The Studio Ghibli Swan Song?

One highlight of the art film/international openings this week may be the Studio Ghibli adaptation of Joan G. Robinson’s tale of adolescent friendship. But some fans of the animation studio’s previous offerings fear this film could be the last Studio Ghibli film.

For those whose tastes don’t run to animation, Andrew Bujalski’s new comedy about an odd love triangle or a biopic about Brian Wilson will be worth a look. No opinions, though, on whether the cinema screening the restoration of The Tales Of Hoffman can do the film justice.

Dil Dhadakne Do

A cruise ship is the setting for three tales of Bollywood comedy and drama. The wealthy Mehras are melting down thanks to a question of succession to the family business. Dancer Farah pursues a whirlwind romance with the heir to the Mehra business empire. Ayesha, the more qualified heir, finds herself hemmed in by a patriarchal husband and a former best friend. Of course, the Mehras’ problems get solved after a lot of singing beforehand.

Opens June 5 at the Century San Francisco Centre 9

Love And Mercy

This biopic of The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson follows the band frontman at two different periods of his life. Paul Dano plays late 1960s Wilson, the genius who both produces Pet Sounds and suffers from a slowly crumbling sanity. John Cusack plays 1980s Wilson, who’s under the thumb of controversial therapist Dr. Eugene Landy. Enter Melinda Ledbetter, who may offer Wilson a way out.

Opens June 5 at the AMC Bay Street 16, the AMC Van Ness 14, the Century San Francisco Centre 9, the CineArts at the Empire, the CineArts Sequoia, the Piedmont Theatre, and the Shattuck Cinemas

Police Story: Lockdown

Hong Kong action legend Jackie Chan plays police captain Zhong Wen, whose dedication to chasing down bad guys has caused him to neglect his daughter Miao. Now Zhong is meeting Miao for the first time in years as well as her fiance, club owner Wu. However, the club owner knows who Zhong really is, and Wu’s evening plans include taking Zhong, Miao, and the rest of his club patrons hostage as part of a ransom plan. How far will Zhong go to stop Wu?

Opens June 5 at the 4-Star Theatre


The new comedy from Andrew Bujalski (Computer Chess) involves a kooky romantic triangle. Trevor (Guy Pearce), self-styled fitness guru, has an on-again, off-again relationship with acerbic trainer Kat (Cobie Smulders). Into their sculpted lives comes overweight (and now rich) stoner Danny (Kevin Corrigan). The miserable and out-of-shape man takes a new interest in exercise after meeting Kat.

Opens June 5 at the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

The Tales Of Hoffman

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s magnificent adaptation of Jacques Offenbach’s opera returns to movie screens in an incredible digital restoration. Fableist Hoffman tells the story of a poet whose heart gets broken by three women: a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer. Both Martin Scorsese and George A. Romero cite this film as a major influence on their work.

Opens June 5 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas

When Marnie Was There

This new animated feature from Studio Ghibli adapts Joan G. Robinson’s novel about a lonely orphan girl who learns the value of friendship. 12-year-old orphan Anna has been sent to a sleepy seaside town for her health…and hopefully to make new friends. In an apparently deserted mansion located near the marshes, the introverted girl meets the extroverted Marnie, who becomes Anna’s friend. Anna starts confiding personal secrets to Marnie, while the gregarious blonde introduces her friend to her socialite mother’s nighttime revels. But Marnie’s frequent and mysterious absences soon attract Anna’s suspicions.

Opens June 5 at the California Theatre, the Embarcadero Center Cinema, and the Guild Theatre

You’re Still The One

This Filipino romantic drama follows the on-again, off-again relationship between Ellise and Jojo over many years. They meet in college, find an attraction between them, but find complications such as marriage to another person blocks their advancing their romance. Eventually, Ellise must choose between the right love who came at the wrong time or the wrong love who cane at the right time.

Opens June 5 at the Century at Tanforan


The following notable art and indie films are still screening around the Bay Area:

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared at the Smith Rafael Film Center

About Elly at the New Parkway Theater, the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Clouds Of Sils Maria at the Opera Plaza Cinemas, the Piedmont Theatre, and the UA Stonestown Twin

The Connection at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Far From The Madding Crowd at the Albany Twin, the Balboa Theatre, the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, the Piedmont Theatre, and the UA Stonestown Twin

The Salt of the Earth at the CineArts Marin and the Shattuck Cinemas

What We Do In The Shadows at the New Parkway Theater

Wild Tales at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas, the New Parkway Theater, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.