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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Film Fest wrapup

The San Francisco International Film Festival wraps up tonight. The end of the event is like an early autumn - after two weeks of running around catching movie after movie, the big stack to tickets is down to the last one or two, and the calendar looks empty. For some cinephiles, no doubt, this prompts a reflection on our very mortality.

And yet it's hard to be too glum with so much to look back on. Despite the abundance of rep and arthouse offerings available in San Francisco, SFIFF allowed the first look at the first truly great movies of the year (Après mai, which is so great I refuse to call it by its misleading and indistinct English title, and Bertolucci's intimate and stunning Me And You). But not only were the works of today's masters on display - Oskar Alegria's The Search For Emak Bakia was one of the festival's true gems, a documentary possessed of real magic (movie magic and otherwise). And Mai Morire, director Enrique Rivero's second film, offered the kind of real transcendence only hinted at in more famous films.

Your local film festival can, indeed, be the most magical time of the year. How else to explain the bounty offered by seeing new work by Raúl Ruiz and Peaches on the same day? But one does get tired and overstimulated, and wants to ease out of the festival upon its end. But there is that short film program I kinda wanted to check out tonight...

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