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DAILY NEWS: San Francisco Lineup; Lions Gate Deal; and Oscar Speech Wins TV

DAILY NEWS: San Francisco Lineup; Lions Gate Deal; and Oscar Speech Wins TV

DAILY NEWS: DAILY NEWS: San Francisco Lineup; Lions Gate Deal; and Oscar Speech Wins TV

by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE with a report from Carl Russo

>> 44th San Francisco Film Fest to Premiere Wang’s Notorious “Center”; Clint and Stockard Feted; “Claim” Closes

(indieWIRE/03.28.01) — Ever a showcase for kinky and difficult films, the
44th San Francisco International Film Festival opens April 19 with the world
premiere of “The Center of the World,” which declined an NC-17 rating.
Wayne Wang‘s sexplicit DV feature will unleash a 15-day program of
transgressive fare to include Virginie Despentes’; banned-in-France
Baise-Moi” (“Fuck Me”) and John Cameron Mitchell‘s saucy Sundance fave, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Things will simmer down with the May 3 closer “The Claim,” MGM‘s Sierra Gold Rush drama by Michael Winterbottom (“Wonderland“).

Local legend Clint Eastwood will ride back into town on April 26 to claim
this year’s Akira Kurosawa Award for Lifetime Achievement in Film Directing,
prompting a few critical mumbles about a shift away from the highbrow (read:
obscure) recipients of recent years. No one is complaining that Stockard
will succeed Winona Ryder as the latest winner of the Peter J.
Owens Award
for “brilliance, independence and integrity” in acting. A
screening of Channing’s new vehicle “The Business of Strangers,” directed by
Patrick Stettner, will follow the April 24 ceremony.

Celebrated underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger will also make a comeback to
accept the Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award just a few months after
being honored at the SF Film Arts Festival. The added bonus this time:
screenings of Anger’s complete “Magick Lantern Cycle” and one of his
obsessions, Robert Siodmak‘s 1944 schlock-exotica featurette, “Cobra Woman.”

The number of world-premiere features are up to six this year, including
Joseph M. Castelo‘s taxicab road trip “American Saint;” the romantic comedy “Sidewalks of New York” by Edward Burns (“The Brothers McMullen“); and a trilogy from Iranian filmmaker Shirin Neshat. The 19 North American premieres are a diverse bunch and many are contenders for the $10,000 Skyy Prize, such as Rodrigo Moscoso‘s “73 Model” (Argentina), Issa Serge Coelo‘s “Daresalem” (France/Burkina Faso), Malgorzata Szumowska‘s “Happy Man” (Poland), and Khaled Youssef‘s “The Storm” (Egypt).

Two hot tickets will come with live music at the Castro Theatre: organist
Dennis James behind the Mighty Wurlitzer accompanying the restored print of
Fritz Lang‘s 1926 classic “Metropolis” (with an extra reel missing from this
Year’s Berlin screening) on April 20; and “Yo La Tengo and Jean Painleve:
The Sounds of Science
,” which will bring together the moody indie rock
darlings and eight of Painlev’

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