Higher and Lower – THE CLIMB: A Review and Interview

By Andrea Chase

The Climb begins with life-long friends Mark (director and co-writer Michael Angelo Covino) and Kyle (co-writer Kyle Marvin) cycling up a steep hill in the south of France. Mark is ahead, though both are panting heavily with the exertion. Kyle, who is about to be married, is thanking Mark for suggesting the ride, while also waxing rhapsodic about the bucolic beauty of the scene. Mark, the more experienced cyclist, is giving Kyle advice on how to pace himself. Then, while Kyle extols the virtues of his intended, Mark drops the bomb.

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IRMI—An Interesting Life, Indeed

By C.J. Hirschfield

When the feature documentary Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives was released in 1977, it rocked my world. I already loved documentaries, but this one–widely considered to be the first feature film about lesbian and gay identity–by gay people, quickly became a symbol of the emerging gay rights movement. I was living in glorious San Francisco at the time, where the film premiered at the Castro Theater. Directed by six people collectively known as the Mariposa Group, it took five years, and over two hundred interviews with gays, to complete the historic project.

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Alice Street: A Mural Becomes a Movement

BY C.J. Hirschfield

About my home town of Oakland, a recent Washington Post article wrote: “Protesters want to defund the police. Homicides and violence are spiking. In Oakland, ideology and practicality collide.”

It was a wonderful juxtaposition shortly thereafter to watch the excellent new documentary Alice Street, which shows Oakland at its multicultural, peaceful, protesting best.

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Wilder than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future

By Risa Nye

A fine layer of ash drifted through an open window on a recent windy night, covering my desk and keyboard with a reminder, as if I needed one, of the fires that still burn in the Bay Area and beyond. How timely, then, to view Wilder than Wild, a documentary by producer/director Kevin White and writer/producer Stephen Most, which explains and demystifies “megafires” so large they can be seen from space.

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Time is an Illusion

By Andrea Chase

There is a quiet desperation running through Tom Dolby’s The Artist’s Wife. It creates the sort of cinematic tension that Mr. Dolby and his muse, Lena Olin in the title role, used like a fine chiaroscuro throughout the drama of a genius slowly losing his mind, and the devoted wife who has subsumed her life to his genius for 25 years. With that chapter of her life ending, choices she made in the past are thrown into sharp relief as the prospect of a life lived solely for herself proves a daunting leap into the unknown.

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