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Lisa Aschan's First Feature: She Monkeys at SFIFF54

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Recently I had the chance to interview an art director about his craft. I asked him to describe how he thought all the effort that he put into the sets will translate to the audience when it's all said and done. "You hope it's just a feeling... you know?" I realized then that's the most any artist hopes for, to display or transfer a feeling, not describable by logic. That's why Black Swan was enchanting, why Cave of Forgotten Dreams was so moving, and it's why I couldn't separate my ...

Werner Herzog in 3D: Cave of Forgotten Dreams at SFIFF54

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I have been delaying it long enough, it's time to write about experiencing Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams Monday night. Not that I have much to say besides SEE IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Let the film envelop you and enjoy the ride. I won't be a fool and spoil for you or try describe the near out of body experience in too many words. Here are just a few thoughts: As she introduced the film festival programmer Rachel Rosen said, "This film reminds us how extraordinarily wonderful...

Children of the Princess of Cleves at SFIFF54

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Yesterday at the San Francisco International I saw the North American premiere of documentary Children of the Princess of Cleves, by French neuroscientist turned filmmaker Regis Sauder.  Cleves portrays students of a high school literature class in Marseilles who are reading and studying the 17th century French novel La Princesse de Cleves. The first thing I like about this documentary is how relatable it is: most of us can remember back to highschool required reading. We follo...

Christine Vachon: The State of Cinema is...Not Necessarily Taking Place in a Cinema

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Last night, closing out day 4 of the San Francisco International Film Festival, Christine Vachon of Killer Films delivered the State of Cinema Address. Christine has personally produced over 60 films, including I'm Not There, Boys Don't Cry, One Hour Photo, and the 2010 HBO mini series Mildred Pierce. The annual Address is billed as assessment of cinema + culture + society. Here's a little summary. The style of the talk was the type where Vachon would ask a question, sort of state that she ...
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