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16th annual San Francisco IndieFest off and running

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Here’s a sample of the kind of films that will make the 2014 San Francisco Independent Film Festival must-see movie going from now until until Feb. 20.

See more of Rick Marianetti's reviews HERE or on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

“Drift”

Director: Benny Vandendriessche, Belgium and Romania. “Drift” is a languidly paced meditation on memory, love and death conveyed more by images and jumbled time frames than its sparse dialogue.

The film opens with a shot of a naked man (Dirk Hendrikx) precariously standing on a life buoy in the middle of the ocean. Cut to a room in a near-empty hotel in the Carpathian Mountains. The man and his wife (Lieve Meeussen), who may be seriously ill, are on vacation.

Carl Rottiers’ captivating cinematography and Tom Denoyette’s editing accentuate Vandendriessche’s vision. The film’s haunting tone will linger for days.

Compelling music track ranges from contemporary indie to choral music from English Baroque composer Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas” (c. 1688)

“Objects Attack”

Directed by Rona Mark, U.S.A. Old-school 16mm flick shot mostly in black-and-white about Lovey Chamber (Meritt Latimore), a BBB woman with a skinny white skateboarder boyfriend who has a recurring dream about being entrapped by a BMW driven by two detached, white-gloved hands.

Lovey needs money. When prostitution fails to turn the trick, she gets mixed up with The Kid (Gabriella Ferenchik), a 55-year-old Harvard-educated lawyer/bookie/Kung-fu master who suffers from a rare form of hyperthyroidism, which explains why she looks and sounds like a 12-year old girl.

Jeez, how many times can they rehash this tired old plotline, anyway?

With a sensibility of pre-‘80s John Waters and the set-design values of George and Mike Kuchar permeating every frame, “Objects Attack!” is a low-budget, schlock ‘n tripe extravaganza of dangerously unharnessed proportions.

Not to be missed.

“The Congress”

Directed by Ari Folman, U.S.A., Israel, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg, France and Belgium. See “San Francisco IndieFest's ‘Sweet 16’ promises to mesmerize.”

“Aldo”

Directed by Ross Kolton, U.S.A. Aldo (Dane Mazzei) is an Echo Park hairdresser who makes increasingly reckless wagers with a bookie who fronts for the hard guys.

Jump cuts and quick edits punctuate Ross Kolton’s documentary-style camerawork – hand-held fidgety at the start and finish, alternately swarming and steady in the middle. What begins as a compelling character study fades in the end.

OTHER S.F. INDIE FEST FILMS ARRIVING ON A FERVENT WAVE OF BUZZ

“A Field in England”

Directed by Ben Wheatley. U.K. Burning his daily allotment of superlatives, Martin Scorsese called Wheatley’s film “audacious,” “stunning,” and “brilliant” (“wildly” so) – all in one sentence.

“Teenage”

Directed by Matt Wolf, U.S.A. and Germany. Wolf melds archival footage, recreations shot in super 8mm, re-enactments and diary voice-overs to depict the mid-20th century emergence of “the teenager” prototype as a viable social-role.

“Blue Ruin”

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, U.S.A. “Blue Ruin,” received top honor from the International Federarion of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) at Cannes.

Go to SF IndieFest for ticket info, playdates and locations.

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