From April 23 to May 7, SF International suffuses the Bay Area with world and North American premieres, titles hot off the fest circuit and a surfeit of tributes, guest programming and many-faceted sidebars.
This looks to be among the fest’s juiciest slates yet. As previously announced, Alex Gibney’s unsparing documentary “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” will open SFIFF, with buzzy Sundance premieres “The End of the Tour” and “Experimenter” rounding out the Centerpiece and Closing Night slots, respectively. Also already announced are tributes to Guillermo del Toro and Richard Gere, a new performance piece by Miranda July and more (below).
SFIFF has also generously programmed films from last year’s Cannes and Fall festivals, and more from this year’s Sundance and SXSW. On the narrative side, we’ll see: mumblecore granddaddy Andrew Bujalski’s “Results,” brazen dark road comedy “Entertainment” (Rick Alverson), Bill Pohlad’s poignant Brian Wilson biopic “Love and Mercy,” Guy Maddin’s rebellious avant-garde outing “The Forbidden Room,” Mia Hansen-Love’s house music coming-of-ager “Eden,” the US premiere of “Mr. Holmes,” Bertrand Bonello’s unsung French Oscar submission “Saint Laurent,” Lisandro Alonso’s polarizing tone poem “Jauja,” Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia’s eerie Independent Spirit winner “H.” and much more.
Documentaries include: Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s charming Vidal vs. Buckley study “Best of Enemies,” Laura Gabbert’s gently touching portrait of LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold “City of Gold,” Stevan Riley’s Brando doc “Listen to Me Marlon,” Liz Garbus’ “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” Albert Maysles’ penultimate film “Iris” and more. SFIFF also hosts the world premiere of filmmaker Jody Shapiro’s “Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live!” which follows the actress on the road with her traveling series imitating the mating habits of animals including whales, spiders and praying mantises. Sold.
On the retrospective side, coming down the pike from Berlin is Mark Christopher’s scandalous “54: The Director’s Cut,” the long lost, gritty, supposedly masterpiece version of the 1998 sex odyssey starring Ryan Philippe as a pretty boy pulled into the illicit nether regions of the titular Studio 54. Later, film programmer Rachel Krushner will present a 35mm restoration of Barbara Loden’s verite working-class drama “Wanda” from 1970.
To celebrate Alamo Drafthouse’s forthcoming, first-ever San Francisco location, SFIFF has invited Tim League to guest curate and co-host Dark Wave, the fest’s new late-night genre sidebar. Films include the slow-burning torture thriller “Goodnight Mommy,” which League called his favorite film out of Toronto 2014, giallo throwback “The Editor” and car-chase thriller “Cop Car.”
Meanwhile, “2001: A Space Odyssey”‘s VFX pioneer Douglas Trumbull has big shoes to fill when he delivers this year’s State of Cinema Address during the festival’s second weekend. Director Steven Soderbergh rocked the house back in 2013 when he gave his own industry analysis. Trumbull will speak about film technology and the future of the movie-viewing experience.
More of SF International Film Festival’s previously announced programs, including the narrative and doc competition sections, below. Head over to the San Francisco Film Society website for the complete lineup.