Close the laptop, drop that tablet, silence the smartphone and join your fellow humans in Bay Area theaters this week with recommendations from our film critic Michael Fox.
Oct. 28-Nov. 6
Various Bay Area Theaters
If you’re expecting a spooky movie recommendation for your Halloween discomfort and catharsis, you’ve come to the right place. Sort of. Unless, that is, you clear a few hundred Benjamins every year renting your second bedroom to tourists from Munich through Airbnb. Or if you can’t imagine living without Uber, despite the time-honored, non-disruptive presence of buses and taxis.
In either of those cases, you may push back against the critique embedded in veteran East Bay filmmakers Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow’s latest sociopolitical documentary, Company Town. Set against last fall’s supervisor race between incumbent Julie Christensen, who was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee, and challenger Aaron Peskin, the former supe and avowed enemy of the shell game cleverly disguised as the “sharing economy,” Company Town was shot on the streets of Chinatown and North Beach. We all know how that election turned out, so the filmmakers downplay the intrinsic drama and avoid the sports-movie clichés to emphasize instead the big-picture dynamics and competing visions of San Francisco’s future. Scary stuff, kids!
Fresh from its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, Company Town opens Friday, Oct. 28, for a week at the Roxie in San Francisco and the Elmwood in Berkeley, followed by a Nov. 6 show at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael. For more info on the film, visit snitow-kaufman.org.