10 Years Later: Zach Braff Discusses His Latest Film Wish I Was Here

Focus Features

The follow-up to any major success is never easy. Just ask Zach Braff, whose 2004 breakthrough film Garden State, earnestly found its way into the canon of contemporary classics and remains a touchstone of post-millenial, twenty-something angst.

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Richard Linklater Talks About His Boyhood

Categories: Film


Indie stalwart Richard Linklater's new movie Boyhood is an insouciant epic -- a 12-year slice of life that actually took 12 years to shoot. It's such a simple idea, yet also unprecedented, perhaps because it needed Linklater to come along and finally pull it off. 

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To Be Takei: A Portrait of George

Categories: Film


"If you're known as who you are, there are consequences." -- George Takei

Jennifer M. Kroot's To Be Takei, is a lovely documentary tribute to openly gay Star Trek icon George Takei, can currently be seen exclusively at DirecTV Cinema. The satellite provider will carry the film via its OnDemand service until August 6. A theatrical release will follow.

The feature length film follows the actor from his childhood, part of which was spent in a WWII Japanese internment camp, through his seven decade journey as a science fiction icon, a human rights activist, and as a goodwill ambassador the LGBT community.

Though his sexual identity was one of Hollywood's worst kept secrets for decades, the actor finally came out publicly when then California Governor Arnold Swarchzenegger vetoed a bill that was meant to legalize gay marriage in the state. The now 77-year-old actor speaks eloquently of having no choice but to remain closeted over the course of his distinguished career. Best known for his portrayal of Mr. Sulu on Star Trek: The Original Series and six Trek movies, Takei has in fact played dozens of other roles on television, stage, and in film.

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The 50th Anniversary of A Hard's Day Night: Where to See It on The Big Screen

Categories: Events, Film, Movies

50 years since this hit theaters.

If you don't see A Hard Day's Night -- the black-and-white comedy portrayal of The Beatles ascending to the height of their fame -- in its 50th anniversary re-release this Wednesday at The Castro, you are what the stars of the movie would call "a drag, a well-known drag."

And in case you haven't seen this film in the last 50 years, the faux-documentary design of A Hard Day's Night pays homage to these contradictions in a scripted comedy based in part on verbatim quotes and intercut with real shots of the Fab Four. A Hard Days Night successfully lifts the curtain on The Beatles as personalities and lowers a shade dividing us from their true selves; the more witty and self-effacing they are the more we feel, artificially, that we can be a part of their stardom. Alun Owen's lackadaisical take on Liverpudlian humor renders John, Paul, George, and Ringo musical Marx Brothers. Their style of comedy, which seems to have died out of modern cinema along with black-and-white film, is a constant source of joy.

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Bay of the Living Dead: I Lost My Horror Movie Virginity to The Deadly Bees

Paramount Pictures/Amicus Productions
The Deadly Bees: theatrical release poster from 1967--that's star Suzanna Leigh in the center

Welcome to Bay of the Living Dead, a monthly column dedicated to horror movies and TV, past and present.

To this day, I have no idea what possessed me to go see The Deadly Bees at the Mayfair Theater in Brooklyn, New York. It was 1967 and I was 11 years old. But ever since I walked out of that theater, I've been obsessed with horror movies.

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Paul Haggis' New Movie, Third Person, Explores Relationships in Multiple Plots

Categories: Film, Interview

Photo by Maria Marin, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Director Paul Haggis and Adrien Brody

After moving to California from Canada in his 20s, Paul Haggis wrote and directed TV shows such as The Tracy Ullman Show" and thirtysomething. His screenplays include Letters From Iwo Jima, and In The Valley Of Elah. He's the first screenwriter to win back-to-back Oscars for screenplays -- Million Dollar Baby and then Crash, which he also directed.

Like Crash, his latest movie, Third Person features multiple interconnecting stories. The cast features a lot of heavy hitters in the tortured love stories, including Liam Neeson as a successful author at a hotel in Paris having an affair with Olivia Wilde, who's also a writer. Adrian Brody shows up in Rome as a shady businessman there to steal designs and gets involved with a woman played by Moran Atias, in some elaborate scheme to get her daughter back. James Franco is a data processor in Columbus, Ohio. Kidding! He's an artist in New York, of course, and he's fighting for custody of his son with his ex-wife, played by Mila Kunis.

In San Francisco to promote Third Person, Haggis talked about how vulnerability can be a weapon, his involvement in Haiti and how he isn't happy unless he's miserable.

I read that you came up with this movie after conversations with Moran Atias, who suggested you do something on love and relationships. Why did that appeal to you?

I've had some terrific relationships and some very flawed ones. I think every ten years of my life I know less about love. It appealed to me because there were a lot of questions I had that I thought I could explore about how to love and how to be loved, how to allow someone to love you. That fascinated her and fascinated me.

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Not My Republican Party: Citizen Koch Explores the Billionaire Brothers Impact on Politics

Categories: Film, Politics

Courtesy of Variance Films / Elsewhere Films
A protestor's sign at a rally in Wisconsin

Wanting to explore the impact of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which lifted limits on corporate spending in politics, filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin went to Wisconsin to cover how financing -- particularly from the billionaire conservative industrialist brothers David and Charles Koch -- was playing a role in Governor Scott Walker's push to limit collective bargaining for public employees. Lessin says the people protesting Walker's actions surprised her.

"They weren't the usual suspects. It wasn't just nurses and teachers and students -- they were fire fighters and cops," says Lessin. "There were also farmers on their tractors, coming down from rural areas. And we saw a lot of Republicans with signs saying 'Not my Republican party.'"

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Tourism For Locals: Burritt Alley, an Understated but Important Spot in S.F. Literary and Cinematic History

Juan De Anda/SF Weekly
Here's lies a small plaque to an iconic film noir spot.

San Francisco and its local sights are no stranger to being featured and glorified in the arts: from television, to literature to paintings and film.

But as is the trend in many works of art, San Francisco's beauty is reduced to a brief mention or cameo appearance. Luckily though, there are those artists who sincerely display the City by the Bay in an honest and earnest fashion, that the City itself not only becomes hosts to the events described but is a character itself.

Dashiell Hammett's 1929 detective novel The Maltese Falcon and its subsequent film adaptations immortalized not only the hard-boiled private detective genre but specific S.F. streets. And it was on a specific San Francisco street, where the actions of the novel and film begin to accelerate, and it deserves its place as a literary and film noir monument. It was in Burritt Alley that Brigid O'Shaughnessy shot Sam Spade's partner, Miles Archer.

And this is where this week's Tourism For Locals mystery spot begins.

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An Affair to Remember: Q&A with Alex & Ali Director Malachi Leopold

Facebook/ Alex & Ali

Hollywood is constantly on the lookout for the next great love story and Berkeley-based filmmaker Malachi Leopold may have found it buried beneath years of his own family's history.

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Pop Quiz on Tuition Costs: Q&A with Ivory Tower Director Andrew Rossi

Categories: Film, Interview

Photo Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films

A documentary on the astronomical rise of student loan debt in America might not sound like an ideal night out at the movies.

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