Saturday, April 6, 2013

SFIFF! Part 2: My picks

So, here's what I'm going to try to go see this year:

First up, I'm going to see most of the shorts that are in competition. If I do get to screen again next fall, I want to have a good sense of what made it through this year. And I want to see what wins this year!  And I already mentioned the Peaches doc and concert and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Serendipitously, I'm seeing Much Ado About Nothing, Stories We Tell, and Peaches Does Herself all on my birthday. That's a pretty epic line-up.

Also, this happened:
Sarah Polley's marketing people tweeted at me! (Have I mentioned that I love her? *cough*titleofthisblog*cough*)

Plus Stories We Tell? Looks amazing. I can't wait.

And obviously I've been excited about Much Ado for months. I was tickled pink when the first SFIFF communique used the Fran Kranz header photo.

Here, have a trailer:

And the rest? I won't list all the film descriptions, which are available here. But here are my thoughts on most of what I'm going to:

I am absolutely DESPERATE to see Leviathan. It's an experimental art doc about a fishing boat. It looks gorgeous:

I'm super excited for The East, because it stars my fest favorite Brit Marling and it's about an eco-terrorist group. It got mixed reviews out of Sundance, but Another Earth didn't get great reviews and I LOVED that film. (Maybe not on the mixed reviews? Maybe just the ones I saw; criticWire has it at B+)

The Kill Team is competing in the documentary category. I tend to skip war documentaries, because... war documentary. But this one not only looks well done, but it is by a bay area director that a work colleague of mine knows. So I'm gonna go check it out.

[I'm sure there are people out there who have seen Restrepo, Hell and Back Again, Taxi to the Dark Side, Operation Homecoming, Iraq in Fragments, My Country My Country, Control Room, Gunner Palace, No End in Sight, The Tillman Story, and Armadillo... (I'm sure I'm missing a few). But I have a really hard time forcing myself to watch depressing documentaries. Which is bad - choosing ignorance is not good. But... too many dark films are also probably bad for your psyche. And when there are only so many hours in a day, devoting 2 to a war doc just doesn't really happen for me. And then when I think about that, I feel like I'm being unfair to our soldiers, who actually go and fight and live war for years, because I can't find any time in between Archer and Buster Keaton to educate myself on what is happening there. Not that *my* watching a war film makes any difference to their experience... My brain runs in circles. Anyways. I'm going to go see THIS war doc.]

There's going to be a showing of a restored copy of The Mattei Affair at the Castro. One of the SFIFF workers said that was one of the screenings he was really looking forward to. I've never heard of it, but all the reviews I've read call it a masterpiece.

Everything I heard about The Act of Killing coming out of -Berlin? I think it was- made this sound riveting. Plus "[a]s legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, one of the film’s executive producers, says, “I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal and frightening in at least a decade…It is unprecedented in the history of cinema.”" Must-see, right?

Computer Chess got lots of love at Sundance and SXSW and it sounds absurd and amusing.

Prince Avalanche is David Gordon Green (I loved Snow Angels), with Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, so I think it should be interesting.

The Last Step was a maybe for me. I still - still! - haven't gotten around to seeing A Separation, but I do want to, and this is the same lead actress. 

The Strange Little Cat is in competition for the New Director's prize, and has an A rating on criticWire.

Tall as the Baobab Tree is also in competition in New Directors. I tend not to watch trailers for the films I don't know anything about, because I like going in relatively unspoiled, but I watched this one, and thought it looked beautiful and interesting. Plus I like African films:

Tall as the Baobab Tree (Grand comme le Baobab) TRAILER from Jeremy Teicher on Vimeo.

I heard good things about The Kings of Summer coming out of Sundance, so I'm checking it out. 

You're Next is my midnight film this year. I've had pretty good luck in the past with Stake Land, Troll Hunter, and John Dies at the End.

I don't really know much about Afternoon Delight, or whether it has had good reviews elsewhere, but I like Kathryn Hahn and Juno Temple, so I'm going to hit that one up.

A few more I plan to catch, that I don't really know anything about:
Pearblossom Hwy (A on criticWire)
Nights with Theodore (B on criticWire)
Dom: A Russian Family (A- on criticWire)

There are plenty of others that look interesting (A Hijacking, Chaika, In the Fog, Marketa Lazarov√°). But, again, I do have work and sleep to attend to as well....

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