SF Film Festival

(Films #31-#40 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th)

The 60th SFFILM Festival is HALFWAY through! Be sure to get your tickets now — visit http://www.sffilm.org/festival for tickets and info. Also, be sure to check back here frequently, or follow along at our Facebook page and on Twitter (or follow film critics Carrie Kahn- @CKCinephile / Chad Liffmann- @chadcarsten). And now, time for 10 more spotlights:

The Paris Opera
(France/Switzerland 2017, 110 min; French/English with English subtitles)

A scene from THE PARIS OPERA, screening at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 5-19, 2017.

This documentary is fascinating! The Paris Opera takes audiences behind the scenes of the legendary Palais Garnier and the newer Opéra Bastille, both in Paris. We meet a few veterans and some new members of the venues’ onstage talent for their show season, as well as some of the organizational heads. Director Jean-Stéphane Bron keeps the film tight and fluid, ensuring the excess fat is cut and leaving only the most interesting aspects of the run-of-show. To be honest, even the presumably mundane operations are more engaging than I’d imagine. From auditions and prop-finding to administrative tasks and marketing, this charming inside look is entertaining for fans of ballet, opera, and fans of interesting subject matters in general! 

No more screenings at SFFILM Festival.

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(Films #21-#30 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th)

The 60th SFFILM Festival is in full swing! Be sure to get your tickets now — visit http://www.sffilm.org/festival for tickets and info. Also, be sure to check back here frequently, or follow along at our Facebook page and on Twitter (or follow film critics Carrie Kahn- @CKCinephile / Chad Liffmann- @chadcarsten). And now, time for 10 more spotlights:

Bending the Arc
(USA 2017, 102 min; in English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Kinyarwanda with English subtitles)

A scene from BENDING THE ARC, playing at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 5-19, 2017.

This incredible documentary follows the origination and long-lasting impact of a few medical students (Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl, Jim Yong Kim) who cared so deeply for universal health care that they were willing to take the emotional, financial, and life-threatening plunge into war torn and disease stricken countries to defend and advance it. Bending the Arc can be both infuriating and inspiring as it brings to light some of the most wonderful humanitarian efforts that challenge the systemic greed and social inequality that has greatly influenced the health of the world for far too long.

Screenings:
(click here for tickets)

  • Friday, April 14th, 5:00 pm, Castro Theatre

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(Films #11-#20 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th)

Our preview coverage of the 60th SFFILM Festival continues! Be sure to get your tickets now — visit http://www.sffilm.org/festival for tickets and info. Also, be sure to check back here frequently, or follow along at our Facebook page and on Twitter (or follow film critics Carrie Kahn- @CKCinephile / Chad Liffmann- @chadcarsten). And now, time for 10 more spotlights:

Heaven Sent
(France/Lebanon 2016, 70 min; in Lebanese with English subtitles)

A scene from HEAVEN SENT, playing at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 5-19, 2017.

Uproariously absurd and twistedly entertaining, Heaven Sent is a rewarding dark comedy from the Middle East. It features a tight script and talented actors with superb comedic timing. The story revolves around a celebrity’s bodyguard, Omar, whose life is turned upside down when his presumed dead soldier brother returns out-of-the-blue. Even with some political jabs, director Wissam Charaf still invites the audience to laugh with solid slapstick and visual gags. Much of the film’s biting satire stems from the audience’s pre-existing knowledge of the ongoing war in the Middle East, and thus to contrast that knowledge with the hilariously trivial annoyances of Omar’s life become more and more comedically pronounced as the film unfolds. Definitely see Heaven Sent with a full house, since laughter is infectious!

Screenings:
(click here for tickets)

  • Thursday, April 13th, 9:00 pm, YBCA Screening Room
  • Friday, April 14th, 6:00 pm, Alamo Drafthouse
  • Tuesday, April 18th, 6:30 pm, Alamo Drafthouse

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(Films #1-#10 of Chad’s goal of seeing 60 films to commemorate SF Film Festival’s 60th anniversary! #60for60th)

The SF Film Festival is back and celebrating its 60th year! It’ll be taking place at venues in San Francisco and the East Bay from April 5-19. Once again, Spinning Platters is thrilled to provide you extensive coverage of the films, special events, and award ceremonies. Check back here frequently, or follow along at our Facebook page and on Twitter (or follow film critics Carrie Kahn- @CKCinephile / Chad Liffmann- @chadcarsten). Without further ado, let’s take a look at ten titles:

A Date for Mad Mary
(Ireland 2016, 82 min; in English)

Tara Lee and Seána Kerslake in Darren Thornton’s A DATE FOR MAD MARY, playing at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 5 – April 19, 2017.

I loved A Date for Mad Mary! It’s a funny, heartfelt, coming-of-age comedy filled with real characters and even realer interactions. Adapted from a stage play, the script by Darren Thornton and his brother Colin is clever and well-balanced, dealing with serious subject matters (bullying, prison, sexual identity) while also poking fun at classic comedy targets like dating, weddings, and sex. Throughout the story, complex emotions are expressed in subtle and delightfully informal ways. The cast is a powerhouse of strong Irish actresses, led by Seána Kerslake in a star making turn as the ostracized Mary. Bring a date to see A Date for Mad Mary, since it’s destined to be the feel-good sleeper hit of the year.

Screenings:
(click here for tickets)

  • Sunday, April 9th, 6:00 pm, BAMPFA
  • Saturday, April 15th, 7:00 pm, Alamo Drafthouse

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A scene from Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli's PHANTOM BOY will play at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, on April 21 - May 5,2016.

Today, it begins! The San Francisco International Film Festival(SFIFF) runs from today, April 21st through Thursday, May 5th. We’ll continue to bring you spotlights of amazing films at the festival, and cover special events and awards. But allow us to give you one last preview of the program with spotlights on two more features and three excellent short film programs. Full program available here.

Phantom Boy
(France/Belgium, 2015, 84 min, Global Visions)

A scene from Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli's PHANTOM BOY will play at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, on April 21 - May 5,2016.

A scene from Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli’s PHANTOM BOY will play at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, on April 21 – May 5,2016.

From the filmmaking team that brought us 2010’s A Cat in Paris comes another fun, beautifully drawn adventure, Phantom Boy. In the film, a young cancer patient with a unique power to engage in out-of-body excursions teams up with a cop to stop a deranged gangster from taking over New York City. Constantly hilarious, always engaging, and totally charming, this film is an instant crowd-pleaser and should be on the top of everyone’s must-see festival list.

Screenings:

  • Sunday, April 24rd, 1:00pm, Alamo Drafthouse

Tickets available here.

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SFIFF59

It’s that wonderful time of the year, again! Yes, time for the San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF). The 59th edition of SFIFF will be hosting its two week celebration and screenings of incredible cinema from around the globe — April 21 through May 5. Year after year, Spinning Platters is here to provide you with tons of SFIFF coverage before, during, and after the event. Let’s start you off with four spotlights you should check out when SFIFF59 rolls around…

Microbe & Gasoline
(France, 2015, 105 min, Global Visions)

A scene from Michel Gondry's MICROBE AND GASOLINE will play at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, on April 21 - May 5,2016.

A scene from Michel Gondry’s MICROBE AND GASOLINE will play at the 59th San Francisco International Film Festival, on April 21 – May 5,2016.

Writer/director Michel Gondry’s newest cinematic entry may be his most charming to date. The whimsical tale of two adolescent friends (nicknamed Microbe and Gasoline) building a mobile tiny house for a chance to roadtrip across France to meet girls and explore the world is everything you’d want it to be — funny, inventive, and entertaining. Gondry’s usual DIY visual panache is less on display — maintaining focus instead on the two young lead characters whose conversations and musings on life transcend audience age groups. You’ll love Microbe & Gasoline!

Screenings:

  • Sunday, April 24rd, 6:00pm, Victoria Theatre
  • Tuesday, April 26th, 5:30pm, Alamo Drafthouse

Tickets available here.

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