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6/25/14 11:03 am - Eli Wallach


Dead!
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6/15/14 09:35 am - Casey Kasem


Going in to a goddam death dedication!

6/9/14 10:42 am - Rik Mayall


Dead!

6/3/14 11:21 am - Alexander Shulgin


Dead!
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6/1/14 10:18 pm - Ann B Davis


Dead!
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5/13/14 01:21 am - H. R. Giger


Dead!
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4/22/14 11:42 pm - SFIFF 2014: Actual Picks

After all the previous heuristic eliminations, there are an even dozen movies left. It'll be a miracle if I make it to two, what with work and the boy's birthday and visiting relatives and writing for Nanos. But here's what's left, in approximate order of my desire to see them:


20,000 Days On Earth

As stated before, @janesuperstar wants to see this, and I'm game. Alas, only rush tickets are available at this point. Ha ha. On another note, I am completely unsurprised that Nick Cave claims to spend all his time writing yet the trailer shows him typing with two fingers.


White Shadow

Coming of age in Tanzania, and staying alert for organleggers who want your albino body parts. Now there's a twist! The trailer looks intriguing and a little exploitative.


Pioneer

Typical Norwegian oil drilling platform political thriller. That's good! Also Rod Armstrong-approved - extra good!


Stephen Merritt accompanying The Unknown

Merritt's accompaniment to "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" a couple of years ago had a lot of filler, but some great moments. And there's also audience participation during the short, "Sissy Boy Slap Party" (embedded above)!


Tip Top: This might be too far out on the quirky tip, but the characters look 200% alive and the music is peppy (the music is in some other trailer).


Borgman

Trailer: WTF? Online commentary says the movie indeed has plenty of WTF. This movie could be twice as good as Cable Guy or twice as bad as Cable Guy.


If You Don't I Will

Wry French late relationship movie. Relationship movies about grownups, for grownups, probably count as experimental at this point.


Calvary

A guy tells a priest in confession that he's going to kill him for no reason. OK, I'm in.

Dear White People [NO TRAILER]

There's no actual trailer on the official YouTube channel, which is kind of a red flag, but they do have some other funny stuff ("The official number of black friends you need to not be racist has been raised to 2")


Impossible Light

Doc about the Bay Bridge light project. Not a lot of tension, therefore, but the screening is likely to be a lovefest, which is always fun (past examples: Dogtown and Z-Boys, Murderball).


American Dreams In China

Entrepreneurs in not-entrepreneur-friendly China. Feel good story.


Yves Saint Laurent: All the shots in the trailer are so stylish and I'm sure it's a fascinating story, but I just know if I was watching this I would be constantly saying, "Wait, is that a different dress? I think it's the same dress."
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4/9/14 10:05 pm - SFIFF 2014: Kein Mitleid Fur Die Megaplex

Some movies are skippable because their distribution is guaranteed, say if they have a big star or were made by the Weinstein company. But if you have a terminal disease or a passion for motorcycle rock climbing, these look pretty good:

Frank (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Fassbender)

Two Faces of January (Viggo Mortenson, Kirsten Dunst)

Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)

Chinese Puzzle (Audrey Tatou) - the trailer for this one has a great line: "For most people, life is going from point A to point B. I have a point B problem."

The Trip To Italy (BBC, Steve Coogan) - English Comedians in Car Getting Seafood

Firestorm (Andy Lau) - HK shooty action
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4/8/14 12:19 am - SFIFF 2014: Movies With Terrible Trailers

It's well known that a comedy trailer with no gags is a dire warning sign, but the principle can be applied more broadly. If the filmmakers can't tell a story in three minutes, it's unlikely they can do it in 90. Or 120. Or, in the case of Norte: The End of History, 250.

In approximate order from worst to best:

Art and Craft
The Overnighters
Dear White People
Boyhood

These movies have no trailer whatsoever.  Boyhood should maybe get a pass because Richard Linklater, and Dear White People has plenty of teaser on their Youtube channel, but the other two must be desperately seeking obscurity.

Norte: The End of History - Nothing happens in the trailer. The movie is over 4 hours long.

Tracks - A woman starts to walk across the Australian Outback. Everything looks beautiful. There are camels. Then a New-Agey Peter Gabriel-type song starts playing and blows everything.

Of Horses and Men - The description reads "dark comic vignettes", but the trailer has more landscape than horses or men. Two of the horses have sex, so there's that.

Coherence - This movie description reads "Twilight Zone meets Primer", but the trailer is The Big Chill meets Sex In The City (but just the City parts). N.B. I couldn't remember the title of The Big Chill and found it by doing a search for "Yuppie movie".

Manuscripts Don't Burn - Persian men being tense.

Tangerines - A Chechen and a Georgian being tense, but also occasionally trying to punch each other. Someone picks tangerines.
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4/5/14 10:47 pm - SFIFF 2014: Movies Where Nothing Happens

The SFFS generally tries to avoid telling you that nothing happens, but if you see code words like "narrative", "portrait", and "meditation", know ye that an evening of stasis awaits, with more plot in the popcorn you're eating than on the screen. Some of the perps this year and the relevant descriptions:

Manakamana: "Ultimately, the boundaries of the cable car give way to contemplation as the rhythmic cycle of the voyage forms a recursive envelope of prayer, birdsong, sustained silences, idle chatter and the startling clamor of the gondola cab passing over tower junctions"

The Great Museum: "portrait"

Stop the Pounding Heart: "quietly observes her daily life with its chores, sermons and the rare moments of freedom that entice her to see beyond the fences.  Minervini captures the natural rhythm and soul of life in Waller, Texas, in a style best described by Werner Herzog as 'poetic documentary,'"

Three Letters From China: "three diverse, intimate and well-crafted portraits of life in contemporary China, each segment presenting an evocative and penetrating study"

The Seventh Walk: "this subtly hypnotic film meditates upon the figure of Singh commingled with surreal tableaux inspired by the artist's paintings"

Abuse of Weakness: "a simple victimization that is in fact much more complex and ambiguous in Breillat's queasy, thinly veiled self-portrait"

No No: a Documentary: "sports movie, redemption narrative and portrait of an era" - The Dock Ellis legend is awesome, but a narrative *and* a portrait? No thanks!

The Other One - The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir: "portrait of a cultural moment"

Supermensch: "a portrait of the man and his times"

What Now, Remind Me: "Pinto's collage-style narrative mirrors the sometimes mind-altering side effects of the drugs, traveling fluidly between past and present and provoking an examination of memory and of the passage of time" - collage-style narrative means you couldn't afford an editor.

Little Accidents: "an everything-is-connected narrative about bonds forged from indescribable loss"

Ten Thousand Waves: "subtextually comments on the challenges and rewards of telling the story of people from a different culture and narrative tradition"

Coast of Death: " The still frames of Lois Patiño's documentary give one the luxury of contemplation of this storied place, of noticing the shifts in cloud formations or the differences in height between the ceaseless crashing of waves against the rocks", of watching paint dry...
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