The San Francisco Film Society and New People, a locally based distributor of Japanese films, art and fashion, have reached a historic agreement that will enable the Film Society to offer its exhibitions, educational programs and filmmaker services on a year-round basis for the first time in the organization’s 54-year history. Beginning in September, the San Francisco Film Society | New People Cinema will open its doors in a stylish, state-of-the art 143-seat theater located in the New People building on Post Street in Japantown.
Sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society, the city's fifth International Animation Festival, a four-day celebration of innovative artistry and visionary storytelling, opens tonight at the Embarcadero Center Cinema.
This year's selections include the Decemberists-inspired Here Come the Waves: The Hazards of Love Visualized; animated music videos featuring the music of Rage Against the Machine, Paul Oakenfold and Gorillaz; and brothers Edward and Rory McHenry's Jackboots on Whitehall, in which puppets, voiced by the likes of Ewan McGregor and Tom Wilkinson, reveal what might have transpired if the Third Reich had occupied Buckingham Palace during World War II.
Sitting before a standing-room-only crowd of 6,500, most of whom had waited hours to catch a glimpse of the silver-haired animation master and greeted him with a raucous standing ovation at last month’s Comic-Con convention in San Diego, Hayao Miyazaki played the part of reclusive auteur to perfection.
He was soft spoken and unfailingly polite as longtime friend John Lasseter, the Pixar Animation chief who describes his films as “unique and inspirational,” questioned him about Ponyo, his wondrously illustrated tale of a fish who turns into a little girl after discovering love in the human world.
If his answers came off as less than revealing, nobody seemed to mind.