Tag Archives: San Francisco film festival

SFIFF 57 Report: Chris Messina’s “Alex of Venice”, Zaza Urushadze’s “Tangerines” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Night Moves”

Alex of Venice


four-stars4Chris Messina‘s directorial debut, and the Closing Night film at the San Francisco International Film Festival, is a very warm, honest portrayal of a… how do you say… late young adulthood-life crisis.  It involves two young parents, one, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a very busy and career-focused woman; her husband, played by Messina, who is growing tired of an adolescence lost, and her father and sister (Don Johnson and the writer of the film, Katie Nehra).  It is a warm, often funny, but uncompromisingly honest film; often, for instance, when plot offerings appear which most filmmakers would seize and milk every bit of drama out of, this film will brush over them and move on to more truly important elements, though to be fair it can get a bit sentimental.

With fantastic acting, especially by Winstead, who seems to be able to express a full range of emotion and expression almost without moving, and Johnson’s aging thespian father, it is certainly worth a watch.  As a post script, the inclusion of The Cherry Orchard as a contrapuntal underlying element was very poignant. Read More…

Get Excited San Francisco! SFIFF54 Is On Its Way

There’s just no ifs, ands, or buts about it, the San Francisco International Film Festival (official website) is the grand daddy of all festivals for not only San Francisco, but the entire Northern California region.  Regardless of what genre of film is your favorite, this year’s festival is guaranteed to have something for you.  There’s a slew of world premieres, a ridiculous amount of documentaries, including both Errol Morris‘ and Werner Herzog‘s latest (the latter of the two is in 3D!), tons of Q&A sessions with many of the filmmakers, parties, workshops, plus a Sasquatch and a Troll!

As always, be sure to check back in with Filmbalaya at least a week before the event begins as we start to post up reviews of this year’s films, spoiler free of course.

More info on all these great festival happenings, plus ticket and venue info along with a sneak peek at some of the short films in their entirety can be found after the jump. Read More…

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