Michael Moore Reunifies America

This weekend’s openings has a surprising addition: the new Michael Moore concert film. Will Michael Moore going light on the Trump-bashing and heavy on the national unity persuade these Trumpland voters to vote for Hillary Clinton?

The Michael Moore film is not the only high-profile release this weekend. Director Barry Jenkins returns with a highly acclaimed look at being black and gay in America. Sonia Braga stars in an acclaimed Brazilian film that will appeal to anti-gentrification sorts. Park Chan-wook transports Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith to Korea. Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman look at how Big Tech has changed San Francisco for the worse.

But animation fans should check out Ron Diamond’s new collection of the year’s best animated shorts.

The 18th Annual Animation Show Of Shows

The new edition of Ron Diamond’s show of the past year’s best of the best animated shorts has arrived! This year’s program includes About A Mother (a short with echoes of The Giving Tree), Piper (the sweet Disney/Pixar short screened before Finding Dory), and Pearl (a father and daughter journey from Academy Award winner Patrick Osborne). Please note there will be two programs: the family-friendly version will screen earlier in the day while the more mature version will screen later at night.

Now at the Grand Lake Theatre and the Vogue Theatre

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

Karan Johar’s new musical looks at modern day relationships in India. Ayan and Alizeh are two Bollywood-loving goofballs who meet in a bar and soon discover they’re practical soulmates. Ayan wants more from their relationship, but Alizeh still hasn’t recovered from a break-up with Ali. A chance encounter sends Alizeh back into Ali’s arms. The distraught Ayan starts a mostly carnal relationship with Saba (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), and eventually learns something about one-sided love.

Now at the Century 12 San Mateo and the Century San Francisco Centre 9


Legendary actress Sonia Braga stars in this contemporary drama/comedy set in the Brazilian coastal town of Recife. 65-year-old Clara (Braga) is the last remaining occupant of Aquarius. It’s a 1940s-built apartment house located on beachfront property. She wants to stay in her Aquarius apartment until she dies. But a powerful development company wants to knock down Aquarius and build a money-making condo tower. However, the old woman is determined to fight back to protect what matters to her.

Now at the Clay Theatre, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center. Sonia Braga appears in person after the 7:15 PM screening on October 29 at the Smith Rafael

Bakit Lahat Ng Gwapo May Boyfriend

In this Philippine romantic comedy, Kylie is a wedding planner who’s developed through bitter experience a personal gaydar. All her ex-boyfriends, including Kylie’s boss Benj, turned out to be gay. Benj has an undeclared crush on the soon-to-be-married Diego, but he’s not sure of Diego’s sexual orientation. The gay boss recruits Kylie to find out the truth about Diego, but (guess what) Kylie falls in love with Diego herself.

Now at the Century at Tanforan

Being 17

This new French drama features a script co-written by director Andre Techine (Wild Reeds) and Celine Sciamma (Director, Girlhood). Damien and Thomas are constantly feuding students at the same high school. Yet Damien can’t help continually staring at the bi-racial farmers’ son Thomas, much to the latter’s annoyance. Marianne, a doctor and Damien’s mother, has to send Thomas’ mother to the hospital. She then allows Thomas to temporarily stay with her and Damien. Now both boys are forced to work out their feelings and burgeoning mutual attraction.

Now at the Opera Plaza Cinemas and the Shattuck Cinemas

Company Town

Veteran documentarians Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman present a new film about a power struggle for the soul of San Francisco. On one side are such big “sharing economy” tech companies as Airbnb and Uber. On the other side are the middle-class and ethnic San Franciscans being driven out by ever-increasing rent hikes and evictions. Against the backdrop of a contentious supervisor race between pro-tech incumbent Julie Christensen and progressive challenger Aaron Peskin, the question arises whether once free-wheeling San Francisco will be transformed by Big Tech into a company town. Co-presented with San Francisco Vision.

Now at the Roxie Theater. The filmmakers will appear in person after the October 29 screenings along with comedian Lisa Geduldig.

The Handmaiden

Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) transports the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith from Victorian London to 1930s Korea. Sookee is a Korean pickpocket who’s been hired as the new maid of the Japanese beauty Lady Hideko. Her Ladyship has been raised by her tyrannical uncle Kouzuki, an erotica collector. Both Kouzuki and the con man Sookee’s partnered with plan to steal Lady Hideko’s inheritance, but in different ways. However, both these plans start coming apart when Sookee and Lady Hideko start falling in love with each other.

Now at the California Theatre and the Embarcadero Center Cinemas


700 years ago, an intrepid warrior named Raj Nayak brought many victories on the battlefield to the Vikrantaka Kingdom. Unfortunately, Nayak’s successes turn him into an obnoxious womanizer climaxing with an attempt to forcibly marry princess Ratna Mahadevi. Things end very badly.

In the present day, Kaashmora runs a fake exorcist scam with his family’s help. Their travels brings them to an old fort where Nayak’s spirit waits to be released. When Nayak’s ghost gets loose, Kaashmora and his clan must display some real exorcism skills to stop the warrior’s ghost.

Now at the Century 20 Daly City

Michael Moore In Trumpland

This new one-man concert film starring Michael Moore was literally filmed several weeks ago at the Murphy Theatre in Wilmington, Ohio. In it, the progressive political filmmaker goes light on the Trump-bashing and heavy on the broad political spectrum appeal. Will Michael Moore manage to convince viewers to vote for Hilary Clinton?

Now at the Balboa Theatre, the New Parkway Theatre, and the Smith Rafael Film Center


Barry Jenkins, director of the acclaimed Medicine For Melancholy, returns with this adaptation of the Tarell Alvin McCraney play In Moonlight, Black Boys Look Blue. It begins in Reagan-era Miami as young Chiron aka Little struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a tough neighborhood. Drug dealer Juan and a friend named Kevin help Chiron begin his quest. Where he ends up by the end depends on whether he locates his masculinity and understands his own burgeoning gay desire.

Now at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

Mr. Donkey

In this dark Chinese comedy, a countryside village comes up with an ingenious scam to pay for the donkey that brings in the village water. They register the animal as a local school teacher. Trouble arrives when the charity group funding the village school comes by for an inspection. The villagers must scramble to hide their little secret.

Now at the AMC Van Ness 14


Shivaay is a Himalayan mountaineer happy to live a simple life with his family. But when Shivaay’s family becomes the target of a villainous worldwide conspiracy, he is forced to leave the lap of the Himalayas to engage in a globe-trotting crusade against evil.

Now at the Century 12 San Mateo and the Century San Francisco Centre 9

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.