Afghan Cinema, Laura Linney, & a Dysfunctional Family: Thursday at the SFFilm Festival

Thursday was the first full day of this year's SFFilm Festival, and I managed two events that day. I liked them both very much. What We Left Unfinished Afghanistan had a strong film industry when the Soviet Union controlled the country, but it was destroyed when fundamentalist Islam replaced fundamentalist Communism. Afghan-American filmmaker Mariam Ghani … Continue reading Afghan Cinema, Laura Linney, & a Dysfunctional Family: Thursday at the SFFilm Festival

SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 3: Running from fundamentalists, standing up to fundamentalists, Raising Hell, and just being weird

Here's my third and last batch of films that will screen at the upcoming SFFILM Festival (also known as the San Francisco International Film Festival). All of the films are new, and none of them are narratives. A Midnight Traveler This documentary also works as a heart-stopping thriller. A family must leave Afghanistan; the father's name is … Continue reading SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 3: Running from fundamentalists, standing up to fundamentalists, Raising Hell, and just being weird

SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 2: French noir, New York hustlers, Miles Davis, and Hilary Rodham

Here's my second batch of films that will screen at the upcoming SFFILM Festival (also known as the San Francisco International Film Festival). As with the last one, it includes one old movie, and three new ones. A- Close Enemies This is the sort of movie that reminds you that the French invented Film Noir. … Continue reading SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 2: French noir, New York hustlers, Miles Davis, and Hilary Rodham

SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 1: Spaceships, a Savage family, Sex, & Satan

Here's my first batch of films screening at the upcoming SFFILM Festival (also known as the San Francisco International Film Festival). A¬†Aniara This slow, frightful, depressing space movie from Sweden carries a heavy charge. A spaceliner taking refugees to Mars (Earth has become unlivable) has an accident that sends them out to the edges of … Continue reading SFFILM Fest Preview, Part 1: Spaceships, a Savage family, Sex, & Satan

Laura Dern, Claire Denis, Claude Jarman, and John C. Reilly at the SFFILM Festival

The San Francisco International Film Festival, now also named SFFILM, opens Wednesday, April 10 with Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. No, it's not a remake; it's a sequel to the PBS series of the 1980s, based on Maupin's serialized novels. And yes, it has Laura Linney, Olympia Dukakis, and other veterans of the show … Continue reading Laura Dern, Claire Denis, Claude Jarman, and John C. Reilly at the SFFILM Festival