Watch meaningful movies in the company of others. KQED Arts film critic Michael Fox offers recommendations with Now Playing, our weekly guide to Bay Area screens.
Wed., June 22, 7pm
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
As anyone with small children knows, the title character of the just-opened Disney/Pixar blockbuster Finding Dory embarks on a journey to find her parents (with a little help from her friends -- it’s a big ocean, after all). For a more adult (read complicated and painful) view of bearing and raising children, check out the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s restoration of Her Sister’s Secret from 1946. Directed by the fascinating Edgar G. Ulmer, an émigré from Eastern Europe who made bittersweet Yiddish melodramas in New Jersey before the war and B-movies on Hollywood backlots afterward, this dark voyage concerns an unmarried New Orleans gal who gives her newborn baby to her married sister but ultimately can’t let go. Her Sister’s Secret screens June 22 at the Pacific Film Archive, which doesn’t care that school’s out all summer.
Thurs., June 23, 9:30pm
Victoria Theatre, San Francisco
The San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, aka Frameline, is largely a celebratory event that affirms the place of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people in society and on screen. However, the festival never loses sight of the sacrifices and suffering, past and present, of people persecuted for their sexuality and identity. The horrendous massacre at a gay dance club in the United States of America in the year 2016 is deeply grievous and infuriating and will be remembered at every Frameline40 screening. The very strong among us will be at the Victoria Theatre on June 23 for the Bay Area premiere of Upstairs Inferno, Robert L. Camina’s riveting documentary about the 1973 fire at a New Orleans gay bar that took 32 lives and was never investigated as arson. The director will be present for what promises to be an emotional evening.