One of the nation’s oldest film festivals is celebrating its diamond anniversary in 2017. The 60th annual San Francisco International Film Festival runs from April 5th to April 19th, featuring 191 dramatic narratives, documentaries, short films and special events. We’re highlighting 15 of the films we’re looking forward to checking out…
I think I figured out why first time director Reed Tang’s “A Different Sun” feels so darned disjointed. How else can you describe a drama about a Chinese family who moves to Germany to help their daughter get a better education, which is mostly in English and almost exclusively shot in upstate New York?
Here we are, on the final day of the two-week Cinequest Film Fesitval, and I still have yet to write up anything about the festival itself. So, if you’ll allow the indulgence, here is one person’s view of their first film festival in almost eight years, the things I enjoyed, the things I didn’t and the things I didn’t quite get to cover due to other commitments.
Prom King, 2010
It is said that neophyte filmmakers should stick to things they know. It is clear that Christopher Schaap, the writer/director/star of the new film “Prom King, 2010” knows a thing or two about the mavericks that came before him. It may be bit premature to put Schaap in the same league as John Cassavetes and John Sayles, but this New York-based filmmaker’s debut should be as exciting to cinephiles as “Shadows” was in 1959 or “Return of the Secaucus 7” was in 1980.
Director Lindsey Copeland’s second feature “Hedgehog” fails one of the most basic tenets of storytelling. If you can’t make your lead character likable, at least make them compelling. And if you can’t make them compelling, at least make them interesting. And if you can’t make them interesting, at least make it worth our while to follow them.