The Edit Room: How do you keep your audience engaged rather than putting them to sleep?
Once Upon a Time in the West is grand, cynical, lavish and above all huge, Sergio Leone's penchant for the iconically gargantuan (perhaps at the willing expense of relatable human detail) expressed in ultimate form.
The two weeks of programs offers 151 films from 55 countries, awards and prices, and a wide array of San Francisco talent, from legendary names to the fledgling artists.
Savvy moviegoers outside the target demographic have learned to scout the niche fests' programs for films that premiered to raves at Berlin or Cannes.
While the SF International Film Festival has always had celebrity guests, the 50th edition featured a particular concentration of unique one-offs.
The 50th annual SF International Film Festival is as good a time to put forth an argument. Here’s one: The most compelling movie stars of the current era are athletes, and the most dynamic 21st-century cinema is sports cinema.
The Unbelievable Truth helped jumpstart the independent film movement in the U.S. in 1989, followed by eight more Hartley features in the next decade.
Just a week out of the SFIFF50 press conference at the Westin St. Francis, and the buzz has already had a chance to build. SF360.org checked in with a few friends in the San Francisco filmmaking scene to see what they’re looking forward to in the 50th edition of the SF International Film Festival. Big winners: Guy Maddin’s “Brand Upon the Brain!” and, of course, the live and in-person tribute to Spike Lee, who — as Strand Releasing’s Marcus Hu reminds us — returns to the Bay Area to receive his Film Society Directing Award in spite of the fact the projector broke during the premiere of “She’s Gotta Have It” at the SFIFF more than 20 years ago.
I’m eager to see Camila Guzman Urzula’s documentary “The Sugar Curtain” for perspectives on life in Cuba from those in their twenties and thirties. I’m curious about how a savvy film critic like Wesley Morris will interview Spike Lee. It will be a welcome occurrence to see two Black men talking on a US festival stage about film.
“Audience of One:” I know this year the festival is honoring Lucas and Coppola and those guys as local heroes, but really. Hollywood North? What happened? Now here is a group of makers, Pentacostals no less, working on a gargantuan bible epic right down on Ocean Avenue in the old El Rey Theatre. Now that’s hot!
Strand, A Natural History of Cinema
Although I’ve already seen it, I look forward to attending the one-off screening of Guy Maddin’s “Brand Upon the Brain!” since each live performance, by design, differs somewhat from the last. No self-respecting (or, for that matter, self-deprecating) cineaste should miss it. Beyond that, I’m particularly interested in Alain Resnais’ latest, “Coeurs” (i.e., “Private Fears in Public Places,” which, due to timing conflicts, I missed in Toronto), reuniting the director with the exceptional playwright Alan Ayckbourn. I remain quite fond of his recent films even if most folks in this country seem to disregard his work after “Mon oncle d’Amerique,” released over a quarter-century ago.
I love that SFIFF is honoring Spike Lee, I saw “She’s Gotta Have It” when it had its world premiere at SFIFF and remembered what an amazing experience that was when the projector broke!
I first started attending SFIFF in 1964 while still in high school. I saw the independent “The Luck of Ginger Coffey,” directed by Irvin Kershner and starring Robert Shaw, a fascinating documentary look at a country
The SFIFF GreenWorld Contest brings the vision of filmmakers to the forefront of environmental discourse through fiction, documentary, experimental, and essayistic films.
Highlights of the upcoming festival were presented by the San Francisco Film Society Executive Director.
A visit to the 50th anniversary portion of San Francisco Film Society’s web site nets not just the real Truman Capote candidly essaying on life and the movies in a 1974 visit to the SF International Film Festival.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Academy Foundation bestowed a surprise grant of $150,000 over three years.
The revolution will not be televised, but it may be digitized, run through Final Cut Pro, and projected on the screen near you.
Sundance Cinemas buys the Kabuki 8 and announces plans to reopen as the Sundance Kabuki in early fall 2006.