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The Art Of Banksy Shouldn’t Have A Price Tag On It

A film about an attempt to fight the commodification of the art of Banksy offers one alternative this weekend to watching Hair Fuhrer officially inflict himself on America. At the center of the documentary is the famed Banksy mural Haight Street Rat.

The undisputed gem of the weekend, though, is Maren Ade’s acclaimed comedy about repairing a strained father-daughter relationship. Who knew a tacky suit, a weird wig, and really weird fake teeth could provide a medium for healing?

The Ardennes

Kenny has finished serving prison time for a botched crime. His accomplices, girlfriend Sylvie and brother Dave, never got ratted out by him. Yet things have changed outside prison. Sylvie and Dave have not only gone on the straight and narrow, but they’re secretly an item. Violent trouble is brewing, though. Mix Kenny’s jealous paranoia with helping unstable former cellmate Stef with a cover-up, and things get bloody.

Opens January 20 at the 4-Star Theatre

Bakery In Brooklyn

Close cousins Vivien and Chloe have a shared love of cooking. But inheriting their Aunt Isabelle’s boulangerie soon divides them. The bank’s threatening to repossess the bakery in three months and the cousins can’t agree on how the neighborhood fixture’s fortunes can be turned around. Further complications, such as Vivien’s romance with one of the bankers and the physical splitting of the bakery, threaten to undermine their efforts.

Opens January 20 at the Presidio Theatre

Saving Banksy

In 2010, internationally acclaimed graffiti artist Banksy created his famous Haight Street Rat mural. However, a fight soon arose over the mural’s fate. Should the mural be removed from its wall? Can a NY gallerist determined to gain possession of Banksy’s rat mural be stopped? Along the way, art collector Brian Greif tried to save Banksy’s piece from both destruction and the auction block. But were his actions doing more harm than good?

Opens January 20 at the Roxie Theatre. Greif appears in person after the 1/22 6:15 PM show. Director Colin Day appears in person after the 1/25 7 PM show.

Smile Again Jenny Lee

An assault by an unknown assailant ended the career of rising tennis star Jenny Lee. But she still wants to make a comeback. However, her manager ran off with all her winnings. Lee’s rich mother refuses to bankroll her effort. The only hope might be Lee’s father. But she hasn’t seen him since she was three. The mysterious Charles (writer/director Carlo Caldana) offers to help the ex-tennis star with her quest. The subsequent journey forces Lee to re-evaluate herself and her beliefs.

Opens January 20 at the Roxie Theatre

Toni Erdmann

The critically acclaimed comedy from Maren Ade (Everyone Else) makes its Bay Area debut. Fun-loving practical joker Winfried decides his workaholic daughter Ines does not enjoy life enough. But a surprise visit only widens the rift between father and daughter. Then again, Winfried did come to Bucharest during Ines’ important corporate negotiations. So exit Winfried and enter his alter ego Toni Erdmann. Wearing a tacky suit, a weird wig, and an even weirder set of fake teeth, the flashy life coach turns Ines’ life upside down.

Opens January 20 at the Embarcadero Center Cinemas

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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