SFIFF – Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgia de la luz)

Nostalgia for the Light has been one of the most talked about documentaries at the festival. It pairs some very unlikely subjects.  After all, what do Chilean astronomers, archeologists studying human remains, and women, searching the desert for the bodies of loved ones killed concentration camps, have in common on the surface?  Nothing it seems.  But Patricio Guzmán’s... Read More

SFIFF – Another Earth

The Alfred P. Sloan Prize, given at Sundance each year, seems a bit arbitrary, although I’m sure the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation who funds it, would argue otherwise. It’s a $20,000 cash prize given to a feature film that focuses on science or technology as a theme, or depicts a scientist, engineer, or mathematician as a major character. There’s wiggle room in... Read More

SFIFF – Detroit Wild City

Ruins have captivated my imagination since I was a child, for reason that shouldn’t need to be explained. They’re mysterious, and a bit sad, bursting to tell their stories, but unable to do so.  I didn’t consider the idea of modern ruins until I was an adult.  I now find them equally as intriguing, if not more so.  With these factors in mind, it’s easy... Read More

SFIFF Centerpiece Film ‘Terri’ and the Persistence of Vision Award Recipient Matthew Barney

Photo by Pamela Gentile, courtesy of San Francisco Film Society Yesterday celebrated the half way point of the San Francisco International Film Festival with its Centerpiece film, Azazel Jacob’s Terri. The film stars John C. Reilly, Jacob Wycobi and Creed Bratton. Terri already screened at Sundance and SXSW earlier this year and has met with mixed reviews. I caught the film... Read More

SFIFF – The Dish and the Spoon

In the opening scene of The Dish and the Spoon, from director Alison Bagnall, we’re introduced to a woman named Rose, driving a car while experiencing some sort of emotional trauma. She stumbles into a convenience store, grabs a six pack of beer and some doughnuts and takes her incoherent fit to a new level when she realizes she doesn’t have her wallet with her. Her... Read More

SFIFF – Blessed Events (Glückliche Fügung)

Blessed Events is one of my favorite films of the entire festival so far. It’s my favorite for many reason, but mostly because I have no idea what it’s really about. I have my guesses, and I know what the festival guide told me, but I can’t be sure.  There were times when I felt sure there was a thread of terror underlying the whole thing.  At other moments... Read More

SFIFF – Black Bread (Pa negre)

Black Bread is one of SFIFF’s more understated films, despite a few fairly grotesque moments. It’s an examination of the effects of politics and war on the Spanish people immediately following the Spanish Civil War. With it’s slight supernatural themes, it firmly reminds us of Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (Sergi Lopez is even cast in a role... Read More

SFIFF – Stake Land

Post-apocalyptic vampire zombies. The only way a movie about post-apocalyptic vampire zombies could be better is if they were Nazis. The monsters in Jim Mickle’s Stake Land are not former members of the Third Reich, but we won’t hold that against him since the movie is pretty freaking awesome. What’s best is that despite the overtly dramatic elements to the... Read More

SFIFF – The Good Life

Film festivals do many good things.  But one of the best is bringing to light documentaries that may never be seen otherwise. One of the best films I ever saw at Sundance was a humanistic doc about Chechnya that was never released outside of festivals in 2007, and still has yet to see DVD or Netflix.  SFIFF has done a good job of selecting worthy documentaries, and Eva Mulvad’s... Read More

SFIFF – Cave of Forgotten Dreams

There has not been a single recent movie released in the past few years–really my whole life–where the inclusion of 3D technology has cause my interest to be piqued more than usual. Until news broke last year, that Werner Herzog was granted limited access to the Chauvet caves in France to film a documentary that would feature the technology. Although I was not originally... Read More