Welcome to the Best of Bay Area Film, where your humble SB4MC editors cull the least sickly looking calves from this month’s cinema herd for your delectation. I hope you’re carnivorous. You’re going to need some extra iron in May to get you through the fatty summer film season.
5/2 at the Castro Theatre, as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Founder’s Directing Award presentation to Richard Linklater
Richard Linklater’s latest, Boyhood, may be the longest film ever made — not in terms of running time, but in terms of production years. Linklater started filming the story of a boy, Mason (Ellar Coltrane), and his divorced parents (Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette) when Ellar was just six-years old. The tale, filmed intermittently, continues until Ellar reached eighteen. That’s twelve years in which a real child matures into a real adult, all on film, with the same cast playing the same roles for a dozen actual years.
To paraphrase Wooderson, ‘they get older, you stay the same age.’
5/2 at the Clay
Speaking of films daring to be different, writer/director Steven Wright’s film Locke seems like it’ll be simultaneously claustrophobic and ranging. If that sounds contradictory, you’re forgetting about the miracle of the modern automobile — in one of which Tom Hardy spends this entire 85-minute film. You’ll hear the voices of other actors as Hardy’s Ivan Locke parries disaster with the aid of his mobile phone, but it’s otherwise a one-man show. While that may not have the ring of a particularly thrilling thriller, word on the critical street is quite complementary. If you only know Hardy from his Bane in Batman Goes Bananas, you’re missing out: he’s capable of intense performances. Plus he can drive stick.
“Kill or Be Killed’ Double-Feature
Speed / Gone in 60 Seconds
5/9 at the Castro Theatre, Midnites for Maniacs
You know what’s awesome? Sandra Bullock on the big screen, propelled by cutting edge special effects as she plummets willy-nilly in an adrenaline-fueled, out-of-control orbit through grit-filled space. That sounds like Gravity, but before that film kicked your space ass there was Speed. And Speed has Keanu Reeves and a very fast bus in it. A bus. Going fast. Hoo-boy! Not only that, but for this month’s Midnites for Maniacs double-bill, host Jesse Hawthorne Ficks has paired Speed with the 1974 auto-destructo car-thieving un-classic Gone in 60 Seconds — which was remade not long ago with Nic Cage and Angelina Jolie. Trust Jesse. Put down Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift and head to the Castro for some un-ironic mayhem and property damage: auto.
5/16 opens wide
This latest reincarnation of everyone’s favorite gorilla-whale comes to us from director Gareth Edwards, and that puts me in a tricky position. On the one hand, ominous signs point to this film being only a slight improvement on Roland Emmerich’s 1998 disaster of a disaster film version of the timeless tale. On the other foot, Edwards directed Monsters, a film which is only tangentially about giant beasties and which was excellent with lovely performances and an ethereally hideous beauty. This new Godzilla also stars Bryan Cranston. Who wouldn’t want to watch Walter White go mano-a-gorillo-whalo?
Will it be an early summer turd sammitch? Will it be glorious bitey fun? I, for one, will find out with all of my facial orifices that the law allows.
The Dance of Reality
5/30 at the Opera Plaza
Alejandro Jodorowsky is barking mad in the best possible way. His films El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and Santa Sangre are enough to make you want to rip your arms off with your eyes — again, in the best possible way. After his ambitious production of Dune disintegrated, we’ve been near starved for his original sort of cult movie. Well, we starve no longer. The Dance of Reality — Jodo’s first self-scripted feature since 1990 — opens the end of May. It is described as autobiographical, so long as you understand that reality is a dance created by our imaginations.
Let us hope our imaginations are as unimpressed by line-dancing as I am.