With Noir City 9 descending on the Castro for the next 10 days and San Francisco's 13th Independent Film Festival arriving in early February, the new year is already heating up for local cinephiles. Here, as always, are some of the finest selections currently playing at an indie theater (and, in this week's edition, a Loews cineplex) near you.
1. Barney's Version
It’s an annual tradition created by accelerated modernization, an expanding economy and the world’s largest populace: Each year, 130 million Chinese peasants, displaced from their villages to work in urban factories, crowd train stations to return home for the lunar New Year.
Lixin Fan’s insightful new documentary Last Train Home, a featured selection at this year's San Francisco Film Festival, captures the phenomenon at its alarmingly frantic peak, concentrating on a single family, the Zhangs, divided by harsh economic realities and struggling to cope with the strain.
The San Francisco International Film Festival will continue through Thursday, May 6, with a closing-night screening of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work at the Castro Theatre. Until then, the festival's eclectic showcase of international offerings, probing documentaries and soon-to-be cult classics will be playing at its primary venues, including the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre, the Clay Theatre and the Pacific Film Archive. For tickets, showtimes and more information, click here.
1. Last Train Home
Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 1881 Post St., 415-929-4650