Make a run for the border: The third annual BorDocs Foro Documental (BorDocs Documentary Forum) goes down this week, with events in San Diego and Tijuana. Each program is different, consisting of a blend of films, workshops, roundtables, Q&As and so on.
The whole thing kicks off at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1, at the Central Library, Downtown, with a Digital Cinema Showcase of five short documentaries. Directors Paola Rodríguez (Koty) and Patricia Montoya (Medellín, Cómo te Convierto en un Objeto) will be on hand.
The following evening, Monday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m., three short docs will screen in Room 221 of SDSU's Hepner Hall. There's Cynthia Hooper's Hecho a mano (Handmade), Urbanos Draganos (Urban Dragons) from Pavel Valenzuela y Angélica Delgado and Shinpei Takeda's El México más cercano a Japón (The Closest Mexico to Japan). Hooper, Delgado and Takeda will be on hand, and the event will be hosted by local artist, filmmaker and professor Perry Vasquez.
There are dozens of films and other events running south of the border through Nov. 7, including full-length documentaries. A complete program list can be found at www.bordocs.org, though you should be forewarned that the strange language you're trying to read is usually called Spanish.
The Beaches of Agnes: Agnes Varda, from the French new wave and Left Bank film movements, turns in a touching autobiography that's as much an experimental film as any of her other work.
Five Minutes of Heaven: Violence begets violence and terrific performances from Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt in Oliver Hirschbiegel's drama about two men meeting decades after one of them killed the other's brother. See our review on Page 22.
Michael Jackson: This Is It: Over it.
Ong Bak 2: The Beginning: When Tony Jaa burst onto the scene with Thai Warrior, everyone thought he was the second coming of Bruce Lee. Even though it has some cool fighting, the prequel makes it clear that he is not.
One time only
Meeting Andrei Tarkovsky: CityBeat film editor Anders Wright will introduce this doc about the legendary Russian director and lead a post-screening Q&A with the director. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
The Shining: Don't you love it when Jack Nicholson screams “Heeere's Johnny!” No, wait, Heeeere's Jay. Hang on, it's Conan now, right? Heeeere's Conan. Nope, just doesn't have the same ring to it. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Horror Movie Trailers: Citizen Video continues its annual tradition of horror-movie trailers. Zombies will attack sharks. Heads will explode. Coeds will bare their feathered hair and, presumably, their boobs. Starts at 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 29, at Whistle Stop Bar in South Park. Free.
La Camara Oscura: Gertrudis is the woman who's always overlooked by the other Argentinean Jews, during the late 19th century—until her rancher husband allows a French photographer to visit their home. Presented by the San Diego Jewish Film Festival, it screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, at AMC La Jolla.
Charade: Any time you get Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant together is a good time. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, through Saturday, Oct. 31, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Beetlejuice: Remember when Michael Keaton was interesting? Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at the Fiesta de Reyes courtyard in Old Town. Free.
The Birds: Hitchcock's classic brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “chicken dinner.” Screens at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, at Reading Gaslamp and Town Square.
Between the Folds: Documentary about scientists and artists who have become professional paper folders. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
The Drifter: An autobiographical surf film from Rob Machado. Screens at 7 and 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.
Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple: Presumably, Kool-Aid will not be served. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Almost Famous: San Diego prodigal son Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical account of writing for Rolling Stone as a teenager features the Sports Arena in a supporting role. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
Amelia: Hilary Swank plays the famous dominatrix—er, aviatrix. Yeah, aviatrix.
An Education: Nick Hornby of High Fidelity fame wrote the script and does a 180 by writing about a girl who desperately wants to grow up and thinks she may have found a shortcut in a good-looking charmer twice her age.
Bronson: The touching tale of a bald sociopath with a monstrous mustache and his 30 years of solitary confinement in prison.
Astroboy: Animated version of the famous manga about a robot boy who has machine guns coming out of his ass. Oh, yeah, it's for kids.
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant: Plenty of big names, like John C. Reilly, Salma Hayak and Ken Watanabe, appear in this tween film trying to cash in on the vampire craze.
Good Hair: Chris Rock made this documentary after his daughter asked him why she didn't have good hair.
The Nightmare Before Christmas: The precursor to Coraline gets the holiday-release treatment. Jack Skellington, mayor of Halloween Town, tries to get the beasts and demons into the Christmas spirit, with disastrous results.
Saw VI: There have been six of these? Seriously?
The Damned United: Peter Morgan, who also wrote The Queen and Frost / Nixon, pens another historical film starring Michael Sheen, this time about Brian Clough, the legendary U.K. soccer coach and his terrific flameout at the reins of Leeds United.
Fuel: Sure, it's another green documentary, but this look into the massive war machine that is the petrochemical industry won the Best Documentary Audience Award at Sundance this year. Seriously, bring on the affordable Tesla.
Law Abiding Citizen: Jamie Foxx is a Philly D.A. trying to stop sociopath Gerard Butler, who is somehow blowing shit up while serving a prison term.
New York, I Love You: The sequel to a similar project about Paris, these 11 short films are about the beast that is New York, all tied together. There are plenty of high-profile actors, including Shia LaBeouf, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Chris Cooper and Julie Christie, but the nature of the project guarantees that the whole is uneven. See our review on Page 24.
The Stepfather: Dude comes back from military school to find out his mom's married to Nip / Tuck's Dylan Walsh—who, it turns out, is evil.
Where the Wild Things Are: Let the wild rumpus begin! Scroll down at Lastblogonearth.com to find Anders Wright's review.
A Serious Man: The Coen brothers offer up an examination of faith that moves in mysterious ways.
Couples Retreat: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell make a dumb romantic comedy.
Paranormal Activity: The buzziest horror film of late, touted as the next Blair Witch Project, was shot in San Diego on a shoestring budget by a first-time director.
The Boys are Back: Clive Owen's wife dies, leaving him to care for their children and his teenaged son from a previous marriage.
Capitalism: A Love Story: You may not always agree with Michael Moore's filmmaking methods, but it's hard to argue with his message. Rise up, people.
Coco Before Chanel: Audrey Tatou plays the famed designer in her pre-fame years. She's pouty, but she lights up the screen when she smiles.
Whip It: Drew Barrymore's directorial debut stars Juno's Ellen Page as a Texas teen rebelling against her mother's beauty pageants by falling for roller derby. It's sweet, but not as intense as an elbow the chops.
The Invention of Lying: Ricky Gervais stars in his own U.S. directorial debut. He lives in a world where everyone always tells the truth, until one day he doesn't.
Zombieland: Woody Harrelson. Zombies. Rated R. 'Nuff said.
Bright Star: Jane Campion's latest period piece creates a very real person out of Fanny Brawne (Abbie Cornish), the country girl who's long been considered the tart who fooled around with poet John Keats before his death.
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell: Biopic about Tucker Max, self-proclaimed drunken asshole.
Paris: Juliette Binoche shows up with her three kids at the doorstep of her brother, who's desperately waiting for a heart transplant.
Surrogates: In the future, Bruce Willis will try to solve the murder of robot surrogates, which will provide the only means for us to interact with each other. Like Facebook.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs: Sure, this 3-D adaptation of the beloved children's book looks cheesy. But it's great, and any cheese involved makes it taste even better. Seriously, one of those rare children's films that's equally awesome for adults. And it includes Neil Patrick Harris voicing a monkey.
The Informant!: Steven Soderberg directs a pudgy, mustachioed Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre, a '90s-era whistleblower with aspirations of greatness and a propensity for bending the truth.
Love Happens: Will Jennifer Aniston be the woman who helps widower Aaron Eckhart cope with his loss? Yes.
The Baader Meinhof Complex: Lengthy look at the domestic terror cell that terrified Germany during the 1970s, committing bombings and murder in the hopes of undermining the country's still wet-behind-the-ears democracy.
It Might Get Loud: Documentary about the art of guitar as played by Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White. Turn it up.
Julie & Julia: Meryl Streep is Julia Child, and Amy Adams is her biggest fan, Julie Powell, who got through life with the help of Child's My Life in France.
The Hangover: They cut a good trailer for Todd Phillips' new film, about three buddies—Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis—who wake up the morning after a brutal bachelor party with no memory of what happened or where the groom is.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Space Theater: After undergoing significant renovations, the Fleet is re-opening its dome Imax theater, complete with a kick-ass new screen. Films vary week-to-week. Showtimes and prices can be found at www.rhfleet.org.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: No, it's not a time warp—the love-it-or-hate-it camp classic continues its midnight run in its 37th year of release. When the lead character of the film is a transvestite scientist named Dr. Frank-N-Furter, you know you're in for some seriously trashy viewing. And, of course, this is the one movie where you want the audience shouting at the screen. Screens Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theater in Encinitas.