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Thread: San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2019

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    San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 2019



    The 2019 San Francisco Jewish Film Festival begins soon.

    FESTIVAL COVERAGE THREAD



    ACTOR ANTON YELCHIN, DEAD IN A TRAGIC FREAK ACCIDENT IN 2016, REMEMBERED IN LOVE, ANTOSHA

    LINKS TO REVIEWS:

    Abe (Fernando Grostein Andrade 2019)
    Advocate (Rachel Leah Jones, Phillipe Bellaiche 2019) CAPSULE
    Beyond the Bolex (Alyssa Bolsey 2018) CAPSULE
    Black Hat (Sarah Smith 2019) [short]
    Carl Laemmle (James Freedman 2018)
    Curtiz (Tamás Yvan Topolánszky 2018)
    ECHO הד’ /HED (Amikam Kovner, Assar Snir 2018)
    Henri Dauman: Looking Up (Peter Jones 2018)
    It Must Schwing! - The Blue Note Story (Eric Friedler 2018)
    Jerusalem_in_Between (Pietro Pinto 2018) [short]
    Leona (Isaac Cherem 2018) CAPSULE
    Love, Antosha (Garret Price 2019) CAPSULE
    My Polish Honeymoon/Lune de miel (Élise Otzenberger 2018)
    Safe Spaces (Daniel Schechter 2019)
    Standing Up, Facing Down (Matt Ratner 2019)
    Tel Aviv on Fire (Sameh Zoabi 2018)
    Tobacconist, The/Der Trafikant (Nikolaus Leytner 2018) CAPSULE
    What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (Rob Garver 2019)




    SFJFF:40,000 attendees, the 39th year, biggest of its kind. It unreels in five Bay Area venues: the grand old Castro Theatre in San Francisco, Cinearts in Palo Alto, the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, and the Landmark Piedmont Theater in Oakland.

    Some interesting films of SFJFF 2019:

    Tel Aviv on Fire (Sameh Zoabi 2018) (Centerpiece Film) It's about a young Palestinian who becomes a writer on a popular Israeli TV dramatic series through a chance meeting with an Israeli soldier. Then different forces involved differ intensely on how the show should end. (July 26)

    What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael (Rob Garver 2019) is a new documentary about Pauline Kael, just about the most exciting and controversial film critic in American history, who wrote for The New Yorker for many years after a lively earlier career that began in Berkeley, California.

    Abe, (Fernando Grostein Andrade 2019) with Mark Margolis of "Breaking Bad" and Brazilian musician Seu Jorge of City of God) and starring Noah Schnapp of "Stranger Things." Noah plays Abe, a 12-year-old half Israeli-halfe Palestinian kid in Brooklyn who's a precocious cook. He tries to unite the cuisines of the two sides of his background that he unites in his own genes. Problems arise.

    Love, Antosha (Garret Price 2019), a biography and remembrance of Anton Yelchin, young Russian Jewish emigrant actor in Hollywood who died at 27 in a freak accident right outside his own house in 2016. Among other things he had played Bobby in Hearts in Atlantis (2001), Chekov in the "Star Trek" (2009) reboot, Charlie Brewster in the Fright Night (2011) remake, and Jacob in Like Crazy (2011). He was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), Russia, USSR, to a Jewish family. Loved by many, he had many years and roles ahead of him.


    PAULINE KAEL OF WHAT SHE SAID
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 08-01-2019 at 10:59 PM.

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    My Filmleaf SFJFF 2019 reviews are starting now. You will find them in the FESTIVAL COVERAGE SECTION.

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    CARL LAEMMLE (James Freedman 2018)

    Before it was only the name of a movie theater in Los Angeles for me. Now I know why. A German Jewish emigrant at 17, he eventually started Universal Studios, fought Thomas Edison's tireless monopolistic efforts in the industry, made a lot of important films, discovered many great stars, and found Irving Thalberg, and then saved 300 German Jewish families from the Nazis. This enthusiastic documentary is a good introduction to a significant slice of film history.

    SFJFF showtimes:
    Friday July 19, 2019 11 am Castro
    Sat July 20 11:30 a.m. CineArts
    Sat July 27 12 pm Albany Twin
    Fri. Aug 2 2 pm Smith Rafael


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-18-2019 at 12:31 PM.

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    ECHO הד’ /HED (Amikam Kovner, Assaf Snir 2018)

    ECHO הד’ /HED (Amikam Kovner, Assaf Snir 2018) Israeli husband taps cheating wife's phone. A polished, classy production but without quite the edge of the noir material it dips into.

    SFJFF showtimes:
    Friday July 19, 2019 3:40 at the Castro
    Mon. July 33 8:30 at CineArts
    Sat. July 27 8:50 at Albany Twin

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-19-2019 at 04:41 PM.

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    SAFE SPACES (Daniel Schechter 2019)

    Justin Long plays a man child in a New York Jewish family whose grandmother is in her last days. Domestic drama takes up a lot of the jokey, violent action while a contemporary subplot features his trouble with injudicious behavior in a writing class he teaches involving a sexual incident on a date he persuades a girl student to describe in front of the whole class. While a lot of the line readings are flailing and improvisational, it's a pleasure to see Richard Schiff, of "The West Wing," deliver his dialogue decisively.

    SFJFF Showtimes;
    Saturday July 20, 2019 8:50 at the Castro
    Sun., July 21 6:10 at CineArts; Wed. July 31 8:30 pm Albany
    Sunday August 4, 6:30 p.m. San Rafael.



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    IT MUST SCHWING! THE BLUE NOTE STORY (Eric Friedler 2018)

    A second, even better, documentary about this key jazz record label created and run by two German Jews who fled from Nazi Germany. Narrated by a who's who of living jazz legends and several jazz historians, and enlivened by handsome animations and graphics. A must-see for jazz fans.

    Showing tomorrow and two other days at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.
    SFJFF showtimes:
    Saturday July 20 1:15 Castro Theater
    Tues., July 23 12:30 CineArts
    Sat. July 28 1 pm Albany twin



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    ABE (Fernando Grostein Andrade 2019)

    If you're not too demanding this movie may charm you, but this boy fusion chef drama is too conflictual for kids and too simplistic for adults. Featuring the then 15-year-old Noah Schnapp in the lead as a Brooklyn boy with advanced culinary aspirations (like Flynn McGarry et al.) who's Palestinian Muslim on his father's side and Israeli Jew on his mother's.

    Showing in the Bay Area in the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival starting tomorrow.
    SFJFF showtimes:
    Saturday July 20, 2019 11:15 am Castro
    Sun., July 28 11 am Albany Twin


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-20-2019 at 12:59 AM.

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    LEONA (Isaac Cherem 2018)

    CAPSUE REVIEW. A Jewish girl falls for a goy and it is not tolerated. A bit of a shocker, because it shows the unmodern exclusiveness of the upper class Mexico City Jewish community it depicts in realistic and in some ways glowing detail. The director knows whereof he speaks, his star and cowriter Naian González Norvind is disarmingly open, and apparently the community in question was not pleased at this film.

    SFJFF showtimes:
    Sunday, July 21 8:45 pm CineArts
    Wed. July 24 4:15 pm Castro
    Sat. Aug 3, 6:35 pm Piedmont Theater
    Sun., Aug 4 8:45 pm Smith Rafael


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-20-2019 at 08:55 PM.

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    THE TABACCONIST/DER TRAFIKANT (Nicolaus Leytner 2018)

    Adaptation of Robert Seethaler's fanciful German bestseller about a boy from the country who becomes an apprentice in a tobacco shop in Vienna as the Nazis rise and Jewish persecution dominates. A friendly bond develops between the young Frantz (Simon Morzé) and their most famous customer, Professor Freud (the late Bruno Ganz in one of his last roles), and Freud helps him with his love-obsession. All this is a little unconvincing, but it's touching, and the detailed recreation of last-Thirties Austria is a delight. CAPSULE REVIEW.

    Presented in the SFJFF.
    SFJFF showtimes:
    Tuesday July 23, 2019 8:10 p.m. CineArts
    Thursday July 25, 2019 8:55 p.m. Castro Theatre
    Saturday August 3, 2019 1:35 p.m. Smith Rafael
    Sunday August 4, 2019 6:15 p.m. Piedmont Theatre


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-22-2019 at 09:11 AM.

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    BLACK HAT (Sarah Smith 2018)

    A 14-minute short film shown with the feature City of Joel, this depicts a young ultra-Orthodox Jew who leads a secret life exploring his forbidden gay sexuality. The way his secret is saved from exposure this time shows that he is not alone.

    SFJFF showtimes for City of Joel:
    Monday July 22, 2019 1:15 p.m. CineArts
    Thursday July 25, 2019 3:45 p.m. Castro Theatre
    Tuesday July 30, 2019 1:00 p.m. Albany Twin

    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-22-2019 at 09:07 AM.

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    TEL AVIV ON FIRE (Sameh Zoabi 2018)

    An enjoyably slapdash comedy about a Palestinian TV soap opera depicting romance, spying, and terrorists in 1967 Israel before the Six Day War. A Palestinian slacker (Kais Nashif, who wan Best Actor at Venice for his performance) becomes a success through an unexpected collaboration on the writing with a IDF officer at a checkpoint. CAPSULE REVIEW.

    A limited US release starts July 26, 2019.

    SFJFF showtimes:
    Wednesday July 24, 2019 5:45 p.m. CineArts
    Thursday July 25, 2019 6:10 p.m. Castro Theatre
    Friday July 26, 2019 6:25 p.m. Albany Twin
    Saturday August 3, 2019 8:40 p.m. Smith Rafael


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 07-22-2019 at 09:10 AM.

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    STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN (Matt Rattner 2019)

    A bittersweet coming home buddy comedy. Two comics, Ben Schwartz and Billy Crystal, play the leads in Matt Rattner's debut feature written by Peter Hoare. They meet in the men's room of a bar in eastern Long Island after Schwartz's character has returned to live with his parents at 34 because he couldn't make it in standup in Los Angeles. Cryltal is a lonely, drunken dermatologist in Ben's hometown and they become pals. Thus we meet the people around them. The story has nowhere much to go, but it is fun seeing the two play together, and the various other characters, of which there are a few too many, are well differentiated.

    SFJFF showtimes:
    Thursday July 25, 2019 6:00 p.m. CineArts
    Saturday July 27, 2019 6:05 p.m. Castro Theatre
    Sunday July 28, 2019 3:25 p.m. Albany Twin
    Saturday August 3, 2019 6:25 p.m. Smith Rafael



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    BEYOND THE BOLEX (Alyssa Bolsey 2018)

    Russian emigre to Switzerland created myriad photographic inventions. His great-granddaughter discovered who he was an what he did and made this film, a labor of many years. The invention that lives on is the classic "Swiss Army knife of portable movie cameras," the 16mm Bolex. It was used in early work by some major modern directors, and through their careers by a number of experimental filmmakers including Bruce Brown, Jonas Mekas, Darren Arronofsky, Stephen Speilberg, Christopher Nolan, Wim Wenders, Ridley Scott, David Lynch, Michel Gondry. CAPSULE.

    SFJFF showtimes:
    Thursday July 25, 2019 6:00 p.m. CineArts
    Saturday July 27, 2019 6:05 p.m. Castro Theatre
    Sunday July 28, 2019 3:25 p.m. Albany Twin
    Saturday August 3, 2019 6:25 p.m. Smith Rafae



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    HENRI DAUMAN: LOOKING UP (Peter Kenneth Jones 2018)

    A French Holocaust survivor - but he never talked about that. He came to New York at age 17 in 1950, alone, an orphan, an uncle named Sam his guardian, and through hard work, determination, and flair became a highly successful maker of iconic photographs whom nobody has heard about. Major subjects include John and Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Brigitte Bardot, Elvis Presley, and many more. This short made by the boyfriend of a granddaughter left me wishing for more.

    Showtimes SFJFF:
    Thursday July 25, 2019 11:40 a.m. CineArts
    Friday July 26, 2019 11:15 a.m. Castro Theatre
    Wednesday July 31, 2019 1:30 p.m. Albany Twin



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    LOVE, ANTOSHA (Garrett Price 2019)

    An elegy and a love letter to Anton Yelchin, who made 69 movies by the age of 27, bravely fought CF, loved his Russian Jewish emigre parents with a passion, had many friends, was creative, passionate, tireless, and intelligent, and then was killed in a freak accident at the gateway of his own house. He was just about to direct his own film. Tears must be shed.

    SFJFF showtime:
    Monday July 29, 2019 6:00 p.m. Albany Twin
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; Today at 09:17 PM.



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