - 9:46 AM PDT

Reviewing Guy Maddin's latest film, The Saddest Music in the World, for the Village Voice, J. Hoberman succinctly nails what's most unique about one of the most enigmatic living filmmakers: "Like everything in Maddin's ouevre... [it] is a contribution to the imaginary history of our times." Maddin's Music recently screened at SFIFF, prompting a long and leisurely conversation with filmmaker Jonathan Marlow about his work.  Full Article >>
"A Fresh Thing": David Carradine
By Sean Axmaker
April 16, 2004 - 6:16 AM PDT

"At 68 years young, David Carradine - the man who was Woody Guthrie, Death Race 2000's Frankenstein, and wandering Shaolin priest Kwai Chang Caine - is getting a career revival men half his age would kill Bill for." Sean Axmaker talks to the actor with 102 films under his belt about Kill Bill Vol.2, his new "beginning."  Full Article >>
Feasting on Films and Food
By Francine Segan
April 9, 2004 - 6:16 AM PDT

Discussions of movies around here often turn into to discussions of food as well. We've even got a topic devoted to food alone. So we're naturally delighted to present a generous round of recipes from Francine Segan, author of not one but two books on movies and food.  Full Article >>
Jersey Boy: Kevin Smith
By Sean Axmaker
March 24, 2004 - 8:58 AM PST

Kevin Smith has come a long way from his $27,000 debut, the 1994 slacker comedy Clerks. Ten years and five features on, he's a small cottage industry unto himself. Sean Axmaker talks to him about marketing Jersey Girl in the shadow of Gigli, writing and directing The Green Hornet and that whole Jesus movie brouhaha.  Full Article >>
A Shared Aesthetic: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
By Craig Phillips
March 22, 2004 - 1:44 AM PST

Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini are best known as the duo behind American Splendor, a brilliant little indie that seemed to come out of nowhere. It didn't. The couple had been screenwriting for some time in Hollywood, where they also shot two docs, Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's and The Young and the Dead. Craig Phillips gets them to talk about Splendor, a few of their favorite films and their plans for the future.  Full Article >>
A Struggle Against Various Limitations: Cornering Kiyoshi Kurosawa
By Jonathan Marlow
March 3, 2004 - 8:02 AM PST

"Set against the work of his flashy contemporaries, such as Takashi Miike and Sogo Ishii, there appears to be something deeper happening in the films of Kiyoshi Kurosawa," wrote Jonathan Marlow last July. Jonathan had met Kurosawa in Seattle a few years ago, and what follows is, in a way, a continuation of that conversation in Rotterdam at the time of this year's film festival.  Full Article >>
Karma Chameleon: A talk with Johnnie To
By Sean Axmaker
February 19, 2004 - 2:39 PM PST

He's made comedies as light as Love on a Diet and My Left Eye Sees Ghosts, thrillers as swift as Running Out of Time (1 and 2) and gangster dramas as operatic as Fulltime Killer and The Mission. Johnnie To talks to Sean Axmaker about what he learned from TV, what he didn't learn from Tsui Hark and the sort of characters we need to see now.  Full Article >>
Breakfast in Baghdad
By David Martinez
January 28, 2004 - 6:59 AM PST

"A bomb had exploded on Karada, a crowded street of shops and food stalls. The target was a passing American convoy, but the device had missed, and instead killed an Iraqi man. He lay on the street, covered with a cloth and a piece of cardboard." David Martinez, a San Francisco-based filmmaker and writer, is in Iraq shooting a film on life before and after the war.  Full Article >>
What's Up, Documentary?
By Tai Moses
January 15, 2004 - 6:41 AM PST

Taken as a whole, reviews have been mixed for 2003, the year in cinema. At the LA Weekly, for example, Ella Taylor called it a "so-so year," but for her fellow critic, Scott Foundas, it was "a damn fine year for the movies." Alternet senior editor Tai Moses finds 2003 a year of surprises, with one surprise the biggest of all: "For the first time, documentary films put fictional films to shame."  Full Article >>
A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
December 17, 2003 - 7:48 AM PST

The highly anticipated conclusion to one of the most successful trilogies in film history is now in theaters. On the occasion of the European premiere in Berlin, Markus Tschiedert spoke with several key players, including Peter Jackson, Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen. In the fourth and final interview of our series, Andy Serkis talks about his completed portrait of "pre-Ring Smeagol and post-Ring Gollum."  Full Article >>
Guides for the Perplexed: Asian Cinema
By David Chute
December 10, 2003 - 6:11 AM PST

You know some of the most exciting films are coming out of Asia, but you don't quite yet have a handle on the various national cinemas. You or someone you know wants to learn more; and lo, it's the holiday season. We continue our brief and infrequent series on movie-related books for the cinephiles you know and love with David Chute's quick guide to some of the best books on Bollywood and Hong Kong Action, Korean cinema and more.  Full Article >>
"I had to capture this on film": a talk with Emily Morse
By Jonathan Marlow
December 7, 2003 - 8:38 AM PST

As the ruffians of the (former) Barbary Coast went to the polls in late-2003 to choose a new mayor, the magniloquent New York Times explained to the rest of the country why the race carried "unusual political significance locally and nationally." Funny thing about elections in San Francisco: they often begin rather ho-hum but suddenly kick up all sorts of drama. So it was last time around, too, as Emily Morse was shooting See How They Run...  Full Article >>
"A Whole New Way of Seeing": a talk with Robert Drew
By Jonathan Marlow
November 12, 2003 - 7:12 AM PST

Primary not only tells the riveting story of a key race in the campaign for the presidency in 1960, it also represents a filmmaking revolution of sorts. Photojournalist-turned-director and producer Robert Drew tells Jonathan Marlow why he needed a lightweight sync-sound camera to realize a truly narrative documentary.  Full Article >>
Page-turners and stocking stuffers.
By David Hudson
November 10, 2003 - 10:16 AM PST

We realize it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but you know how it goes. One minute you're eating turkey sandwiches, the next you've got just hours to scratch off all the names on your Christmas shopping list. So we're thinking ahead for you, beginning a brief and infrequent series on movie-related books for the cinephiles you know and love with stockings to stuff.  Full Article >>
VIFF's Dragons and Tigers
By Sean Axmaker
November 7, 2003 - 7:16 AM PST

On the heels of his terrific report from Venice, Sean Axmaker files an overview of the "Dragons and Tigers" program of Asian films at the Vancouver Film Festival, featuring brisk reviews of the latest films from, among others, Tsai Ming-Liang, Kurosawa Kiyoshi, Hiroki Ryuichi, Miike Takashi, Jang Sun-Woo and Kim Ji-Woon.  Full Article >>
"Laughter is the antidote to fear": a talk with Stuart Gordon
By Jonathan Marlow and Patrick Mathewes
October 27, 2003 - 6:12 AM PST

Stuart Gordon's film career was spectacularly launched in 1985 with the release of the instant cult classic, Re-Animator. He recently sat down with Patrick Mathewes and Jonathan Marlow in Seattle to talk at length about his unique blend of horror and humor in the films he's made since, including his most recent work, King of the Ants.  Full Article >>
"Yama nashi, ochi nashi, imi nashi"
By April Gutierrez
October 10, 2003 - 1:07 PM PDT

Yaoi-Con 2003 is set for the weekend of October 17 through 19 in San Francisco. Terrific, you may be thinking: What's yaoi? As April Gutierrez explains in her lively overview, it's a subgenre of anime and manga created by women for women featuring stories in which men love men.  Full Article >>
Dancers: Malkovich, Bardem and Morante
By Nina Rehfeld
September 28, 2003 - 5:19 PM PDT

John Malkovich's directorial debut, The Dancer Upstairs, is, among other things, a story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of violent political upheaval. Nina Rehfeld talks to the director and the two leads, Javier Bardem and Laura Morante.  Full Article >>
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