Calendar

January – February 2015

Jan
28
Wed
Docunight #11 Infidels / Pilgrimage
January 28, 2015

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Infidels

Directed by: Bahman Kiarostami, Produced by: Butimar Production, 2004 / 40 mins

UnknownA documentary about the Godars, Artist-Gypsies Living in Iran. The Godars are nomadic gypsies who migrated fromIndia to Iran and share the same heritage as thegypsies who moved into Eastern and Western Europe and into the Middle East. This tribe speaks Chuleh, which is a combination of Sunscrit, Mazandarani, and Farsi. Their original religion, Animism, was based on the belief that natural objects and phenomena possess lives and souls. During the Islamic Revolution, they were forced to convert, and although they are now officially Shiite Muslims, they are still outcasts and considered infidels. Infidels, recounts the four ways which the Godars make their living: dancing, acting, hunting and music, and showcases their dedication to preserve their art and age-old rituals. In this film, the Godars sing songs, play music, and tell the ancient tales of their heritage which often deal with their problems with God. Infidels is the first filmic record of the Godars, their lives, and their efforts to maintain the independence of their culture.

Pilgrimage

Directed by: Bahman Kiarostami, Produced by: Butimar Production, 2005 / 40 mins

Pilgrimage-3Despite the threat of mines, assassination, and death by dehydration and starvation, determined Shiite Muslims as many as 3,000 a day, have been pouring across the Iran-Iraq border since the fall of the Iraqi government. They risk their lives for only one reason: to visit the holy city of Karbala, fifty miles south of Baghdad. This city houses the magnificent shrine of seventh-century leader Imam Hussein, grandson of the prophet Muhamed. Hussein died in a battle in 681, a martyr to the Shiite faith. The intense devotion of these pilgrims to Imam Hussein and Karbala astounds outside observers at the same time that it puts the Iranian government in a major predicament. Torn between bureaucracy and allegiance to Islam, Tehran is continually revising its emigration policies, periodically opening and then closing its border. Meanwhile people are dying, and chaos reigns at crossing points.

Unknown-1Bahman Kiarostami (born 1978) lives and works in Tehran, as a documentary film director, editor and cinematographer. He made his first documentary ‘Morteza Momayez: Father of Iranian Contemporary Graphic Design’ in 1996. Most of his documentaries focus on valuing and legitimizing processes in art, but also cover the visible yet obscured and unnoticed details which define Iran’s post revolutionary visual culture.

With special thanks to Marjaneh Moghimi, Butimar Productions

Jan
30
Fri
SF Sketchfest 2015: Salute to Preston Sturges: “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” with guests Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer
January 30, 2015

SF Sketchfest was founded in 2001 by David Owen, Cole Stratton and Janet Varney as a way to showcase the talents of six Bay Area sketch comedy groups: The Fresh Robots, Kasper Hauser, The Meehan Brothers, Please Leave the Bronx, Totally False People and White Noise Radio Theatre. The festival debuted in January of 2002 at the Shelton Theatre in downtown San Francisco and has grown rapidly into a nationally recognized comedy festival that mixes national headliners, local favorites and the best up-and-coming groups from throughout North America for a month of sketch, improv, stand-up and alternative comedy.

Salute to Preston Sturges: “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek” with guests Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer

Chris_Michael_Harry_pressPreston Sturges (1898-1959) was an American playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker who was considered by many to be the father of the screwball comedy. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for “The Great McGinty” and went on to write and direct comedy classics including “Sullivan’s Travels,” “The Lady Eve,” “The Palm Beach Story,” “Hail the Conquering Hero,” “Unfaithfully Yours,” and the film that will be screened at this salute, the uproarious 1944 film “The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek.” One of the highlights of Sturges’s work is his use of an unofficial ensemble ‘stock company’ of the greatest comedic character actors and actresses of the era. There is a parallel in the work of special guests Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer, who are key members of a modern ‘company’ of performers who have created amazing ensemble comedies starting with “This Is Spinal Tap” and leading up through “Best In Show,” “Teddy Bears’ Picnic,” “Family Tree” and “A Mighty Wind.” They’ll present the film live in-person.  

$25 All Ages

Performers:

Christopher Guest

Christopher Guest directed and starred in “Waiting For Guffman,” “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind” and “For Your Consideration,” all of which he wrote with Eugene Levy. He also directed and starred in “This Is Spinal Tap,” which he wrote with Michael McKean, Harry Shearer, and Rob Reiner. He received a Grammy Award for the soundtrack of “Best in Show” and an Emmy for “The Lily Tomlin Special.” Most recently, he co-created and directed HBO’s “Family Tree” with Jim Piddock.

Michael McKean

Recent New York theatre includes “The Band Wagon,” “All The Way,” “Gore Vidal’s The Best Man,” “King Lear,” “Our Town,” “Superior Donuts,” “The Homecoming,” “The Pajama Game,” “A Second Hand Memory,” “Hairspray.” He is the first million dollar Celebrity Jeopardy champion. Theatre World Award for Rupert Holmes’s Accomplice; Grammy for title song A Mighty Wind, written with Christopher Guest and Eugene Levy; Oscar nomination for Best Song A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow, written with Annette O’Toole.

Harry Shearer

Actor…author…director…comedian…musician…philosopher…political satirist…record-company owner…and one of the best “voices” in the business (just ask “The Simpsons”), Harry Shearer is a comic personality and modern day renaissance man.

For the past two decades he has enjoyed enormous success and planted the fruits of his talents in the heads of millions worldwide thanks to his voice work for “The Simpsons,” where he plays a stable of characters: most notably Mr. Burns, Smithers, and insufferable neighbour Ned Flanders.

Feb
7
Sat
SF Indie Fest: THE APOSTLE (O APOSTOLO)
February 7, 2015 - February 10, 2015

Unknown-4“This creepily atmospheric animated film boasts haunting, gorgeously hand-crafted imagery.” –Hollywood Reporter

A convict escapes from jail and travels to a remote village to recover loot that was hidden years earlier. He gets more than he bargained for when he runs into sinister elderly people and spirits. Featuring the voices of Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Naschy (Spanish horror film star), Carlos Blanco (Almodóvar’s Volver), and Xosé Manuel Olveira ‘Pico’ (The Sea Inside). -JMG

Directed by Fernando Cortizo | Spain 2013 | 84 min | Animated Feature

Feb
8
Sun
SF Indie Fest: FREE
February 8, 2015 - February 14, 2015

Local Filmmakers!

UnknownThis stirring, up-close documentary follows a group of Oakland teens who find personal liberation and mutual support through dance.  These dynamic young people face the very real challenges of poverty, alienation, HIV, sexual abuse, and gang violence, but they are dedicated to tell the truth, even if it hurts, because the truth will in some degree set them free.  Free captures their struggles as they turn the courage, determination, and stamina demanded of their lives into a contagious joy.   – CM

Directed by David Collier and Suzanne LaFetra | USA 2014 | 73 min

Plays with: STAND, Melanie D’Andrea, 21 min

F R E E Trailer from F R E E on Vimeo.

Feb
14
Sat
SF Indie Fest: ALL CONTAINED IN VOID
February 14, 2015 - February 17, 2015

World Premiere!! Local Filmmaker 

ACIV 1This intriguing and thought provoking experimental documentary crawls over, under and inside the leftover ‘dead zones’ of the California road and freeway system, finding an eclectic mix of people who inhabit, explore, and re-purpose these liminal spaces, sometimes uncovering a world to call their own.  Urban planners, artists and engineers reflect on the sociological considerations about the built environment, including interviews with KALW’S Roman Mars (host of the popular architecture and design podcast “99 Percent Invisible”) and John Law (co-founder of Burning Man and the Cacophony Society).   -CM

Directed by Whit Missildine | USA 2015 | 52 min

 

Plays wth: Broken City Poets, Ariane Wu, 29 min

All Contained In Void – Trailer from Whit Missildine on Vimeo.

SF Indie Fest: BEYOND CLUELESS
February 14, 2015 - February 19, 2015

West Coast Premiere!!

beyond clueless 2 heathersFollowing 1995’s Clueless, Hollywood made hundreds of movies exploring the teenage psyche. Most were set in the drama-rich landscape of high school, complete with jocks, cheerleaders, freaks, geeks, and countless sub cliques in between.  Narrated by cult teen star Fairuza Balk, this stylish film takes us into the soul of the teen movie, as seen through the eyes of 200 modern coming-of-age classics, exploring themes of alienation, loss of self, and scouring the often amusing myriad of emotional tempests that dominate the teenage years.   -CM

Directed by Charlie Lyne | UK 2014 | 89 min