Thanks to the good auspices of Kevin Smokler (who I met at South By Southwest), I get a press pass to the San Francisco International Film Festival as part of the Citizen Media Press Corps. I love the movies with a passion, and the film festival circuit is a great place to catch movies that aren’t out in popular release yet. There are also some movies that you can probably only see on the festival circuit. For the next week, expect a lot of posts about the movies, which I’ll file under Society | At My Leisure. Here’s what I’ll be up to with my press pass audaciously hanging from my neck.
On Saturday at 4.30PM at the Kabuki, I’m going to watch Hana. This is Hirokazu Kore-eda’s first samurai movie. Kore-eda apparently always wanted to make a samurai movie, and dabble in the genre that so captivated my imagination after watching Akira Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai, Ran, and Yojimbo. There’s something about the reluctant (and perhaps fumbling and incapable) warrior with a sense of duty in the face of unpleasant circumstance that speaks to me personally. I’m really looking forward to it.
Later on in the evening, armed with a press pass, a blazer, and sheer panache, I’m going to try and hit the W hotel for the Midnight Awards party, honoring Rosario Dawson and Sam Rockwell. And even later on still, the Surya Dub guys are throwing their Saturday night party.
On Sunday I’m going to check out Desperately Seeking Images. Amongst other things, it includes short films made by camera phones. The whole short film genre is something I’m entirely ignorant of, and so I’m considering this an exercise in genre expansion.
I’m really compelled to check out Brazilian film The 12 Labors, either on Sunday night or later. It takes Heracles’ 12 Tasks as mythological inspiration for one young adult’s trials in modern day Sao Paulo. Using Greco-Roman myth as inspiration for a contemporary Brazilian story has been done before, notably with Orfeu Negro (made in 1959) and a mediocre 1999 remake. Brazilian cinema continues to floor me, with Eu Tu Eles, City of God and Carandiru. I have high expectations.
Other events I may try and catch include a night of readings and discussions in honor of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road (50 years later!) with folks like Peter Coyote (making it a very San Francisco event), and a conversation with Spike Lee, in which a screening of episodes III and IV of his documentary “When the Levees Broke” takes place.
This is the 50th Anniversary of this film festival. I still can’t believe I scored a press pass. It’s going to be an interesting weekend.