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Stories by Beth Accomando

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MoPA's Taiwan Cinema Spotlight Highlights Director Hou Hsiao-hsien

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The Museum of Photographic Arts kicks off its Taiwan Cinema Spotlight on director Hou Hsiao-hsien Thursday night. The timing is perfect since the 68-year-old director just screened a new film at the Cannes Film Festival.

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FilmOut Kicks Off Friday With California Premiere of 'Tab Hunter Confidential'

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This Friday, FilmOut, San Diego’s LGBT Film Festival, kicks off at The Observatory North Park with the documentary "Tab Hunter Confidential."

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San Diego's Film Community Optimistic After City Council Budget Meeting

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The San Diego film community came out in force on Thursday to make a show of solidarity for more government support of the city's film industry.

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'DarkStar' Explores H. R. Giger's Strange, Beautiful World

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Swiss surrealist painter H. R. Giger is probably best known for designing the creature in "Alien." The new documentary, "Dark Star: H. R. Giger’s World" (opening May 22 for a one-week run at Landmark's Ken Cinema), provides insights into his dark genius.

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Rochelle Botello's Dog Days Exhibit Challenges Expectations About Art

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Hidden off an alley on Logan Avenue is Punto Experimental, an art gallery that specializes in experimental and contemporary art, and its mission is to challenge how we define what art is.

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'I Am Big Bird' Focuses On The Man Inside The Plumage

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"Sesame Street’s" Big Bird is one of the most iconic children’s characters ever created and the new documentary "I Am Big Bird" (opening May 15 at The Digital Gym Cinema) looks to the man who has brought this giant puppet to life.

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USD's 'Rembrandt: A Decade Of Brilliance' Allows People To Look Over The Artist's Shoulder

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University of San Diego’s Hoehn Family Galleries is currently hosting the exhibit, "Rembrandt: A Decade of Brilliance, 1648-1658," and it’s an eye-opening showcase of prints from the Dutch painter and printmaker.

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'Mad Max: Fury Road' Delivers An Action Film That Puts Plot In The Back Seat

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It’s been three decades since the last "Mad Max" movie. Now we get a new Max with Tom Hardy, but director George Miller returns to the driver’s seat to provide an adrenaline rush on "Fury Road." The film opens Friday throughout San Diego.

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Independent Eye's 'King Lear' Kicks Off Puppetry Festival

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On Friday night, 10th Avenue Theater and the San Diego Guild of Puppetry kick off a month of puppetry performances with the Independent Eye’s "King Lear." Two actors use 20 puppets to bring Shakespeare to vivid life.

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'Black Souls' Has One Foot In Mob Genre, One In The Art House

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Just when you think there’s no fresh blood to be found in the mob film along comes "Black Souls" (opening May 8 at Reading's Gaslamp and Town Square Cinemas) from Italy to prove you wrong.

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Rants And Raves: May the Fourth Be With You

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Although the original "Star Wars" movie opened on May 25, 1977, the designated day of celebration for the films has become May 4 (over some fan objections) so there can have punny fun with May the Fourth be with you. I went to "Star Wars Celebration VII" last month to gauge fan excitement in the wake of a new movie.

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Local Artist Creates 'Arts Incubator' At The Studio Door

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The Studio Door in North Park focuses on two things: assisting artists with art-to-market knowledge and creating opportunities that will help artists grow by providing working studio space, an online presence, and curating exhibits.

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'Age Of Ultron' Not Quite As Well-Assembled As First 'Avengers' Film

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Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” thrilled fans but can “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (opening May 1 throughout San Diego) live up to its predecessor? Not quite.

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Oscar-Nominated 'Tangerines' Delivers Familiar Anti-War Message With Eloquence

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Earlier this year, “Tangerines” (opening Friday at Landmark's Ken Cinema) received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. The war it depicts is old but the themes remain relevant.

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The Vietnam War On Film

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A look back on 50 years of films from the U.S. and abroad reveals that we are still struggling to come to terms with the divisive Vietnam War.

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Filmatic Festival Looks To The Future Of Film

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UCSD’s Artpower film curator Rebecca Webb wanted to create a film festival that would explore the future of film, and what the experience will be for filmmakers and filmgoers. The result was the Filmatic Festival now in its second year.

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Meet The Directors Of 'Spring' Friday, Saturday At Digital Gym Cinema

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The North Park theater is hosting a late night screening of the new horror-love story “Spring” with the filmmakers in attendance.

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'Ex Machina' Serves Up Cerebral Sci-Fi

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Movies have had a long fascination with robots and artificial intelligence. The new film "Ex Machina" (opening April 24 in select San Diego theaters) uses state-of-the-art special effects to deliver a smart new take on A.I.

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San Diego Opera Stages A New Mariachi Opera

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Once again San Diego Opera challenges preconceived notions about what opera is and expands the horizons about what it can be with the new mariachi opera "El Pasado Nunca se Termina" that has two performances this Saturday at the Civic Theater.

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10th Annual San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival Celebrates The Bard

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The San Diego Student Shakespeare Festival returns to Balboa Park this Saturday. If you love the Bard, this free event will remind you why his work remains so vital after more than four centuries.

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Behind The Scenes Of 'Cirquetacular! Cirquetacular!'

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The Circus Collective of San Diego is a group of circus artists who present original shows that blur the lines between traditional circus and contemporary theatre. Last year they did a film noir circus, "Circustantial Evidence," now they serve up “Cirquetacular! Cirquetacular!”

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'Unfriended' Uses Cyberbullying As Catalyst For Teen Revenge Tale

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Fifteen percent of high school students experienced cyberbullying last year. The new film “Unfriended” (opening throughout San Diego on April 17) exploits the real life horror of cyberbullying for a teen revenge tale.

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Pac-Arts Spring Showcase Kicks Off Fifth Season

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Pac-Arts’ fifth annual Spring Showcase kicks off Thursday night with the documentary “In Football We Trust.”

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'Reunion' Screens With Swedish Director Odell In Attendance

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There are not a lot of opportunities to meet foreign film directors here in San Diego, so check out Sunday's screening of the Swedish film “Reunion” at the Mingei International Museum with director Anna Odell in attendance.

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'The White Snake' Conjures Up Some Magic At The Old Globe

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"The White Snake" (continuing through April 26 at the Old Globe Theatre) is an ancient tale about two snake spirits that learn how to transform into beautiful women and live on earth. It provides the perfect foundation for playwright and director Mary Zimmerman, who sees theater as a playground for the imagination.

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Once Is More Than Enough For 'Kill Me Three Times'

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Simon Pegg is riding a wave of success with roles in the film franchises "Star Trek" and "Mission Impossible." But the new comedy thriller "Kill Me Three Times" (opening April 10 at Landmark's Ken Cinema) won’t be adding to his popularity.

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Help Bring Death To Life For FX Artist Hiroshi Katagiri

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Crowdfunding is a mixed bag. You may feel inundated with people pitching you with projects that you couldn’t care less about, but on the other hand it’s a blessing for filmmakers working outside the mainstream.

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WonderCon Moves To L.A.

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WonderCon, the sister convention to Comic-Con, closed its 2015 show in Anaheim on Sunday with the news of change for next year.

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San Diego Lightsaber Team Offers Jedi Workout

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If you hate going to the gym to burn calories and get your cardio workout, then try a geeky alternative with members of the new San Diego Lightsaber Team.

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14 Films In 4 Days: My Experience At TCM Classic Film Festival

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This past weekend I watched 14 feature films and a handful of shorts in less than four days at the TCM Classic Film Festival, and it reminded me why I fell in love with movies in the first place.

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'The Facts Of Life: The Lost Episode' Turns '80s Sitcom Into A Drag Spoof

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Playwright Jamie Morris likes to take mainstream American sitcoms and turn them into R-rated gay romps with a male cast in drag. Morris’ “The Facts of Life: The Lost Episode” had a sold out run at Diversionary Theater in 2012 and returns Thursday night for an encore engagement.

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WonderCon Kicks Off Fourth Year In Anaheim This Friday

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If you were unable to buy tickets for this summer's Comic-Con then you might want to consider WonderCon, Comic-Con's little sister. But don’t hesitate because WonderCon is looking to sell out as well.

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Rants And Raves: TCM Classic Film Festival

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If you love classic movies then you can find heaven on earth this weekend at the fifth annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood.

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'It Follows' Will Make You Look Over Your Shoulder In Dread And Love It

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"It Follows" (opening March 27 in select San Diego theaters) is one of the best horror films in years. So why has the studio been delaying the release and making access to press materials so difficult?

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'Selma '65' Looks At The Voting Rights Act And Famous Civil Rights March

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Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the last leg of the Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March. To celebrate that historic event, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice will present a performance of Catherine Filloux's play, "Selma '65."

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Banff Mountain Film Festival Closes Its Sold Out Run Monday Night At La Paloma

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The Banff Mountain Film Festival concludes its sold out San Diego County run Monday night at the La Paloma Theater and is inspiring attendees to seek out their own mountain adventures.

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'Merchants Of Doubt' Suggests We're All Being Conned

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“Merchants of Doubt” (opening March 20 at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas) is a documentary that wants to alert us to how we’re being conned and sometimes as willing participants.

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FilmOut Presents High Art And Low Camp With Karen Black Double Feature

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Actress Karen Black died in August 2013. FilmOut San Diego on Wednesday night will pay tribute to her great range with a double feature at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas.

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'Nixon In China' And Why Modern Opera Can Be Scary And Exciting

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Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China in 1972 changed international relations forever. You’d expect to find it in the history books but you might be surprised to see it as the inspiration for a modern opera. "Nixon in China's" director and soprano explain why a modern opera can be a scary and exciting thing.

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Sink Your Teeth Into A Pair Of Draculas

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You are not seeing double but this month the Film Geeks at the Digital Gym Cinema present two "Draculas," both made in 1931 by Universal Pictures.

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Big Changes At 22nd Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival

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The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival kicks off Thursday at the AMC Fashion Valley Theaters. The festival has a new home base and some new programmers at the helm, so change is in the air.

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San Diego Film Awards Will Be Handed Out Saturday

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The second annual San Diego Film Awards attracted 200 entries, and 40 awards will given out Saturday at the Horton Grand Theatre.

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'The Salvation' Serves Up Eye For An Eye Retribution

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The western is a classically American genre, but the Italians tackled it with gusto in the 1960s and last year we saw the first Austrian western. This weekend you can enjoy "The Salvation" (opening March 6 at Landmark's Ken Cinema), a Danish take on the American standard.

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Audio Describers Bring San Diego Opera To Visually Impaired

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The San Diego Opera provides an underutilized service called audio description. It allows the visually impaired to enjoy an opera performance more fully.  

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The Cold War Played Out On An Ice Rink In 'Red Army'

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The documentary "Red Army" — about Soviet era hockey — arrives in San Diego (opening Feb. 27 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas) just as the sport skates back into town. It's a documentary that even non-hockey fans will find riveting.

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Globe's 'The Twenty-Seventh Man' Finds Inspiration In Soviet History

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For the Globe’s new production of "The Twenty-Seventh Man" (running through March 22), playwright Nathan Englander found inspiration in an incident known as the Night of the Murdered Poets that took place under Stalin’s regime.

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87th Oscar Show Was Snoozer But 'Birdman,' J. K. Simmons Were Deserving Winners

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The 87th annual Academy Awards were Sunday night and the top winners were “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with four awards each. But the show was a rough and bumpy night.

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'The Grift' Serves Up Interactive Play At The Lafayette Hotel

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If you think going to the theater is a passive activity, think again. Audiences for "The Grift" follow the play through The Lafayette Hotel and are asked to perform tasks along the way.

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'What We Do In The Shadows' Sheds Light On Modern Vampire Life

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If the dry absurd humor of the HBO show "Flight of the Conchords" is to your taste then sink your teeth into "What We Do In The Shadows" (opening Friday at Landmark's Ken Cinema) for a tasty new treat.

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Midday Movies: Handicapping The 87th Academy Awards

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The 87th Academy Awards are this Sunday (red carpet begins at 4 p.m.). Vegas oddsmakers have the independent film "Boyhood" as the favorite with the Clint Eastwood war film "American Sniper" as the extreme long shot. Find out what a pair of San Diego film critics think of this year's Oscar race.

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