Thursday, June 22, 2006

26th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival - Preview

(For recaps of the Berkeley portion of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, please CLICK HERE. )

I attended the preview of the 26th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, hosted by Peter Stein (Executive Director) and Nancy Fishman (Program Director), at the Dolby Labs screening room (which I LOVE!!). After unveiling the festival trailer (which is a HOOT!)they gave a fairly exhaustive description of the programs that will screen July 20 - 27 (San Francisco, Castro Theatre), July 29 - August 5 (Berkeley, Roda Theatre), July 29 - August 3 (Mountain View, Century Cinema 16) and August 5 - 7 (San Rafael, Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center). These spread out dates and locations are truly convenient as the majority of the programs will be repeated, so no film need be missed! (I, myself, will be out of town for the majority of the San Francisco screenings, but hope to catch up at the Berkeley screenings!) One of the events I will not be able to attend is Cinemasports, which will take place on July 23rd! It sounds fantastic! You can find out as much about the screenings as was imparted by Mr. Stein and Ms. Fishman at their website:, along with trailers of some of the programs, which is another envious feature I wish other fests would add! After the verbal presentation, there was a screening of the Opening Night selection:

"Four Weeks in June" (dir. Henry Meyer, 2005, Sweden, 35mm, color, 116 min.). I'm sort of thinking that they needed to pick something a bit more... festive. I found this to be a fairly bleak story of a young woman, serving a probation sentence after attacking her (ex)boyfriend, who befriends an older neighbor, whilst fending off the advances of a Polish construction worker (who, I might add, is HOT!). The two actresses, Ghita Norby (the older neighbor) and Tuva Novotny (our ingenue) are quite good! I can't say that much actually HAPPENS in the film, except that there are a lot of story telling between the two women, which allows for some stellarr monologues. (Novotny was nominated for, and Norby won, Sweden's equivalent of the Oscar for their performances.) However, I was taken aback by the single joke that is told near the end of the film, which only emphasized to me the bleakness of the piece as a whole. Mind you, my friend Sue Jean felt that the 'happy ending' wasn't necessary, though I hadn't really recognized it as being that happy of an ending.

That said, I am pretty jazzed about going to this festival, as I have not attended it in over 10 years. I tend to have filmic burnout after the SF Silent Film Fest and try to rest up or catch up with the summer blockbusters! However, the presentation was so polished and the 'set up' is so convenient, that I think I need to show some support and get out there!


Maxxxxx said...

"Such a pretty bird!"

Oyster said...

I've started blogging about the SF JFF here at my site Oy Bay!

SFJFF: “The First Zionist Bunny” Film & Heeb Magazine After-Party