SFIFF58 Week Two Picks

The second half of the Festival is underway! To guide you through the latter part of our program, we've picked out some of the films  (& guests) we're most excited about in week two.

POV Award: Kim Longinotto & Dreamcatcher
Saturday, May 2, 3:00 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Blessed with an abundance of empathy, Kim Longinotto identifies with outsiders. Her films often center on women, many suffering under the yoke of hardship and oppression, yet they inspire surprising optimism by revealing the strength and resilience of ordinary people transforming their lives or those of others. On May 2, join us in honoring Longinotto, who will participate in an in-depth onstage conversation and screen her latest film, Dreamcatcher.

7 Chinese Brothers with director Bob Byington & actor Jason Schwartzman
Saturday, May 2, 9:30 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Larry drifts through life, from one menial position to the next, without much thought for the future. Often drunk, solitary and unmoored, his closest companion is his French bulldog. Not much fazes him, so he is gob-smacked to realize that he actually likes his new job at an oil-change place. Jason Schwartzman imbues Larry with amiability and charm in Bob Byington’s low-key, existential comedy, and graciously plays second banana to his scene-stealing pet, Arrow.

Mel Novikoff Award: Lenny Borger & Monte-Cristo
Sunday, May 3, 1:00 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

This year’s recipient of the Mel Novikoff Award—named after the legendary San Francisco exhibitor and bestowed upon an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema—is translator, scholar and film sleuth Lenny Borger. Join us for a conversation about the hunt for “lost” films and the unsung art of subtitling with Borger and Variety’s Scott Foundas followed by a screening of the rediscovered 1929 silent masterpiece Monte-Cristo.

State of Cinema Address: Douglas Trumbull
Sunday, May 3, 6:30 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Each year SFIFF invites a visionary thinker to discuss their views on the current state and future prospects of cinema. Douglas Trumbull, a pioneering visual effects artist, inventor and engineer who has long inspired filmmakers and audiences with his forward-thinking work, will do just that.

Cibo Matto New Scene
Tuesday, May 5, 8:00 at the Castro Theatre

Experts at establishing mood and always up for an experimental challenge, Cibo Matto has developed new musical soundtracks to a number of wild and abstract short movies to be played in this one-time-only performance. Anchoring the screenings are two rare presentations of films made in 1970: Yoko Ono's incredible Fluxus epic Fly and a modern re-staging of celebrated Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer's Triadic Ballet - a movie that will blow your mind with its campy costumes, weird choreography and sheer delight.

Kronos Quartet Beyond Zero: 1914-1918
Wednesday, May 6, 6:30 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas

Recognized the world over for their innovation and virtuosity, San Francisco's Kronos Quartet has long made collaborations a vital aspect of their process. In their newest such project, they turn to master experimental filmmaker and multiple SFIFF Golden Gate Award winner Bill Morrison (Decasia SFIFF 2002, Re:Awakenings 2014). Sourcing original 35mm nitrate footage, Morrison has pieced together a unique visual exploration of World War I from footage that has never been viewed by modern audiences.

SFIFF58 Closing Night: Experimenter with director Michael Almereyda & actor Winona Ryder
Thursday, May 7, 7:00 at the Castro Theatre
This inventive and playful biography of scientist Stanley Milgram revisits his famous experiment, in which subjects were made to believe they were administering electric shocks to others in order to test why people will cede to authority, no matter how brutal the request. An examination of scientific ethics, the drama also explores the moral consequences of “just following orders.” Anchored by a riveting performance from Peter Sarsgaard as Milgram, iconoclastic genius Michael Almereyda (Hamlet) has delivered a timely and important film about the role of science in our society.

Founded in 1957, the San Francisco International Film Festival is the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Held each spring for two weeks and highly anticipated by its loyal and passionate audiences, SFIFF is an extraordinary showcase of cinematic discovery and innovation in one of the country's most beautiful cities, featuring some 150 films and live events with more than 100 filmmakers in attendance and nearly two dozen awards presented for excellence in film craft.