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Friday, May 8, 2015

End of Week roundup, May 8

--Film Fest fatigue, in addition to being an amazing act of alliteration, is a real thing. Granted it's a luxurious problem to have, and a silly thing to complain about besides- you spent all your free time at the movies, poor you, boo hoo, said EVERYONE in the office - but spending thirteen straight nights doing ANYTHING eventually takes its toll. So we were too burned out by the end of the San Francisco International Film Fest to take in the closing night movie - Experimenter, a look at the infamous work of Stanley Milgram from director Michael Almereyda - and now we're kicking ourselves for it.

--Which is not to say that SFIFF is a source of only regret. The slate of movies was solid this year, and we wound up hitting probably more programs this year than previous. We mentioned previously the biopics we'd watched, and surprisingly these were likely our favorite movies in the festival. Love & Mercy was strangely surprising, with a number of viewers, expecting to like it, astonished by how deep it went into the work of Brian Wilson, and the extent to which it swept them away. Playing Wilson in the 1960s and 80s, respectively, Paul Dano and John Cusack each find their own quiet way into the role, and though their performances are VERY different the movie sews them into a unified, satisfying, and deeply moving whole.

--It's a good festival rule to take in at least one shorts program, especially if one is pressed for time. (We took in two this time out.) It's a great way to get in a variety of experiences on a tight schedule. And there's just a charge when a bunch of filmmakers from around the world are gathered for a program of their short films, and real warmth as they share the milestone in their careers. Local filmmaker Tom E. Brown (repping his comedic short film Tradesman's Exit) seemed downright giddy in the presence of the makers of Cailleach, a sweet Scottish documentary. They joked about collaborating, and we'd love to see the results.

--Keanu Reeves, we learned, is hella tall. (He was there to check out Deep Web, a new documentary by his Bill & Ted cohort Alex Winter, which we find totally endearing.)

--And now, with seventeen programs under our belts, we're weirdly hoping to never see another movie again. We'll let you know how we're feeling next week, and what we look at on vacation. It seems like spring is well (and finally) upon us, so onward.

Hope you're seeing something wonderful!

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