san francisco film festival
If Werner Herzog weren’t celebrated enough for his movies, including the 1982 epic Fitzcarraldo and the 2007 documentary Encounters at the End of the World, he would still be the star of his improbable personal history.
He has eaten his shoe on camera, saved Joaquin Phoenix from a car wreck, and taken a bullet from a Los Angeles sniper during a televised interview – though, as the director quickly assured the stunned interviewer, it was “not a significant bullet.” Perhaps less remarkably, the man heralded as a pioneer of the New German Cinema admits he enjoys Baywatch, and likens WrestleMania to ancient Greek drama.
The San Francisco Film Festival closes tonight with Tournée (On Tour), The Diving Bell and the Butterfly star Mathieu Amalric's highly improvised comedy about an American burlesque troupe touring the French countryside. The lights go down on the 54th festival's final feature at 7 p.m. at the Castro, with the annual Closing Night bash following the screening at The Factory on Harrison Street.
"What better finale for the international than a rousing French film that embraces an American phenomenon, merging American exuberance with French élan," said Director of Programming Rachel Rosen of Tour, which, according to Amalric, celebrates the imperfections of burlesque and life.
Highly-caffeinated film gurus--you'd have to have consumed a couple cappucinos to make it out that late--convened at the stylish W Hotel on Saturday night as the clock struck 12 to catch a glimpse of big-screen starlets Evan Rachel Wood and Elijah Wood. As part of the San Francisco International Film Festival's opening weekend, each was a recipient of a Midnight Award (hence the twilight hour) for their individual achievements in film.