Movies and TV

Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>

‘Vigil’ cleverly mixes Jewish culture, atmospheric scares

Folkloric demon comes alive in writer-director Keith Thomas’ debut feature

Dave Davis is excellent in “The Vigil,” an effective horror film by Keith Thomas. <ins>(Courtesy IFC Midnight)</ins>
Andra Day sounds great in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”<ins></ins>

Singing soars in uneven ‘United States vs. Billie Holiday’

‘Test Pattern’ takes on timely issues, from racism to women’s health

Andra Day sounds great in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.”<ins></ins>
Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>

Fanciful films with a squirrel and a whirl

‘Flora & Ulysses’ has a girl and a rodent, ‘Jumbo’ has an Amelie-like woman enraptured by a machine

Matilda Lawler stars in “Flora & Ulysses,” a pleasant film for kids based on a book by Kate DiCamillo. <ins>(Courtesy Disney+)</ins>
Frances McDormand, left, and David Strathairn appear in the wonderful “Nomadland.”<ins> (Courtesy Searchlight Pictures)</ins>

‘Nomadland’ a sublime, magical story of people in transition

‘A First Farewell’ intriguingly depicts Muslim villagers in China

Frances McDormand, left, and David Strathairn appear in the wonderful “Nomadland.”<ins> (Courtesy Searchlight Pictures)</ins>
Saru Jayaraman speaks at rally after successful campaign to preserve workers’ tips in “Waging Change,” a documentary by Abby Ginzberg airing Feb. 19 on KQED. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>

‘Waging Change’ exposes shocking U.S. law about low tipping

Documentary details movement to raise $2.13 minimum wage

Saru Jayaraman speaks at rally after successful campaign to preserve workers’ tips in “Waging Change,” a documentary by Abby Ginzberg airing Feb. 19 on KQED. <ins>(Courtesy photo)</ins>
Keith "Malik" Washington is editor of the San Francisco Bayview newspaper (Courtesy photo)

Documentary by Public Defender’s Office targets conditions at Tenderloin halfway house

Film is first created through project founded by late Public Defender Jeff Adachi

Keith "Malik" Washington is editor of the San Francisco Bayview newspaper (Courtesy photo)
Filmmaker Madeleine Lim heads up the San Francisco-based Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project, which is regrouping during the pandemic and remaining dedicated to creating and promoting works by underrepresented people. 
Courtesy Leilani Nisperos

Queer, trans women still seeking representation in media

By Kate Selig Bay City News Foundation Madeleine Lim launched the Queer…

  • Feb 15, 2021
Filmmaker Madeleine Lim heads up the San Francisco-based Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project, which is regrouping during the pandemic and remaining dedicated to creating and promoting works by underrepresented people. 
Courtesy Leilani Nisperos
Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen are charming in “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Dan Anderson/Amazon Studios)</ins>
Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen are charming in “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Dan Anderson/Amazon Studios)</ins>
LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya are excellent in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” <ins>(Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS)</ins>

‘Judas’ an essential look at Black Panther history

Brilliant performances fuel film that packs a punch

LaKeith Stanfield, foreground, and Daniel Kaluuya are excellent in “Judas and the Black Messiah.” <ins>(Glen Wilson/Warner Bros. Pictures/TNS)</ins>
Martine Chevallier, left, and Barbara Sukowa star in “Two of Us.” (Courtesy Magnolia Pictures)

‘Two of Us’ a tender tale about older women in love

‘A Ghost Waits’ charms with romance, horror

Martine Chevallier, left, and Barbara Sukowa star in “Two of Us.” (Courtesy Magnolia Pictures)
Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek make the most of their roles in “Bliss.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>

Reality plights: ‘Bliss’ is intriguing yet awkward

Owen Wilson, Salma Hayek appeal in low-key, quiet sci-fi fantasy

Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek make the most of their roles in “Bliss.”<ins> (Courtesy Amazon Studios)</ins>
Hopper Penn and Rosanna Arquette pose behind the scenes of “Puppy Love.” <ins>(Courtesy Todd Hido)</ins>

Rosanna Arquette, Hopper Penn team up in ‘Puppy Love’

Veteran actress plays mom to son of longtime family friends

Hopper Penn and Rosanna Arquette pose behind the scenes of “Puppy Love.” <ins>(Courtesy Todd Hido)</ins>
Ahmed Bharoocha, left, and Devin Das play insurance agents in the horror comedy “Keeping Company.” (Courtesy FilmFreeway)

Dozens of offbeat flicks online in SF IndieFest

Local films, comedies, dramas, docs stream in 23rd showcase

Ahmed Bharoocha, left, and Devin Das play insurance agents in the horror comedy “Keeping Company.” (Courtesy FilmFreeway)
Niousha Jafarian is superb in Kourosh Ahari’s “The Night.” (Courtesy IFC Midnight)

‘The Night’ cleverly melds horror and marital strife

‘Dear Comrades’ rivetingly depicts life in the 1960s Soviet Union

Niousha Jafarian is superb in Kourosh Ahari’s “The Night.” (Courtesy IFC Midnight)
Denzel Washington is excellent as a deputy sheriff who becomes obsessed with finding a killer in “The Little Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>

‘The Little Things’ a well-made but flawed thriller

John Lee Hancock film feels like it needs an update

Denzel Washington is excellent as a deputy sheriff who becomes obsessed with finding a killer in “The Little Things.” <ins>(Courtesy Warner Bros.)</ins>
The charismatic Adarsh Gourav, left, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas star in “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani’s adaptation of the novel by Aravind Adiga.<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

‘White Tiger’ takes in-depth look at India’s caste system

‘Identifying Features’ depicts human effects of Mexico’s drug wars

The charismatic Adarsh Gourav, left, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas star in “The White Tiger,” Ramin Bahrani’s adaptation of the novel by Aravind Adiga.<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>
“Beautiful Something Left Behind” is an extraordinary documentary about young children whose parents have died. <ins>(Courtesy Roxie)</ins>
“Beautiful Something Left Behind” is an extraordinary documentary about young children whose parents have died. <ins>(Courtesy Roxie)</ins>
Dr. Martin Luther King in Sam Pollard’s ‘MLK/FBI’. (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)

The superb documentary ‘MLK/FBI’ clearly connects the past to our troubling present

Justin Chang Los Angeles Times Among the many archival materials excerpted in…

Dr. Martin Luther King in Sam Pollard’s ‘MLK/FBI’. (Courtesy of IFC Films/TNS)
From left, Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Aldis Hodge star in the fascinating “One Night in Miami.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)

Four famed Black heroes gather in riveting ‘One Night in Miami’

‘Some Kind of Heaven’ digs into life at a huge Florida senior community

From left, Leslie Odom Jr., Eli Goree, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Aldis Hodge star in the fascinating “One Night in Miami.” (Courtesy Amazon Studios)
The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>

For a paranoid android, try ‘Outside the Wire’

Not so memorable sci-fi action flick will pass the time

The appealing Anthony Mackie, left, and Damson Idris star in “Outside the Wire.”<ins> (Courtesy Netflix)</ins>