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SFIFF: Week Two Highlights 

Wednesday, Apr 29 2015
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 Advantageous

Set in 2041, Jennifer Phang's low-key sci-fi parable concerns a single mother (Jacqueline Kim, who co-wrote the film with Phang) struggling with the decision to undergo a procedure that would give her daughter a necessary advantage in the world's harsher-than-ever class system. Not that there's such a thing as "class" in America, of course. (5/3, Clay; 5/5 & 5/6, Kabuki)

 

Deep Web

Following up his Napster doc Downloaded, director Alex Winter explores the internet beyond the first page of Google search results, focusing on the federal trial of San Francisco's own Ross Ulbricht — local interest! — the alleged founder of drugs-and-other-things online marketplace Silk Road. (5/4 & 5/6, Kabuki)

 

The Editor

The knife and the axe are associated with slasher films, but the straight razor will forever be the domain of giallo, the stylish 1970s Italian horror genre to which directors Adam Brooks and Matthew Kennedy pay loving, funny, and very bloody homage. (5/1, Roxie)

 Magical Girl

Anime cosplay can be tricky under the best of circumstances, and director Carlos Vermut's jigsaw puzzle of a film concerns a father (Luis Bermejo) trying score a certain dress for his terminally ill daughter (Lucía Pollán), with complicated results. (5/3, 5/5 & 5/6, Kabuki)

 

Quitters

Set in San Francisco, Noah Pritzker's debut film follows teenager Clark (Ben Kongisberg) who, when the circumstances with his already-dysfunctional parent changes for the worse, decides to find a new family altogether. Hey, that's what you do in San Francisco. (5/1, Clay; 5/6 & 5/7, Kabuki)

The Taking of Tiger Mountain

He has been for decades one of the hardest-working men in the Hong Kong cinema, and Tsui Hark's latest film simultaneously revels in and deconstructs modern action tropes as heroic communists take on bandits in the harsh winter of 1946. (4/30, Kabuki)

 

Theory of Obscurity: A Film about the Residents

Just think: a member of the San Francisco-based avant-garde group the Residents, the subject of Don Hardy Jr.'s documentary, could sit next to you at the screening and you'd never know, unless they're wearing their iconic giant eyeball head. Spooky! (5/1 & 5/3, Kabuki)

 

Welcome, Space Brothers: The Films of the Unarius Academy of Science with Jodi Wille

The joy of discovering the benevolent space-cult known as the Unarius Brotherhood on public access TV back in the day can't be recaptured, exactly, but this presentation of the best of their wonderfully weird film work is the next best thing. (5/2, Kabuki)

 When Animals Dream

So long as humanity is afraid of female sexuality — and there's no indication that it ever won't be — it will be a metaphor in horror films, such Jonas Alexander Arnby's low-key picture about a Scandinavian werewolf (Sonia Suhl). (5/5, Clay; 5/6, Kabuki)

 

Wonderful World End

Daigo Matsui's look at a particular aspect of modern Japanese youth culture considers the relationship between Shiori (Hashimoto Ai), a 17-year-old Gothic Lolita enthusiast, and Ayumi (Aonami Jun), who may herself be a bit too enthused with Shiori. (5/1 & 5/2, Kabuki)

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Sherilyn Connelly

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