Category: featured

Salma Hayek At Dinner With A Trump Surrogate
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Salma Hayek At Dinner With A Trump Surrogate

Salma Hayek gives an amazing performance in this weekend’s must-see film, a dark comedy about a clash between a healer and a Trump-like billionaire. For a film performance that might outdo that of Salma Hayek as Beatriz, viewers would have to turn to Cate Blanchett. The Carol star plays thirteen different characters in one film. […]

Wendy Whelan Fights To Return To Dancing
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Wendy Whelan Fights To Return To Dancing

Famed ballerina Wendy Whelan is the subject of one of two strong documentaries now in theaters. The other film looks at the prosecution of a small Chinese-American bank that was the only bank prosecuted for the 2008 financial meltdown. If your interests don’t lean towards Wendy Whelan and the world of dance, you could try […]

David Lynch, Russian Drivers, And Manual Typewriters
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David Lynch, Russian Drivers, And Manual Typewriters

Watching director David Lynch at work on Blue Velvet is one of the joys offered by this year’s edition of the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival. Even if you’re not a David Lynch fan, the festival still has over ten days of intriguing films that are worth catching. Besides the David Lynch film, here are […]

Ken Loach Rips The UK's Welfare System A Very Big One
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Ken Loach Rips The UK’s Welfare System A Very Big One

Ken Loach won the Palme d’Or at Cannes for the opening of the week. In it, the proud lefty director dramatizes the cruelties of his country’s welfare system. Despite meticulous research, Ken Loach has been attacked by an English film critic for his fictional critique. The rest of the weekend’s art and foreign film openings […]

The Grateful Dead And The Living Dead
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The Grateful Dead And The Living Dead

The history of legendary cult rock band The Grateful Dead gets told in an epic documentary that’s one of the must-see special screenings this weekend. Other offerings include a history lesson about the last time American citizens were incarcerated en masse for “security reasons,” a mirrored look at a Stanley Kubrick classic, a tribute to […]

Farewell To The Buena Vista Social Club
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Farewell To The Buena Vista Social Club

A documentary bidding farewell to Cuba’s Buena Vista Social Club is one of the art film alternatives available this weekend. Alternately, viewers can check out Bryan Cranston playing a man who hides in his own garage attic to observe his life. But the opening of the week belongs to the restoration of a trippy SF […]

Enjoying The French Countryside And Cuisine With Diane Lane
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Enjoying The French Countryside And Cuisine With Diane Lane

Diane Lane stars this week in a debut film directed by an 81-year-old woman. But the director in question happens to be part of the Coppola clan. And the setup will make reasonable viewers wonder if Diane Lane plays a character loosely based on a person or two the director knows very well. Matching Diane […]

A Life, As Summarized By The New York Times
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A Life, As Summarized By The New York Times

The New York Times is connected in various ways to the weekend’s stronger openings. The operations of the Obituaries section of the New York Times lead to compelling ruminations on timelessness. A documentary about an influential but little-known record producer gets described by the New York Times as filled with behind-the-scenes stories of the music […]

Discerning The Real Julian Assange
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Discerning The Real Julian Assange

Today’s release of the second Guardians of the Galaxy film may be the 800-pound gorilla of movie news. But Laura Poitras’ documentary/personal portrait of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may be the weekend’s most substantive opening. The rest of the weekend’s art film openings have their virtues too. There are films featuring strong performances from Rami […]

Stories Of The Lives Of John Coltrane, Jane Jacobs, And Others
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Stories Of The Lives Of John Coltrane, Jane Jacobs, And Others

Biographies dominate this weekend’s openings. New films talk about the lives of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, social critic/activist Jane Jacobs, superstar chef Jeremiah Tower, jazz trumpeter Lee Morgan, and film director David Lynch. John Coltrane may be the bigger of the two jazz musician film subjects. But the film about the relationship between Morgan and […]