Friday, April 1, 2011


Well, IFFBoston announced their line-up last week and I was getting a little bummed out. Such good picks! Such a great fest in general! Luckily, the San Francisco International Film Fest revealed their picks and tickets went on sale yesterday, which mitigated my disappointment.

A few notes on the differences between the festivals: SFIFF runs for 2 weeks instead of the one for IFFB. IFFB tends to come up with more features I'm desperate to see, so that week at IFFB is pretty intense. My schedule at SFIFF looks to be a lot more leisurely. A couple nights off, a lot of evenings with one film. I considered a marathon stretch one Saturday - they're showing the Mysteries of Lisbon - but I decided I'm unlikely to manage a 4.5 hour film on top of the other two I'm seeing that day. (Although I suppose it's like seeing Red Riding 1974 and 1980 back to back...)

IFFB has fest passes. SFIFF does not, which also means that it's going to end up being a tad more expensive. And annoying - since I can't adjust my schedule on the go - my screenings are locked in at this point.

IFFB uses Festival Genius. SFIFF is retarded in this respect. (How do you have a film fest website without an easily customizable personal calendar?)

They both are in great venues - IFFB mostly at the Somerville and the Brattle, SFIFF mostly at the Kabuki, which I ususally won't shell out for otherwise, but it is swank. Also the Castro.

So - SFIFF's lineup this year: there are a few Sundance/TIFF titles I'm really excited about, but then a lot are ones that I probably wouldn't seek out otherwise, particularly documentares. I think it should make for a really great fest. I'm sure I'll see Tyrannosaur by Paddy Considine at some point, but would I take the time check out the Redemption of General Butt Naked otherwise? I haven't decided whether to buy a ticket to Beginners - the opening night film. On the one hand, I don't want to miss opening night - especially for my first time at this particular fest. On the other hand, tickets are expensive and I've heard pretty mixed reviews for it. Hmmm.

Otherwise - here is what I am looking at for films:
Meek's Cutoff - From director Kelly Reichardt (of Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy). Oregon Trail drama.
Stake Land - Recommended by a friend who caught it at TIFF. Post apocalyptic vampire western road trip. Or something.
Le Quattro Volte - An Italian fable about goats. I think. The first line of the NYTimes review was something along the lines of; Le Quattro Volte is so full of surprises that even to describe it is to risk giving something away. So I haven't read any more. It was an indieWire critical consensus pick of the week.
The Troll Hunter - Got good reviews coming out of Fantastic Fest. Trolls! Dun dun dun.
The Future - Another buzzy sundance pick. From Miranda July. Also stars Hamish Linklater, whom I'm not sure I've seen in anything since Groove. Groove!
Nostalgia for the Light - Stars! Pretty, pretty stars. And probably something about light pollution.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams - 3-d Paleolithic cave paintings! WITH WERNER HERZOG NARRATION! I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!
Get with the Program - Animated Shorts program
The Whistleblower - No idea if this will be any good, but it stars Rachel Weisz.
The Redemption of General Butt Naked - Got great reviews out of Sundance. About reconciliation in Liberia.
La Dolce Vita - What? I've never seen it.
Page One; A Year inside the New York Times - Could be interesting. Probably fluffy, yet entertaining.
Another Earth - One of the buzziest films out of Sundance. Per indieWire; "The 2011 Sundance Film Festival has played host to a slew of fresh faces with multiple films in the lineup. British up-and-comer Juno Temple appeared in “Kaboom” and “Little Birds.” The other Olsen sister, Elizabeth Olsen, had lead roles in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Silent House.” Kyle Gallner, meanwhile, came to Park City to hype his work in “Red State” and “Little Birds.” But none can hold a candle to blonde, brainy beauty Brit Marling, who quickly emerged as this year’s Sundance marvel by arriving with two critically acclaimed films under her belt (sci-fi romance “Another Earth” and the tense thriller “Sound of My Voice”), both of which she co-wrote, co-produced and stars in."
Irresistible Impulses - Shorts program. One with Brendan Gleeson!
Cicumstance - Audience award winner at Sundance about two Iranian teenage girls.
My Joy - I'm not sure if this a darkly comic or just dark look at post USSR-Russia.
The Trip - Winterbottom, Coogan, and Brydon. Hoping I like it more than I liked Tristam Shandy.
Submarine - Supposed to be an awesome coming-of-age tale, and I'm hoping that by seeing it at the fest, I'll avoid any cuts Harvey Weinstein was planning on making. Stars Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Consindine and Craig Roberts (whom I only know as a whiny teen vampire from Being Human, but he's supposed to be quite good in this).
Incendies - Won all the Canadian Oscars last year. Should be good, eh?

So - most likely 19 films in 14 days (compared to 14 films in 7 days at IFFB last year). WOOT.

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