Get a sneak peek of five indie gems screening in San Francisco over the weekend and into the week.
1) Post Tenebras Lux
Mexican wunderkind Carlos Reygadas' (Japón, Silent Light) latest, and perhaps greatest, film made headlines last year when it divided audiences and jurors at Cannes but still received the Best Director Award. Bound by dream logic instead of typical narrative concern, Lux, like Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void, has been hailed as a work of genius by some and a farce by others. Either way it's an eye-opening ride. Screens May 30 - June 2 at YBCA Cinema.
This SF Indiefest standout by British chamber thriller craftsman Ben Weatley (Kill List) appears at first to be about a tacky mobile-home road trip undertaken by a pair of rather low-mentality young adults to England's north. Once things are underway and Tina and Chris get comfortable enough to reveal their true colors, murder, mayhem and sub-optimal sightseeing abound, as does a deadpan tone that's decidedly British, but will appeal to anyone that takes a little chuckle with their serial killing. Opens Friday at Opera Plaza Cinemas, 601 Van Ness Avenue, 415-771-0183.
3) We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks
Oscar-winner Alex Gibney's documentary on the controversial whistle-blowing site has been roundly knocked by politicos and journalists for demonizing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, the site's original info source. At this point it's difficult to believe any journalism about Wikileaks isn't being spun at least once (sometimes twice), and Gibney's slick film is a riveting character piece, even if it doesn't tell the whole story. Opens Friday at Embarcadero Center Cinemas, 1 Embarcadero Center, 415-352-0835.
4) Venus and Serena
This regular, though well-composed, sports doc on the world-champion Williams sisters approaches the borderline hagiography seen in Linsanity, which bowed at CAAMFest earlier this year. Intimacy with the sisters can be illusory, but fans will find plenty to enjoy, especially in Venus and Serena's show-stopping highlight reels. Opens Friday at Opera Plaza Cinemas, 601 Van Ness Avenue, 415-771-0183.
5) Before Midnight
The third film in Richard Linklater's Before Trilogy (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset) at first refreshes as it revives protagonists Celine and Jessie's easy, talky chemistry. Then it quickly throws a spanner in the works of their Grecian vacation, and the meandering passages that were once filled with flirtation and warmth are now overflowing with bitterness and bickering. Even so, Linklater's (Dazed and Confused) command over the material is as tight as ever, and Delpy and Hawke's chemistry crackles, if dangerously this time. Opens Friday at Embarcadero Center Cinemas, 1 Embarcadero Center, 415-352-0835.