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Thread: San Francisco International Film Festival 2019

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    San Francisco International Film Festival 2019

    San Francisco International Film Festival April 10-23 2019

    FESTIVAL COVERAGE SECTION



    FULL LINEUP ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

    62nd Festival runs April 10–23 at the Castro Theatre, SFMOMA, the Theater at the Children's Creativity Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Dolby Cinema, the Roxie Theater, the Victoria Theatre, BAMPFA, and the Grand Lake Theatre
    Browse the full public program info at sffilm.org. Filmleaf coverage begins soon!
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-08-2019 at 05:34 PM.

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    2019 SFFILM Festival by the Numbers:



    163 Films
    46 Narrative Features
    40 Documentary Features
    4 New Vision Features
    3 Episodic Programs
    70 Shorts
    52 Countries Represented
    36 Languages
    12 World Premieres
    5 North American Premieres
    1 US Premiere
    72 Women Directors (including co-directors)
    In addition to the previously announced Tribute to Laura Dern, the Festival will also presenting in-person onstage tribute conversations with:

    Claire Denis, featuring a screening of her new film High Life starring Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattison – April 11 (read the full press release)

    Laura Linney, with an onstage conversation and a screening of The Savages, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award – April 11 (read the full press release)

    John C. Reilly, in which he will go in-depth on his career and collaborations preceding a screening of his recent film The Sisters Brothers – April 12 (read the full press release)

    SFFILM’s popular Live & Onstage section is as strong as ever, with Boots Riley set to deliver the State of Cinema Address (April 13); LA-based rockers Warpaint performing a live score to Maya Deren shorts (April 19); a special conversation with video artist Kahlil Joseph (April 15); and Jakob Dylan’s band performing after a screening of Andrew Slater’s documentary Echo in the Canyon (read the full press release)

    The Festival’s Launch program, which is comprised of world premieres handpicked by SFFILM's programmers for San Francisco’s special brand of mini-market for select film buyers, is set with five strong debuts: Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly (directed by Cheryl Haines), Colewell (directed by Tom Quinn), The Seer and the Unseen (directed by Sara Dosa), We Believe in Dinosaurs (directed by Clayton Brown and Monica Long Ross), and When I’m a Moth (directed by Zachary Cotler and Magdalena Zyzak) (read the full press release)

    Lulu Wang’s The Farewell will be the Festival’s Centerpiece selection, joining the previously announced Opening Night program featuring Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City and Closing Night selection of Gavin Hood’s Official Secrets (read the full press release)

    The Festival’s Persistence of Vision Award is going this year to Madeline Anderson, a veteran of public television documentary and pioneer of activist filmmaking (read the full press release)

    SFFILM's Mel Novikoff Award will be presented to BBC's Arena documentary series, which will be accepted by Series Editor Anthony Wall preceding an onstage conversation and a screening of James Marsh's Wisconsin Death Trip (read the full press release)

    The George Gund III Award Craft of Cinema Award is going to Claude Jarman, Jr., the acclaimed actor, philanthropist, and champion of the arts who headed the San Francisco Film Society from 1965–1980 (read the full press release)

    Browse the complete list of Festival press releases HERE

    The deadline for media accreditation for the 2019 San Francisco International Film Festival is Friday, March 29. To learn more about media accreditation and for instructions on how to apply, contact Press Office Coordinator Zoe Halsne at zhalsne@sffilm.org.

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-08-2019 at 09:12 PM.

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    Coming reviews.


    The Beast in the Jungle - adaptation of Henry James with an emphasis on dance


    SFIFF 2019 films I've requested screeners of:

    The Beast in the Jungle
    Belmonte
    The Chambermaid
    Close Enemies
    First Night Nerves
    The Harvesters
    In My Room
    Loro
    Midnight Traveler
    Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool
    Mothers’ Instinct
    Red Joan
    RAISE HELL: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins
    Tehran: City of Love
    Walking on Water
    We Believe in Dinosaurs
    Winter’s Night

    Other SFIFF 2019 films I've already seen:

    Asako I & II
    Ask Dr. Ruth
    A Faithful man/L'homme fidel
    Honeyland
    The Load
    Monos
    Midnight Family
    Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
    Ramen Shop
    Suburban Birds

    I will provide reviews of all of these in the Festival Coverage section that I can get to see.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-09-2019 at 12:00 AM.

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    First new reviews:

    A BEAST IN THE JUNGLE (Clara van Gool 2018)

    Who knew that you could dance to a Henry James novella? Well, maybe you can't. But they tried to both at a production at the Vineyard Theater in New York last year, and in this beautiful but not very relatable film in English whose director is Dutch.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Tue, Apr 16 at 6:00 pm SFMOMA
    Wed, Apr 17 at 8:45 pm Creativity Theater


    BELMONTE (Federico Veiroj 2018)

    From the unique Uruguayan director of A Useful Life and The Apostate, a film about an artist played by Gonzalo Delgado, a friend of the director and a real artist who painted all the work abundantly viewed here. He is pretty successful at being an artist, not so great at anything else (I can relate), though he loves his little daughter and ex-wife and he seems to be catnip to women. Elegant, more serious perhaps than the other two films I've seen, less resolved, but with a style and look to be savored.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sun, Apr 14 at 8:00 pm Creativity Theater
    Tue, Apr 16 at 6:15 pm YBCA
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-12-2019 at 03:50 PM.

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    THE CHAMBERMAID/LA CAMARISTA (Lila Avilés 2018)

    This is a stunningly immersive, sometimes almost documentary-feel recreation of a 24-year-old young woman's monotonous work life doing up rooms in a high-rise (42 floors!) luxury (actually Intercontinental) hotel in Mexico City, two hours ride each way from her four-year-old and her bedroom, living with the dream of a red dress or assignment to the coveted 42nd floor. This is beyond miserabilism into a kind of zen concentration. I was asked not to review it because it's coming out soon, so, in the Festival Coverage section, only a couple of quotes and brief summary. Do I see condescension in this numbing picture? Such complexities would require a detailed discussion.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Fri, Apr 19 at 6:00 pm Roxie Theater
    Sun, Apr 21 at 3:15 pm Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive


    CLOSE ENEMIES/FRÈRES ENNEMIS ( David Oelhoffen 2018)

    This is a very classy genre polar noir, a French urban crime thriller, defining a duel between two childhood buddies from the underprivileged crime-crucible banlieue world outside Paris, one of whom becomes a force in an Arab drug clan, the other, actually of Arab origin, now a cop elevated to stupes, the drug branch. Elegant, restrained, and rich in development of the two leads played by the superb Matthias Schoenaerts and impeccable Rida Kateb, this is a pleasure to watch, but not too much fun to deserve being in a film festival even though it remains conventional.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sun, Apr 21 at 4:30 pm Victoria Theatre
    Mon, Apr 22 at 6:00 pm Victoria Theatre
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-12-2019 at 03:48 PM.

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    THE HARVESTERS/DIE STRUPERS (ETIENNE KALLOS 2018)

    In the South Africa Free State Region on a vast cattle farm a family of the dwindling WHITE Afrikaner people. The focus is on a boy who feels threatened when a boy of the streets is adopted by his ultra-religious mother. He also suffers from excessive softness and sensitivity in a community that values masculine toughness above all. Stunning debut by Greek=descent, South African raised Kallos.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sat, Apr 20 at 6:30 pm Roxie Theater
    Sun, Apr 21 at 3:45 pm Roxie Theatre


    HONEYLAND (Tamara Kotevsk, Ljubomir Stefanov 2018)

    Austere but rich, Kotevsk and Stefanov's Honeyland is one of the most immersive and atmospheric documentaries you will see this year. Reviewed for ND/NF, coming also in the San Francisco Film Festival:

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sat, Apr 20 at 1:30 pm BAMPFA - AT RUSH!
    Fri, Apr 19 at 6:00 pm Victoria Theatre -AT RUSH!
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-12-2019 at 03:49 PM.

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    A FAITHFUL MAN/L'HOMME FIDÈLE (Louis Garrel 2018)

    Originally reviewed here at the NYFF, but showing again at San Francisco. A witty, amusing romantic thriller. Louis Garrel's second film as director, co-scripted by the legendary Jean-Claude Carrière, is about a man (played by Garrel) whose girlfriend Marianne (Laetitia Casta) marries his best friend, then returns to him after her husband dies, but with the accompanying problems of a son who doesn't like him and troubling rumors about the husband's death. Coscripted with the great Jean-Claaude Carrière.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Fri, Apr 12 at 6:30 pm Roxie Theater
    Wed, Apr 17 at 6:00 pm YBCA - AT RUSH!

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    MIDNIGHT TRAVELER (Hassan Fazili 2019)

    (Preview) An Afghan refugee family documents their journey from danger at home to uncertainty in the European Union, shooting exclusively with cell phones. Kids make it happier.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Wed, Apr 17 at 6:30 pm SFMoMA
    Thu, Apr 18 at 3:00 pm Creativity Theater
    Fri, Apr 19 at 5:30 pm Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive


    BIRTH OF THE COOL (Stanley Nelson 2018)

    "It wsn't about standing still and becoming safe." An American Masters portrait of Miles Davis. How can you describe a man who led five major phases in the life of jazz music and introduced dozens of important artists? But Stanley Nelson, known for his 2015 portrait of the Black Panthers, has compiled a superb concise portrait with some very well chosen talking heads including Quincy Jones, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, George Wein, Frances Taylor, Carlos Santana, Miles 1980's manager Mark Rothbaum,and others who all have good things to say. And there is Miles himself from writings and interview being read with a simulation of his voice that I take issue with. But, of course, it works.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Fri, Apr 12 at 5:00 pm BAMPFA
    Sun, Apr 14 at 4:00 pm Victoria Theatre {events already passed)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-14-2019 at 07:44 PM.

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    MIDNIGHT FAMIILY (Luke Lorentzen 2018)

    During the New Directors/New Films series I reviewed this prizewinning one-man documentary about the family-run private ambulance service negotiating the streets of Mexico City. It is also showing at the San Francisco Film Festival now, in April. See it at these times and locations:

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sun, Apr 14 at 2:00 pm Dolby Cinema
    Mon, Apr 15 at 3:00 pm SFMOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater
    Thu, Apr 18 at 6:00 pm The Theater at Children's Creativity Museum


    You can also see Louis Garrel's witty and very French romantic comedy, originally reviewed here as part of the NYFF last fall:

    A FAITHFUL MAN/L'HOMME FIDÈLE (Louis Garrel 2018)

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Fri, Apr 12 at 6:30 pm Roxie Theater
    Wed, Apr 17 at 6:00 pm YBCA - AT RUSH!


    The April 12 showing has passed, but you can still line up for Wednesday!
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-15-2019 at 06:46 AM. Reason: E

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    ASK DR. RUTH (Ryan White 2019)

    A documentary on the renowned and loved Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the diminutive sex advisor, who lost her parents in the Holocaust and emigrated to the US, then got a late night Sunday sex advice radio show slot that became a surprise hit. The rest is history. Her story is uplifting and she is a delight.

    San Francisco Film Festival showtime:
    Sun, Apr 21 at 3:00 pm Castro Theatre


    To be released theatrically 3 May and on Hulu 1 June.

    ASAKO I & II (Ryunosuke Hamaguchi 2018)

    Mystery of a young woman who meets the same man later with a different identity. Originally reviewed on Filmleaf as part of the NYFF, it is now showing in the San Francisco Film Festival.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sat, Apr 13 at 3:30 pm Creativity Theater
    EVENT HAS PASSED
    Wed, Apr 17 at 8:30 pm YBCA
    Tue, Apr 23 at 3:30 pm Victoria Theatre


    FIRST NIGHT NERVES (Stanley Kwan 2018)

    This campy, intricately plotted about two actresses in Hong Kong helmed by Hong Kong's only openly gay director will greatly appeal to some. Others might best stay away. A sellout at the SF Film Fest!

    SFFILM showtmes:
    Thu, Apr 11 at 8:00 pm BAMPFA - EVENT HAS PASSED
    Sat, Apr 13 at 7:30 pm SFMOMA Phyllis Wattis Theater - EVENT HAS PASSED
    Fri, Apr 19 at 1:00 pm YBCA - AT RUSH!
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-15-2019 at 07:10 AM.

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    THE LOAD/TERET (Ognjen Glavonić 2018)

    A man is driving a truck from Kosovo to Belgrade during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. A grim Wages of Fear whose load is never clearly defined but gradually assumes relationship with some unnamed atrocity. A grim but stylish first film. I originally reviewed this as part of New Directors/New Films.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Thu, Apr 18 at 6:00 pm - Roxie Theater
    Sun, Apr 21 at 6:00 pm - BAMPFA
    Mon, Apr 22 at 3:30 pm - Victoria Theatre
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 04-15-2019 at 07:24 AM.

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    MONOS (Alejandro Landes 2018)

    I originally reviewed this at New Directors/New Films. It's now showing at the San Francisco Film Festival.

    This visually and aurally exhilarating feat of cinematic pyrotechnics is not to be missed.

    "Wild and unhinged, full of surrealistic visuals and a pulsing score, Monos brings a tense, disturbing twist to the war-film genre, with flavors of Apocalypse Now (1979) and Lord of the Flies (1990). A group of young soldiers, part of a rebel group called The Organization, is tasked to keep their hostage, 'Doctora' (a bad-ass Julianne Nicholson), alive." -- SFFILM blurb.

    Landes was born in Brazil, grew up in Ecuador and Colombia, and studied politics at Brown University.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sat, Apr 20 at 9:00 pm - Victoria Theatre
    Tue, Apr 23 at 3:30 pm - Roxie Theatre

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    SUBURBAN BIRDS 郊区 的 鸟 (Qiu Sheng 2018)

    A haunting and subtle first film where the past invades the present as we watch young surveyors investigating sinking land while children play around the same area. In Mandarin. Would reward multiple viewings.

    SFFILM showtime:s
    Thu, Apr 11 at 6:00 pm - Roxie Theater (EVENT HAS PASSED)
    Fri, Apr 19 at 9:00 pm - Roxie Theater


    It will also be showing at Roxie Theater starting May 10.

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    TONI MORRISON: THE PIECES I AM (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders 2019)

    An American Masters film about the renowned and beloved (no pun intended) novelist and Nobel Prize winner. I screened this film earlier while in New York but cannot comment on Morrison's writing because I haven't read any of it.

    SFFILM showtimes:
    Sun, Apr 14 at 1:00 pm - Victoria Theatre - (EVENT HAS PASSED)
    Sat, Apr 20 at 7:30 pm - Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive

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    LORO (Paolo Sorrentino 2018)

    Premier Italian filmmaker and erstwhile successor to Federico Fellini Paolo Sorrentino (IL DIVO, LA GRANDE BELLEZZA) produces his take on longtime PM, media mogul and richest man in Italy, and criminal and manipulator of the courts, Silvio Berlusconi. Again the star is the director's collaborator great Toni Servillo. Fabulous filmmaking, awesome acting. But the point of view - is it too symathetic? The scenes of the nearly naked young women unsuitable post-#MeToo? Plus this was originally two parts, LORO I and LORO II, and this is a condescension that may bring out the worst of both halves. Still, if contemporary Italy interests you, this is a must-see.

    Only one San Francisco Film Festival screening:


    SFFILM Showtime:
    Sat, Apr 20 at 3:00 pm Castro Theatre



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