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Marlon Brando Speaks

Film lovers, especially fans of classic Hollywood films, will want to check out this weekend’s premiere of the cinematic autobiography of iconic actor Marlon Brando. A documentary about the Gore Vidal-William F. Buckley debates/screaming matches shows how television discussion of public issues started devolving from polite arguments into verbal bare-knuckled boxing. A dramatized five-day interview with the late David Foster Wallace, OTOH, is either a fantastic drama or a hideous impersonation of the late novelist depending on who you ask.

Assassination

In this historical crime drama, a group of exiled Korean rebels plan to assassinate a high-ranking Japanese commander in Japanese-occupied Korea. Part of the plan involves springing the best killer for the job out of prison. But what could blow the rebels’ plan sky-high is the presence of a traitor in the group.

Opens August 7 at the 4-Star Theatre, the Century San Francisco Centre 9 and the Century 20 Daly City

Best Of Enemies

It began as a ratings stunt for bottom-rated ABC Television news. Have conservative lion William F. Buckley debate liberal icon Gore Vidal during the 1968 Democratic and Republican national conventions. Neither man believed in the merits of their opposite number’s political ideology. Policy disagreements soon devolved into personal insult…and the world we have today of public discourse as blood sport was born. Directors Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville (Twenty Feet From Stardom) recount those rhetorical clashes.

Opens August 7 at the Aquarius Theatre, the California Theatre, and the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

The End Of The Tour

In 1996, novelist and Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky conducted a five-day interview with novelist David Foster Wallace shortly after the publication of Wallace’s acclaimed epic novel Infinite Jest. That sometimes combative sometimes revealing interview was never published by the magazine, and the interview tapes wound up in Lipsky’s closet. Director James Ponsoldt draws on Lipsky’s memoir of that encounter to recreate the marathon interview with actors Jesse Eisenberg (Lipsky) and Jason Segel (Wallace).

Opens August 7 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas and the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Listen To Me Marlon

Marlon Brando is known as both an iconic actor of his generation and a personally enigmatic man. What’s not known about Brando is that he recorded on tape over 200 hours of private musings on his life and his craft. Now director Stevan Riley has distilled Brando’s recordings into a posthumous autobiography. In it, the famed actor talks about everything from family difficulties to the stardom brought by A Streetcar Named Desire to his eventual disillusionment with Hollywood.

Opens August 7 at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

The Runner

Idealistic Louisiana Congressman Colin Pryce (Nicolas Cage) dreams of using the publicity from his advocacy regarding the BP oil spill to spark a run for the US Senate. However, between the oil company fatcats he’s angered and such personal problems as marital infidelity and alcoholism, Pryce’s dream winds up being snuffed out quickly. So the question is Now What?

Opens August 7 at the Roxie Theater

Srimanthudu

Harsha (Mahesh Babu) is the aimless scion of a billionaire Indian family. When he falls in love with social worker Charuseela (Shruti Hassan), the billionaire’s son finds purpose in adopting Charuseela’s village and bettering conditions there. But he soon discovers changing villagers’ mindset is also part of the process of improving village life.

Opens August 7 at the Century 20 Daly City

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.

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