Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft

“Jacques Pépin really was the first person to land on the American scene and say technique matters, craft matters,” says journalist Fareed Zakaria.

AmMastets_PBS_PEPIN_590wThe new documentary, Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craftproduced 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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading