Calendar

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
2
Mon
SF Sketchfest 2015: “Groundhog Day” on Groundhog Day: Film Screening and special Tobolowsky Files with Stephen Tobolowsky
February 2, 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.

“Groundhog Day” on Groundhog Day: Film Screening and special Tobolowsky Files with Stephen Tobolowsky

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film PostersWhat better way to celebrate a giant rodent seeing his shadow than a screening of the beloved Bill Murray deja vu comedy “Groundhog Day?” SF Sketchfest is thrilled to screen the film on the day itself, followed by a special Tobolowsky Files, the award-winning storytelling show and podcast by veteran character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (who stars in the film as the hilariously irritation Ned “BING!” Ryerson).

GD-bill-murrayDon’t miss your chance to relive this special film over and over again and listen to engaging yarns by a true master storyteller!

$20 All Ages

Performer:

Stephen Tobolowky

avatar-5.jpg.320x320pxStephen Tobolowsky is one of the leading character actors in film today. USA Today listed Stephen as the 9th most frequently seen actor in movies. He has appeared over 200 movies and television shows. He is best known for playing Ned Ryerson in “Groundhog Day,” Sammy Jankis in “Memento,” Werner Brandes in “Sneakers,” Happy Chapman in “Garfield,” and Mr. Bates in “Freaky Friday.”

On television, he has played Tor Ekland on “Seinfeld,” Hugo Jarry on “Deadwood,” Bob Bishop on “Heroes,” and is currently seen as Sandy Ryerson on “Glee” and Stu Beggs on “Californication.” He wrote and performed “Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party” that premiered at the HBO Comedy Festival in Aspen. He wrote “True Stories” with David Byrne and Beth Henley. He has written and performed his stories on the “The Tobolowsky Files” for Slashfilm.com and on iTunes. They are also broadcast weekly on KUOW in Seattle and on WFPL in Louisville. PRI (Public Radio International) is now producing broadcasts of his stories to air on stations across the country.

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

Feb
20
Fri
Spike Lee’s Da Sweet Blood of Jesus
February 20, 2015 - February 26, 2015

Spike Lee Da Sweet Blood of Jesus Pic. 2A Spike Lee Joint, DA SWEET BLOOD OF JESUS is a new kind of love story, one that centers on an addiction to blood that once doomed a long forgotten ancient African tribe. When Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) is introduced to a mysteriously cursed artifact by an art curator, Lafayette Hightower (Elvis Nolasco), he is uncontrollably drawn into a newfound thirst for blood that overwhelms his soul. He however is not a vampire. Lafayette quickly succumbs to the ravenous nature of the infliction but leaves Hess a transformed man. Soon Lafayette’s wife, Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams), comes looking for her husband and becomes involved in a dangerous romance with Hess that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society. A reinterpretation of Bill Gunn’s horror cult film “Ganja & Hess”, which played as a Critics’ Choice at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee’s stylized thriller features an Original Score by Bruce Hornsby.

Director: Spike Lee/123 minutes/Country: USA

 

Mar
10
Tue
Nippon Nights #7: Branded to Kill by Seijun Suzuki
March 10, 2015

“Reputedly one of Seijun Suzuki’s finest works and unquestionably very stylish in its ‘Scope framings (Jim Jarmusch copied a few shots from it in his Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai)”

-Jonathan Rosenbaum,  Chicago Reader

Unknown-5A hit-man, with a fetish for sniffing boiling rice, fumbles his latest job, putting him into conflict with his treacherous wife, with a mysterious woman eager for death and with the phantom-like hit-man known only as Number One.

Directed by Seijun Suzuki, 91min, 1967, Japan

Branded to Kill review – genuinely bizarre Japanese thriller

Seijun Suzuki’s Branded to Kill is a very 1960s metaphysical thriller, a cult item treasured by connoisseurs as the kind of film that – for all its delirious craziness – could even be a truer product of Japan than the higher artefacts of Ozu and Kurosawa. It is an erotic and dreamlike pulp noir, and its disdain for any sort of conventional plot infuriated the director’s employers at the Nikkatsu studio. Jô Shishido is Hanada, a hired killer with a sexual fetish for the smell of boiled rice; a bungled job brings him into mysterious contact with Misako (Anne Mari), a woman who hires him for three hits. He becomes obsessed with her, and finds himself in a duel with the legendary top killer, the No 1 (Kôji Nanbara). The obvious comparisons are with Melville’s Le Samouraï or Godard’s Pierrot le Fou – this film holds up against these perfectly well – with hints of John Boorman’s Point Blank and Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner. It is, however, closer to Luis Buñuel in its gleefully disquieting insistence on sudden horrific closeups: the glass eye removed from the skull, the bullet hole, the bleeding head in the toilet bowl. Where Godard had his jump-cut, Suzuki has his disorientating ellipses, his sudden dreamlike time-slips. Genuinely fascinating and bizarre.

Peter Bradshaw, The Gurdian

Mar
28
Sat
Czech That Film: Clownwise
March 28, 2015

images-1Come see new and exciting films at the fourth annual

Czech That Film festival, showcasing the best of Czech cinema

in 18 cities across the United States

Clownwise_440x300Oskar Franz, a famous comic entertainer, returns to his native country after 30 years of living in France. His past is inseparably intertwined with two notable artistic personalities: Max Hubschmann and Viktor Tauber. Throughout the film, Oskar, Max and Viktor go though a lot of surprising discoveries about each other’s lives. Their journey is peppered with the wisdom of a certain age when you know that having the last laugh is the next best thing.

(Klauni, 2013, 120 min.), dir. Viktor Tauš

Czech That Film: To See the Sea
March 28, 2015

Come see new and exciting films at the fourth annual Czech That Film festival, showcasing the best of Czech cinema in 18 cities across the United States.

pojedeme-k-moriTen-year-old Tomas gets a digital Nikon camera for his birthday and begins to record the world around him. Consequently, Tomas watches moments of joy and disappointment, inconspicuous moments as well as important decisions as seen through a child’s eyes.

(Pojedem k moři, 2014, 90 min.), dir. Jiří Mádl

Mar
29
Sun
Czech That Film: Fair Play
March 29, 2015

images-1Come see new and exciting films at the fourth annual

Czech That Film festival, showcasing the best of Czech cinema in 18 cities across the United States

Filmmaker in Person!!

fairplayIn the 1980s in former Czechoslovakia, young talented sprinter Anna is selected for the national team and starts training to qualify for the Olympic Games. As part of the preparation, she is placed in a secret “medical program” where she is given anabolic steroids to better her performance. Her mother sees the drugs as Anna’s ticket out of the Iron Curtain, while Anna knows the drug is harming her body. In a story that follows the impacts of a decision, a young woman is tested by fate.

(Fair Play, 2014, 100 min.), dir. Andrea Sedláčková