I often wonder how San Francisco can support so many film festivals. More accurately, I often wonder why I feel compelled to attend so many film festivals in San Francisco.
The 56th San Francisco International Film Festival (SFIFF) started last night. I skipped the opening night. I typically skip the opening night film as it will likely get a distribution deal (if it doesn't already have one). The SFIFF kicks off a busy three months of festivals I want to attend in the Bay Area and beyond.
April 25 - May 9: SFIFF
May 9 - May 26: Girls! Guns! Ghosts! The Sensational Films of Shintoho (YBCA)
May 10 - May 23: I Wake Up Dreaming 2013 (Roxie)
June 6 - June 23: DocFest (SF IndieFest)
June 14 - June 16: Hitchcock 9 (San Francisco Silent Film Festival)
June 21 - June 30: Sacramento French Film Festival
July 12 - July 14: Sacramento Japanese Film Festival
July 18 - July 21: San Francisco Silent Film Festival
July 27 - August 2: San Francisco Japan Film Festival (New People)
I mentioned going to the movies on 60 of 73 days earlier this year. It was exhausting. The aforementioned lineup of film festivals looks equally daunting. Approximately 67 days out of 100 are accounted for in the festival schedule. That assumes I go every day which will likely not be the case. However, it also assumes I attend no rep house/art house films which is likely not be the case either.
Simon Killer, one of my favorite films from the 2013 Indiefest, opens at the Landmark Opera Plaza today. Graceland, my favorite film from the 2013 CAAMFest, also opens today and resumes Monday (April 29) at the Roxie after the San Francisco Global Vietnamese Film Festival ends its two day run. It was foolhardy of that festival to counterprogram the SFIFF on a weekend but I suppose they are targeting a different demographic than SFIFF. I'd like to see Norwegian Wood on Saturday at 9:30 PM but am not sure if I will be able to get there by that time.
I have been a member of the Mechanics' Institute for several years. When I joined, their Cinema Lit series was one of the selling points but I have yet to attend a single Friday night screening. I am tentatively targeting the May 24 screening of Marty (1955). Ernest Borgnine won an Academy Award for his performance in the film and I have long wanted to see it. May is Paddy Chayefsky month for Cinema Lit. In addition to Marty, Friday night screenings include The Americanization of Emily, The Catered Affair and The Goddess. All four films were written by Chayefsky or based on one of his (tele)plays.
I am also anxious to see Blancanieves, a modern day silent film which sets Snow White among Spanish bullfighters. It's playing at the Landmark Embarcadero Cinemas.
The title of this post refers to a memorable sequence in The Natural in which a motivational speaker compares the New York Knights losing streak to successively fatal diseases. The Natural is one of those films I can and have watched over and over again.
10 hours ago