San Francisco's Asian American Film Festival has always been one those events that seems to beg (and reward) the application of a good metaphor, and there's an analogy to be made somewhere that speaks to the fact that as other festivals have begun to age out, the 31-year-old fest has managed to retain a youthful glow.
1) Trance Cinema Live–An Evening of Ritual and Ecstatic States
Oddball Film + Video once again lives up to its name with this pairing of music and film. The archive presents a series of ethnographic documents of trance rituals used by various cultures around the world (sample activity: Women dance ecstatically while men climb a ladder of knives), matching some shorts with music by Jakarta-based musician and sound designer Iman Fattah. Gamelan fans rejoice!
SF Indiefest, the biggest little film festival San Francisco has to offer, celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year. Calling it their "Quinceañera" in festival literature, the crown jewel of local impresario Jeff Ross' ever-expanding roster marks the occasion with the usual slate of heavy partying and one of its strongest festival lineups in years.
Ah, spring in San Francisco: Shorts weather 'til sundown, then quick, strap on your longjohns and get thee indoors before the temperatures drop and punishing winds leave you looking like a shoddy stunt double for Lance Henricksen. With SF Indiefest in town once again, there's plenty of genre goo to keep you busy this weekend. Take a peek at the picks:
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are."
Searching for a hearth, any hearth, in front of which to warm my toes on this cold, cold night, I headed to Blackbird Bar, a lower Castro haunt that I find myself at more often than not when I'm in the area, for this week's picks and drinks. In a city rumored to tip the scales at more than 800 bars, opportunities to be pretentious about your cocktail selection lurk, suspender clad, around every corner, and I've always noticed Blackbird to be refreshingly casual and comfortable considering the breadth of their selection.
With studios and movie-goers still emerging from their holiday comas and Oscar creating all that static rubbing his golden mitts together in anticipation, January can be a sleepy time for independent releases. Fear not though, the winter thaw is already beginning--have a peek at this weekend's offerings: