My final two spotlights from the 56th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF), which ends today. Information and tickets for the day’s final films at: http://festival.sffs.org/
(Chile 2012, 100 min; English and Spanish with English subtitles)
Michael Cera is comically brilliant as Jamie, a know-it-all American seeking a mescaline high in Chile. Chilean director Sebastian Silva contrasts Jamie’s self-absorption and rigidity with fellow American Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman). She’s free-spirited and new-agey, yet endears herself to Jamie and the Chilean brothers travelling with them; watching her conflict with Jamie is terrific fun. Silva’s very funny, sweet picture proves that even the most annoying of us are capable of growth and compassion.
Opens nationwide July 12, 2013.
Cutie and the Boxer
(USA 2012, 82 min; English and Japanese with English subtitles)
An unflinching look at both the complexities of a long marriage and the artistic temperament, this documentary profiles Brooklyn-based Japanese avant-garde artists Ushio and Noriko Shinohara. Director Zachary Heinzerling uses archival footage and straightforward narrative to showcase the couple’s triumphs and troubles, including jealousies, alcoholism, financial difficulties, and creative struggles. Even if you aren’t an art aficionado or have never heard of the Shinoharas, you are sure to be moved and inspired by their story.
Next showing: No U.S. release date yet; has been playing film festivals.