SFIFF53: Dispatch #3, Picks Through Wednesday

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Coverage of the San Francisco International Film Festival by Rumpus Film editor Jeremy Hatch.

Today and over the next few days, I’ll be filing reports on the festival events and one-time screenings I attended over the weekend — opening night, Don Hertzfeld, Walter Murch, Sam Green’s Utopia in Four Movements — but for now I just want to throw out some more film and event recommendations for today and the next few days, now that I’m a few days older and slightly wiser. Click through to read them.

Monday, April 26th (that’s today!)
I know I already mentioned this one the other day, but tonight at 9:30 at the Kabuki, Derek Waters is going to present some of his films onstage, including selections from his Drunken History series, and Wholphin’s Brent Hoff will be interviewing Waters onstage. Last night I heard programmer Sean Uyehara say of this event: “I really have no idea what’s going to happen.” I’ll be there. Tickets are still available at the theater!

In the East Bay at PFA, the Peddler at 6:30 looks like a really promising documentary, about a DIY filmmaker who drives into a little town and makes a movie with the residents as actors and crew. I’m hoping to sneak in a screening of it this afternoon, so I will write a bit more about it before its next screenings at the Kabuki, on May 1st and May 4th.

Tuesday, April 27th.
2pm at the Kabuki, Frontier Blues. This one was a little slow going but I rather liked it all the same — it reminded me a bit of last year’s Tulpan.

9:45pm at the Kabuki: Vengeance. Haven’t seen it but I know a number of people who are really looking forward to this one from Hong Kong director Johnnie To, and it features (to quote the description) “a hit man turned chef, family men moonlighting as assassins, and earnestly official, androgynous women detectives. And for good measure, it stars French crooner Johnny Hallyday.” You can still preorder tickets for these online.

Wednesday, April 28th.
Already mentioned in an earlier dispatch, but it bears repeating: the Founder’s Directing Award is going to Walter Salles this year, and the 6:45 program at the Kabuki promises to be really interesting. I’m definitely going to be there, and preorders are still available.

But if that’s not your thing, you could try to rush the first screening of Cairo Time at 7:00 (there’s one more on Thursday night at 7:00, also at rush status) or the final screening of Soul Kitchen at 9:30, both at the Kabuki. I haven’t seen either film but the buzz has been really good, and from what I understand these films were among the first to go to rush status.

Check back tomorrow for our picks for the weekend, and later today for my first reports.


Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of the Rumpus and has a blog which he updates once in a while. More from this author →