SFIFF54 Our Second Week


The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival will run through May 5, featuring 192 films. Carol and I will be going about every day, sometimes to the same film, sometimes to different films. I will write capsule reviews of the films I see and post them here as soon as I get them written. The most expeditious way to do these reviews, for me, is to take the advance blurbs and edit them, then add MY TAKE. If you’re interested, you can see the advance blurbs at the SFIFF54 web site.

DETROIT WILD CITY
Fri, Apr 29   7:00 / Kabuki
Detroit ville sauvage, Documentaries, France/USA, 2010, 80 min, in English
director Florent Tillon


Florent Tillon’s film begins with familiar but inevitably arresting images of Detroit’s decay into postapocalyptic pastoralism, but doesn’t end there. While most cinematic pilgrims have portrayed the Motor City as a giant canvas onto which they project their outsider fantasies, Tillon has greater ambitions and greater respect. The obligatory urban tour of empty factories and the abandoned Michigan Central station quickly gives way to a contemplative, nuanced discussion of what futures might actually be possible. As we visit with a variety of Detroiters, we realize that most of what we think we know about Detroit is superficial, and begin to question easy assumptions about urban agriculture, urban pioneering and Detroit’s reversion to a “natural” state. While urban farmer Shirley Robinson suggests “a lot of people would go back to a simple life if they had a choice,” outsider historian/pundit Black Monk questions the long-term effect of today’s urban pioneering movement. “Urban pioneers find the edge, but don’t occupy it,” he tells us. “Cities are built by settlers, not pioneers.” Tavern proprietor Larry Mongo, on the other hand, likens today’s young inbound migrants to those who originally settled Detroit 300 years ago. A minimalist but intelligent travelogue that resists sensationalism, Detroit Wild City focuses on people rather than ruins. It suggests that while macronarratives may help us understand the past, micronarratives will describe the future, and Detroit’s destiny will be the product of many individual, small-group and localized efforts.?—Rick Prelinger?

MY TAKE — When I think of Detroit as a ruin, I think of Michael Kenna’s book, The Rouge, photographs of the Ford assembly plant, shut down. Still and stately black and white photographs of a time passed. I also think of the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher, though their many books of photographs of industrial facades do not include Detroit.
I’m not sure what Florent Tillon set out to do with Detroit, but as I see it, she produced a rich photographic essay: a thriving urban center gone bad and forming not ruins, but majestic shells of brick and concrete. To this, she added soul, formed in stories by individuals — whether the urban Mr. Fixit, the sideburned gentleman who loved to walk the ruins, or one or more philosophers — their rather unconnected narratives do suggest that Detroit lives, it did not and will not die. Cue the fireworks.

KANBAR AWARD: FRANK PIERSON
An Afternoon with Frank Pierson Saturday, April 30, 12:30 pm?Sundance Kabuki Cinemas?1881 Post Street (at Fillmore)

Frank Pierson is the recipient of the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival. An onstage interview about his 50 years in the business will be followed by a screening of Dog Day Afternoon, a gripping, nuanced film directed by Sidney Lumet, about a heist gone wrong, that garnered an Academy Award for Pierson.

A former Time magazine correspondent, Pierson began his screen career as a story editor, and later producer/director, on the popular CBS TV series Have Gun Will Travel in the early 1960s. He also wrote for Studio One, Alcoa Goodyear Theater, Route 66 and Naked City, popular series during the so-called Golden Age of Television.

Pierson’s first feature screenplay, as cowriter, Cat Ballou (1965), earned him an Oscar nomination, and he won an Oscar for his finely observed solo script for Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon (1975). Other collaborations include the classic individual-against-the-unjust-prison-system drama, Cool Hand Luke (1967), which also netted him an Oscar nomination, as well as adaptations of Scott Turow’s bestseller Presumed Innocent (1990) and Bobbie Ann Mason’s novel In Country (1989).

Pierson’s pen has not dulled: Last year he won an award from the Writer’s Guild of America for his work on season three of Mad Men.

Previous recipients of the Kanbar Award are James Schamus (2010), James Toback (2009), Robert Towne (2008), Peter Morgan (2007), Jean-Claude Carrière (2006) and Paul Haggis (2005).

The Kanbar Award is named in honor of Maurice Kanbar, a longtime member of the board of directors of the Film Society, film commissioner and philanthropist with a particular interest in supporting independent filmmakers. Kanbar is the creator of New York’s first multiplex theater and, most recently, Blue Angel Vodka.

DOG DAY AFTERNOON
Sat, Apr 30   12:30 / Kabuki
Tributes ?USA, 1975, 125 min
Sidney Lumet

The bank heist movie to end all bank heist movies, Dog Day Afternoon leaves the hardened action criminals behind and gives us Sonny (Al Pacino in one of his greatest roles), a neurotic yet sensitive first-time crook who holds up a Brooklyn bank for unexpected reasons of his own. As hordes of police, reporters and riotous masses convene around the bank, the heist becomes a media sensation, with everyone from bystanders to the hostages themselves vying for their 15 minutes of fame. Epitomizing the political atmosphere of 1970s social discontent (Sonny’s “Attica! Attica!” rant referencing the 1971 prison massacre is legendary), the film also gives us access to multilayered characters: As negotiations heat up outside, Sonny and partner-in-crime Sal (played by Pacino’s Godfather costar John Cazale) establish a strange rapport with their hostages. Screenwriter Frank Pierson (this year’s Kanbar Award recipient) took inspiration from a Life magazine article in creating a complex masterpiece as nuanced as it is gripping, in which the nature of Sonny’s crime and the audience’s allegiances are continually challenged. Pierson and director Sidney Lumet treat their characters seriously but allow an absurdist humor to erupt naturally out of the palpable air of midsummer desperation. Nominated for six Oscars (including Al Pacino for Best Actor) and winner of Best Original Screenplay for Pierson, Dog Day Afternoon is a defining film in American cinema.

MY TAKE — I chose not to go to Dog Day Afternoon in 1975. Big mistake. I blame it on the marketing which focused on the crowd scenes. How could I know that the drama was in Sonny’s head. The film loses no tension or grip 26 years later. In a way, I’m glad I waited until now to see it, I have a much broader filmic perspective.
Sonny has now served his 20 year prison term. I wonder where he is.
Gripping.

BUCK
Winner of Sundance Documentary award 2011
Members Screening Sunday May 1, 10am


“Your horse is a mirror to your soul, and sometimes you may not like what you see. Sometimes, you will.” So says Buck Brannaman, a true American cowboy and sage on horseback who travels the country for nine grueling months a year helping horses with people problems.

BUCK, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real-life “horse-whisperer”, he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with their horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment.
Buck possesses near magical abilities as he dramatically transforms horses – and people – with his understanding, compassion and respect. In this film, the animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life. A truly American story about an unsung hero, BUCK is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds.

MY TAKE — I’m not of the horsey set, I’ve ridden a horse maybe 3 or 4 times in my life, so I was not excited at the Members Screening when BUCK was introduced and the first picture on the screen was a group of horses galloping through a hedgerow in the misty dusty dawn.

Buck Brannaman conducts 4-day classes at farms and arenas all over the country helping people learn to know their horses. When we meet Buck, we learn that while he makes his living working with horses, this film is about Buck. He teaches people how to treat their horses, how to interact with their horses and by extension, how to treat one another and interact with one another.

I remember times on my grandfather’s farm in Logan Ohio when I was six or seven years old and how he worked with horses. Grandpa always carried a 2×4 in his wagon. One day the horse just stopped, wouldn’t cross the bridge over the creek. Grandpa tried pulling it across with the reins. That didn’t work. So he whacked the horse upside the head. “Why do you do that, grandpa?”

“Son, he won’t do what I want until I get his attention.”

Buck got his horses attention with love and respect, kindness and teaching. He would start with an unbroken horse by lassoing his rear leg. He could then gently remind the horse what he could and couldn’t do without hurting or jerking it around. Then he would move to the bridle caressing and reassuring the horse all the while, never raising his voice or making abrupt movements.

And so on to the blanket and saddle and actually getting on the horse. From there he could do magical things… the horse became an extension of his body, gracefully moving to the front or side or back at the mere movement of a hand on the rein or lean of the body or pressure of a knee.

I was so affected by this that I promised my wife Carol that I would henceforth treat her like a horse. So far, it’s working.

A CAT IN PARIS
Sun, May 1   12:30 / New People
Une vie de chat New Directors ?France/Belgium ?Netherlands/Switzerland, 2010, 65 min
director    Alain Gagnol, Jean-Loup Felicioli


France, 60 minutes
A charming little French animation (not suitable for very young children,) directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, is about a cat — pet by day and cat burglar by night. Every night, Dino the cat leaves his creature comforts and goes on the prowl with his burglar friend Nico over the rooftops of Paris, in animation that sort of combines folksy and expressionist art. Jeanne, a policewoman whose husband was shot to death by the evil Victor Costa, is trying to juggle her work and raise her daughter, Zoe, who is traumatized by her father’s death and can’t talk. The burglar, Zoe, mom, the nanny, Costa and his band of bad men all collide in this battle of good versus evil. Children of all ages will root for the undercats in this droll thriller, while the moody cityscape and a cool retro jazz soundtrack will appeal to their hip elders.
— Leba Hertz
In English. Total running time 74 min. Recommended for ages eight and up.

MY TAKE — Good wins — good has to win, we’re talkin’ about a widowed mom policewoman vs. a clever but evil gangster killer. I loved the colors and animation and  the jazz soundtrack. Everything about it is mellow and understated until it becomes a fingernails-in-your-chair-arms thriller. The main characters were forced to make choices — the what-ifs explained for the audience, young and old — making it a beautiful, colorful, mellow, action packed, groovy, intelligent, thinking man’s film. Who could ask for anything more?

A funny thing happened on the way to the theater. I got the tickets for today’s three shows out of the envelope, only to discover that our Cat ticket said Sunday April 24. Oops… it’s Sunday May 1. Well… A Cat in Paris is writ large, the date, small, both are on Sunday. We’ll just give the volunteer the ticket… what’s the worst that can happen?… Whip and beat us? Call the floor manager? Send us away? Send us to the Rush Line? The best? They’ll take the ticket and we’ll go in. That’s just what happened. I’m oh so glad.

PAGE ONE: INSIDE THE NEW YORK TIMES
Sun, May 1   5:30 / New People
Documentaries ?USA, 2010, 88 min
director Andrew Rossi


All the News That’s Fit to Twitter? From the Daily Scoop
Can the great news institutions survive the new media landscape? That is the central question in Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the New York Times. The documentary follows veteran journalists at the paper’s newly established media desk, created in 2008 to track the upheavals that have bankrupted several newspapers. Rossi gained unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Times and the result is fascinating, especially on the trail of central character David Carr. Scrappy, dogged and nobody’s fool, the seasoned columnist is thrilling to watch as he burrows his way into a front-page story. In one year, the organization weathers lay-offs, tries a controversial partnership with WikiLeaks, defends the integrity of its reporting and desperately tries to figure out how to generate revenue as advertising dollars dissipate. At the Q&A, Rossi stated that the idea for the film was born of his fascination with the way our culture has been “cycling between optimism about social media” and pessimism about “the future of print journalism.” Rossi described that Executive Editor Bill Keller agreed to the filming with the words, “I’m proud of my writers and I’d like for the world to see what they can do.” Indeed, the film clearly shows that the world will be a lesser place if these hardworking journalists can’t find a new way to flourish.  —LK

MY TAKE — I love my newspapers. I love to page through the SF Chronicle every day and the NY Times on Sunday. I’m also a sucker for “inside stories.” Bill Cunningham’s New York at SFIFF53 was one of my favorites as it dealt with the NY Times from his point of view.
Thus, this was the first ticket I bought for this year’s Festival. Good thing. It was one of the first to go to RUSH.

My two questions are:
In a world without print publications, how will one find his news in an orderly fashion? I have a lot of trouble with SFGATE, the Chronicle’s online presence. It’s impossible to “page through” and stories move and change during the day. Gimmee a break. I discovered that the Chronicle does an E-Edition of the newspaper; page by page of the actual day’s Chronicle, free to print subscribers. It even looks like the newspaper. That, I can deal with, but will such a thing exist if a printed paper is no longer made?

What about journalists? These are the guys working for the NY Times or Chronicle and so on that actually go places and report stories. The bloggers and twitterers and compilers just take that reporting and comment on it or regurgitate it in some other form. For whom will the journalists work in the “new age?” Where will the blogger sitting in his mother’s basement in his underwear get his “news” to rant about? You think he’s gonna go find it?

In the film, one of the Times reporters volunteers to go to the Bagdad bureau. “But it’s dangerous,” he’s told. “Somebody has to do it,” he says, “The news won’t report itself.”

This is a bold, entertaining film that asks the hard questions, and the very fact that it was made means that people way smarter than me are looking into these serious questions. Editor Bill Keller has every reason to be proud of his writers and editors.

THE STOOL PIGEON
Mon, May 2   8:30 / Kabuki
Xian ren World Cinema ?Hong Kong/China, 2010, 113 min
In Cantonese with subtitles.
director    Dante Lam

Hong Kong crime thriller pro Dante Lam’s latest sleekly stylized, hard-boiled drama comes pierced by an uncharacteristic tone of melancholy and urban gloom. Focusing on the ripped backstreets and slums of the city, Lam examines the moral quandaries faced by police who use paid informants to set up their stings on the criminal underworld. Nick Cheung gives a powerful and nuanced performance as police inspector Don Lee, whose use of an informant explodes in his face, causing him to question the tricky cop/informant relationship. As Lee, Cheung exudes a studious and unflappable surface, while underneath roils an increasingly disturbed and desperate man. When his new informer, Ghost Jr., is released from prison, Cheung endeavors to get things right from the beginning. Played with restrained gusto by Nicholas Tse, Ghost Jr. falls in with a wanted and extremely dangerous gang, and the thrill ride takes off. Though it explores deep themes, The Stool Pigeon also offers Lam’s patented action sequences, which are fierce and head-spinning. Among the best scenes are a car chase accompanied by the soothing sounds of “White Christmas,” the rushed and furious action of a jewelry store robbery and the gripping and violent finale in the ruined schoolroom of some forgotten slum. In the swirl of several wrenching plot twists and a deepening existential angst, any character left standing has a bloody face to boot.?—Gustavus Kundahl

MY TAKE — Sleekly stylized, hard-boiled Hong Kong crime thriller… they got that right!
For me, a Hong Kong thriller is more authentic than a Hollywood thriller. There are guns, but most of the action is with knives or fists or feet, and when guys (and girls)run, they get tired, and cars don’t fly through the air or explode, they behave like cars and scrape stuff and run into stuff. And the characters have emotions… the boss cop actually cares about his stool pigeon and the stoolie cares about his girl and I love the name Ghost Jr.
The “ruined schoolroom” mentioned is stacked with classroom furniture, wall to wall and three or four high. Ghost Jr. and the girl go into there persued by three bad guys, squeezing through and throwing tables and chairs this way and that and two guys end up in a fist fight midst all that. Fantastic.

YVES SAINT LAURENT L’AMOUR FOU
Tue, May 3   7:00 / Kabuki
Documentaries ?France, 2011, 100 min
director    Pierre Thoretton

Few figures loom larger in the annals of 20th-century style than Yves Saint Laurent. Barely out of his teens when he was appointed head of the House of Dior, he triumphantly launched his own brand only a few short years later. For decades he epitomized the jet-set lifestyle, dressing its luminaries and sharing their giddy excesses. Visual artist Pierre Thoretton’s first feature captures the well-known highs and lows of this remarkable but also stormy career: Saint Laurent’s breakdown when conscripted into the French Army in 1960, during Algeria’s Independence War; signature designs like the Mondrian-inspired dresses that epitomized Pop Art chic; his celebration of feminine beauty via muses from Deneuve to Iman; becoming the first haute couture house to “democratize” fashion via affordable prêt-à-porter lines; working compulsively hard and playing harder in the cocaine-fueled celebrity bubble of Studio 54. But Thoretton’s film provides us privileged access beyond the headlines. Its primary voice is that of Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent’s surviving business and life partner. Recalling their half-century together, Berge decides to surrender some of that past by selling many of their fabulous properties in what is dubbed the auction of the century. As he bids adieu to long-cherished possessions, we get the vicarious thrill of touring sumptuous homes in Morocco and France (one of them an “homage” to Proust) and a stunning art collection that stretches from ancient Egyptian artifacts to Matisse and Warhol. Yves Saint Laurent l’Amour Fou documents a crazy love for all things beautiful.?—Dennis Harvey

MY TAKE — The film opens with the aged Yves Saint Laurent’s farewell speech. The next frames bring us his funeral. Pierre Berge´ took over from there as narrator. It took me some time to become comfortable with M. Berge´ and I don’t know why. He’s certainly a man of some weight and well spoken. And who could have known YSL better?
Some of my most memorable scenes: the taking down, packing, and moving of teh art and objects, the house in the woods in Normandy, the fab art and fab gowns and the show in a stadium with 500 models, all finally gathering in the center to form the YSL logo.
“The artist sees things for us.” Pierre Berge in L’Amour Fou

my unused ticket

RUSH
For this film I experienced the “Rush Line” for the only time this year. Carol and Sarah were at a different film starting starting 30 minutes before mine, so I drove to the Kabuki alone and parked about two blocks away. As I settled into line, a volunteer line control dude said, “This line is for ticket holders only,” I reflexively reached into my shirt pocket to realize I hadn’t brought my ticket. I started to bolt for the car, but not enough time, so I went instead to the Rush Line and was perhaps the 20th person in line. As film time approached, a woman line control volunteer stood beside perhaps the 12th person in line and said, “Anyone beyond here is guaranteed NOT to get in.” A few people left the line, but I had nowhere else to go and was going to meet C after her show, so I stayed. A few minutes later a woman came along, held a ticket aloft and said, “I have only one ticket.” I quickly gave her a $10 bill and hurried inside. There were actually six or seven seats in the front row vacant.

THE TRIP
Wed, May 4   6:45 / Kabuki
World Cinema ?England, 2010, 100 min
director    Michael Winterbottom

Prolific British director Michael Winterbottom never ceases . . . to amaze. A restless whiz, he’s frequently wandered from the predictable path with such mercurial marvels as Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People and The Killer Inside Me. But nothing has stymied expectation more than the miasmic masterpiece Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, in which Winterbottom succumbs to the bottomless buffoonery of Laurence Sterne’s proto-postmodern novel. That film’s stars, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, slip out of their costumed roles to play themselves in a riotously amusing rivalry for center stage. The Trip finds them reunited in an ecstatic extension of their spar-filled friendship. Now Coogan (as himself) is sent to the Lake Country on assignment as culinary critic for The Observer. When Coogan’s girlfriend Misha (Margo Stilley) can’t accompany him, he rings up rollicking Rob (accurately portrayed by Rob Brydon), and off they go to the great country inns of England. They have only a map in hand and their wits about them. Visiting a string of chichi restaurants, the duo practically ignore the ornamental concoctions they’ve been served in favor of slipping into celebrity impersonations of Anthony Hopkins, Michael Caine and Al Pacino, to name a few. One stirring bout has them trading impressions of Sean Connery ordering martinis until you can’t hold your own cocktail steady. Steve and Rob’s Brit bromance is seasoned sweet and sour in its ribbing rivalries. But like a foodie version of Sideways, The Trip trades dry vintage for a full belly laugh.?—Steve Seid

MY TAKE — The most disappointing film of the Festival for me. A foodie tour of Northern England… what could be better? Lets see…
1) Coogan and Rob are on the road, wisecracking and competing over who can do the best impression of Michael Caine — or whomever.
2) They get to a country inn to be greeted by a comely clerk.
3) Coogan goes off — up hills, along lakes (very scenic) — to find cell phone reception to call his girlfriend in LA.
4) Coogan and Rob go off to dinner — we glimpse a string of chichi restaurants in the country, we glimpse a kitchen and food being prepared and food being served — and with little notice of the food, the banter and impressions go on during dinner.
5) Back at the country inn, Coogan bangs comely clerk.
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat
Repeat

After the second or third repeat, I lost interest. Culinary criticism for The Observer? Not discussed. The countryside is really interesting, where are we? Never shown. A foodie version of Sideways? NOT. Sideways had a narrative, discussion of wine, real human feelings and interaction.
Had The Trip been described as a two-person stand-up comedy routine on the road, I might have liked it. Then again, I might have skipped it.

ON TOUR
Thu, May 5   7:00 / Castro
Tournée
Big Nights ?France/Germany, 2010, 112 min
director Mathieu Amalric
Closing Night


Acclaimed French actor Mathieu Amalric directs and stars in this unsentimental homage to the burlesque show and outsized female personalities barely contained by the proscenium stage. This chatty, bawdy entertainment reminds us that women have real bodies—and they want to run the show. All the women in On Tour—winner of last year’s jury award for Best Director and FIPRESCI prize at the Cannes Film Festival—are authentic American performers of what is dubbed the New Burlesque. Their acts are not only comic, theatric and erotic but also hypnotic, draped knowingly in feather boas, in a wink to audiences who think they’re watching just a striptease. Keeping the acts and the narrative flowing is the troupe’s manager, Joachim (played by Amalric, in a performance that recalls his lovable alienated misfits in Arnaud Desplechin’s films). A former French TV producer who left France for the United States after some untold disgraces, Joachim has found renewed purpose with a bevy of burlesque queens. He accompanies them to France for a tour of the countryside that will be either a journey of redemption or an utter failure. For the sassy brassy ladies, it’s a different story. They’ve been promised Paris, but they are willing to give their all in the seedy theaters Joachim books for them in backwater towns along France’s west coast. They are pros after all and, in the end, the show must go on.?—Beverly Berning
Here’s what Mick Lasalle of the Chronicle had to say:
This is a strange little film directed by Mathieu Amalric, who is best known as an actor. Amalric plays a down-on-his-luck TV producer, short of cash and estranged from friends and family, who finds himself managing an American burlesque troupe touring provincial France. The movie’s attraction isn’t its modest story, and the film is not in the least titillating — if anything, burlesque is presented as bordering on grotesque. Of course, this is intentional. Amalric is finding the humanity in a world of outlaws and outcasts. He is also giving us the flavor of life on tour — the sudden connections and unexpected intimacies that occur when very different people are thrown together. Amalric has a knack for those odd moments that happen.

Note, for example, the scene between Amalric and Aurelia Petit at a gas station. She’s working the counter, behind a window, and he’s paying for gas, and in just a few exchanges you know there’s something special there. Nothing will ever come of it, and yet a gulf has been bridged.
— Mick LaSalle

picture from the daily scoop

MY TAKE — And a rollicking good time was had by all:
• The performers on film,
• The Castro audience
• and the four performers on film who showed up at the Castro.
What a way to close the festival!!!

One of the highlights of the film for me, was the woman who danced with an outsized white balloon to the tune of Old Devil Moon, then pulled the balloon over her head to dance, then over her entire body so she was dancing inside the balloon/moon. Only one of the many fabulous acts. This is the kind of film where I wanted to clap and cheer along with the French burlesque audience, and I did along with others in our Castro audience… the line between film and folks blurred sometimes.
Meanwhile there were personal and business relationships to sort out amongst the troupe and their manager; also effectively portrayed in this scripted semi-documentary.

my picture of the cast

Four of the cast showed up for the Q & A after the film; Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Evie Lovelle and Roky Roulette. The questions were ordinary: How did you find this job, what was it like working with Amairic, how do French and American audiences differ??? Alexander Craven who played Roky Roulette in the film had to leave early… “babysitter problems.” Then he reappeared to do a burlesque dance on our stage. Under a drapey shirt and trousers, he was clad only in a Colonial Sanders chicken bucket and pulled chicken parts from down there to offer up to the audience. I can’t believe there were no takers. He continued, “spewing feathers from his nethers.” What a hoot.

From the Daily Scoop:
Mathieu Amalric’s joyous film On Tour marked the end of another great night at the Castro Theatre and closed the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival. Programming Director Rachel Rosen takes in the show with burlesque performers from the film. Photo by Tommy Lau.
The Festival is Over?Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened. The San Francisco Film Society wrapped its 54th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 21–May 5) with 265 screenings of 193 films from 48 countries, which were attended by 278 filmmakers and industry guests from 22 countries around the globe. An enthusiastic Festival crowd filled the Castro Theatre Thursday night for the Closing Night film, Mattieu Amalric’s On Tour, which was accompanied by a randy performance by Mimi Le Meaux, Kitten on the Keys, Evie Lovelle and Roky Roulette, four of the burlesque dancers in the film. Festival director Graham Leggat brought the 54th International to a close by announcing the winners of juried prizes and the Audience Awards.

the castro early on closing night

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