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The Inaugural Fall Celebration Presented By San Francisco Film Society

Ted Hope and Vanessa Hope - The San Francisco Film Society presents their first annual Fall Celebration, which seeks to honor creativity, innovation, collaboration and inspiration in cinema. This exclusive fundraising event marks the Film Society's entry into the national fall awards season, with proceeds benefitting SFFS year-round programs in exhibition, education and filmmaker services. - San Francisco, California, United States - Thursday 14th November 2013

Ted Hope and Vanessa Hope
Alexander Payne, Ted Hope, Michele Turnure-salleo, Spike Jonze and Jehane Noujaim
Ted Hope, Susannah Greason Robbins and Alexander Payne
Susannah Greason Robbins, Ted Hope and Sid Ganis
Ted Hope
Ted Hope

SFIFF Gala

David Dolby and Ted Hope - 56th San Francisco International Film Festival honoring Harrison Ford with the Peter J. Owens Award at Bimbo's 365 Club - Tuesday 7th May 2013

David Dolby and Ted Hope
Philip Kaufman and Ted Hope
Ted Hope, Harrison Ford and Vanessa Hope

Dark Horse Review


Very Good
Solondz takes another hilariously pitch-black exploration of human behaviour with a film populated by excellent actors playing seriously messed-up characters. And it can't help but force us to look at how we interact with people around us.

Even though he's essentially a pampered slacker, Abe (Gelber) exudes confidence, relentlessly going after the depressed Miranda (Blair) despite her hesitance. Living in the shadow of his successful doctor brother (Bartha), Abe works for his father (Walken), but does virtually nothing and resents the fact that his hard-working cousin (Booth) gets the credit. But then Abe feels hard-done by everyone he encounters, creating an arch-rival in Miranda's ex (Mandvi). But at no point does Abe's inner life come close to the reality around him.

Continue reading: Dark Horse Review

Super Review


Very Good
Writer-director Gunn gleefully subverts genre expectations with this superhero movie that goes way against the grain. And what makes it worth seeing is the fact that every scene is grounded in reality.

Frank (Wilson) only has two moments in his life when he felt happy: first was his wedding to Sarah (Tyler) and second was when he helped a cop foil a crime.

So when Sarah leaves him for the charismatic criminal Jacques (Bacon), Frank turns to crimefighting, with a little inspiration from Libby (Page), who works in a comic book shop. Frank's super alter-ego is the Crimson Bolt, smacking criminals with a pipe-wrench. And when Libby figures it out, she becomes his sidekick Boltie, helping him launch an all-out offensive to free Sarah from Jacques' control.

Continue reading: Super Review

The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Super' Premiere At The Ryerson Theatre.

Miranda Bailey, Ellen Page, James Gunn, Liv Tyler, Rainn Wilson and Ted Hope - Producer Miranda Bailey, director James Gunn, Ellen Page, producer Ted Hope, Liv Tyler, and Rainn Wilson Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Super' premiere at the Ryerson Theatre. Friday 10th September 2010

Miranda Bailey, Ellen Page, James Gunn, Liv Tyler, Rainn Wilson and Ted Hope

Adventureland Review


Extraordinary
Part of the attraction to nostalgia is knowing. It's the innate recognition of the time, the place, the sensations and the sentiments. It's memory reconfigured as reality, yet filtered so as to remain sparkling. When done right, such wistfulness is winning and wise. Done poorly, and it's merely a period piece implausibility. For writer/director Greg Mottola, the late '80s represent the final act in a sort of social innocence, a time when even college kids had to ask Mom and Dad for the family car. After the wild success of Superbad, the filmmaker is back with his homage to one significant summer -- Adventureland -- and it turns out to be an early 2009 favorite.

For graduate James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), life is just not turning out right. His parents promised to fund his planned trip to Europe. Instead, they hit him with the horrible news: They cannot afford to pay his way. Even worse, Columbia University grad school may be out as well. Forced to get a summer job, James winds up at Adventureland, a pathetic Pennsylvania amusement park run by Bobby (Bill Hader), his slightly dense wife Paulette (Kristen Wiig), and a rogue's gallery of social rejects including uber-nerd Joel (Martin Starr), arrested adolescent Tommy Frigo (Matt Bush), and musician turned handyman Connell (Ryan Reynolds). James also meets Em (Kristen Stewart), a like-minded gal with dreams of something bigger. As their relationship blossoms, our hero gains a greater perspective on life, living, and what's truly important.

Continue reading: Adventureland Review

Towelhead Review


Very Good
It's possible that Alan Ball will never quite grow up. And after seeing his directorial debut Towelhead, people may never want him to -- those that stay until the final credits roll, at least.

The advance word percolating out of festivals was that Ball's adaptation of Alicia Erian's novel of sexual and racial angst in the suburbs during the Gulf War was just shy of a disaster. Shocking, in-your-face, inappropriate, the rumors said, and not in a good way. An indie film community, that just a few years ago would have embraced this film as a brave slap in conformity's face, was now seeming to turn its collective back. Some of the advance negativity was well-informed, at least about Ball. This is a wildly manipulative and immature film, a sort of adolescent fever dream looking to tick off as many taboos as possible. But amidst the campy twists and unbelievable outbursts there can also be felt an indefinable honesty; something in far shorter supply these days than mere outrage.

Continue reading: Towelhead Review

The Savages Review


Very Good
Tamara Jenkins' The Savages opens with old people acting their age: playing a few holes of golf, aqua-aerobics, and even a dance troupe fitted with matching blue-and-silver leotards. Ideally, this is the way to slip into one's golden years; at least for one's kin. Quickly, however, we are introduced to Leonard Savage (Philip Bosco) eating a bowl a cereal at the Sun City home he shares with his catatonic girlfriend. When Lenny is chastised by a living aide for not flushing the toilet, he pulls a de Sade and writes "Prick" on the wall with his excrement. This is how the other half ages.

On the other side of the country, Lenny's two kids are busying themselves with crap jobs while they attempt to be acclaimed writers. Wendy (Laura Linney) temps at data-entry cubicles in New York City, using their copiers and mailing capabilities to apply for Guggenheim fellowships. When she can, she also sneaks into the supply room and steals her weight in pens and paper. She comes home to a message on her answering machine about her father's incident and panics. Meanwhile, Jon (Philip Seymour Hoffman) teaches at a second-rate Buffalo college as he attempts to finish research for a book on Bertolt Brecht. When Wendy pleads for him to help her hunt down their father, Jon responds with lethargic wit: "This is not a Sam Shepard play."

Continue reading: The Savages Review

21 Grams Review


Extraordinary
Following the funeral of his son-in-law, a father empathizes with his daughter by relating how he moved past the death of his wife, her mother. He reassures her that in spite of the hard times ahead, "life goes on." She retorts, "That's a lie. Life doesn't go on."

Welcome to everyone's life. Death is a ubiquitous occurrence, dumped upon us daily by CNN and more occasionally - yet still inevitably - in our own intimate moments. But when death strikes our lives, it invariably shatters our psyches and changes us for the darker, no matter how we try to prepare to accept it.

Continue reading: 21 Grams Review

She's The One Review


Good
With his sophomore effort, She's the One, Edward Burns has made another movie about Irish Catholic brothers that do stupid things to the women they love. Like his first film, The Brothers McMullen, this story is set in and around New York City, and stars Mike McGlone and Burns himself as the aforementioned brothers (only two this time). Also in the mix once again is Maxine Bahns, Burn's real-life love interest, who again stars as Burns's... love interest.

This time around, Burns once again plays slacker to McGlone's uptight business-oriented younger brother. Burns's Mickey, a contented laid-back cab driver, falls in love (with Bahns) and gets married on 24 hours notice. This is ridiculed by his brother Francis (McGlone), who is experiencing relationship problems of his own in the form of a deep-rooted affair that threatens to break up his marriage. The two brothers' problems are linked together by the fact that Francis's young mistress, played by Cameron Diaz, is Mickey's ex-fiancee.

Continue reading: She's The One Review

Roy Cohn/Jack Smith Review


Weak
Roy Cohn/Jack Smith executive producer Jonathan Demme is no stranger to the monologue on film. Spalding Gray's Swimming to Cambodia (which he directed) is one of the best of the genre.

You'd think Demme would know what he's doing. At best, Roy Cohn/Jack Smith is a cinematic oddity, rambling and barely coherent -- a common problem with films in which there are few diversions aside from moving lips (see The Designated Mourner for a prime example of this).

Continue reading: Roy Cohn/Jack Smith Review

Storytelling Review


Excellent
Writer-director Todd Solondz has a knack for making us feel downright uncomfortable. He did it in his twisted debut, Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), with a young Brendan Sexton III announcing his intentions to rape an even younger Heather Matarazzo. He did it in Happiness (1998), in nearly every scene. And he's providing more squirm-inducing moments in Storytelling, a film with less intensity than Happiness, but with a continuing streak of intellectually challenging dialogue and unforgiving subject matter.

Aside from Solondz's decidedly risky topics, his format in Storytelling takes chances. It presents two separate shorts, entitled "Fiction" and "Non-fiction," with no obvious connection between the two. The only true thread is that both comment on the telling of tales, the shifting of points of view, and the way most people in Solondz's suburban landscapes constantly paddle their painful lives upstream.

Continue reading: Storytelling Review

American Splendor Review


Excellent
Comic book heroes like Spider-Man and The Hulk get all the press. Hey, what about the little guy?

Harvey Pekar is the ultimate little guy -- not just in the comics world, where his American Splendor has been an underground phenomenon for decades, but in real life, as he has held down a steady gig as a file clerk in a Cleveland VA hospital since the beginning of the known universe.

Continue reading: American Splendor Review

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Ted Hope Movies

Dark Horse Movie Review

Dark Horse Movie Review

Solondz takes another hilariously pitch-black exploration of human behaviour with a film populated by excellent...

Super Movie Review

Super Movie Review

Writer-director Gunn gleefully subverts genre expectations with this superhero movie that goes way against the...

Towelhead Movie Review

Towelhead Movie Review

It's possible that Alan Ball will never quite grow up. And after seeing his directorial...

The Savages Movie Review

The Savages Movie Review

Tamara Jenkins' The Savages opens with old people acting their age: playing a few holes...

21 Grams Movie Review

21 Grams Movie Review

Following the funeral of his son-in-law, a father empathizes with his daughter by relating how...

She's the One Movie Review

She's the One Movie Review

With his sophomore effort, She's the One, Edward Burns has made another movie about Irish...

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Thumbsucker Movie Review

Thumbsucker Movie Review

For once, the film's title is hardly a coy allusion or abstract metaphor - Thumbsucker...

Storytelling Movie Review

Storytelling Movie Review

Writer-director Todd Solondz has a knack for making us feel downright uncomfortable. He did...

Lovely & Amazing Movie Review

Lovely & Amazing Movie Review

Lovely & Amazing, Nicole Holofcener's follow-up to her feature debut Walking And Talking, doesn't quite...

American Splendor Movie Review

American Splendor Movie Review

Comic book heroes like Spider-Man and The Hulk get all the press. Hey, what about...

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