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.

Suburban Gothic
January 30, 2015

Richard Bates Jr.’s sophomore feature is a droll horror-comedy driven by a talented cast’s riffing.

-Dennis Harvey, Variety

MV5BNDgwMDEwNzU2Ml5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjAzNTA5MzE@._V1__SX884_SY631_Raymond has a prestigious MBA, but he can’t find work. He can channel the paranormal, but chatting with a cute girl mystifies him. Kicked out of his big city apartment, Raymond returns home to his overbearing mother, ex-jock father, and beer-bellied classmates.

MV5BMTU1MzUwMDAxMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjEzNTA5MzE@._V1__SX884_SY631_But when a vengeful ghost terrorizes the small town, the city-boy recruits Becca, a badass local bartender, to solve the mystery of the spirit threatening everyone’s lives.

Directed by Richard Bates Jr., 90min., 2014, U.S.A.

Suburban Gothic – Official Trailer from FilmBuff on Vimeo.

The Duke Of Burgundy
January 30, 2015 - February 5, 2015

“Visually ravishing, emotionally wise, and kinky as a coiled rope”

– The Hollywood Reporter.

“The Duke of Burgundy: filthy and fraught with genuine emotion”

– The guardian

Unknown-1Sex, bondage, and butterflies: two women explore the extremes of carnal desire in this kinky, deliciously twisted tale of erotic obsession. In a crumbling European estate, butterfly researcher Cynthia (Sidse Babett Knudsen) and her lover Evelyn (Chiara D’Anna) repeatedly enact a sadomasochistic role-playing game, with Cynthia as the stern mistress and Evelyn her subservient sex slave.

Unknown-2But as the lines between fantasy and reality begin to blur, and Cynthia grows increasingly uneasy with Evelyn’s insatiable appetite for punishment, their relationship is pushed to the limit. Dripping with dreamlike imagery, Gothic atmosphere, and a lush chamber pop score by Cat’s Eyes, this critically-acclaimed, darkly comic erotic fantasia is a seductive feast for the senses. 

Written & Directed by Peter Strickland. With Sidse Babett Knudsen, Eugenia Caruso & Monica Swinn. Not Rated.  106 mins.

Jan
31
Sat
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
January 31, 2015 - February 6, 2015

“A stylish and soulful film”  -Terence Johnson, Sundance Review

“The biggest honest-to-God discovery of 2014″

Andrew O’Hehir ,Salon.com

“A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” is a wildly inventive Iranian vampire movie that grabs you by the throat with its dark, moody style, pulsating soundtrack and offbeat love story.

-David LewisSan Francisco Chronicle

850Strange things are afoot in Bad City. The Iranian ghost town, home to prostitutes, junkies, pimps, and other sordid souls, is a place that reeks of death and hopelessness, where a lonely vampire is stalking the towns’ most unsavory inhabitants. But when boy meets girl, an unusual love story begins to blossom…blood red.

13921-2-e1390414613917The first Iranian Vampire Western, Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature basks in the sheer pleasure of pulp. A joyful mash-up of genre, archetype and iconography, its prolific influences span spaghetti westerns, graphic novels, horror films, and the Iranian New Wave. Amped by a mix of Iranian rock, techno and Morricone-inspired riffs, its airy, anamorphic, black-and-white aesthetic and artfully drawn- out scenes combine the simmering tension of Sergio Leone with the weird surrealism of David Lynch.

Directed by ANA LILY AMIRPOUR, 2014 / 99 minutes / Color / in Farsi with English subtitles

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
5
Thu
FIFI HOWLS FROM HAPPINESS
February 5, 2015

198x137_Fifi_Howls_from_Happiness_4

CO-PRESENTED BY DOCUNIGHT!

Mitra Farahani’s lyrical documentary explores the enigma of provocative artist Bahman Mohassess, the so-called “Persian Picasso,” whose acclaimed paintings and sculptures dominated pre-revolutionary Iran. Irreverent and uncompromising, a gay man in a hostile world, Mohassess had a conflicted relationship with his homeland—revered by elites in the art scene and praised as a national icon, only to be censored later by an oppressive regime. Known for his iconoclastic art as well as his scathing declarations, Mohasses abandoned the country over 30 years ago for a simple, secluded life in Italy.

198x137_Fifi_Howls_from_Happiness_3While the new Iranian government destroyed many of his works, Mohassess himself obliterated even more– in rage at man’s inhumanity to man, environmental destruction, and the futility of idealism. 

Ranging from tender to playful to haunting to grotesque, these unforgettable pieces were as mercurial as the man himself, a chain-smoking recluse with the mouth of a sailor and the soul of a poet, touched by a mischievous spark and as likely to lapse into a political rant as a burst of eccentric laughter.

198x137_Fifi_Howls_From_Happiness_5Determined to interview Mohassess, fine artist/filmmaker Farahani discovers him living alone in a hotel room in Rome and begins to craft the perfect final biography, in his own words and on his terms.  Along the way, the inimitable spirit of the man behind the image is laid bare—both painfully sensitive and crudely comical, “condemned to paint,” but unable to compel himself to leave anything behind as a legacy.

198x137_Director_of_Fifi_Howls_from_HappinessWhen a pair of artist brothers and ardent fans of Mohassess commission him for an ambitious project, the elderly man is inspired with a renewed sense of purpose and returns to painting after decades of dormancy.  A lasting tribute to an elusive artistic genius, Fifi Howls from Happiness affirms the power of creative freedom, the right of the artist to create and to destroy, and above all, to have no regrets.

Director: Mitra Farahani, 102min, 2013, Iran

Feb
6
Fri
SF INDIEFEST 2015
February 6, 2015 - February 19, 2015

!indiefest_12-12.aiThe 17th San Francisco Independent Film Festival takes place Feb 5-18 at the Brava and Roxie Theaters in SF and the Humanities Hall in Oakland.

CHECK OUT THE ENTIRE LINE UP HERE!

This month only: 10% discount on IndieFest FullPasses and and 5Film or 10Film DiscountPasses!Get one for friends, family, your hair dresser, that neighbor you think is cute, yourself, anyone!

FULL PASSES HERE
5Film and 10Film PASSES HERE

 

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.