During an era when so many new directors come from the worlds of advertising and music video, catering to increasingly shorter attention spans and relying on gaudy visuals to engage audiences for seconds at a time, Oscar winner John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, not Monday Night Football) is a throwback to a time when dramas drew their strength from the spoken word.
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.
With the 12th annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival taking over the Roxie for the next two weeks and The Last Station making its regional debut at the Embarcadero, it's an exciting time for Bay Area cinephiles. Here's a list of some of the finest films currently in rotation at an indie theater near you.