Tag Archives: San Francisco International Film Festival

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 7 – “Animation Shorts”, “Our Homeland”, or “Kazoku no kuni” and “Computer Chess”

TRAM_04Some animation with a little Christopher Plummer narration, a glimpse into a heartbreaking repatriation situation, and a nostalgic 1980s’ stylization of computer nerds playing chess. Let’s begin.

Read More…

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 6 – The Act of Killing

Act_of_killing_01My plan was to catch two movies today, but sometimes “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray”. Am I right, Robert Burns, or am I right? Long story short, I was in dire need of a quick power nap after work. So, in the spirit of Mr. Burns (the poet, not Homer Simpson’s boss) I told myself, “what Adam’s body wants, Adam’s body gets”. Deep poetry, I know. My quick power nap turned into a 2-hour siesta and, before I knew it, I missed the last festival screening of Olivier AssayasSomething in the Air. All was not lost though. I woke up in time to scoot on over to Berkeley’s PFA and catch The Act of Killing. Besides, Assayas’ film is planned for a limited release run here in San Francisco two weeks from now. Read More…

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 5 – “Youth Works”, “Prince Avalanche” and “Ernest & Celestine” or “Ernest et Célestine”

Prince_Avalanche_03Having gotten up earlier than planned, thanks to my choosing to bunk with an energetic early bird, my start was an early one. I arrived at the theatre 2 hours before the start of my first movie. What happened then, you ask? Well I’ll tell ya what happened. Read More…

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 4 – “Just the Wind” and “Cold War”

Just_the_wind_03Before I begin my report of what I watched I’d like to point out that “officially” this is the 6th day of the festival, but being that I refuse to recognize the Opening Night film as a day, and considering I was unable to attend anything on Monday, I’m calling this Day 4. If you don’t like it, tough noogies! Now, that that’s out of the way, here’s how Day 4 went. Read More…

Filmbalaya’s Guide to SFIFF56 2013

SFIFF56_lens_creative_logo-1The fifty-sixth incarnation of the San Francisco Film Festival is hot on the tracks for (at the time of this writing) another week and a half, and Filmbalaya is here to tell you what you should see and what you shouldn’t necessarily spend your time on! Our healthy and entirely objective star system filters out the fat from the meat like a tennis racket panning gold… A very, very finely woven tennis racket that is. You can’t always afford a perfect panning system.

Anyway, you get the idea. This will be a living document, much like (hypothetically) the Constitution and Keith Richards. Read More…

Tom’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 4 – “Night Across The Street”, “The East”, and “Key of Life”

East_01What a better way to spend a beautiful, sunny San Francisco day than to watch some films at a film festival? With one exception it was well worth it! Here are a couple that I saw today, as well as Key of Life thrown in there for good measure.

Read More…

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 3 – “Marketa Lazarová” and “The Pirogue”

Marketa_Lazarova_01Two movies today, both at the Berkeley venue. One of which took place in the middle ages and the other in the middle of the ocean.

This first film, Frantisek Vlácil‘s 1966 enchantingly beautiful and often grimy Marketa Lazarová, was being shown in honor of George Gund, III, who passed away in January after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer. Aside from being a very generous donator to the San Francisco Film Society, as well as Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive, George was also an advent lover of foreign cinema, particularly films from the Czech Republic. As was announced before the film began, George’s love for Marketa Lazarová grew with every re-watch, which apparently there were several. He said – now, I’m paraphrasing here – he had a strong need to keep coming back to this film, both for its beauty and to discover yet another layer of the film that he had previously not seen.

Well, George, after my virgin viewing of this film that you so admired, I must say, I too now feel a wanting urge to return to this barbaric world, some time sooner than later. Perhaps the PFA will add this to their schedule during their tribute to you later on this year. So, now that you know I liked Marketa, here’s what I have to say about it. Read More…

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 2 – “Penance” or “Shokuzai”

Penance_02Day two at San Francisco’s International Film Festival and thanks to an on-going battle with my overactive bladder I spent it uncomfortably sitting through an engaging five hours of Kiyoshi Kurosawa‘s latest project, the episodic Penance.  A suggestion if I may to the programming department, how about two 10-minute breaks every two hours instead of one 10-minute break after three hours when you’re going to show these long things? Or maybe you’d be willing to slow down the scrolling of the credits that appear after each of the episodes in order to give everybody a quick 5 minutes to maybe stretch, get some water, check on their loved ones, or, I don’t know, EMPTY THEIR STONEFILLED BLADDER!! I fully recognize my selfish requests from the hard working men and women who put this festival together, but I am in dire need of an outlet to vent my recent frustrations to which my body has been causing me of late, and I figure what’s the point of owning your own blog if you can’t go off topic and vent every now and then?

Okay, now that that’s out of my system, on with a focused review of Penance Read More…

Adam’s SFIFF56 Report: Day 1 – “The Artist and the Model” or “El artista y la modelo” or “L’artiste et son modèle”

Artist_and_the_model_02Due to scheduling conflicts, and more importantly, the recent unexpected and most unwelcome arrival of a recent stone in a certain part of my body (TMI?) I was only able to attend one screening. And as much as I would love to report to you that this one screening went off without incident, I’d be lying if I did. Let me clarify, this incident I speak of had nothing to do with my recent discovery of a diamond in my stuff, thank God for that. I’m talking about a small technical issue with the digital file of the movie. In short, the subtitles weren’t working. Although this formatting snafu was cause for many viewers to get their tickets refunded, there was still a great deal of people who choose to stay. I want to assume that those who stayed are the ones who understand French, but we all know what happens when you assume. Besides, I stayed for the entire movie and autre que dire le bonjour, oui, et je t’aime, je ne pourrais pas parler un autre mot du Français pour sauver ma vie, which translates to, “other than saying hello, yes, and I love you, I couldn’t speak another word of French to save my life.” Thank you, Google translator.

I once heard Jim Jarmusch say in an interview that he would often watch foreign films without subtitles and still be able to, for the most part, follow the story. Well, if my favorite American director can do it then I feel I should at least give it a try? Read More…

%d bloggers like this: