Film Review

You better recognize

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cheryl@sfbg.com

MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL The Mill Valley Film Festival opens with selections by Oscar nominees (Men, Women & Children director Jason Reitman), winners (The Homesman director Tommy Lee Jones), and multiple winners (Hilary Swank stars in The Homesman). But while MVFF prides itself on star power, it's also a champion of unsung artists, exemplified by a quartet of documentaries in this year's lineup.Read more »

Keys of life

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cheryl@sfbg.com

FILM The music biopic is a tricky beast. Very few directors are able to compellingly compress true-life tales into films that actually have some interest beyond "Hey, that famous/infamous thing you already knew about happened like this!" — though superior performances (recent Oscar-winning examples: 2004's Ray, 2005's Walk the Line) can help buoy the results. Far rarer are more artistically daring films that unfold more like docu-dramas than glossovers, like Control (2007) and Sid and Nancy (1986).Read more »

Joyous blues

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By Nicole Gluckstern

arts@sfbg.com

FILM In an early scene from Maureen Gosling and Chris Simon's documentary on the life and musical obsessions of their mutual friend Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records, we see Strachwitz behind the wheel of his car, struggling to explain the common thread that joins his wide-ranging musical tastes, from country blues to Cajun Zydeco to bordertown conjunto.Read more »

Flynn and out

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