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
1
Sun
Super Bowl: Men in Tights
February 1, 2015

PrintWell it’s soon time for SUPER BOWL FORTY-SOMETHING and as always, SF IndieFest is bringing you the funniest, non-footballest, most-factually-incorrect Super Bowl broadcast presentation out there: SUPER BOWL: MEN IN TIGHTS. Come on down to the Mission and pound your guts full of bloody marys, beers, and snacks as some of SF’s best comedians provide comedic color commentary for the game but leave the commercials untouched because they are Holy and Good.

With Hosts David Cairns & David Gborie 

Special Guest Commentators include:

Aparna Nancherla of FX’s TOTALLY BIASED

Keith Lowell Jensen of THE COEXIST? COMEDY TOUR

Kaeli Quick of ENDGAMES IMPROV

Trevor Hill of MISERY INDEX

George Chen of the CINECAVE

Andrew Holmgren of the FUNGEON

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
20
Fri
2015 Noise Pop Film Series: Hardcore DEVO Live
February 20, 2015

WEST COAST PREMIERE!

Q&A filmmaker Keirda Bahruth and Jerry Casale from Devo

Devo PosterNo matter how messy, beginnings are exciting. Especially when what happens next endures the test of time. For DEVO the beginning happened in the basements and garages of Akron, Ohio. The songs they wrote were raw and unfiltered with no commercial intent. They called it Hardcore DEVO.  In the summer of 2014, DEVO performed 10 shows playing the seminal, experimental songs they created between 1974 and 1977. They have not played most of these songs that pre-dated any fame or record contracts since that time. This film captures these ground breaking artists performing the songs that started it all. It’s DEVO unmasked, coming face to face with their past and paying tribute to their fallen brother, Bob Casale. It’s their “thank you” to everyone who believed in them before it was safe to be DEVO!

Director: Keirda Bahruth. 2014. Digital. 94 minutes.

2015 Noise Pop Film Series: Ollies, Dollies & Drones: A Survey of Spike Jonze’s Skate Videos
February 20, 2015

NOISE POP EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE!

Q&A with special guests

Spike Jonze PosterOne of the best filmmakers of his generation (and indisputably the greatest music video director ever) Spike Jonze learned his craft in the last remaining Wild West for filmmakers growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s – skateboard videos. From early work with World Industries through his contemporary contributions to Lakai and Girl (of which he is a co-owner) Spike’s grasp on the formal restraints of the genre – namely, a loose interpretation of trespass and copyright laws – were immediate, and the boundary shattering imagination he applied to his skate videos changed the game forever. As skate videos, they’re thrilling and hilarious and super cool; viewed as a sort of sketchbook for a restlessly creative artist sharpening his craft, they’re invaluable. Join us for a survey of Spike’s skateboard videos.

Director: Spike Jonze. 2014. Digital. 90 minutes.

 

 

 

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

 

Feb
21
Sat
2015 Noise Pop Film Series: BEAUTIFUL NOISE
February 21, 2015

BeautNoiseSAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE!

There was no machismo, no rockstar posturing, and definitely no gyrating. Save for the occasional tiff they had with pretentious NME journalists, most of the band members were painfully soft-spoken. Geeky, even. Yet the voluminous, woozy sounds of Cocteau Twins, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and My Bloody Valentine were anything but. For a few short years in the 80s and 90s, the indie music world was struck by a rare moment of introspection that came to an abrupt end with the laddism of Britpop. Diligently tracing the history of a genre that dares not speak its name (shoe-what?), filmmaker Eric Green interviews the mad minds behind the three bands, including the reclusive MBV frontman Kevin Shields. Amongst the support appearances are members from Ride, Slowdive, and Curve as well as keen fans Trent Reznor, Billy Corgan and Robert Smith – the last of whom got married to Cocteau Twin’s “Treasure”. – Sheffield Doc/Fest

Director: Eric Green. 2014. Digital. 90 minutes.

2015 Noise Pop Film Series: SALAD DAYS: The Birth of Punk in the Nation’s Capital
February 21, 2015

WEST COAST PREMIERE!

Q&A with director Scott Crawford and Mark Haggerty (Gray Matter), Meghan Adkins and Nicky Thomas (Fire Party)

Salad Days PosterThey weren’t the first and they weren’t the last, but they never got hit by the adult crash. SALAD DAYS tells the story of birth, childhood, awkward adolescence and triumphant young adulthood of Washington, D.C.’s extremely tight-knit and world renown punk scene. From all-ages shows to straight edge hardcore to Go Go music to Revolution Summer to Repeater, it’s all here in this sprawling love letter to the most vibrant regional music scene of the last forty years. Featuring jaw-dropping, archival footage and interviews with Ian MacKaye, Henry Rollins, Dave Grohl and many more, SALAD DAYS is mandatory viewing for punk lifers and social anthropologists alike.

Director: Scott Crawford. 2014. Digital. 103 minutes.

Feb
25
Wed
Hump! Tour 2015 – Hosted by Dan Savage
February 25, 2015 - February 28, 2015

It’s the Sexiest, Funnest, Most Creative Dirty Movie Fest in the World… HUMP!

Hump_butts.gifSince 2005 the HUMP! Film Festival has challenged ordinary people from all over the Pacific Northwest to become temporary, weekend porn stars-by making their very own five-minute dirty movies for a chance to win big cash prizes! And they did not disappoint! The resulting short films run the gamut of sexual styles: straight, gay, lesbian, transgender… every color in the sexual rainbow… and some we never knew existed. HUMP! films are funny, thought-provoking, sad, artistic, outrageous, and almost overwhelmingly sexy-because they’re real. And they’re real because they were created and performed by sex-positive people, just like YOU. That’s why we’re bringing the very best of HUMP! to your town! See 20 of the hottest HUMP films in action… they’ll make you laugh, squeal, and marvel at the broad (and creative) range of human sexuality. It’s the HUMP! Tour 2015! And you’re going to have a blast.

Film Lineup is here: http://humptour.strangertickets.com

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