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    SFIFF 54: Wrapping Up the Fest, Days 13-15: The Arbor, Bromberg, Let The Wind Carry Me, Winners, Etc

    Meredith Brody wraps up SFIFF 54 and the many films of days thirteen, fourteen and fifteen:After the San Francisco International Film Festival’s second weekend, I feel like the toboggan is slowing down before it crosses the finish line. Day Thirteen, for example: joining Creative Director Miguel Pendas’ SF Film Noir locations tour, which he puts on (along with a tour devoted exclusively to locations for Vertigo) for guests and press, is irresistible to me, but effectively knocks out most of the day. Miguel totes ten companions around SF’s hills and valleys in a van (with an indefatigable driver who manages to pull over where there’s no place...

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    SFIFF 54: Day Twelve: Tilva Rosh, Hands Up, Ulysses and the Tindersticks do Claire Denis

    On day 12 of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody reports back on her French triple bill (Hands Up is the stand out), Tilva Rosh, Ulysses, and finishes the day off right with English rock/jazz band Tindersticks playing excerpts from their film scores for Claire Denis movies.Amazingly, after getting stuck into CNN-land for two hours of repetitive Osama Bin Laden-chat last night, I still manage to watch the two DVDS of Festival movies that I brought home: I’m Glad My Mother is Alive, by the father-son duo of prolific Claude Miller and his son, neophyte Nathan Miller (giving nepotism a good name). Again something of a me...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Eleven: Film Fest Instructor's Guidebook, Hands Up, Something Ventured, Bin Laden

    On day eleven of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody talks Hands Up (a "kind of a Bizarro-world Disney film"), Citizen Kane, Something Ventured and its billionaires, and The Salesmen (which she tries tricking herself into liking by thinking of Jeanne Dielman). At the end of...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Ten: Dog Day Afternoon, Cinema Komunisto, James Woods, Making Friends with Books

    On day ten of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody talks Dog Day Afternoon, sees and loves Cinema Komunisto, digresses on James Woods (among other things) and makes friends via Bossypants and Chekhov's short stories:I start the day by watching as much of the program honoring Frank Pierson with the Kanbar Award for screenwriting as I can before dashing off to see Love in a Puff. The clip that Pierson showed in his Master Class, the afternoon before, reminded me that (a) I know Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon -- the movie they’re going to show as part of the tribute -- very well indeed, (b) yes, the 70s were a golden a...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Nine: Terence Stamp, Toby Dammit, Foreign Parts, Black Bread, Frank Pierson

    On day nine of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Meredith Brody starts small and winds up enthralled by the enduring allure of Terence Stamp. Odd and thrilling to watch a tiny movie, shot by a two-person crew, about nearly-invisible lives and occupations, on the biggest screen in the Kabuki: one of the treats of a festival. The movie is Foreign Parts, by Véréna Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki. For the first time in these chronicles, I’m tempted to quote directly from the SFIFF catalogue : “Anthropological in scope, sensuous in detail, and emotionally resonant throughout…,” with which I can only concur. The filmmaking pair, associates ...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Eight: The Redemption of General Butt Naked, Sound of Noise, Pink Saris, Master Critic

    San Francisco cinephile Meredith Brody continues to cut a swath through the SFIFF programme: Cheerful way to start the day: watching a famed “General” of the unbelievably brutal 14-year Liberian civil war, known as General Butt Naked for the attire (or lack thereof) of himself and his followers, metamorphize – or is it re-brand? – into Joshua Milton Biahyi, an evangelic preacher seeking forgiveness for his unspeakable crimes. I’m not much fonder of organized (or disorganized) religion than I am of war – noting in passing that many wars are fought on religious grounds. I’m repulsed by both of the General’s incarnations. What I think he’s mostl...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Seven: A Useful Life, Oliver Stone Tribute, The Last Buffalo Hunt, Attenberg

    Meredith Brody's diary entry for SDIFF day seven: The film-going day begins with inserting a DVD into the player, which I guess means staying rather than going. It’s A Useful Life, a film directed by a former employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya, Federico Veiroj, about a longtime employee of the Cinemateca Uruguaya in Montevideo (which occasions a notation in the opening credits that the movie does not reflect the actual Cinemateca Uruguaya in any way shape or form). Said rather sad-sackish employee (played by an Uruguayan film critic with the young/old face of an obsessive) has spent a quarter-century doing all that’s necessary in showing fil...

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    SFIFF 54 Day Six: The Mill on the Cross, Hot Coffee, Hahaha, The Sleeping Beauty, Leonard Cohen

    Meredith Brody reports on the latest festival screenings from San Francisco:

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    SFIFF 54 Day Five: Time Travel, from Cave of Forgotten Dreams to Children of the Princess of Cleves

    Meredith Brody reports on the latest festival screenings from San Francisco:The Frenchwoman who introduced Children of the Princess of Cleves gave us an invaluable bit of information that cast the film in an interesting light. President Nicolas Sarkozy said that reading the required “Princess of Cleves,” published in 1678, made no sense for a high school student who would be working as a cashier in two years. Many in France were incensed by the comment, big surprise -- as am I – wasn’t Sarkozy, despite a wealthy background, posited as “l’homme du people” when he ran for President? Here’s real-time news: when I Google Sarkozy, the news pops ...

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