Tuesday, August 01, 2006

MORE of the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 26

Well, I think this year's festival going is catching up with me! I just don't seem to have the stamina that I did in the spring! I am only reporting on two more screenings from this year's San Francisco Jewish Film Festival: one I LOVED and one I just couldn't sit through. First, the love...

"18-J" (dirs. Daniel Burman, Adrian Caetano, Lucia Cedron, Alberto Lecchi, Juan Bautista Stagnaro, Marcelo Schapces, Mauricio Wainrot, Adrian Suar, Alejandro Doria and Carlos Sorin, 2005, Argentina, 107 mins.) is an anthology of shorts memorializing the July 18, 1992, bombing of the AMIA (AsociaciĆ³n Mutual Israelita Argentina), which was an Argentinian-Israeli community center, more or less. Anyway, this collection of shorts was fantastic! They were of all styles: impressionistic, minimalistic, narrative, documentary, a monologue, and even a ballet! There wasn't a weak one in the bunch! The photography was beautiful throughout and the film scores were sublime! I was actually moved more than a couple of times during the program. Considering how I am not a fan of Argentine cinema (or at least what I have seen of it), I found these shorts compelling and wonderfully paced! Or at least in the short structure, I was not bothered by what I have found to be typcially SLOW pacing by Argentine directors. The film is available on DVD in Argentina, however NOT with subtitles. Or as far as I can find, but I WILL find it! Oh yessssss...!!

"Roots" (dir. Pavel Lounguin, 2005, France. Russia, 107 min) Described as a 'rueful black comedy' I simply didn't get it. I was so lost at one point, I popped out into the lobby to read the program notes to try and catch up. Once I did that, I went back inside for a while longer and was woefully underwhelmed. I decided I just couldn't stay any longer. I don't know if it was the cultural gap that left me in the dark, or just my inability to catch on to Lounguin's sense of humor, but this 'farce' regarding the hoax reuniting of holocaust surviving families left me quite cold, indeed.

This was the first time in over a decade that I have attempted to attend the SFJFF, as it follows so closely on the heels of the SF International and SF LGBT (aka Frameline) film fests. I think I will probably remember that next year and take the time to prepare for the Mill Valley Film Fest that is coming up in a few weeks.

1 comment:

Maxxxxx said...

re "18-J": The piece really is too sincere and important to be commented upon by a bird!

re "Roots": "Is it bedtime?"