Just to make things both richer and more complicated for San Francisco film buffs, the San Francisco Film Society opens two movies (separate admission required for each) today on their screen at the Sundance Kabuki. They have music in common, but not much else. Youssou N’Dour: Return to Goree is a documentary featuring the famous singer talking about his work and playing concerts with African jazz musicians and gospel singers, including a joyous outdoor performance on Goree Island in Senegal, once an important outpost of the slave trade. The more esoteric Opera Jawa, originally commissioned by Peter Sellars for his New Crowned Hope Festival, was filmed in Indonesia by director Garin Nugroho. It’s a mystical, magical take on Scenes from a Marriage, using dazzling tricks from Javanese shadow puppets to movie special effects.
Note: Days and Clouds, a previous SFFS pick, has been held over for an unprecedented fourth week, on a separate screen. --Meredith Brody