Monday, September 28, 2009
****new release list no.236
And life continues zooming along. It’s the end of September, for crying out loud! Of 2009. Wow.
Well, Bernal Heights appears to be weathering the economic storm. We may not be thriving how we’d all like, but the businesses on Cortland for the most part appear stable. We have some new neighbors to say hello to. BERNAL FIT, the new dog-friendly gym on the hill has opened its doors, and I hear nothing but good things from its customers. STATE FARM has somehow arrived in Bernal Heights, and I hear that it is an individually-owned franchise. We wish you well. Construction appears to be moving right along at the old dry-cleaner spot next to BERNAL BUBBLES, we look forward to their opening with excitement. Soon soon soon, I hope, SANDBOX BAKERY at 833 Cortland will open their doors. I must admit, my excitement is almost overwhelming when what Mutsumi Takehara (a former executive pastry chef at Slanted Door) might prepare for us. Yum yum!
Right around the corner we have the Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival. This event exists simply from the massively hard work and love from its founders, Leslie Lombre and Anne Batmale and an array of helpful volunteers. This is a strictly non-profit event that is basically a shining diamond in our little neighborhood, giving us access to local movies, local music and ten days of partying together all over the hood.
It starts this very Thursday, Oct 1st at Your Neighborhood Dive – El Rio(thanks, Dawn)! This year there will be music combined with film at many of the events, and they will be at some new places, such as SoCha Café, and the Bernal Playground. On Thursday, Justine Lucas-McPlague is opening the show at 7pm, with screenings between 8 and 9pm featuring local filmmakers like Caroline Blair and Audrey Daniel. Then, London Street will be playing at 9pm, and rising superstars The Ferocious Few will take the stage at 10:30pm.
On Friday, Four Star Video is happy to present the second night of the BHOC with music by Will Hammond, Jr. at 7pm in what was formerly known as our backyard screening patio and is now SUCCULENCE, Bernal Height's new Life and Garden store. Screenings will happen between 8 and 9pm and feature work by Katherine Bruens and Valerie Soe and Russell Jeung.
On Saturday (October 3rd for those of you following at home), the BHOC moves to the Bernal Playground behind the library. The event begins at 6:00pm with music by The Venusians Screenings will begin around 7:30pm and go until 9pm.
On Sunday, the event will be at Red Hill Books (Thanks, Kate). It will be a day event, from 4-5:30pm and will feature filmmakers Gustavo Vazquez and John Hewitt, discussing their book Documentary Filmmaking: A Contemporary Field Guide. This will be a multi-media event, with film clips and Q&A.
Monday, Oct. 5th, the BHOC ventures into the Excelsior with a co-presentation at the Excelsior Branch of the public library at 4400 Mission Street. Screenings will go from 6:00-8:00pm and will feature local filmmakers Max Strebel, Nathan and Kathy Kensinger, Michelle Meeker and more.
Here is a short breakdown of next week’s events. Check the BHOC website for updates and more information.
Tues – Red Poppy – Filmmaker/Musician Forum featuring Beth Custer, Marshall Crutcher and Greta Snider – I will be moderating this event.
Wed – Kingmond Young Studio – lots of music and short films (including one by Four Star’s own Andrew Friedman!).
Thur – SoCha Café – films and music by Vishnu’s Secret.
Friday – Films and Old Time Music and Dancing at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.
Saturday – Closing night at Precita park with music by my band, The Dont’s, short films and at 8pm a MAMMA MIA sing along! Fun fun fun!
Also, coming up is the VideoFest film festival in the Mission. This is another festival not to be missed. It is close to our hearts, and we are proud to let you know that this year a Four Star Video award was given to the top local filmmaker entered in the festival. The program runs Oct 15th and 17th at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, and I urge you to go! More info to follow.
Fiesta on the Hill will be here soon, then Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, life, death and everything in between. Your life is flying by! Catch a moment by your fingernails and exploit it for everything its worth. That’s my plan. Maybe we can share a moment together?
In the meantime, movies. Man, there are finally a great batch of them in the last few months. Many I haven’t seen yet, but I am dying to. Movies like WHITE NIGHT WEDDING, TULPAN, SUGISBALL, RUMBA, TRUMBO, O’HORTON, LYMELIFE, NERDCORE RISING and more! Not to mention all those awesome documentaries that Rachel W got for her month of Highlighted New Additions. This week, my personal list increases, with movies like SITA SINGS THE BLUES, THE BROTHERS BLOOM, and EXTREME ANIMATION.
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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AWAY WE GO.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
John Krasinski/Maya Rudolph/Maggie Gyllenhaal/Jeff Daniels.
Directed by Sam Mendes.
* Burt and Verona (Krasinski and Rudolph) are young expectant parents, traveling around the country trying to decide where would be the perfect place to live. They visit old friends and family, looking not just for the right home, but for the right role-models that will help them be excited about the future, about parenting, loving and building a future together. They visit Tucson, Phoenix…Madison, Montreal…they even visit Miami. Along the way, they find themselves. Co--written by locals, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida.
THE BROTHERS BLOOM.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Adrien Brody/Rachel Weisz/Mark Ruffalo.
Directed by Rian Johnson.
* …and then they wilt. Stephen (Ruffalo) and Bloom (Brody) have been on the prowl since they were kids, relying and their conning ways to make a living. Stephen tells the stories, and Bloom acts out the elaborate fantasies that he makes up as they scam their way through life. But now, Bloom is blooming, and he is ready to find out who he is, not who Stephen wants him to be. Of course, before he makes the break to normalcy, Stephen convinces him to pull one final job involving a wealthy heiress from New Jersey. Can Bloom stay in character long enough to finish the job before he falls in love with the mark? Or are the players being played?
FILTH AND WISDOM.
Eugene Hutz/Vicky McClure.
Directed by Madonna.
* The filth, we can guarantee. The wisdom? Harder to promise. Even harder to quantify. Will it be the kind of wisdom one gains with deep experience and contemplation? Or more like the kind you get when you accidently slam your finger in the car door? Guessing the latter…w/music by Gogol Bordello (who rule, by the way).
THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Sasha Grey/Chris Santos.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh.
* Real life adult-film star Sasha Grey makes her non-porn debut in this tale of a high-end Manhattan call girl precariously perched in the high-life and seemingly completely under control. She is seriously high-end, as in the 2K an hour style. Which begs the question, what do you get for 2K an hour? Evidently much more than sex. With Chelsea, you get a caring friend, a sympathetic ear, a good-humored companion, and an excellent actor. Chelsea is more than a hooker, she is your girlfriend; that is, as long as you keep kicking down the big bucks. This film asks many questions about the price of dignity, the depth of soul, and where sex fits into our concept of sanity.
EXTREME ANIMATION: FILMS BY PHIL MULLOY.
Directed by Phil Mulloy.
* Mulloy creates grotesque, distorted and wildly hideous portraits of humankind in his strange and almost pornographic short animations.
JUST FOR LAUGHS/OVER THE EDGE.
* Flight of the Conchords is featured on this collection.
KATT WILLIAMS: LIVE.
* Four Star favorite Katt Williams does his thing. Dude lives a crazy personal life.
MANAGEMENT.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Jennifer Aniston/Steve Zahn/Woody Harrelson/Fred Ward.
Directed by Stephen Belber.
* I think this is your basic stalker comedy, about a guy (Zahn) who spends one night with a traveling salesperson (Aniston) and then chases her all of the country to recapture their moment.
MONSTERS VS ALIENS.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Reese Witherspoon/Seth Rogen/Hugh Laurie/Rainn Wilson/Kiefer Sutherland/Stephen Colbert/Paul Rudd.
Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon.
* So, kids, watch out for quantonium, which will cause you to turn into a strange and grotesque monster! Then again, you may want to seek out some quantonium (maybe at 16th and Mission?) because President Hathaway (played by Stephen Colbert, portending the future?) will put you to work fighting aliens and saving San Francisco and even the planet from the bad guys.
Kevin Spacey/Saffon Burrows/Robin Williams/Griffin Dunne.
Directed by Jonas Pate.
* Ah, it’s tough to be a celebrity shrink. Ask Henry Carter! After he deals with his own personal tragedy, acting as though he cares for strangers becomes more and more unbearable. Soon, he settles into a marijuana haze as his concern for his public profile melts into the background.
SITA SINGS THE BLUES.
Directed by Nina Paley.
* Nina Paley is an awesome animator and comic strip drawer. I bought this film simply because I know about her and she is amazing. This is the animated story of the Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw. That’s all I know about it, yet I urge you to check it out because it is sure to be terrific.
Ally Sheedy/Kate Siegel/Ruby Dee.
Directed by Kyle Schickner.
* Three woman who’s lives intersect at the local steam room (meet you there at 10) tell stories of longing and love (wait a sec…where is the local steam room?).
THAT HAMILTON WOMAN.
Vivien Leigh/Laurence Olivier.
Directed by Alexander Corda.
* From the Criterion synopsis: One of cinema’s most dashing duos, real-life spouses Vivien Leigh and Laurence Olivier live their greatest on-screen romance in this visually dazzling tragic love story from legendary producer-director Alexander Korda. Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars of the late eighteenth century, That Hamilton Woman is a gripping account of the scandalous adulterous affair between the British Royal Navy officer Lord Horatio Nelson and the renowned beauty Emma, Lady Hamilton, the wife of a British ambassador. With its grandly designed sea battles and formidable star performances, That Hamilton Woman (Winston Churchill’s favorite movie, which he claimed to have seen over eighty times) brings history to vivid, glamorous life.
Chae Gil Byung/Jung Gil Ja/Shin Hyun Je.
Directed by So Yong Kim.
* Two very young girls (6 and 3!) are abandoned by their mother as she goes in search of reconciliation with their father. The girls are left with a cranky aunt as they wait and hope for their mother’s return.
THE BETRAYAL - NERAKHOON.
Directed by Ellen Kuras and Thavisouk Phrasavath.
* This Oscar-nominated documentary is the story of a family from Laos who has immigrated to the US after years of dealing with US Air strikes and war in Vietnam.
MICHAEL JACKSON: NEVER SURRENDER.
* You seriously need to see my kids dance to MJ’s tunes....
NOT YOUR TYPICAL BIGFOOT MOVIE.
Directed by Jay Delaney.
* This is the story of two researchers from Ohio who have worked for years to prove that Bigfoot exists.
YELLOWSTONE: BATTLE FOR LIFE.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Directed by Jay Delaney.
* This gorgeously shot doc from the BBC Earth series shows the fragility of life in Yellowstone Park and the struggles that animals who live there face year after year.
FRINGE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON.
Anna Torv/Joshua Jackson/Lance Reddick.
* We must thank a customer for suggesting we get this freaky show! It is the story of an FBI agent who is forced to team up with a previously institutionalized scientist to investigate some over-the-top extra mysterious crimes potentially involving a shady, global multi-national corporation.
LIFE ON MARS: THE COMPLETE SERIES.
* This two season show followed a cop in 2006 who has a car accident and awakes to find himself in the same place, only thirty-three years earlier! Who (over 40) wouldn’t want that problem?
MIDSOMER MURDERS: SET 13.
* Here is where I make my usual lame joke about how many people get killed in this little county. Get out!
BABY EINSTEIN: WORLD ANIMAL ADVENTURE.
LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE.
............//NEW BLU-RAY ADDITIONS/............
THE DARK CRYSTAL.
* I just love this freaky movie.
* Mrs. Robinson…rarrrrr!
* Sci-fi Bowie. What more can I say to ya?
THE WIZARD OF OZ.
* This three disc set is a must see for all true believers. Click your heels three times together, then bring the tag up to the counter.
CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: THE THIRD SEASON
SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!: COMPLETE COLLECTION
* Conjunction, junction…what is your function?
SONS OF ANARCHY: SEASON ONE
* Seriously, I have bought extra copies of this twice now. Is this show amazing or what?