SFIFF59: A Case for Female Documentarians

SFIFF59 made a strong case for supporting the work of female documentarians. I have been thinking a lot recently about how female documentarians are good at effacing themselves for the service of the story, and several of the festival’s films proved my point. Though women are telling, framing, and editing, the film is not about…

Moments: Film Talks at SFIFF 59

Critical film moments and moments in film history were the subjects du jour in this year’s cinema talks at the San Francisco International Film Festival. In his State of the Cinema address, New York Times’ Wesley Morris cites the precise moment which radicalized the actor Sidney Poitier: the “slap back” moment in 1967’s In the…

SFIFF 59: Hong Kong Trilogy

The renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle is originally from Sydney, but clearly loves his adopted hometown of Hong Kong, as beautifully shown by his latest directorial effort, Hong Kong Trilogy: Preschooled Preoccupied Preposterous. The film opens with steady, brave shots of the spaces between Hong Kong’s towering apartment buildings; his love for the city and his sensitive…

SFIFF 59: Home Care and Five Nights in Maine

The care of the self and the care of others are frequently at odds. Where does the care of the self end and the care for others begin? Are they inextricable from each other? Are they one and the same? What is selfish and what is selfless? Home Care and Five Nights in Maine (currently playing…

SF International Film Festival 59: Leonine Films Picks

Whit Stillman meets Jane Austen in Love and Friendship…David Oyelowo and Dianne Wiest duke it out (emotionally) in Five Nights in Maine…Aliens turns 30…Kiyoshi Kurosawa travels between love and the afterlife in Journey to the Shore…Chantal Akerman and her mother explore a delicate relationship in No Home Movie…Anna Rose Holmer packs a punch with her…

SFIFF56: The Last Step (Peleh Akhar) by Ali Mosaffa

A sophisticated piece of storytelling: Mr. Mosaffa shows us how it’s done. He has a sure hand, confident in his non-linear storytelling and in the rich emotional world his actors create. This film is a sophisticated meditation on the stories we tell ourselves and each other, whether to protect, to deceive, to harm, or to…