May Cinema in San Francisco: Here’s What We’re Looking Forward To

May 2nd: Performance/The Man Who Fell To Earth (Castro Theatre – 1 Night Only!)

06photoThe Man Who Fell to Earth: This is the new uncut 35mm presentation (Yes, the same one that was unveiled in 2011) of the strange events that took place in 1976 right around the time that Spaceman (David Bowie) fell to Earth. I wasn’t born until the following year, which means all of my information about the incident I’ve gotten from filmmaker, Nicolas Roeg, who, lucky for me, was around at the time to record and edit the whole damn thing! Thanks, Roeggie.

Performance: Originally I only planned on attending this double-feature for Bowie, but then I realized that Performance was Nicolas Roeg’s directorial debut, and that it came out just one year prior to Walkabout (1971). I’m willing to overlook my prejudices towards the film’s lead (Mick Jagger), for the sake of experiencing yet another pre-Castaway (1986) Roeggie offering.

May 3rd: Kon-Tiki (Embarcadero)

kon_tikiThis is Norway’s entry for the most recent foreign picture award at this year’s Oscars. This is also supposed to be one hell of an adventure story, that, contrary to what the above picture, and the movie’s trailer would have you believe, is not just some foreign country’s remake attempt at Jaws. Man, I love Jaws. Hopefully this will just as good.

May 4th: Back To The Future/Donnie Darko (Castro Theatre – 1 Day Only!)

lloyd-back-to-the-futureBack to The Future: Oh man, when this came out I so wanted a time machine. I sooo wanted to break a kid’s scooter and turn it into a skateboard. I sooo wanted to be friends with an eccentric wild haired genius. And I sooo wanted a puffy vest. Well, one out of  4 isn’t bad, right? As far as movies dealing with time travel are concerned, this one is, and will always be timeless.

Donnie Darko: “And I think it’s kind of funny, I think its kind of sad, that whenever this movie’s mentioned that song gets stuck in my head”

Sure, this is the time traveling – now cult classic movie – that put Richard Kelly on the map, as well as introduced Sparkle Motion to the world, but for me I’ll always regard this as one of the best cinematic depictions of high school hypocrisy and teen angst.

May 14th: The Master (Castro Theatre – 1 Day Only!)

The_Master_Paul_Thomas_Anderson701As is each film that PTA makes, The Master shows complete control from top to bottom. It is beautifully shot, majorly in 70mm, and does not suffer from the replacement of cinematographer from Robert Elswit to Mihai Malaimare Jr. This is a film destined to be a classic, and which will undoubtedly require multiple viewings to fully feel this film, for lack of a better phrase. For it’s a film to be felt more than intellectualized.

May 17th: Stories We Tell (Embarcadero)

Stories_we_tell_03In her first step into documentary filmmaking, Sarah, in search of an utmost truthful family portrait, interrogated those closest to her (her family) regarding events surrounding different aspects of her mother’s life. Presented through real archival footage, as well as super8 reenactments, Polley’s plot twisting brave and candid truth-is-way-more-interesting-than-fiction story is the stuff most other so-called tell all documentaries wish they had the balls to present.

May 17th: Something in the Air (Landmark Theatre TBD)

Something_in_the_Air_01Cinematically, the film is a masterpiece. The mise-en-scène is cared for in every shot, and the use of the crane is novel. And rather than quick cuts taking us from place to place in the film, the director, Oliver Assayas, seems to prefer to use a shoulder-rig to take us through the houses, solidifying our psychological places in the world. – Tom

May 17th & 18th: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Clay Theatre – 2 Nights Only!)

627Sing it with me, “Dun da-dah dah, Dun da-dahhh, Dun da-dah dah, Dun da-dah dahh dahhhh…” For those of you not able to sing along, that can only mean one thing, you haven’t seen the greatest adventure film ever! Don’t worry, the Clay theatre will be showing what is arguably Steven Spielberg‘s and Harrison Ford‘s best movie for 2 nights in a row.

May 23rd: The Long Goodbye (SFMOMA – 1 Day Only!)

the-long-goodbye-620xAside from being known as one of Robert Altman‘s best films, this is also one of the best (I put it right up there with Roman Polanski‘s Chinatown (1974) and Rian Johnson‘s Brick (2009), and easily the funniest, post-noir noir films. The film stars a cooler than cool Elliot Gould and tells the story of a detective trying to help a friend who is accused of murdering his wife. Bring your favorite catnip to this one. Oh yeah, it also features a humorous walk-on role by a pre-action hero/politician Schwarzenegger.

May 23rd: Black Swan/Dancer in the Dark (Castro Theatre – One Night Only!)

dancer-in-the-darkBlack Swan: “Not only is this about ballet, this movie is a ballet in that it successfully captures the beauty, intensity, and melodrama of performance art like no movie I have ever seen.  Stylistically this is Aronofsky’s tour de force.  The camera dances around the stage just as gracefully as the ballerinas.” – Nick

Dancer in the Dark: And you thought Black Swan ended on a down note? You ain’t seen nothing yet. This movie has a special place in my heart. It’s sort of like the gateway drug of movies that led me to the world of von Trier. Little did I know that my love affair for all things Bjork would lead me to this always visually interesting and presumed masochist world of Lars von Trier.

May 29th: Spring Breakers/Enter the Void (Castro Theatre – One Night Only!)

enter-the-voidEnter The Void: WARNING:  Those prone to epileptic seizures should by no means see this film.  With breakthrough techniques, including elaborate miniatures and more neon than the two TRON films combined, Gasper Noe‘s latest is a visceral mindf#*k of the tallest order.  Not all Filmbalaya members are as enthusiastic about this film as I am, so I think I’ll end my blurb with yet another warning.  There is very little middle ground when it comes to this film, either you’ll absolutely love it and be blown away (My #1 film from 2010), or chalk the whole experiment up to one big overindulging mess.  One thing’s for sure, this one is not meant for the tele, no matter how sharp your new HD screen is.  This has to be seen in a theatre!

Spring Breakers: I so want to pigeon-hole this movie by describing it as a giant stew whose ingredients include dashes of Terrence Malickism voiceovers, pinches of Gaspar Noe‘s camera fluidity, and topped off with a healthy measure of disrupting the status quo one night find in the more provocative of John Waters‘ films. Truth be told though ,and all comparisons aside, this is a wholly original Harmony Korine picture and a very unsexy and sleazy picture at that.

May 30th – 31st: Post Tenebras Lux (YBCA)

post-tenebrus-luxApparently, the films of director Carlos Reygadas‘ have always been met with both resounding cheers and blasting jeers. His latest, which I’ve read as being his least conventionally narrative work seems to be no different. During its screening premiere last year at Cannes it was met with emphatic boos, only to go on and crown Reygadas with the honor of Best Director. I believe any filmmaker eliciting such strong emotions from their viewers, be them negative or positive, is worth checking out.

May 31st: Sightseers (Theatre TBD)

SightseersSTILL 1It’s official.  When it comes to crafting original and satisfying content of the horror sorts, Director Ben Wheatley can be relied on to dish up the goods.  In this, his follow-up toKill List, Wheatley has redefined the term “happy Camper”. Having caught this movie earlier in the year during SFIndieFest I know what to expect, but for those of you who haven’t seen this yet, well, it’s basically a story of one happy English couple traveling the countryside and dealing with the pesky inconveniences of little things such as murder and other discomforts that often come with holiday road trips. 

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Categories: Monthly Movies

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