||topic: SFIFF-50 micro advances
on April 25, 2007 - 6:13 PM PDT
|Today, as the country's oldest, the San Francisco International Film Festival, opens its 50th season, choices from hundreds of events confront the viewer, so here's a handful of suggestions in epigrammatic format. For detailed information, see http://fest07.sffs.org/.
Japan, 2006, 127 minutes
Director: Kore-eda Hirokazu
THE DIRECTOR of the quirky contemporary urban drama, "Nobody Knows," in a loving tribute to Kurosawa with this vibrant historical drama about the ronin, samurais without masters, wandering warriors as the old order fell apart. Junichi Okada and Rie Miyazawa (memorably of "Tony Takitani") are superb, along with the large cast.
April 28, 4:30 and May 2, 6:45 - Kabuki; May 5, 5:45 - Pacific Film Archive
ALL IN THIS TEA
USA/China, 2006, 70 min.
Directors: Les Blank, Gina Leibrecht
PASSION combined with expertise makes an exciting story, whatever the subject. Here, it's all about tea, specifically on the Chinese branch of the ancient preoccupation with the brew. Follow Marin tea importer David Lee Hoffmann's quest for the very best, cost be damned. And what is Werner Herzog doing in the film?
April 28, 1:30 - Pacific Film Archive; April 29, 4:45 and May 2, 4 - Kabuki
THE YACOUBIAN BUILDING
Egypt, 2006, 172 minutes (yes, 3 hours!)
Director: Omaret Yacoubian
LIVES intersect in this Cairo apartment house, along with Egyptian past and present. Religions, family traditions, the contemporary world mix in a historical, and yet human-scale story, including family feuds, Islamic revolutionaries, police brutality - all told clearly and well. At three hours, "The Yacoubian Building" goes by in a flash.
May 6, 2; May 9, 1:30; May 10, 7 - Kabuki
LOVE FOR SALE: SUELY IN THE SKY
Brazil/Germany/France/Portugal, 2006, 90 minutes
Director: Karim Ainouz
AINOUZ'S "Madame Sata" was a big hit here four seasons ago, and lively, robust "Love for Sale" is sure to follow suit. Hermila Guedes plays the role of a spunky, down-on-her-luck woman, who sets up business in a small Northeastern town in Brazil, selling the only asset she has.
May 4, 9:45 and May 7, 6:15 - Kabuki; May 10, 9:10 - Pacific Film Archive
WONDERS ARE MANY
(The Making of "Doctor Atomic")
USA, 2007, 94 minutes
Director: Jon Else
THIS DRAMA of global import is all-local: Jon Else's documentary about J. Robert Oppenheimer's leadership in developing the atom bomb, John Adams' "Doctor Atomic" premiering at the San Francisco Opera, director Peter Sellars charming and cursing his way through preparations so that the saga of the Bomb didn't turn out to be one.
April 28, 9 - Castro; April 30, 9:10 - Pacific Film Archive; May 3, 6:30 - Kabuki; May 6, 7 and 9:30 - Intersection for the Arts
AD LIB NIGHT
Korea, 2006, 99 minutes
Director: Lee Yoon-ki
A YOUNG WOMAN in Seoul resembles the estranged daughter of a dying man. She is asked to pretend to be the other woman to ease the last moments of the father. Instead of a soap, the film turns out to be complex, unpredictable, fascinating. Hyo-ju Han, playing the girl, makes a huge impression.
May 7, 9; May 8, 3:45; May 10, 5 - Kabuki