Penelopé Cruz as Magda in a still from Ma Ma, dir. Julio Medem (2015)

Ma ma

In Ma Ma, the lead character, Magda, finds out she has advanced stage breast cancer. Magda, played by Penélope Cruz, is surrounded by males as she goes through chemotherapy, recovery, and illness again, and we see how her ordeal affects them: her philandering ex-husband, Raúl, her new husband, Arturo, her son, Dani, and her doctor…

Joan Fontaine & Olivia De Havilland  (Photo by Bob Landry//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

10 May 2016 Film Round-up

San Francisco’s Roxie Theater celebrates the films of Pedro Almodovar starting May 20…Festival de Cannes opens on May 11, with films by Almodóvar, the Dardennes Brothers, Asgar Farhadi, and Brillante Mendoza…the Museum of Modern Art presents Preminger through June 30…The Shanghai International Film Festival will screen new works of Japanese directors in its June season…the…

Journalist and New York Times Critic at Large Wesley Morris before delivering the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival State of Cinema address, April 30, 2016.

Moments: Film Talks at SFIFF 59

Critical film moments and moments in film history were the subjects du jour in this year’s cinema talks at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In his State of the Cinema address, New York Times’ Wesley Morris cites the precise moment which radicalized the actor Sidney Poitier: the “slap back” moment in 1967’s In the…

A scene from Christopher Doyle's HONG KONG TRILOGY: PRESCHOOLED PREOCCUPIED PREPOSTEROUS playing at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, on April 21 - May 5,2016.

SFIFF 59: Hong Kong Trilogy

The renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle is originally from Sydney, but clearly loves his adopted hometown of Hong Kong, as beautifully shown by his latest directorial effort, Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous. The film opens with steady, brave shots of the spaces between Hong Kong’s towering apartment buildings; his love for the city and his sensitive…

A scene from Slávek Horák's HOME CARE, playing at the 59th SF International Film Festival, April 21st - May 5th, 2016.

SFIFF 59: Home Care and Five Nights in Maine

The care of the self and the care of others are frequently at odds. Where does the care of the self end and the care for others begin? Are they inextricable from each other? Are they one and the same? What is selfish and what is selfless? Home Care and Five Nights in Maine (currently playing…

A Serious Game (Den allvarsamma leken), dir. Pernilla August (2016).

19 April 2016 Film Round-up

The Seattle International Film Festival opens May 19th; tickets and passes are available for purchase…Film London’s Shakespeare on Screen celebrates The Bard’s quatercentenary year…Singapore represents in this year’s Cannes Film Festival, with directors K. Rajagopal and Boo Junfeng both nominated for several directors’ prizes…Ang Lee’s much-anticipated Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (based on Ben Fountain’s book) is set…

A scene from THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY, a Magnolia Pictures release. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Upstairs, Downstairs: Does Fashion Belong in a Museum?

The Palm Beach pink-bannered Oscar de la Renta exhibition, currently on view at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, is but the latest in a series of the museum’s “blockbuster” fashion shows held in the below-ground special exhibition hall. Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective includes day and evening pieces from his many decades’ experience as a…