Monica Sullivan, founding producer and host of the nationally syndicated S.F. radio program Movie Magazine International (airing hereabouts on KUSF-FM 90.3 Wednesday nights at 9 p.m.), also plays to her strengths with VideoHound's Independent Film Guide ($17.95). One of the most enthusiastic and passionate moviegoers (far higher praise than "critic") I know, Sullivan has amassed a lively collection of capsule reviews and other juicy tidbits. Although it doesn't do anything to clarify the confusion these days over what exactly indie film is (what are all those foreign movies doing in there?), the VideoHound guide does celebrate indies as something more than a marketing niche.
For the umpteenth consecutive year, half of the films in PBS's "P.O.V." documentary series are the work of Bay Area filmmakers. Here's the list: Arthur Dong's chilling death row conversations with murderers of gay men, Licensed to Kill (June 23); Spencer Nakasako's camcorder diary, Kelly Loves Tony (June 30); Walter Brock's Golden Gate Award-winning portrait of disabled activist Arthur Campbell Jr., If I Can't Do It (July 7); Susan Stern's peripatetic view of a certain doll and her acolytes, Barbie Nation (July 14); Maren Monsen's doctor's-eye view of the spiritual limitations of life support, The Vanishing Line (July 21); and Ellen Bruno's haunting portrait of Burmese child prostitutes, Sacrifice (July 28). In addition, series opener Baby, It's You (June 2), Anne Makepeace's first-person look at fertility science, has several Bay Area connections. Check TV listings as the dates draw near; KQED, in its infinite wisdom, always veers slightly from the listed national airdates.
ATA takes a radical step beyond its usual radical programming with its first-ever (as far as I can recall) extended first-run booking: Barnstorming S.F. filmmaker Sarah Jacobson screens her grrrl film, Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore, at the Valencia Street space June 3 through 7. ... Award-winning S.F. documentary filmmakers Ellen Bruno (Sacrifice) and Jay Rosenblatt (Human Remains) received a way-prestigious honor: Guggenheim fellowships. Both directors are represented by strong new work in the current S.F. International Film Festival. ... Also on the SFIFF beat, your trusty correspondent moderates a Q&A with Fragments * Jerusalem director Ron Havilio at noon on Wednesday, May 6, at the World Affairs Council, 312 Sutter (at Grant). There is no charge. ... Robert Altman's The Player is the June 5 opening night film of the Dockers Khakis Classically Independent Film Festival at the Castro. Neither Altman nor star Tim Robbins will be in attendance. ... Speaking of pants, SFIFF volunteers received an unexpected perk: a pair of Dockers.
By Michael Fox