There is something about being in nature that instantly calms you. Being surrounded by majestic towering trees or open skies instead of austere concrete seems to turn off the chatty mind and widen the eyes and ears eager to take in all the colors and sounds, be they subtle or bold. Becoming attuned to the multitude of these details can make us feel both insignificant as individuals but also deeply connected and integral to the process as a whole.
Artist Todd McGrain‘s beautifully crafted and poetic documentary Elephant Path/Njaia Njoku starts out much the same way, as an invitation to slow down and enjoy the natural rhythm of Dzanga Bai (Village of Elephants) in the Central African Republic (CAR).
“Jacques Pépin really was the first person to land on the American scene and say technique matters, craft matters,” says journalist Fareed Zakaria.
The new documentary, Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft, produced and directed by Peter L. Stein and narrated by Stanley Tucci, premieres nationally Friday, May 26 on PBS as part of the 31st season of American Masters (check local PBS station listings for repeat showings). It is also available on-demand and online at American Masters’ Chef’s Flight along with other shows in the series about Alice Waters, James Beard and Julia Child.
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 1998The 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.
That is the question. Just “Who is Oscar?” Does the gold statue represent the people in the film industry or should the winners reflect the public’s interests? And “Whose Oscar is it?” The select few whose names are at the top of the credits or the thousands of people who work on these movies? Continue reading →