More spotlights from the 33rd Annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, which runs until August 12th (still plenty of time to catch a few films). Full schedule, tickets, and more information at: http://sfjff.org
My Awkward Sexual Adventure
(Canada 2012, 103 min)
Canadian director Sean Garrity has made a charming, very funny picture that combines the sweetness and raunch of The 40-Year-Old Virgin with the wisdom of Star Wars. Winnipeg accountant Jordan (Jonas Chernick) isn’t a virgin, but he’s so bad in bad that his girlfriend Rachel (Sarah Manninen) consistently falls asleep during their intimate interludes, and breaks off their relationship. Desperate to win her back, Jordan makes a deal with Julia (Emily Hampshire), a pretty, smart stripper with big dreams and messy finances. The two work out a quid pro quo agreement – financial lessons for sex tips, with Julia serving as a sensual Yoda to Jordan’s naïve Luke Skywalker. The ensuing results are awkward, yes, but always hilarious and honest. A side plot involving Jordan’s best friend Dandak (Vik Sahay) and an arranged marriage candidate also parallels the main story nicely.
And just a warning: this film does for cantaloupe what American Pie did for apple pie… you may want to opt for watermelon at your next picnic.
– Saturday, August 10, 8:45pm, Grand Lake Theater, Oakland
Joe Papp in Five Acts
(USA 2012, 84 min)
Anyone with even a passing interest in American theater will enjoy Joe Papp in Five Acts, a wonderful documentary about the legendary Broadway producer by directors Karen Thorsen and Tracie Holder. From his beginnings as an idealist (and unapologetic socialist) staging free Shakespeare plays out of a truck to his big budget hits like A Chorus Line, Papp was, as playwright David Hare describes him, “a Gatsby-like American,” changing his name from Yosel Papirofsky, and creating success far removed from his Brooklyn upbringing by immigrant parents. Papp firmly believed that making theater accessible to all members of diverse communities was not just important, but vital, and his passion led him into many heated political, civic, and personal disputes, which, as a variety of colleagues attest, he usually won. Featuring interviews with such luminaries as Meryl Streep, Ntozake Shange, Christopher Walken, James Earl Jones, and Raul Julia, among others, Papp’s friends and colleagues paint a vibrant portrait of a consummate artist whose commitment to his craft was unparalleled.
– Wednesday, August 7, 6:oopm, Cinearts Theater, Palo Alto