SFIFF58 Spotlights #4: Mr. Holmes/Luna/The Editor/The Taking of Tiger Mountain

by Chad Liffmann on April 29, 2015

The 58th San Francisco International Film Festival has just about reached the halfway point, and there are still so many films to discuss. Be sure to take a look at the program and ticket info here. Here are a few more titles (some that have unfortunately already had their final festival screening) to put on your radar:

Mr. Holmes
(UK, 2015, 105 min, Marquee Presentations)

MR. HOLMES

MR. HOLMES

In director Bill Condon’s new drama, Mr. Holmes, Sir Ian McKellen plays an old, retired Sherlock Holmes, who is trying to battle memory loss while attempting to add some facts and closure to his otherwise inventive, fantastical legacy curated by the writings of Dr. Watson, in particular the unsolved details of the former’s final case. McKellen is extraordinary, displaying the weathered wit and fragility of a dying icon who has been locked into a secluded lifestyle as a result of his investigatory prowess. Even a fire alarm at the Kabuki resulting in the evacuation of the theater 20 minutes in couldn’t steal away the emotional impact of Mr. Holmes’ rumination on fact vs. fiction.

Screenings:

  • May 5 – 2:00pm at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Tickets for Mr. Holmes available here.

Luna
(UK, 2014, 104 min, Global Visions)

LUNA

LUNA

While Mr. Holmes focused on fact vs. fiction, Luna explores the similar theme of real vs. imaginary using powerful visuals to portray the lasting effects that a loss of a child has on one’s mind and spirit. Though the dreamscape fantasies may polarize and bewilder audiences, I found some coherence within the story when one of the filmmakers described the film as “ultimately, about healing.” Within the dark twisted fantasy and tragic symbolism, I managed to understand this sentiment, which may have been the catalyst for my appreciation for the film.

There are no more screenings at this time.
Info for Luna available here.

The Editor
(Canada, 2014, 95 min, Dark Wave)

THE EDITOR

THE EDITOR

I’ll admit that I’ve never been exposed to a giallo film before, so the jokes may have generally been lost on me. That being said, like Tarantino’s parodical genre homage Grindhouse in 2007, I imagine that The Editor is a perfectly campy parallel of the 1970s genre of Italian erotic murder mysteries it draws its inspiration from. Though its shtick gets a bit worn out halfway through, the bizarre characters have enough draw to carry the film to its bloody finale.

Screenings:

  • May 1 – 11:00pm at The Roxie Theater

Tickets for The Editor available here.

The Taking of Tiger Mountain
(China, 2014, 143 min, Masters)

THE TAKING OF TIGER MOUNTAIN

THE TAKING OF TIGER MOUNTAIN

Based on a “model opera” of the Mao era, this Chinese war epic is a sweeping story of spies, courage, and crazy action stunts. I didn’t get the 3D experience but I can only imagine how insanely eye-popping it would be. Once the action breaks loose, it really breaks loose in a way reminiscent of the Connery-era Bond films and classic war movies. Tiger Mountain stars a sublime and completely unrecognizable Tony Leung Ka-fai, but the real stars of the show are the visual effects, which add video game-like craziness to this battle-infused tale of the Chinese Revolution.

Screenings:

  • April 30 – 2:00pm at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Tickets for The Taking of Tiger Mountain available here.

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