The Playlist

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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  • 14 Comments
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: Kenneth Branagh Receives Directing Award, Says 'Macbeth' May Be His Next Shakespeare Adaptation

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • May 8, 2012 5:01 PM
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  • 2 Comments
At the recently concluded San Francisco International Film Festival, Kenneth Branagh was awarded the annual Founder’s Directing Award. Preceding a screening of the director’s 1991 film “Dead Again,” Branagh spoke to Jonathan Moscone, Artistic Director of the the California Shakespeare Theater, about his career thus far. Accordingly, the plays of William Shakespeare and Branagh’s interpretations of those works became the anchor for the two men’s conversation throughout the evening.

SFIFF '11: Matthew Barney's Persistence of Vision And 'Ancient Evenings'

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • May 11, 2011 7:14 AM
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  • 0 Comments
During the final weekend of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Matthew Barney (“Cremaster Cycle” and “Drawing Restraint 9”) was presented the annual “Persistence of Vision” award to accompany a discussion with art critic Glen Helfand and the North American Premiere of “Drawing Restraint 17.”
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SFIFF ’11: Terence Stamp Talks About Working With Fellini, Bill Clinton the ‘Priscilla’ Fan

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • May 2, 2011 3:00 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Friday night at the San Francisco International Film Festival, actor Terence Stamp (“The Adjustment Bureau,” “Valkyrie”) was presented with the Peter J. Owens award for excellence in acting. To celebrate the award, Stamp appeared on stage with film critic Elvis Mitchell to tell stories of a decades-long career that saw him rise to the level of leading man, then experience a period as a bit part player, and then journey back into the spotlight. Following the conversation was a screening of the rarely shown “Toby Dammit,” the Stamp-starring and Federico Fellini-directed segment of the 1968 Edgar Allen Poe adaptation collection called “Spirits of the Dead.”

SFIFF Review: Hong Sang-soo's 'Hahaha' Has Some Pleasant Memories, But Not Much More

  • By Sean Gillane
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  • April 28, 2011 2:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival is currently in full swing with 190 films from around the world. Featured amongst the international films at SFIFF is last year’s Un Certain Regard winner “Hahaha,” writer/director Hong Sang-soo’s (“Like You Know It All,” “Night and Day”) 10th feature film starring Kim Sangkyung (“A Tale of Cinema”) and Yu Junsang (“Wide Awake”), both alums of the director’s previous work.
More: Review, SFIFF

SFIFF '11: Ewan McGregor & Mike Mills Talk The Sadness, Humor & Joy Of 'Beginners'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 25, 2011 2:34 AM
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  • 0 Comments
On Thursday night at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco “Beginners,” the new film from director Mike Mills (“Thumbsucker”), kicked off the 54th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival. “Beginners” is a partially fictionalized account of Mills’ father, played here by Christopher Plummer, coming out of the closet as a septuagenarian. Ewan McGregor fills in for Mills himself as the character Oliver, who recounts the story of witnessing his father, Hal's transition to a gay lifestyle after living most of his adult life married to Oliver’s mother. Soon after Hal’s rebirth, he is diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer that leaves Oliver both caring for and being in awe of the man he realizes he never really knew.

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