Calendar

February – March 2014

Feb
15
Sat
SF IndieFest: THE LOVE SONGS OF TIEDAN
February 15, 2014 - February 16, 2014

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Film Info
Director: Hao Jie
Film Category: Narrative
Running Time: 91
Country: China
Year of Release: 2013
Premier: US Premiere
Description

IndieFest is proud to present independent Chinese director Hao Jie’s latest film, a raucously rollicking crowd-pleaser in The Love Songs of Tiedan (Mei Jie). With the world’s film-festival landscape dominated by downbeat fare, distinctive and talented oddballs like Hao are more necessary than ever!

 A bawdy tribute to the Er-ren-tai form of musical performance associated with Hao’s home region in the north-west near the Mongolian border, this film is a colorful, fun, and hugely accessible slice of backwater ethnography. Winner of Best Asian Film Award from the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan. Official selection at Tokyo FILMeX and the international film festivals of: Rotterdam, Hong Kong, San Sebastian, and Vancouver.

“Co-written with Ge Xia, Hao’s script ambitiously covers a time-span of several decades, though so offhand is the attention to period detail that it’s hard to be sure exactly when anything is taking place. The only specified date is an on-screen caption informing us that in 1966 Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution outlawed Er-ren-tai, a two person form of mini-opera whose lyrics often deal with adults-only subjects: ‘Have Sex With Sister-in-Law’ is a typical title.

Taking their cue from the Er-ren-tai songs themselves, which express passionate feelings in bursts of hyper-stylized intensity, Hao and his Korean editor Baek Seung Hoon sock over short scenes packed with freewheeling incident and comedy, sustain high energy levels throughout. But the film’s style is less berserk than it superficially appears, cinematographer Du Pu’s hyperactive digital cameras not only doing justice to the stunningly varied terrain of Shanxi province but also coming up with some smart, striking compositions in between vibrant hand-held evocations of hectic village life.

Seldom far from some kind of absurdity and never, ever dull, The Love Songs of Tiedan isn’t for those who like their ethnographic cinema tidy, ordered and sensible, or who might be distracted by the protagonist suddenly aging about 30 years in what’s supposed to be a one-decade transition – the delightfully pixie-like Shi somehow turning into the careworn, but model-handsome Feng. A dynamic stage presence, this older Tiedan proves much more than a ruggedly pretty face, his character’s bisexuality presented with a matter-of- factness that will likely offend China’s official censors while amusing most everyone else”. -The Hollywood Reporter

-Jeff M. Giordano

 

SF IndieFest: YOU’LL BE A MAN (Tu Seras un Homme)
February 15, 2014 - February 16, 2014

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Film Info
Director: Benoît Cohen
Film Category: Narrative
Running Time: 86
Country: France
Year of Release: 2013
Description

Down-and-out Theo, 20, has no choice but to take the menial job of babysitting resistant little Leo, 10, whose negligent parents have left him socially awkward. The two strike a deal to leave each other alone, not realizing that they need each other more than they know.About one-third of the way through Benoit Cohen’s You’ll Be a Man, viewers might think they know exactly what’s going on. Leo is a somber child, not permitted to play outdoors because of an earlier injury. Lighthearted and affectionate, Theo brings joy to the melancholy house and provides lonely Leo with a much-needed companion. But the film soon breaks free of the familiar Mary Poppins formula and heads for more treacherous territory. Best Foreign Feature: Arizona International Film Festival, Colorado FF, Harlem FF, Philadelphia Independent FF, and Oaxaca FF. This film is family-friendly.

-Jeff M. Giordano

Feb
16
Sun
SF IndieFest: Blue Ruin
February 16, 2014 - February 20, 2014

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Film Info
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Film Category: Closing Night Film
Running Time: 92
Country: USA
Year of Release: 2013
Description

Back in 2007, SF Indie played Jeremy Saulnier’s riotous horror comedy Murder Party, and after making a name for himself as a cinematographer in the interim – most notably for the dreamy narratives of Matthew Porterfield (Putty Hill) – Saulnier now returns to the director’s seat, with frequent collaborator Macon Blair turning in a transfixing performance as Blue Ruin’s damaged lead, Dwight.

Dwight is a soft-spoken, somewhat shell-shocked beach hobo who lives in his blue car on the west coast, just trying to keep his head down and limit interactions with the outside world. When he is informed by a sympathetic cop that the man imprisoned for murdering his parents has just been released, Dwight vows to get revenge, and sets off on a road trip back to his old haunts to give the killer a different kind of homecoming.

“[Saulnier’s] dark revenge tale flaunts its small-town strangeness, but it also keeps a sharp eye on the human beings at the story’s center. Blue Ruin may occasionally be midnight-movie lurid, but not at the expense of deeper questions about vengeance’s diminishing returns.” (Tim Grierson, Paste Magazine)

-Kier-la Janisse

SF IndieFest: PROXY
February 16, 2014 - February 20, 2014

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Film Info
Director: Zack Parker
Film Category: Narrative
Running Time: 120
Country: USA
Year of Release: 2013
Description

“Ready-to-pop pregnant Esther Woodhouse (Alexia Rasmussen) is walking home from an obstetrician’s appointment when she’s brutally attacked in the street by a hooded stranger. It is a harsh and surprisingly graphic opening— one likely to have some movie patrons running for the door— but marks only the beginning of the pitch-black psychosexual terrain to be explored in Zack Parker’s fourth feature, Proxy.

The hospital counselors urge the seemingly friendless would-be mother to attend grief counselling. There, her slouching, kicked-dog cautiousness is enlivened by a random conversation with fellow-griever Melanie Michaels (Alexa Havins), whose demeanor is comparatively perky given the context (and whose husband is played by IndieFest fave Joe Swanberg). Melanie is a natural nurturer and over a few confidence-sharing coffee dates, Esther starts to morbidly fixate on her. But when she spies Melanie from afar in a retail shop acting out a bizarre scenario, the revelation will give the damaged Esther a new, dark purpose.

Director and co-writer Zack Parker (Scalene, 2011) is no stranger to complex emotional mysteries. Here the netting of the plot is punctuated by shocking bursts of violence, including a slow-motion show-stopping centerpiece filled with enough blood-spray and Donaggio-esque swelling strings to warrant a gleeful applause.

The intense experiential space of the film is one that can be compared to headtrips like Altman’sThree Women or even Drew Tobia’s See You Next Tuesday (also playing this year’s IndieFest), but the execution and the subjects it dares to expose make it wholly unique. The film keeps the audience guessing, and even though each revelation is deftly supported by calculated clues, the suspense remains terrifically palpable throughout, with any kind of pat psychological précis avoided in favour of a deliberately sustained ambiguity.” (Kier-La Janisse, Fangoria Online)

-Kier-la Janisse

SF IndieFest: STRANGER/DANGER
February 16, 2014 - February 19, 2014

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Film Info
Film Category: Shorts Program
Running Time: 80
Year of Release: 2013
Description

It’s that something you can’t quite put your finger on— the feeling that something bad is about to happen, but you can’t do anything to stop it. The strange, the dangerous, the foreboding and ominous collide in this eclectic collection of shorts, which includes (but is not limited to) clown cops, UFOs, a dead goldfish, miniature houses, a step-by-step guide to uploading your consciousness to the internet, human/monster love triangles, and one very talented Theremin player. BYO Kool-Aid and become one of us, one of us! -JW

Included Shorts
#Postmodem (10min) More
Break (4min) More
Casimiro Effect (Efeito Casimiro) (15min) More
Love (Liebe) (4min) More
Mr. Grillo: The Thereminist (20min) More
Mr. Lamb (15min) More
Through The Tubes (12min) More
SF IndieFest: THE WAIT
February 16, 2014 - February 19, 2014

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Film Info
Director: M Blash
Film Category: Narrative
Running Time: 96
Country: USA
Year of Release: 2013
Description

An enigmatic phone call from a psychic catapults a family into a state of suspended belief while waiting for their recently deceased mother to be resurrected. One sister (Chloe Sevigny)believes the claim, and the other (Jena Malone, also a narrator of this year’s selection Teenage) staunchly opposes it until she encounters a chance at love giving her hope that anything, even resurrection, is possible. A discordant struggle between sisters plays out in a world where the virtual and real converge.

“(A) surreal – and stunningly shot – backdrop of isolation and immersion, beauty and loss.” (Austin Chronicle).

The Wait … is nothing short of magical.” (The Portable) .

“An unusual film, with a complex and layered aesthetic … grounded by a beautiful script in which the actors convincingly portray a very real and mournful time in their lives.” (PopBytes).

-Kier-la Janisse

Feb
21
Fri
LOVE & AIR SEX
February 21, 2014 - February 28, 2014

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LOVE & AIR SEX

Friday, February 21 – Tuesday, February 25

SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE!  

Friday 2/21 – Q&A with director Bryan Poyser and star Michael Stahl-David (CLOVERFIELD), featuring a live in-theater Air Sex demo by the reigning San Francisco champion.

Saturday 2/22 – Q&A with director Bryan Poyser and star Michael Stahl-David (CLOVERFIELD).

When broken-hearted Stan flies to Austin for the weekend in hopes of “accidentally” running into his ex Cathy, he arrives to find their best friends Jeff and Cara in the middle of their own vicious breakup.  Before too long, battle lines are drawn – and with the Air Sex World Championship in town, anything can happen.  Dir: Bryan Posyer.  2013.  Digital. 91 mins.  Fri – Mon., 8pm & 10pm, plus Sat. + Sun. at (2pm) & 4pm.  Tuesday at 9:15 pm only.

Mar
7
Fri
AWFUL NICE
AWFUL NICE
March 7, 2014 - March 13, 2014

Outrageous indie comedy directed by Jason Sklar starring Alex Rennie and James Pumphrey. Two belligerent brothers who haven’t seen each other in years are reunited for their father’s funeral (where they argue and tussle) and forced to travel (as they continue to argue and tussle) down to Branson Mo to redeem their inheritance: the family’s lake home. Upon arriving, they find that the house is in terrible condition, and worse-yet, they’ll have to fix it themselves before they can sell it and receive their money. What follows is a series of hilarious mishaps and costly misadventures where they break more than they fix but ultimately rebuild their strained relationship in the house they grew up in.

Mar
12
Wed
12 O’CLOCK BOYS
12 O'CLOCK BOYS
March 12, 2014 - March 19, 2014

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!  The 12 O’CLOCK BOYS are a notorious urban dirt bike pack in Baltimore – popping wheelies and weaving at excessive speeds through traffic, the group impressively evades the hamstrung police.  In Lofty Nathan’s wild, dynamic new documentary, their stunning antics are envisioned through the eyes of young adolescent Pug – a bright kid from the Westside obsessed with the riders and willing to do anything to join their ranks.  Dir: Lofty Nathan.  2013. Digital.

Mar
20
Thu
BREADCRUMB TRAIL
March 20, 2014 - March 21, 2014

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Thursday, March 20- Friday, March 21

SAN FRANCISCO PREMIERE! DIRECTOR LANCE BANGS & SLINT GUITARIST BRIAN MCMAHAN IN PERSON! Feature length documentary about the band Slint and the Louisville music culture they emerged from. Throughout the 1980s, a group of friends in Louisville, Kentucky grew up forming bands, breaking up, and reforming in different configurations. They were playing hardcore shows at ages 10-12, touring with Samhain as 14 year olds, recording for Homestead as Squirelbait at age 15, then formed Slint in their late teens and recorded the classic album Spiderland before they were 21. They broke up before the album’s release, giving no interviews and vanishing into their own shadows. Two decades passed as filmmaker Lance Bangs assembled unseen footage of the teenagers writing and arranging Spiderland as well as the first on camera interviews with the band members and their contemporaries trying to decipher what they had been through. Featuring Slint, Steve Albini, Ian Mackaye, David Grubbs, David Yow, James Murphy and archival material from Will Oldham. Dir: Lance Bangs. 2014. Digital. Thursday at 7:15pm & 9:45pm and Friday at 9:30pm.