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Remembering The 1972 Leonard Cohen World Tour

One of this very packed weekend’s highlights is the theatrical premiere of a filmed chronicle of the Leonard Cohen 1972 World Tour. The film has been available on home video, but seeing Leonard Cohen in his younger days on the big screen is a treat in itself.

For those viewers who are not into Leonard Cohen, there are other high-profile offerings opening this weekend. Anime fans will get a kick out of a new animated movie sequel to a popular series about an online role-playing game. Fans of Terrence Malick will get treated to a modern-day romantic drama set in the Austin music scene. Misanthropes and other lovers of cartoonist Daniel Clowes will want to check out a new film adaptation of one of Clowes’ graphic novels.

American Anarchist

In 1970, William Powell wanted to contribute to changing the existing corrupt society. His contribution was a book: part political manifesto, part bomb-making manual. Its name: The Anarchist Cookbook. Now 65 and having wandered the world, Powell goes on a journey to confront how his book facilitated abortion clinic bombings, school shootings, and other damage.

Opens March 24 at the Roxie Theatre

Bear City 3

Join the Bear City gang on one final dramatic, romantic, and funny adventure. This time, the characters face such challenges as possible financial ruin and jealousy, documentary perfectionism and childbirth, and even unexpected love.

Opens March 24 at the Roxie Theatre. Actor Gregory Gunter (Michael) will be present for a Q & A at the 3/24 and 3/25 screenings.

Bokeh

During young couple Jenai (Maika Monroe, It Follows) and Riley (Matt O’Leary)’s vacation in Iceland, the couple find themselves literally alone in Reykjavik the morning after a mysterious green light pulsed in the night sky. Riley treats this situation as an opportunity to perform small misdemeanors or take anything he wants. Jenai meanwhile starts getting more agitated and withdrawn in this new lonely world. Inevitably, their different reactions lead to arguments and worse.

Opens March 24 at the Presidio Theatre. Director Geoff Orthwein will appear in person after the 8:35 PM screenings on March 24 and 25.

Frantz

The new film from director Francois Ozon (The New Girlfriend) takes place in the wake of World War I. In a small German town, Anna grieves for the death of her soldier-fiancee Frantz. Anna’s visit to Frantz’s grave leads to a chance encounter with Adrien, a pre-war friend of Frantz’s who mourns his passing. While other townsfolk resent Adrien’s presence, Frantz’s grieving parents love Adrien’s stories about their departed son. But as the relationship among Anna, Adrien, and Frantz’s parents deepen, secrets start coming to the surface.

Opens March 24 at the Clay Theatre, the Shattuck Cinemas, and the Smith Rafael Film Center

Katamarayudu

In the hinterlands of Rayalaseema lives the influential and conscientious Katamarayudu. A corrupt businessman works with resentful villager Narsappa to take down Katamarayudu after the righteous man refuses to assist the businessman’s sandalwood smuggling scheme. Meanwhile, possible fiancee Avanti has an on-off relationship with Katamarayudu. She loves his righteousness, but not his violent means of displaying his conscientiousness.

Opens March 24 at the Century 20 Daly City

Leonard Cohen: Bird On A Wire

Tony Palmer’s 1974 concert documentary of the late iconic singer-songwriter has never had a theatrical release until now. In 1972, Leonard Cohen set out on an emotionally draining world tour of Europe and the Middle East. Fans hoped to hear him perform live renditions of such classics as “Suzanne” and “So Long Marianne.” But Leonard Cohen hated touring, and Palmer’s camera captures the emotional strain roiling Cohen on- and off-stage.

Opens March 24 at the Roxie Theatre

Phillauri

As part of a pre-wedding ritual to get rid of bad luck, confused millennial Kanan marries a tree. Imagine his surprise when he discovers the tree is the resting place of Shashi, a woman who lived a hundred years ago. Thanks to the ritual, Shashi’s ghost is bound to Kanan. His hopes of marrying his flesh-and-blood wife depends on completing the unresolved business that’s keeping Shashi’s spirit stuck on Earth.

Opens March 24 at the Century 12 San Mateo

San Francisco Cable Cars

Bay Area filmmaker Strephon Taylor’s documentary examines the history of San Francisco’s iconic cable cars. Starting with the horse-car accident that gave witness Andrew Smith Hallidie an idea, the story goes from the introduction of the first cable car line on Clay Street to the 1947 fight by Friedel Klussman and other women’s groups to preserve the cable cars for future generations.

Opens March 24 at the Balboa Theatre

Song To Song

Acclaimed director Terrence Malick (The Tree Of Life) ventures into romantic drama territory with this tale set in the Austin, Texas music scene. Faye (Rooney Mara, Carol) and BV (Ryan Gosling, La La Land) are struggling singer-songwriters in love. Ambitious music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender, X-Men: Apocalypse) has ensnared a young waitress (Natalie Portman, Jackie). These two couples’ lives will intertwine as they pursue success and deal with seduction and betrayal.

Opens March 24 at the Embarcadero Center Cinema and the Shattuck Cinemas

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

The popular anime gets a sequel movie set after the events of Sword Art Online II. The new augmented reality game system Augma simulates reality while the player is conscious. Augma’s most popular combat game is Ordinal Scale, which ranks players’ abilities by ordinal numbers. When Aincrad bosses start appearing in Ordinal Scale, Kirito joins Asuna and other SAO survivors to play the game. Yet Ordinal Scale feels dodgy. Why are SAO survivors defeated in Ordinal Scale losing their memories? Who’s the mysterious girl in the white hood? What does it mean that Ordinal Scale’s mascot Yuna bears a striking resemblance to a scientist’s dead daughter? To find the answers, Kirito and his friends eventually face the challenge of defeating Ordinal Scale’s Level 100 boss.

Opens March 24 at the 4-Star Theatre

T2 Trainspotting

Danny Boyle, who directed the original Trainspotting, now directs this sequel film. It’s twenty years after the first film ended. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he calls home and finds much has changed…and much has stayed the same. Soon, he encounters old comrades Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Renton also faces the return of old temptations and old habits.

Opens March 24 at the California Theatre and the Piedmont Theatre

Wilson

Director Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins) helms Daniel Clowes’ adaptation of his titular graphic novel. Wilson (Woody Harrelson) may be a lonely and neurotic misanthrope, but he’s also hilariously honest. Happiness in the form of the daughter (Isabella Amara) he never met spurs Wison to get to know his daughter better. Wilson’s estranged wife (Laura Dern) uncomfortably becomes entangled in Wilson’s efforts.

Opens March 24 at the Aquarius Theatre, the Embarcadero Center Cinemas and the Shattuck 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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