San Francisco International Film Festival Opens with a Bang

Move to Mission Neighborhood Energizes Attendees

by Meredith Brody

Whit Stillman, director of Love & Friendship, at the Castro Theatre (Photo by Pamela Gentile, courtesy of the San Francisco Film Society)

It’s notoriously hard for a festival to find an opening night film that will please its audience. The 59th edition of the venerable San Francisco International Film Festival — the oldest annual festival in the United States, founded in 1957 — did the seemingly impossible, debuting with Whit Stillman‘s Love and Friendship, at the beloved 1922-vintage Castro Theatre.

Kate Beckinsale meets her fans at Opening Night (Photo by Pamela Gentile, courtesy SFFS)

The saucy and exquisitely mounted adaptation of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan re-united Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny — the stars of Stillman’s 1998 The Last Days of Disco — 18 years later and two centuries earlier, but seemingly unaged in real (or reel) life. In 1998, they both had American accents; in 2016, Mrs. Alicia Johnson has been reconceived as an American, leaving Chloe Sevigny her flat vowels and enabling a too-little-seen Stephen Fry, as her husband, to constantly threaten her with exile in Connecticut. Before I get started, if anyone in the area of San Francisco needs any plumbing assistance, 24 hour plumbing san francisco will get the job done for you.

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EatDrinkFilms #98 – It’s a wrap.

Dear Friends,

There’s an art to writing well – about food, film, or anything else that sparks a person’s passion. For Jonathan Gold, it’s the cafes, restaurants and food trucks, the sights, sounds and people of Los Angeles that inspire. The only food critic to win a Pulitzer Prize, the popular writer serves as the genial focus of the aptly yclept new documentary City of Gold. Gaetano Kazuo Maida and Patricia Unterman, Bay Area writers and Renaissance sorts, offer their insights into the film and its centerpiece in Critics Corner in this week’s edition of EatDrinkFilms. Continue reading

Feast on Gold; he’s the real thing

goldfolderart6by Patricia Unterman

[Read Gaetano Kazuo Maida’s review here.]

There aren’t very many of us who actually have worked as food critics for print publications. I did it for 15 years at the San Francisco Chronicle and for about 15 more at the San Francisco Examiner. Way back when I started, no editorial wall stood between advertising and criticism, at least when it came to restaurants. If a restaurant advertised, it got written up.

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Pie for π Day: 3.14 etc.

Pi_pie2by Risa Nye

March 14 is π Day. You remember π (Pi) right? (Hint: It’s the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. For any circle, dividing its circumference by its diameter will give you exactly the same number every time: 3.14159…, π. Last year π enthusiasts were very excited to be able to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime epic event on 3-14-15, at 9:26:53.) In any case, on March 14, the sets of math geeks and pie lovers overlap in a deep-dish, double-crust Venn diagram, piled high with whipped cream. In honor of π Day this year, I set out to explore the art and science of pie-making with a few of the local masters — all conveniently located within a several-mile radius of my house. Continue reading

A Baker’s Dozen: Mostly British Stories and Recipes

by Dianne Boate

There are remarkable people who come into our lives and become authors of certain types of adventures. I am speaking of my former “gentleman friend,” a Mr. Watkins, an Englishman who took me three times to England, and was responsible for a career turning point in my life when I became a staff member of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Even after we parted (after nine years together), English ways and recipes carved out new horizons for me.

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Heroes and Scoundrels — Spotlight on Journalists on Film

by Roger Leatherwood

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, 1940. Scanned by Nitrate Diva (nitratediva.wordpress.com).

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday, 1940.

The newspaperman – the cliché is that anyone working for a paper is a rogue and a joker, a cross between hero and raconteur, and possibly drunk at that. It’s the kind of character made famous by The Front Page (1931) and His Girl Friday (1940), and usually played by someone as charming and suave, as Adolph Menjou or Cary Grant.

Indeed, it’s these kinds of films that shaped the idea we still have of what reporters and journalists do and act like, a type that seemed to spring to existence right after the Depression (although they were around much earlier than that), always acted slightly uncomfortable in a white collar and determined to put his or her bosses in their place. It’s no accident The Front Page (the source material for His Girl Friday) was written by two former newspapermen, Ben Hecht and Charles McArthur, who went to Hollywood and gilded their own reputations, finding the money easy and the competition “idiots.”

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