The San Francisco Independent Film Festival starts Feb. 6 and runs through Feb. 20. This year’s IndieFest promises to be an even more eclectic program, including a few nights of Roller Disco.
The festival starts off with “The Congress,” which actually stars a cast of talented, recognizable actors often not seen in some of these more independent projects. Robin Wright stars as an actress not unlike herself who allows herself to be “scanned” and the new electronic version of herself then can be used in all kinds of Hollywood films without the real participation of Wright. Kind of reminds me of a 1980s campy thriller I loved called “Looker” in which models were digitized so they didn’t have to use (or pay for) the real models.
The movie has been called surreal and subversive as it received accolades when it played at other festivals. The film also stars Jon Hamm, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti and Danny Huston. “The Congress” screens one time only at 7pm on Feb. 6.
Here are some other highlights of movies screening through the weekend.
FRIDAY, FEB. 7
“Doomsdays” is billed as a pre-apocalyptic comedy about a pair of guys who have made a career out of breaking into vacation homes in the Catskills but are threatened when they encounter a seemingly tougher pair of hoods. It also screens Feb. 13.
“Remember You’re Special” is a world premiere and takes place in Oakland and deals with pair of young adults who had promising futures and were always being put on a pedestal and being told they have what it takes to make a difference. School over, life is moving on and instead the pair finds themselves with school debt and complicated relationships. So where’s the happy ending? The movie also screens on Feb. 12 and again in Oakland on Feb. 19.
SATURDAY, FEB. 8
“Bluebird” seems an interesting tale when a bus driver (played by Tony nominee Amy Morton) fails to notice a sleeping boy on the back of the bus. What seems like an innocent mistake ends up having enormous consequences. It also plays Feb. 8 and 9.
“Grigris” was the official foreign film entry for Oscar consideration from the country Chad and it has received a lot of attention at various film festivals including the mother of all festivals –Cannes.
Story follows a young man with a paralyzed leg who won’t give up his dream of becoming a professional dancer – even though other obstacles keep getting in his way. Also noteworthy as the film debut of French model Deme. Grigris” also screens Feb. 9 and again in Oakland on Feb. 18.
“You Make Me Feel So Young” is from SF Indie Alum Zach Weintraub and is the story of a man who relocates to take a job in an arthouse theatre and he is followed by his girlfriend even though their relationship may have been on the outs (and sounds like he was trying to move away from her!). Also shows on Feb. 9.
“Delivery” sounds like a haunting thriller about a couple who decide to have their baby via reality TV but encounter a lot of unexplained events, causing everyone to take pause and putting the audience on the edge of their seats. Also see it Feb. 10 and in Oakland on Feb. 19.
“Let’s Ruin It With Babies” tells of a young woman who turns an RV into a karaoke lounge. With aspirations to be part of a rock & roll world, she doesn’t realize her husband’s goal is to knock her up. Let’s see who wins. Also screens Feb. 10 and in Oakland Feb. 17.
“See You Next Tuesday” is likely my favorite title of all the movies as I use that term quite a bit. The movie wins you over from the start with our leading character just frozen in the camera as the credits roll by. Aside from that, it’s an odd tale of a confused young pregnant woman who likely has no sense of direction as her mother was too busy with drugs and alcohol. While the mother is only on screen for a few scenes, it’s easy to see who she has affected our lead character Mona and her almost-as-messed-up lesbian sister. Also screens Feb. 12 and in Oakland Feb. 18.
“Objects Attack!” is a B-movie at its best because it is intended to be. This late night movie camps it up as it zooms in on the life of Lovely Chambers, a hapless romantic, plagued by disappearing boyfriends and unexplained “behavior” of inanimate objects. Sounds like underground filmmaker Rona Mark continues to make her mark in cult films. Also screens Feb. 14.
SUNDAY, FEB. 9
“A Will for the Woods” is a documentary that explores a man’s desire to die green vs. a toxic modern funeral. Thought proving and not morbid, the movie also shows Feb. 10.
“Congratulations” is a dark yet comedic story about a boy who goes missing after his brother’s graduation. Put an old sleuth on the scene who limits his investigation within the confines of the missing boys home and you have one odd mystery on your hands. Also shows Feb. 10.
“Loveless Zorista” could also be called the Black Widow as everyone who succumbs to her charms also succumbs to life as when you receive her kiss of death, your dead. Seemingly sinister, this is actually a black comedy that fared well last year at San Jose’s Cinequest festival. Also plays Feb. 11.
More movie information to come over the weekend to keep an eye out for movies for next week.
All screenings in San Francisco are at the Roxie Theatre. Oakland screenings are at the New Parkway.
Get tickets and more information on all options at www.sfindie.com.