The art of distribution: Rams at the Opera Plaza and other case studies

I’m puzzled.

I’m puzzled because I just cannot understand why Rams, a film that garnered large acclaim at film festivals around the world is ONLY being released to the Opera Plaza Cinema here in San Francisco this week. I love the Opera Plaza, and in no way mean to diminish a local theatre, but this film has much more reach than the small capacity of those screens.

Here’s the trailer:

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Son of Saul and Serious Holiday Fare

Coming to theaters this holiday season are a slew of romantic throwbacks to days gone by (and sometimes not-so-flatteringly). However, through the cracks a film is emerging that may not have you thinking, “God, I have to see THIS instead of Anomalisa or Carol or The Danish Girl“. No, instead I propose that the must see film of the holiday season is the tired and true Nazi concentration story we’ve seen time and time again.

I’m talking about Son of Saul

Synopsis: Saul Ausländer is a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, the group of Jewish prisoners isolated from the camp and forced to assist the Nazis in the machinery of large-scale extermination. While working in one of the crematoriums, Saul discovers the body of a boy he takes for his son. As the Sonderkommando plans a rebellion, Saul decides to carry out an impossible task: save the child’s body from the flames, find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.


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Sundays are for Revivals: Shepitko and an argument for a Thinking-Woman’s Screening in San Francisco

I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was new to San Francisco and taking one of my first solo trips to the local movie houses the city had to offer. On this cold, foggy day (remember those?) I was headed to the Lumiere off Polk Street but as usual I got there beyond early so wasn’t allowed in. For what film, I couldn’t tell you. Something tells me it was The White Ribbon but I can’t be sure. Something about Polk Street was intimidating to me at the time.

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Movies Come in Pairs: The legacies of Disney & Jobs

In theatres and streaming online today is a pair of engrossing documentaries about two of the best salesmen known to man, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs.

These two men were owners of the zeitgeist in their respective times, capturing the imagination of and inspiring a generation. They exist with near mythical status and those who idolize them tend to ignore certain key aspects that don’t suit their narrative. Namely, that despite their raw talent and drive they were human and had many faults.

I’d like to start with Walt Disney.

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Today in SF: Juicy News to close and “Pac Heights” in cinema

2014 has come to an end in San Francisco and there is much to be proud of (i.e. Burma Love) and reflect on (i.e. The destructive fandom of the Giants). One of the overarching narratives of the year has been the story of gentrification and change in San Francisco’s landscape.

Today in Pacific Heights, Juicy News SF, an independently run, family operated, & well patronized international newsagent, bookshop & stationary store on Filmore Street is being priced out. Juicy News SF has been operating in the same upper Pacific Heights neighborhood for the past 23 years but the influx of high-priced boutiques and rising rents has Juicy News against a wall and relocating.

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