March 10, 2014 |
"Believe," which premieres Monday on NBC (moving to Sundays thereafter), is a paranormal adventure story - a romance, whose tendencies toward new-age messianic pomposity are kept in check by the B-movie flamboyance of its characters. Just what part of this is intentional, I can't say. But if the show were less pulpy - if it offered its grab bag of old tropes as jewels rather than as cupcakes - it would also be less good. Big names are attached. Alfonso Cuarón, now combing his hair by the light of his "Gravity" Oscar, co-created the series and directed its pilot; J.J. Abrams, who one day will run every science-fiction franchise, is an executive producer.
February 17, 2014 |
Derived from found footage, Bill Morrison's films are odes to snubbed celluloid. Whether he slices the surviving moldy fragments of a lost silent film, as in "Decasia," or crafts a dirge to the 1927 flooding of the Mississippi River with old documentary material, as in the recent "The Great Flood," Morrison savors decayed film stock for its ghostly beauty. Lost worlds are not created or evoked; they are discovered and recovered. What makes Morrison a great filmmaker, though, is not merely his application of restoration hardware but his brilliant exercise of symphonic software.
December 17, 2013 |
There's something dispiritingly familiar about "Dancing on a Dry Salt Lake," writer-director-star Dominique De Fazio's tale of a white man's journey into Native American mysticism. De Fazio plays Warner, a 40-something astronomer who heads out to the Californian desert after his live-in girlfriend dumps him for being too selfish. Warner crashes his car on the outskirts of San Bernardino County and ends up in a small community of European expats, among whom he develops a whole new personality (as a result of inconsistent writing, not as plot development)
May 28, 2013 |
Most of the attention on John Fogerty's just-released album “Wrote a Song for Everyone” understandably surrounds the updated versions of many of his Creedence Clearwater Revival classics with duet partners such as the Foo Fighters, Miranda Lambert, Jennifer Hudson, Bob Seger and Brad Paisley. But the good news for longtime Fogerty-watchers comes with the two new songs he delivers on his own, “Mystic Highway” and “Train of Fools,” which carry forward the songwriting style, infectious country-rock rhythms and evocative thematic terrain that define his heyday with Creedence four decades ago. "Mystic Highway” is being released as a single, and the video premieres Tuesday on the Country Music Television cable channel and at CMT.com, in conjunction with the album's release, Fogerty's concert Tuesday night at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and his 68th birthday.
February 24, 2013 |
Your choices in San Francisco hotels are overwhelming. The prices can be too. So during our staff visit to the City by the Bay, we looked for reasonably priced hotels that had charm, location or both. We came back with 14 ideas on places to bed down. It's not a complete list, but it is eclectic, like the city itself. Mystic Hotel. This property, which opened in April, stands on a tunnel-adjacent block of Stockton Street that you'll never see on a picture postcard, yet it has style, as do the Burritt Tavern bar and restaurant downstairs.
January 17, 2013 |
Mysticism isn't new to art, having prompted (among other things) the emergence of pure abstraction into the Modernist lexicon more than a century ago. At Michael Kohn Gallery, a group exhibition of about 30 paintings, sculptures, video, prints and mixed media works from the past 50 years by 14 artists shows that it's alive and well today - albeit with a suitably altered consciousness. “Into the Mystic” takes its subject loosely, proposing that ultimate insight consists of contemplative, intuitive knowledge, not merely facts.