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Seven Indie Films to Watch This Weekend

Get a sneak peek of seven indie screenings and events in San Francisco over the weekend and into the week.

1) Pandora's Promise

With the help of a cast of environmental heavyweights who now support the once-maligned technology, director Robert Stone makes an intriguing inquiry into the pitfalls and possibilities of the seemingly Faustian bargain of nuclear power, highlighting its potential to solve our incumbent energy conundrum with an inspection of its biggest failures (Fukushima, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and others).Director Stone and noted environmentalist Stewart Brand (and Long Now co-founder) Steward Brand are scheduled for a Q&A after Friday's screening and subject Michael Shellenberger will appear Saturday night's. Starts Friday at Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Center.

2) The Hitchcock 9

The Silent Film Festival, which rolls next month, gives us a taste of what's to come this weekend with this program of nine newly restored silents by the Master of Suspense. Outside of widely watched early work The Lodger, these rarities will be new to all but the most slavish Hitchcock fiends. The films will be accompanied by Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and composer/pianist Stephen Horne, both SFF regulars. Screens June 14-19 at The Castro Theatre.

3) Dancing with Light: The Cinematography of Agnes Godard

PFA's guide to their in-depth screening of the works of the noted french cinematographer rightfully pinpoints her in lit as the creator of "some of the most riveting, naturalistic, and sensual imagery in world cinema today." Take in two of her most sensual, lingering works this weekend, Beau Travail and Trouble Every Day, both directed by frequent collaborator Claire Denis. Screens June 13-28 at Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Bancroft Way.

4) Dirty Wars

Richard Rowley's docu-thriller based on muckraking reporter Jeremy Scahill's book of the same name has been accused of putting the reporter before the reportage by some critics--one pegged it as the "longest local-news intro ever." Despite its flaws, the flashy doc, like Scahill, is easy on the eyes, and the material uncovered is undoubtedly exciting, and crucial. Current events junkies and anyone who nurses hopes of a romantic career in journalism will rejoice. Starts Friday at Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Center.

5) Docfest Week 2

The Bay's largest documentary showcase continues into it's second week with dates at the Roxie in San Francisco and recently-restored New Parkway in Oakland. Second-half highlights include wacky pet-owner doc Furever, Sundance hit Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer and closing night film Terms and Conditions May Apply. Screens through June 23rd at various Bay Area locations.

6) Fill the Void

It opened last weekend, but Rama Burshtein's intimate, sun-spackled look at the orthodox Hasidic sect of which she is a part is definitely still worthwhile viewing. Israel's entry to the Academy Awards last year, Void stirs a potent pot of melancholy, fated love and sensual up-close-and-personal lensing that actually makes it a great date movie (but you can pretend you're only in it for the culture). Now playing at The Clay Theater, 2261 Fillmore Street.

7) Queer Women of Color Film Festival

A sort of advance guard for next week's Frameline debut, the QWOC Film Festival returns, this time to the beautiful Brava Theater, with a series of screening and parties. Calling the five programs screenings, as the fest does, is a bit misleading--each offers a bevy of sweet and sassy shorts dedicated to the QWOC experience. Show up early--all tickets are free! Runs June 14-16 at Brava Theater, 2781 24th Street. 

 

The trailer for Amy Finkel's eye-wideningly comprehensive Furever.