The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, opening today and running through March 18, turns 30 this year. "Highlights of 2012's anniversary line-up include an in-person tribute to Joan Chen, a pair of world premieres from the talents behind Colma: The Musical, and Patrick Wang's In the Family, one of the most acclaimed American indies from last year," writes Michael Hawley in an extensive overview. And Michael Guillén interviews Wang at the Evening Class.
For the Bay Guardian's Kimberly Chun, SFIAAFF "seems to be in the throes of a youth movement." More previews come from Peter Martin (Twitch) and Kelly Vance (East Bay Express).
Los Angeles. The Beauty of the Long Day: An In-Person Terence Davies Tribute happens Sunday and Monday at the Aero Theater and Doug Cummings has a preview in the LA Weekly.
Seattle. In the Stranger, Charles Mudede argues (briefly) that the Dreileben trilogy, Christian Petzold's Beats Being Dead, Dominik Graf's Don't Follow Me Around and Christoph Hochhäusler's One Minute of Darkness, screening at Northwest Film Forum this weekend, demonstrates that "Europe is still dominating crime cinema."
Vienna. The Cinema of the Thaw. Filmmaking in the Soviet Union, 1957-67 opens today at the Austrian Film Museum and runs through April 11.
Frankfurt. Chris MaGee notes that the Nippon Connection Japanese Film Festival (May 2 through 6) has announced a first round of titles.
New York. North by Northwest (1959) screens tomorrow and Saturday as part of the See It Big! series at the Museum of the Moving Image. Leo Goldsmith for Reverse Shot: "We've become habituated to the digital collaging of actors, scenery, and bits of code into a single unified image — such recent examples include Avatar's virtual junglescapes and The Mill and the Cross's artfully jigsawed recreation of Brueghel paintings — but here Hitchcock is working with more analogue means of combination. Matte shots, rear projections, process shots: these are the artisanal predecessors of the digital image, and Hitchcock used these to control every detail of landscape, color, flesh, and movement within the frame."
Tribeca's announced the lineups for its Spotlight and Cinemania sections, as well as Special Screenings and titles playing in the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival, and Sophia Savage has got them all at Thompson on Hollywood.
Melbourne. William Kentridge: Five Themes opens at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image today and will be on view through May 27.
In other news. Dan Klein welcomes a new columnist to Tablet: J Hoberman.
In the works. Profiling James Deen for the New York Observer, Nitasha Tiku notes that he may take a role in The Canyons, a sexually explicit feature that Bret Easton Ellis has written and which Paul Schrader intends to direct.
Book. Today's review of Geoff Dyer's Zona comes from Glenn Kenny.
Obit. "Bollywood composer Ravi Shankar Sharma, whose tune 'Darshan do Ghanashyam' was used in Slumdog Millionaire, died March 7 in a Mumbai," reports Shalini Dore for Variety. He was 86. "Ravi, who went by his first name, composed music for more than 70 Hindi films as well as for a number of regional pics."