2011 IndieFest Program Information

Posted by sfindie July 24, 2011 148 views

OPENING NIGHT FILM

Kaboom

Gregg Araki, 2010, 86 min, US/France

2/3 7p

Kaboom is a wild and sex-drenched horror-comedy thriller that tells the story of Smith (Thomas Dekker), an ambisexual 18-year-old college freshman who stumbles upon a monstrous conspiracy in a seemingly idyllic Southern California seaside town. Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin, The Doom Generation) continues where he left off in the hysterically funny Smiley Face with the equally delightful Kaboom, a sort of Clueless-on-acid where late-period John Waters meets Bret Easton Ellis.

 

 

CLOSING NIGHT FILM

The Last Circus

Alex de la Iglesia, 2010, 99 min, Spain

2/13 915p, 2/17 915p

 

In 1937 Spain, a motley bunch of travelling circus performers is forced to fight the fascist enemy. On the barricades, a demented clown puts his machete-wielding talents to good use and is promptly imprisoned. 40 years later, his awkward, revenge-driven son follows in his footsteps in joining the circus, and finds himself in an epic battle with another sadistic clown. “This radical, bloodthirsty extravaganza marks the big return to the screen of Alex de la Iglesia (Accion Mutante, The Day of the Beast, Perdita Durango), and never has a political film been so deliriously anarchic.” -Julien Fonfrède, Festival de Nouveau Cinema

———

An Animated World (total run time 75 min)

Sun 2/6 7p, Tue 2/8 7p

Stop motion, pen and ink, water color, collage, computer, claymation – this year’s animation program has it all. An Animated World features brand new short films from animators from New Zealand, Italy, Ireland, Taiwan, Spain, Canada, the USA and our own backyard.

The Aristocrat

Greg Croteau, 2010, 90 min, US

2/5 445p, 2/8 7p

Set in 1989, arguably the twilight of the classic traveling salesman, against the backdrop of the crumbling semi-conductor industry. Marc Ward, a traveling salesman with a talent for stained glass art, plans to leave his life on the road and use his savings to fund a year figuring out what to do next. But not before he spends a week training his replacement, a brash young kid named Eddie Kent. This classic tale of grifters will leave you wondering who’s schooling who in the business.

The Beast Pageant 

Albert Birney & Jon Moses, 2010, 90 min, US

2/11 915p, 2/12 230p

The Beast Pageant is a fantastical, surrealist, musical-buddy-road movie.

In the tradition of mavericks like Gilliam, Lynch and Maddin, the journey

is anything but typical. Abe is a man in a post-industrial wasteland with

a monotonous job kept company by his daydreams and a machine that fulfills

all his needs. Things turn strange one day when a miniature parasitic

singing cowboy twin bursts from his stomach and the two take to the woods,

discovering a world of nude pie bakers, dancing trees, and his primal

nature. Shot with a trash-picked Bolex on lovingly crafted sets and

peppered with charming stop motion, Pageant is a strange voyage indeed.

Bloodied But Unbowed 

Susanne Tabata, 2010, 74 min, Canada

2/11 7p, 2/14 7p

Bloodied But Unbowed chronicles the late 1970s/early 1980s Vancouver punk rock scene. Susanne Tabata’s documentary tells a tale of rebellion and music — a fiercely independent scene created from nothing and played out in a microcosm of urban squalor. Told by its surviving stars  – including members of DOA, The Pointed Sticks, Subhumans, the Modernettes and Young Canadians, as well as American west coast cohorts Jello Biafra, Penelope Houston and Ron Reyes – whose accounts are suffused with both humor and gritty realism.

Corpusse: Surrender To The Passion

Malcolm Fraser, 2010, 60 min, Canada

2/12 445p, 2/15 915p

Corpusse is a Montreal-born musician, performance artist and painter who has been pursuing his singular vision for over 20 years. His work defies categorization but has been described as “gothic shock opera,” and the Montreal Mirror once stated: “If you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t seen Corpusse.” With footage of his riveting live shows and interviews with collaborators, friends, fans and the secretive Corpusse himself, this film documents the life, art and philosophy of one of Canada’s most unique and under-appreciated artists.

Plays with the short film: NEGATIVIPEG

The Drummond Will

Alan Butterworth, 2010, 81 min, UK

2/4 7p, 2/6 230p

This homage to the classic British comedies of the 40s and 50s follows estranged brothers Marcus, a straight-laced accountant, and Danny, a charismatic free spirit, as they reunite in rural England to attend their father’s funeral. They inherit their father’s decaying home and are surprised to discover a large sum of money. The brothers encounter the colorful local inhabitants Malcolm the Bastard, Dave the Hobo, the stately Colonel, the kindly uncle and the bumbling Constable Cubbins as the mystery of their father’s unlikely wealth unfolds, and the body count escalates.

The End Of Love As We Know It (total run time 85 min)

2/12 915p, 2/14 7p

What happens when love is a one night stand, a memory, an illusion? The End of Love explores the ineffability of love in contemporary society and what it is bound to become in the future. In First Kiss, a guy and a girl unexpectedly find remnants of human connection at a party where everyone else is trying to get laid. The gift of an old 8mm movie camera creates a whole new world in Mr X. Funny girl Christine Elise McCarthy explains the risks of dating younger men in Bathing and the Single Girl. In A Face Fixed, video tapes are all that remains of a past love set in rural America. Brink imagines a love confession at the beginning of the end of the world while The Tennesse Waltz portrays a world already ended where love is only possible through images.

The Evangelist

Nathaniel Chapman, 2010, 84 min, US

2/6 445p, 2/9 7p

Set in Provincetown, Massachusetts, atheist theater director Danny Ziegfeld adopts twelve-year old Gideon Bellamont and is horrified when he turns out to be a religious fanatic. Danny reluctantly agrees to help Gideon on his mission to convert locals to Christianity, but Gideon’s increasingly radical ideas start to create trouble in the community. Director Nathaniel Chapman draws on the canon of American independent cinema, yet offers something entirely unique. The cynics among us will revel in this witty, satirical allegory that explores the fine line between the divine and evil.

Food Stamped

Shira Potash and Yoav Potash, 2010, 60 min, US

2/13 445p, 2/15 7p

Some members of Congress recently limited themselves to $1 meals, the average food stamp benefit. They mostly ate PB sandwiches and Top Ramen.  But here in SF, nutritional educator Shira Potash created a real challenge: a healthy food stamp diet.  Calculator in hand, she and husband Yoav prioritize organic veggies, forgo coffee and cheese, and discover that free samples help stave off the hunger. It doesn’t take long for the painstaking rationing to erode their goodwill as they argue about whether a whole or half banana constitutes a serving of fruit.  A thoughtful exploration of the politics and culture of cheap food in the first world.

With: INHUMAN EATING MACHINE, D. Silva, 9m, USA

Free Radicals

Pip Chodorov, 2010, 82min. France

2/13 930p, 2/17 7p

Pip Chodorov brings us on a personal journey into the world of avant-garde and experimental cinema. The artists and poets of cinema since before WWI have always been free radicals, crazy about filmmaking and pushing the artform in unexpected new directions. Pip shares with us the films he loves and introduces us to some of the unforgettable artists who made them. An enjoyable, energetic foray in to the beginnings of an untamed and essential artform.

Fuerteventura

Mattias Sandstrom, 2010, 90 min, Sweden

2/12 915p, 2/15 915p

On Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands, Jesper finds a resort where he can lick his wounds after a personal tragedy in Sweden. Initially, the carefree holiday life seems to be just what he needs, a refuge from angst where he can spend his time surfing and exploring the beautiful island, enjoying his solitude. Soon however, history catches up with Jesper and he falls into a state somewhere between dream and reality. In a blurry haze of alcohol, sex and hallucinations, someone from his past reappears, reminding him of the life he once knew.

Gabi On The Roof In July

Lawrence Michael Levine, 2010, 100 min, USA

2/5 915p, 2/10 915p

Sam, an ambitious painter on the verge of a big break, struggles in the post-collegiate world of finding a job and paying rent. When younger sister Gabi, a self-righteous undergrad fueled by a liberal arts education, comes to stay for the summer, he grows increasingly annoyed with her misguided attempts at creating “post fluxus feminist art.” As the summer draws to a close the pretense of the hipster art world is dropped as the complexity of the characters, emotions and relationships is revealed.

Gainsbourg, The Man Who Loved Women

Pascal Forneri, 2010, 109 min, France

2/5 230p, 2/6 915p

Throughout his 30+ year career, French pop maestro, writer, composer, performer, film director and superstar Serge Gainsbourg was the dirty old man of popular music; a French singer/songwriter and provocateur notorious for his voracious appetite for alcohol, cigarettes, and women, his scandalous, taboo-shattering output made him a legend in Europe. Come join us in celebrating the life and work of the suave Gallic bard with the SF premiere of the acclaimed 2010 French TV doc Serge Gainsbourg: The Man Who Loved Women!

The Happy Poet

Paul Gordon, 2010, 85 min, US

2/6 445p, 2/10 7p

When Bill, an out-of-work poet, puts his heart, soul, and last few dollars to transform a hot dog cart into an all-organic, mostly-vegetarian food stand, his struggles as an idealistic micro-business owner begin. Strategically placed in the a park, the stand attracts a variety of eccentric characters: Donnie, a brazen, cocksure individualist who is hired to promote the stand and deliver food; Agnes, an attractive poetry-lover; and Curtis, an enigmatic life-philosopher. Complications with the business jeopardize these budding friendships and threaten Bill’s dreams for a hot dog-free future.

Heartbeats

Xavier Dolan, 2010, 102 min, Canada

2/6 7p

Wunderkind filmmaker Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) returns with his second feature – a sophisticated comedy about close friends Francis and Marie, who pursue their mutual obsession with a young man. As they face off in competition, cracks in their friendship begin to appear with both comic and tragic results. “Part gleaming farce, part tough-minded exploration of the inherent insanity of love and desire, Les Amours Imaginaires suggests Dolan is one of the finest young filmmakers to emerge in the last decade.” -Steve Gravestock, Toronto International Film Festival

A Horrible Way To Die

Adam Wingard, 2010, 85 min, US

2/5 1130p, 2/7 915p

 

Adam Wingard, last seen at IndieFest with his mesmerizing Pop Skull, returns with a sharper and decidedly darker, take on the weakness of the human psyche. Convicted serial killer Garrick can’t stop thinking about Sarah, his ex-girlfriend. Now that he has broken out of prison, where he was serving a life sentence for murder, he’s on the run toward whatever life his constantly changing appearance can afford him. Leaving bodies in his wake, he makes his way across the country, back to sweet, sweet Sarah.

J’etaime I Am Terminal

Ben Menkin, 2010, 85 min, Israel

2/12 445p, 2/14 915p

Ben, an ambivalent young musician, decides to finally take control of his life, move out of his parents’ house and marry his American girlfriend. On his way to reunite with her in New York, he meets the flirtatious, outrageous, and somewhat dysfunctional Emma. After missing their connecting flights to the United States, the two spend 24 hours together exploring life, love, relationships and Prague. Recalling Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise, this delightful, romantic, and honest film may change your mind about flying coach.

A Little Help

Michael J. Weithorn, 2010, 105 min, US

2/5 445p, 2/8 915p

In the whitewashed suburbs of Long Island, Laura Pehlke (Jenna Fischer) and Bob Pehlke (Chris O’Donnell) are trapped in a loveless marriage as they struggle with the pervasive tension in the summer following 9/11. When tragedy strikes, Laura finds herself entangled in a series of bizarre lies in order to take care of herself and her 12-year-old son. Featuring pitch-perfect performances and a soundtrack by Jakob Dylan, this compelling dark comedy is achingly sad, warmly touching and surprisingly funny.

Love Bites: Power Ballad Sing-A-Long (total running time: 100 min)

2/14 915p

Some of us just can’t stand Valentine’s Day. Fortunately, there is an entire genre of music made just for our pain, and it just happens to also be the most badass music ever: POWER BALLADS. When metal went glam, and glam boys needed radio hits to afford the fancy hair product they’d grown addicted to, they slowed it down a bit for the ladies and created the anthems that would become theme songs for an entire generation. We’ll hold lighters in the air and sway, we’ll pound our fists at the sky in defiance of those who would dare not love us, and we’ll do it all with teased hair and animal print tights on. Featuring the music of Guns ‘n Roses, REO Speedwagon, Warrant, and more…

Machete Maidens Unleashed

Mark Hartley, 2010, 90 min, Australia

2/4 1130p, 2/9 915p,

If there was ever such a thing as exploitation cinema nirvana, it probably came to realization during the 70s and early 80s in the Philippines.  Documentarian Mark Hartley (Not Quite Hollywood) trains his eye to a place where not only labor, but expertise, materials and even government assistance came cheap. Featuring interviews with a startling number of the key players (Roger Corman, Jack Hill, Eddie Romero, Joe Dante) and as entertaining as any of the films it profiles, Machete Maidens Unleashed! looks back with fondness and incredulity at the insanity that unfolded in Southeast Asia once upon a time.

Machotaildrop

Corey Adams & Alex Craig, 2009, 91min, Canada

2/11 915p, 2/16 915p

A highly visual and fantastical journey about an amateur skateboarder, Walter Rhum, who realizes his dream of turning pro and riding for the world’s greatest skateboard company: Machotaildrop. But what is truly happening in the cavernous bowels of the Machotaildrop compound? “A sweet yet paranoid fairy-tale that blends the sympathetic quirkiness, clever understatement and exquisite visual polish of the post-millennial indie film wave with a bold surrealist sensibility echoing Fellini and Herzog as well as Willy Wonka and The Prisoner.” -Rupert Bottenberg, Fantasia International Film Festival

Mars

Geoff Marslett, 2010, 83 min, US

2/4 915p, 2/7 7p

In 2014, a new space race is born when three American astronauts compete against an artificially intelligent robot to find out if there’s really life on the Red Planet. The motley crew of space travelers are beset by life-threatening accidents, self-doubt, obnoxious reporters and the isolation of the final frontier as they discover that love can flourish anywhere. Told in the playful style of a graphic novel, this remarkably funny interplanetary animated feature explores the impact humans have on natural habitats (especially extra terrestrial ones), and asks the question “Why do we explore?”

Not Your Average Kids Show (total run time 96 min)

2/13 7p, 2/15 7p

In this kids-movies-turned-bad series, children are not what they seem and stories don’t always have happy endings. In Birthday Circle, childhood becomes a bittersweet metaphor. A clown loses his humor when he cannot laugh anymore in Laugh and Die. In Indelible, two kids from different worlds bear their daily struggle and mean parents through their friendship. De Lucha Boys features an unusual friendship and extreme stunts. Andy exposes the reality of growing up and the loss of innocence that goes with it. Vento is a magic-realism portrayal of a small town in Brazil where the wind no longer blows, and a kid who won’t surrender to nature. Repressed memories come back in unusual shapes in 40 Years. Lastly, Stranger Danger and Red Balloon are more proof that kids can be really scary.

Nude Nuns With Big Guns

Joseph Guzman, 2010, 90 min, US

2/12 1130p, 2/17, 915p

Nunsploitation.  The fact that such a thing exists may surprise all but the most rabid film geeks.  In Nude Nuns With Big Guns, director Joseph Guzman (Run Bitch Run!) pushes the already questionable boundaries of taste associated with the genre into a realm that god himself dare not tread.  Sister Sarah, kidnapped by the ruthless motorcycle gang Los Muertos, is held captive as slave labor in their brothel, all the while drugged into submission.  Following a brutal attack, Sarah manages to escape and exact revenge on all who have wronged her.  In doing so, she discovers a conspiracy that leads right up to the hierarchy of the church. Really, the title says it all.

Plays with: Thy Kill Be Done

Offensive!  (total running time: 92 min)

2/6 915p, 2/7 915p

WARNING! This series contains sexually, ethically and religiously offensive material. Viewing is only recommend for people who are not afraid of testing their own resistance to bad taste. In Infidel Pig, terrorism reaches a whole new level. A religious text becomes much more appealing to the eye in The Book. Somewhere Only We Know explores the limit between reality TV and public embarrassment. Starlets and paparazzi are the protagonists of Photo Op, a quirky take on celebrity and death. In Just Desserts, two nice old ladies serve pies to the unlucky patrons of their restaurant. Gay Keith questions sexual orientation. Locally made Drexel Crosses the Poverty Line uses vintage looking puppets to represent sexual perversions and stereotypes fearless of being labeled non-politically correct. In Triviality, we get a bare and quasi-clinical approach to masturbation.

RU There

David Verbeek, 2010, 90 min, Taiwan/Netherlands

2/10 7p, 2/12 7p

The fundamental nature of human intimacy is examined in this groundbreaking observation of a life lived primarily in the virtual world. A withdrawn professional gamer, in Taiwan for a videogame tournament, befriends a prostitute after shoulder pain prevents him from competing. Though their relationship remains platonic in real life, they form a romantic bond through their online rendezvous in the game Second Life. – Chicago International Film Festival

Second Bodies, Sandra Danilovic, 2010, 46 min, Canada

PRECEDED BY:

Gold Farmers, Ge Jin, 2010, 38 min, US

2/4 915p, 2/6 230p

This double-featurette program highlights hot-button issues of the online game industry.  In Gold Farmers we meet the players hired to win virtual currency in games like World Of Warcraft in order to sell it to western gamers. One gold farmer feels lucky to work 10-hour days and send money to his family; another wants to make friends with gamers he meets online, but he’s shunned for being a professional.

Second Bodies is a very astute film about self-image.  Beginning with her own story, Danilovic follows the avatar experience of three women in the virtual reality world of Second Life.  Once an escape, these avatars come to signify their very real feelings of otherness, disability/body image, mental illness, and unrequited love.

Seed of Chucky

Don Mancini, 2004, 87 min, US

2/14 8p at The Victoria Theater

And you prepared for when Chucky meets Peaches Christ? Peaches wants you to give a warm, San Francisco Valentine’s Day welcome to the Bride of Chucky herself, Jennifer Tilly, and the creator of the Child’s Play series, Don Mancini, with a special Seed Of Chucky film event that includes an on-stage conversation with these special guests! Musical numbers and a Killer Costume contest! The fun begins at 8pm, Feb 12 at the Victoria Theatre. Tickets are $20 ($17 if you register at www.peacheschrist.com).

The Sentimental Engine Slayer

Omar Rodriguez Lopez, 2010, 97 min, Mexico/US

2/13 7p, 2/16 7p

Barlam is a timid, twentysomething Mexican-American boy lurching clumsily toward manhood in El Paso, Texas. With his anxiety compounded by a semi-incestuous relationship with his sister, he descends into a seedy underworld where reality and fantasy entangle, masculinity and belonging are thrown into crisis, and flippant humor reveals disillusionment, desire, and rage.  This extraterrestrial, semi-autobiographical tale told with boomerang fragmentation and psychedelic sound design gives the director/writer/star Omar Rodriguez Lopez away as the sonic force behind the Grammy-winning fusion rockers The Mars Volta. -Roya Rastegar, Tribeca Film Festival

The Sight of Music (total run time: 90 min)

2/5 915p, 2/10 915p

The Sight of Sound program presents a hybrid mix of live band performances, music videos and music related shorts. Indestructible is a slapstick comedy about a heartbroken guy and a jinxed mix tape. In Sleeping with Frank, dance and music mark the daily routine of a couple. Penguins mixes sweet stop-motion animation and live action. Get Away, Birds Fled From Me’s new video, is a glossy take on Sixties girl groups videos. Psyche or like Scope features glamorous people roaming the streets of L.A. Ways to Stop Times uses found footage to accompany exrays’ upbeat music. Burning Wigs of Sedition is a metaphor of repression and liberation chanted through the beats of the Extra Action Marching Band.  Plus live sets by Birds Fled From Me and exrays.

The Singularity is Near

Anthony Waller, Toshi Hoo and Ray Kurzweil, 2010, 79 min, US

2/5 230p, 2/11 7p, 2/13 230p

The onset of the 21st Century will be an era in which the very nature of what it means to be human will be both enriched and challenged as our species breaks the shackles of its genetic legacy and achieves inconceivable heights of intelligence, material progress, and longevity. While the social and philosophical ramifications of these changes will be profound, and the threats they pose considerable, celebrated futurist Ray Kurzweil presents a view of the coming age that is both a dramatic culmination of centuries of technological ingenuity and a genuinely inspiring vision of our ultimate destiny.

Special Treatment

Jeanne Labrune, 2010, 95 min, France

2/5 7p, 2/9 7p

Isabelle Huppert as you’ve never seen her before? That’s certainly true, as in Special Treatment she plays Alice Bergerac, an upmarket prostitute with a speciality for dressing-up, a coolly detached take on life, and a penchant for acquiring antique collectables. But this is also possibly the closest Huppert has come to offering an overt commentary on her own career as actor: what does it mean to trade personas for a profession, and what happens when all the masks are off? Stylish but pithy, the elegantly shot Special Treatment is a rich, witty and sophisticated comedy with brains from veteran writer-director Jeanne Labrune. -Jonathan Romney, BFI London Film Festival

Superstonic Sound: The Rebel Dread

Raphael Erichsen, 2010, 45 min, UK

2/12 7p, 2/16 915p

Don Letts – DJ, filmmaker, Clash videographer, and member of Big Audio Dynamite – is an unsung hero of British music. Superstonic Sound: The Rebel Dread is a documentary about Letts’ family legacy, which mirrors the history of bass in the UK from Dub, Reggae and Punk to 80s pop, Hip Hop and Dubstep – a musical, cultural and personal link between past and present. Over his long film career, Letts has told the story of countless lives, and now this film spotlights his own history.

Plays with: TBA

Toumast: Guitars and Kalashnikovs

Dominique Margot, 2009, 88 min, Switzerland

2/12 230p, 2/16 7p

Since the de-colonization of Africa, the Tuaregs, a nomadic people of the Sahara Desert, have seen their communities ravaged and are now scattered among several countries and across artificial borders.  Some have decided to take up arms and fight the oppression from the central governments – among them Moussa Ag Keina, leader of the music group Toumast.  But Moussa eventually chose to fight with a new weapon – the electric guitar – as a means to express his people’s misery, and the result is the most electrifying, rump-shaking funk ever conceived as a political statement.

Transformation: The Life & Legacy of Werner Erhard

Robyn Symon, 2010, 77 min, US

2/3 915p, 2/5 7p, 2/8 915p

The controversial career of Warner Erhard, creator of the notorious personal-transformation system Est.  What started in San Francisco as a consciousness-changing experiment became known for its celebrity attendees and the cult-y devotion of millions, before bringing on—like disco—a ferocious backlash.  Seemingly relegated to a ‘70s pop footnote ever since, what’s surprising is how much his ideas inform our iconic “San Francisco “ identity.  Featuring original Est seminar footage and the first interviews with Erhard in over a decade.

With: ONLY ONE BOSS, Ellen Brodsky,10m, USA

The Trashmaster

Mathieu Weschler, 2010, 90 min, France

2/11 1130p, 2/13 445p, 2/17 7p

Machinimas are films made using video game engines, and The Trashmaster is one of the finest and most ambitious in its class. Created entirely with images from the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, this cross between Dirty Harry, Taxi Driver and Seven follows a NYC garbage collector-turned-vigilante as he finds himself on the trail of a particularly twisted serial killer. This first feature by Mathieu Weschler is the fruit of hours and hours of solitary labour, proving once again that imagination, not money, is what counts. -Damien Detcheberry, Festival de Nouveau Cinema

We Are What We Are

Jorge Michael Grau, 2010, 99 min, Mexico

2/4 7p

Cannibalism may be the nominal calling card of We Are What We Are, but ritualistic gruesomeness is merely a means for political commentary in Jorge Michel Grau’s auspicious debut. His assured allegorical tale of man-eat-man monstrousness focuses on a destitute Mexico City family who, after their patriarch’s death, strive to carry on their fanatical “rite” of abducting and consuming those even lower down the societal food chain. -Nick Schager, Village Voice

Worst in Show

Don Lewis and John Beck, 2010, 90 min, US

2/9 915p, 2/13 230p

Award winning documentary filmmakers John Beck and Don R. Lewis are at it again as they cast their camera on the competitors in the annual “Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest” which takes place each summer in Petaluma, CA. Last years “Ugliest Dog Contest” featured a major upset as a rescue dog named Pabst upset Rascal, a crazy looking pooch that may very well hold the record for most ugly dog contests won ever. This year Pabst and Rascal are back for a rematch!