The Internet can be a dangerous place to find the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanksgiving as a search subject is especially rewarding. We present a sampling, mostly from the past. We found vintage greeting cards, Hollywood stars, ads for disgusting sounding foods, awkward family photos and all around nostalgia. You won’t believe what turkeys have been put through but we hope you will laugh and be astonished.
For a documentary to even-handedly and adroitly cover a complex, painful and controversial subject in just 52 minutes requires not only talent, but a clarity of vision, and cinematic compassion.
Award-winning Bay Area filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman have accomplished just that in their timely Town Destroyer, with its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival Saturday, October 8.Continue reading →
On making the movie Wilder Than Wild, excerpted from Stories Make the World, Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary by Stephen Most.
People have always used fire to protect human life from nature and to alter what nature provides. A key sequence in the story of humanity and fire is the Industrial Revolution when energy from burning fossil fuels began to drive machines. Within vehicles and factories, generators and outlets, appliances, and innumerable devices, firepower is concealed. As people in increasing numbers leave rural areas and fill cities, they perceive fire more as a threat than a tool.Continue reading →
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.
The tagline for DocFest, the 19th San Francisco Documentary Festival, is “Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction”—a saying we all appreciate more than we’d like during these days of COVID-19, wildfires, racist domestic terrorism and unhinged presidential campaigns. But however much we might want to hide from some of these truths, we still relish a good documentary that tells it like it is—or at least when we’re feeling more fragile, brings back fond memories or confirms our biases. SF DocFest gives you a chance to do all that with 49 new documentaries, easy to watch from home with the website’s clearly worded instructions. Here are ten that you might choose from.