Saturday, April 17, 2010
The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival
American's longest running film festival is turning 53 next week—the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival (SFiFF) takes place April 22-May 6, 2010 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, Castro Theater, Landmark's Clay Theater in San Francisco, and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. It promises to be another grand showcase of present international cinema as well as a few retrospective programs.
The festival opens with a comical "Micmacs" (Micmacs à tire-larigot | France 2009 | in French | 105 min.) and closes with a new documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" (USA 2010 | 84 min.). In between, the festival screens 177 films including 69 narrative features, 28 documentary features, and 80 shorts. SFiFF truly lives up to the word "international" in its title—this year's program presents 46 countries and is in 31 languages.
Besides a great selection of films, the festival also gives numerous awards to distinguished individuals to recognize their contributions in cinema art. This year's awardees include Walter Salles, Robert Duvall, James Schamus, and Roger Ebert.
Like tens of thousands of festival film-goers, I am looking forward to many films at this year's SFiFF. Based on what I have seen and learned at this moment, I will highlight a few films at this year's festival.
I already hear the organ playing in the Castro Theater. Please turn off your cell phone, and anything makes noise or light. Let's watch some films.