Thursday, April 23, 2009


The 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival - Part 3

Continue on PART 1 and PART 2 of my list of films that I am looking forward to at the 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival (SFiFF52), April 23 - May 7:

  • Speaking in Tongues (USA 2008 | in English/Mandarin/Spanish/Cantonese | 60 min.)

    While there are 112 languages spoken in San Francisco metropolitan area, the notion of "English Only" (in 31 states already) seems absurd. The intriguing documentary "Speaking in Tongues" follows four youngsters and their families in a San Francisco public school for a year to study the fascinating impact of bilingual education. Can't speak in another tongue yet? Not to worry, the film will be subtitled at the screenings before you get back to school to learn another language.

    A scene from Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider's SPEAKING IN TONGUES

  • Tongzhi in Love (彼岸浮生 | China 2008 | in Mandarin | 30 min.)

    Academy Award winning director Ruby Yang's (杨紫烨) new documentary "Tongzhi in Love," perhaps the first documentary about gays in China, examines gay men's double lives in modern China — the freer city gay life versus the closet life being the only child who is responsible for producing an heir for the family.

    My full review.

    A scene from the short film TONGZHI IN LOVE, photo by director Ruby Yang

  • Home (Switzerland/France/Belgium 2008 | 97 min.)

    The still images from "Home" (starring Isabelle Huppert) reminds me European films such as "Adam's Apples" (SFiFF49). I feel that if I were going to see only one European film during this festival, "Home" would be the one. The story about a happy-go-lucky family dealing with a highway built on their front yard interests me. Don't we all deal with similar situations even it might not be a highway?

    A scene from Ursula Meier's drama about a family HOME

  • Claustrophobia (親密 | Hong Kong/China 2008 | 100 min.)

    Award winning screenwriter Ivy Ho's (岸西) directorial debut "Claustrophobia" is a drama about office romance set in modern time. Although personally I never think office romance is a good idea — for the obvious reasons — I am eager to see how protagonists in this film sort things out in their cubicles.

    A scene from Ivy Ho's CLAUSTROPHOBIA

  • Departures (おくりびと | Japan 2008 | in Japanese | 131 min.)

    This just in: the winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009, "Departures" will be shown at the fesitval on Saturday May 2 at 11:00 am at the Clay Theatre! Enough said.

    Departures (おくりびと)

Enjoy the SFiFF52!


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