The Playlist

SFIFF Review: 'Inori' Is A Gentle Look At A Slowly Fading, Traditional Way Of Life

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • May 7, 2013 7:57 PM
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Pedro Gonzáles-Rubio’s “Inori” (Japanese for prayer) is set in Kannogawa, Japan, a dying town. There’s no menacing factory in the background spewing smoke or a horrible natural disaster in the recent past haunting the town. In fact, the environment we’re introduced to is serenely beautiful; a misty mountain showing off with its thick forests. The ancient land is treated patiently and meditatively by Gonzáles-Rubio’s camera, giving the sense that this place is eternal. It’s only the human life that’s fading away.

SFIFF: Steven Soderbergh Says Art Of Cinema Is Under Attack From The Studios, Decries Profit Driven Decision Making

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • April 29, 2013 11:03 AM
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Steven Soderbergh, SFIFF
Saturday afternoon at the San Francisco International Film Festival, Steven Soderbergh presented an audience his take on the current state of cinema. The State of Cinema Address is an annual event held at the festival that allows a speaker (not always a filmmaker, last year the festival saw author Jonathan Levine give his take on the subject) to lay down their thoughts on contemporary film. This year the San Francisco Film Society, the organization that runs the festival, was able to land the prolific Steven Soderbergh at a particularly interesting time in his career: the beginning of a hiatus from directing.

SFIFF Review: Caveh Zahedi's 'The Sheik And I' Creates A Compelling, Subversive & Ethical Puzzle

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • May 2, 2012 2:04 PM
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In “The Sheik and I” director Caveh Zahedi once again turns the camera on himself, this time as he chronicles his attempts to create and exhibit a film commissioned by the Sheik of Sharjah for the emirate’s art biennial. The film is stitched together with Zahedi’s after-the-fact recalling and contextualization of the events of the production, along with behind-the-scenes style footage, brief glimpses at the film within a film that Zahedi is supposedly originally creating, unpolished animated sequences, and even just white text on a black screen (for when the cameras run out of batteries, which appears is often due to Zahedi’s always-be-rolling approach).

SFIFF: Lawrence Kasdan Talks Making 'Darling Companion,' Reveals He's In The Midst Of Writing Harlan Coben's 'Stay Close'

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • April 30, 2012 3:04 PM
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Last week saw the release of “Darling Companion,” the first film from writer/director Lawrence Kasdan in nine years. The film tells the story of Beth (Diane Keaton) and her husband Joseph’s (Kevin Kline) dog getting lost in the mountains after their daughter’s wedding. The couple, their family, and friends spend the next week searching for the dog, a quest that puts all their relationships into question. We had a chance to talk to the director during the San Francisco International Film Festival where the film was playing.

SFIFF: tUnE-yArDs Live Score For Buster Keaton & Fatty Arbuckle Films Did Not Disappoint

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • April 27, 2012 4:04 PM
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One of the most anticipated annual events at the San Francisco International Film Festival is the live score performances held each year. While it would be hard to top last year’s Tindersticks live performance of their own Claire Denis scores, this year’s pairing of tUnE-yArDs (led by Merrill Garbus) and guitarist Ava Mendoza with a collection of Buster Keaton and Fatty Arbuckle films did not disappoint.

SFIFF: Harmony Korine & Val Kilmer Talk Stepping Into 'The Fourth Dimension'

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • April 27, 2012 10:04 AM
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Last Friday night, “The Fourth Dimension” made its world premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival, a collaborative film that we thought got satisfying results out of its premise. In attendance were the set of directors responsible for the three short films created based on a collection of random instructions generated by Vice Films producer Eddy Moretti in a collaboration with Grolsch Film Works. The directors tapped included Harmony Korine (“Trash Humpers,” “Gummo”), Aleksei Fedorchenko (“Silent Souls”) and Polish director Jan Kwiecinski making his big screen debut. We sat down to talk to Harmony Korine and Val Kilmer -- who stars in Korine’s film as a ridiculous motivational speaker -- about their short “Lotus Community Workshop.”

SFIFF: Richard Linklater Talks Making 'Bernie,' Bringing True Stories To Life & The Films He Has Brewing In The Background

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • April 25, 2012 10:57 AM
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Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” is hitting New York and Los Angeles theaters later this week and we caught up with him at the San Francisco International Film Festival to talk about the film.

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