Thursday: The last day at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival

I saw two movies on the last day of this year's San Francisco International Film Festival. The first one was directed by someone named Ross. The second by someone named Moss. Neither of them was a loss. Frank & Lola I saw this at the New Mission, and thankfully, it was in the big, downstairs … Continue reading Thursday: The last day at this year’s San Francisco International Film Festival

Visiting North Korea and Afghanistan: Wednesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I've really come to hate the upstairs theaters at the New Mission. The number of decent seats are in the single digits--and for the festival, most of them are reserved. The front row is so close it can induce headaches--even for me. If you don't want to sit that close, and you weren't one of … Continue reading Visiting North Korea and Afghanistan: Wednesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Salt Flats and Music: Tuesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I saw two films, both documentaries, at the San Francisco International Film Festival on Tuesday. One was about the world coming to a previously isolated stretch of Bolivia. The other was about music of the world. B+ Salero Before the screening, Director Mike Plunkett told us that the film was "a passion project of mine. It … Continue reading Salt Flats and Music: Tuesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Live Music for the Undead: Monday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I only went to one San Francisco International Film Festival event on Monday, and that was Carl Theodore Dreyer's 1932 classic, Vampyre, with musical accompaniment by Mercury Rev and Simon Raymonde. It was at the Castro. Vampyre belongs on any list of great horror films. Todd Brown's Dracula, made the previous year, is stagy and … Continue reading Live Music for the Undead: Monday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I caught two movies Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival. B Cameraperson I caught this one at the Victoria Theatre. Cinematographer Kirsten Johnson has been shooting documentaries for decades. The films she's lensed include Citizenfour and Farenheit 911. Now she's gathered much of what she shot, including home movies, into a montage of … Continue reading Sunday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Janus, Criterion, Coen Brothers, and James Schamus: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I started the day with Wesley Morris' State of Cinema address. But as I've already written about that presentation, I'll skip it here and go to the two other events I attended. Mel Novikoff Award: An Afternoon with Janus Films & the Criterion Collection Every year, the Festival gives the Mel Novikoff Award to "an … Continue reading Janus, Criterion, Coen Brothers, and James Schamus: Saturday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Wesley Morris, Sidney Poitier, and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s State of the Cinema Address

Wesley Morris, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Critic at Large for the New York Times, gave this year's State of the Cinema Address. His theme: The Radicalization of Sidney Poitier. It was in the Victoria Theatre on Saturday afternoon, and it was wonderful. Coming on stage in a snappy red suit, he warned that he would give spoilers … Continue reading Wesley Morris, Sidney Poitier, and the San Francisco International Film Festival’s State of the Cinema Address