Experimenter and Closing Night at the San Francisco International Film Festival

This year's San Francisco International Film Festival closed Thursday night with the local premiere of Michael Almereyda's Experimenter--a biopic about social psychologist Stanley Milgram, whose controversial experiments examined how we react when our empathy conflicts with our obedience to authority. Speaking of authority figures, when we entered the Castro Theatre, we found almost all of … Continue reading Experimenter and Closing Night at the San Francisco International Film Festival

War and music: The Kronos Quartet at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Wednesday night, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet came to the San Francisco International Film Festival to present their music-and-moving-image piece, Kronos Quartet Beyond Zero: 1914-1918. I was in the audience. This was not the usual silent movie presentation. The Quartet commissioned Aleksandra Vrebalov to write the music. Then they commissioned Bill Morrison to create a new … Continue reading War and music: The Kronos Quartet at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Cinema’s past and cinema’s future: Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Yesterday was a very strange day for me at the San Francisco International Film Festival. I didn’t see a single, complete film. But it was still worthwhile. Mel Novikoff Award: Lenny Borger The Novikoff Award goes to someone who who "has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema." Sometimes it goes to someone famous, … Continue reading Cinema’s past and cinema’s future: Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Music, Sex, and Novelists: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Here's what I saw Saturday: B+ Beats of the Antonov This documentary about the current Sudanese civil war starts with a plane dropping bombs on civilians—from the civilian’s point of view. Then, when the bombing is over, laughter breaks out on the soundtrack. In this situation, you need to find something to be happy about. … Continue reading Music, Sex, and Novelists: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

SFIFF Thursday: Japanese teenagers and Chinese Brothers (but not really)

I left work early Thursday to catch some movies at the San Francisco International Film Festival. I only had time for two. C+ Wonderful World End I’m really not sure what to make of this Japanese teenage drama. Seventeen-year-old Shiori lives with her theater-oriented boyfriend and enjoys some modest fame from her video blog. Then … Continue reading SFIFF Thursday: Japanese teenagers and Chinese Brothers (but not really)