ART hound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

The San Francisco International Film Festival celebrates its 60th with expanded programming, new venues and name tweaks—Wed, April 5, through Wed, April 19, 2017

A still from Bay Area artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s new documentary, “Tania Libre,” a portrait of the radical Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, whose work blurs the line between art and activism. The film, Leeson’s seventh, continues her ongoing exploration of groundbreaking women artists. Her influential “!Women Art Revolution” (2010) (SFIFF 54) turned the camera on women artists who are underrepresented in leading museums. Leeson will be awarded the SF International Film Festival’s Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award on Tuesday, April 11 at YBCA. “Civic Radar,” a retrospective of Leeson’s extraordinary career runs through May 21 at YBCA and an exhibition with Tania Bruguera will open in June there. The 60th SF International Film Festival runs April 5-19, 2017. Image: courtesy, SFFilm

The 2017 San Francisco International Film Festival opened Wednesday at the historic Castro Theatre with Gillian Robespierre’s sentimental indie comedy, Landline (2016), and runs for the next 14 days, offering 181 films from 51 countries, 6 world premieres, 57 women directors and upwards of 100 participating filmmaker guests.  This grand festival, the longest running film festival in the Americas, celebrates its 60th anniversary with a few changes and expanded programming that tackles urgent social issues and captures the immense talent as well as the heart of its Bay Area locale.

New this Year

This mammoth fest is now called “SF International Film Festival,” instead of SFIFF, and that’s because its sponsor, SFFILM, changed its name; it was formerly the San Francisco Film Society.  SFFILM’s mission remains to “champion the world’s finest films and filmmakers through programs anchored in and inspired by the spirit and values of the San Francisco Bay Area.”  Other changes in the festival include: a start date that is two weeks earlier than usual; closing night festivities that occur two days before the festival’s actual end date; the main Festival Box Office is now headquartered in SOMA, in the YBCA Grand Lobby; and the festival itself is spread all over in 14 San Francisco and 1 Berkeley venue, including the Castro Theatre, the Roxie, the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission Theater, SFMOMA’s new state of the art Phyllis Wattis Theater, the new Dolby Cinema (on Market St.) and PFA (inside Berkeley’s new BAMPFA).

The sprawl presents a logistics nightmare for those driving in who require parking.  Your best bet is to buy all your tickets in advance and plan to see films within walking distance of one another.   It’s worth the hassle to get there.  Nothing beats seeing a film the way it was meant to be seen—on the big screen with state-of-the-art acoustics and an engaged audience to keep you company.   This festival delivers one of the highest ratios of face time with creative talent and flies in special guests from all over the world for nearly every film who participate in engaging post-screening Q & A’s.  These are the exchanges that build lifelong memories and a foundation for understanding cinema.

Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), the undisputed King of Bollywood, will be honored in a special tribute at the Castro on Friday, April 9.  Following an on stage conversation with the charismatic mega-star, Karan Johar’s moving drama, “My Name is Khan” (2010), will screen.  Khan stars as Rizvan Khan, an Indian Muslim Indian battling Asperger’s syndrome, who moves to San Francisco to stay with his brother after their mother dies.  In this stand-out dramatic performances, Khan is forced to navigate the post-9/11 prejudicial landscape. His lot only worsens when he falls in love with and marries a Hindu woman who demands that he tell the U.S. president directly, “My name is Khan, and I am not a terrorist.” As he embarks on this epic quest, with quite showy drama, his warm personality wins hearts and becomes his saving grace. Image: courtesy SFFilm

Special programs

Be on the lookout for a series of high-profile tributes and awards: (Ethan Hawke (April 8, YBCA), Tom Luddy (Mel Novikoff Award, April 9, Castro), Eleanor Coppola (George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award, April 10, SFMOMA), Lynn Hershman Leeson (Persistence of Vision Award, April 11, YBCA), John Ridley (April 12, Alamo Drafthouse), Gordon Gund (April 13, SFMOMA), James Ivory (April 14, SFMOMA), Shah Rukh Khan (April 14, Castro).

Do you love Eastern European and Russian film? Tom Luddy, the recipient of this year’s Mel Novikoff Award, is largely responsible for laying the groundwork for BAMPFA’s vast collection of Soviet-era film when he was the director of PFA, way back in the day by collecting prints that might have otherwise been lost. He then went on to co-found the Telluride Film Festival and, after that, went on to become director of special projects for Francisco Ford Coppola and Zoetrope Studios and then on to collaborate with filmmakers such Agnès Varda, Chris Marker, and Jean-Luc Goddard. The Novikoff Award is presented to an individual whose work has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema. For his afternoon film screening, Luddy has selected the rarely screened Gennadi Shpalikov film, “A Long Happy Life” (Russia, 1966), one of the richest and truest depictions of love in Soviet-era Russia ever created, along with Jean-Luc Goddard’s short “Une bonne à toute faire,” (1981), which was filmed at Coppola’s American Zoetrope and evokes a tableau from a Georges de La Tour painting. (Screens: Sunday, April 9, 4 pm, Castro) Image: courtesy SFFilm

There’s an enhanced music and film schedule.  This year’s Centerpiece feature  is Geremy Jasper’s Patti Cake$, about an aspiring rap star (April 12, Castro).  The Man With a Movie Camera with Devotchka (April 13, Castro) combines Dziga Vertov’s 1929 avant-garde trip through three Soviet cities with a live Devotchka performance.)

Australian actress Danielle Macdonald as aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski—a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$—in a scene from Geremy Jasper’s feature debut “PattiCake$,” this year’s Centerpiece Film and the unqualified breakout hit of this year’s Sundance Festival. Cheered on by her grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) and only friends, Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay) and Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), Patti somehow manages to shoulder her mother’s (Bridget Everett) heartaches and misfortunes and keep her swagger. This film was in part funded by a grant from SFFilm. Both Jasper and Macdonald will be in attendance. Screens: Wednesday, April 12, 7:30 pm, Castro. Image: courtesy SFFilm

The festival is also unveiling new programs involving the technology world.  An inaugural Creativity Summit will launch with Dr. Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Dsiney Animation Studios giving the State of Cinema address (April 8, Dolby Cinema).

Structure:

The first weekend is dedicated to parties, special events and major new films.  Following that is a week of international and Bay Area cinema mixed with cross-media explorations culminating in the festival’s 60th anniversary commission at Castro on April 16: The Green Fog–A San Francisco Fantasia, an exciting new collaboration by SFFilm and Stanford Live in which the renowned Kronos Quartet will perform a new score by composer Jacob Garchik to accompany a visual collage by filmmaker Guy Maddin.  In addition, the festival continues to tip its hat to new and global filmmakers through its awards.  Ten narrative features and ten documentary features will compete for the Golden Gate Awards (GGAs) and nearly $40,000 in total prizes.

A scene from Guy Maddin’s “The Green Fog” in which the filmmaker challenged himself to remake Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” without using any footage from Hitchcock’s classic. Assisted by Evan Johnson, his “Forbidden Room” collaborator, the duo used a variety of Bay Area-based footage from studio classics, ’50’s noir, documentary and experimental films, and 70’s prime time TV —and employed Maddin’s assemblage techniques— to create what Maddin describes as a “parallel universe” version. “The Green Fog–A San Francisco Fantasia” closes the 60th SF International Film Festival,” on April 16 at the historic Castro Theater. The special commission by SFFilm, in collaboration with Stanford Live, includes the world renowned Kronos Quartet performing a new score by composer Jacob Garchik that “collides and converses with Maddin and Johnson’s irreverent footage. Image: SFFilm

Stay-tuned, ARThound will next preview the festival’s top films.

Festival Details:

When:  The 60th SF International Film Festival runs 14 days─ Wednesday, April 5 –Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Tickets: $15 most films, more for Special Events and Parties which generally start at $20.   Passes—the popular CINEVOUCHER 10-pack ($140 general public and $120 for SFFilm members) and the exclusive CINEVISA early admittance to every screening, party, and program (with exception of Film Society Awards Night) ($1350 SFFilm members and $1675 general public).   How to buy tickets—purchase online at http://www.sffilm.org/festival/attend/tickets or in person during the festival.  Main Festival Box Office: is YBCA Grand Lobby, open daily Thursday, April 6 – Sunday, April 16, noon to 8 pm. During the festival , other screening venues also sell tickets.

Advance ticket purchases absolutely recommended as many screenings go to Rush.  Check the festival website to see which films are currently at rush (the list is updated frequently).

Day-of Noon Release Tickets: Each day of the Festival, tickets may be released for that day’s rush screenings. Pending availability, tickets may be purchased online or in person at the main festival box,  starting at noon. Not all shows will have tickets released, and purchasing is first-come, first-served.

Rush tickets:  Last-minute or rush tickets may be available on a first served basis to those waiting in line for cash only about 10 minutes before show time.  If you want rush tickets, plan to line up at least 45 minutes prior to screening time. No rush tickets for screenings at BAMPFA

More info: For full schedule and tickets, visit: http://www.sffilm.org/festival

 

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April 5, 2017 Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two important new films by Bay Area filmmakers about women show how pervasive sexism still is—one tackles mass media; the other the art world—screening this weekend at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 21-May 5, 2011

What exactly is it about our society and women?  Despite the fact that women are a majority of our population, and they have made and continue to make vital contributions to our society that equal if not exceed those of the male population, sexism still exists.   That’s the well-argued point of two powerful new documentaries by Bay Area filmmakers Jennifer Siebel  Newsom and Lynn Hershman Leeson screening this weekend at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival  (SFIFF54).   Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s Miss Representation, one of the most buzzed about films at this year’s Sundance festival, explores the mass media’s deplorable impact on our society’s perception of women and how that limits what women even strive for.  Bay Area artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution (WAR) turns the camera on women artists who are underrepresented in leading museums and profiles the all out war feminist women have waged from the 1960’s on for recognition in the establishment art world.  Hershman Lesson is the first person to ever document this important history that has broader consequences for the way women are treated in our society.  The film has hit a rare trifecta in the film festival circuit too—screening to rave reviews at the prestigious Berlin, Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.  Below are capsule reviews:

Miss Representation  (Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom, USA, 2011, 85 min, Documentary)

After watching this eye-opening documentary, I found myself keenly tuned in to and sickened by the way women are depicted on television, especially in advertising.  San Francisco filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom has turned the camera on mainstream media itself and examines its deplorable impact on our society’s perception of women.  Through in-depth interviews with leading academics, newsmakers (including Katie Couric, Lisa Ling and Rachel Maddow) and politicians (Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Condoleezza Rice) and actors (Geena Davis, Jane Fonda, Margaret Cho) and youth—basically women in all walks of life—-Newsom shows that we are all being sold (year after year) dated, limited and detrimental stereotypes of what it means to be a powerful woman.   The collective message that penetrates our subconscious is that women’s value lies primarily in youth, beauty and sexuality.  The impact: both men and women have a limited understanding of who women are and what women can be, leading to the under-representation of women in key leadership positions in the U.S. and to unprecedented levels of eating disorders, sexual violence, cosmetic enhancement, and demeaning pornography.  Siebel Newsom, mother of toddler Montana, made this film while pregnant with her second child and makes it very clear that she and other parents ought to be concerned about the messages their daughters in particular are receiving about their options in life.  Oprah liked this important film so much that her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) snapped it up in February for their OWN Documentary Film Club that plans to do for film what Oprah has done for books.  After painting a bleak picture, the film includes some very positive calls for action, has an extensive social outreach campaign and gives some concrete ways our society can empower women.  (Screens: Friday, April 22, 6 p.m., Sundance Kabuki Theatre and Wednesday, May 4, 5:45 p.m. New People. Director Jennifer Siebel Newsom will attend both screenings.)

!Women Art Revolution (Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson, USA/Canada, 2010, 83 min, Documentary)

“!Women Art Revolution” “WAR” is Lynn Hershman Leeson’s documentary about women artists who spearheaded the feminist art movement and a shocking visual primer  for the oft-repeated statement “Well behaved women seldom make history.”  “WAR” tracks early feminist artists like Judy Chicago, Nancy Spero, and the Guerilla Girls through a montage of archival footage, much of it taken by Hershman Leeson herself over the past 35 years.  The conclusion: women artists have been doing important work all along but they have been ignored, underrepresented, sidetracked and underpaid in the art world’s male-dominated upper echelons.   Impact:  marginalization, no one knows much about the pioneering women artists who decided to challenge the system.   Hershman Leeson, who spoke to me from her San Francisco studio, said she made the film “to show a history that’s never been written or documented, that makes the known history obsolete.”   The film establishes the importance of this movement in contemporary art but is really addressing the broader cultural history of America, the history of freedom of expression and equality starting with late 1960’s and going forward—it really shows the prejudices that fuel discrimination.”

The film isn’t angry or bitter in its approach—it instead profiles a determined and very intelligent group of women who love what they do and used their resources shrewdly to get attention.  History isn’t what happened in the past; it is what later generations choose to remember.  Thanks to Hershman Leeson for this vital work documenting women’s candid stories of WAR.  Hershman Leeson, whose works are in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, chairs the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute and is internationally acclaimed for her pioneering work in new media technology. (Screens, Saturday, April 23, SFMOMA and Monday April 25, 8:40 p.m., Pacific Film Archive)

 SFIFF 54 Details:
Complete program information: http://fest11.sffs.org/films/  

Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, New People, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archive

When: April 21 to May 5, 2011

Tickets: $8 to $13 regular screenings, Purchase www.sffs.org/tickets

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love Art? The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival is screening 6 new films about art, starts this Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rutger Hauer plays Pieter Bruegel in Lech Majewski`s "The Mill and the Cross" which transports viewers into the dense frieze of Bruegel`s 1564 masterpiece "The Way to Calvary." The film screens twice at SFIFF54. Courtesy of San Francisco Film Society.

The 54th San Francisco International Film Festival  (SFIFF54) which starts this Thursday and runs through May 5, always brings a wide range of exceptional foreign films to the Bay Area.  Organized by the San Francisco Film Society, SFIFF54 offers 191 films from 48 countries in 33 languages and a multitude of special events and visitors.  In this year’s the line-up are 6 new films about artists, art movements, and art collecting that are so innovative in both their storytelling and in the technology they employ to bring their stories to light that you won’t want to miss them.

Sharpening our eyes to the mysteries and techniques of painting by old masters are three special films that have already received rave reviews in critical circles.  Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Werner Herzog’s 3D descent into the Chauvet cave in the south of France, home of 30,000 year old charcoal images, the oldest art known to man leads the way, followed by Polish filmmaker Llech Majewski’s The Mill and The Cross which allows the viewer to actually live inside Pieter Bruegel’s bustling Flanders landscape as he creates his 1564 masterpiece The Way to Calvary.  Amit Duda’s Nainsukh examines 18thcentury Indian court artist and miniature artist Nainsukh amidst breathtaking dream-like shots of Indian life.

After seeing Lech Majewski`s "The Mill and the Cross" about Pieter Bruegal`s "The Way to Calvary", you will never forget the dozen or so characters whose life stories unfold and intertwine amidst the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition. Image: Kunsthistorishes Museum Vienna

In terms of contemporary art, our own Bay Area filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson’s !Women Art Revolution (WAR) profiles the war women artists waged  for  recognition in the old boy establishment art world through the stories of leading women artists.  The film has already been screened at the Berlin, Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals and has received rave reviews. Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 17 continues on a project that Barney, born in San Francisco, began as an undergraduate at Yale which explores the relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity.  Barney has also been selected to receive this year’s Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award which honors a filmmaker working outside the traditional realm of typical narrative filmmaking.  Barney, who considers the screen an extended canvas, has been consistently innovational, merging film with sculptural works, uber athleticism and his own bizarre yet prescient radar.  Yves Saint Laurent L’Amour Fou provides a fascinating and highly personal story of the life of fashion designer and art collector Yves Saint Laurent as told by his lover and business partner, Pierre Berge, who co-organized the famous three day “sale of the century” auction that raked in an astounding $484 million for the couple’s art collection.  What follows are capsule reviews of these films. Full reviews will follow when the films open in the Bay Area.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Director: Werner Herzog, USA, 2010, 95 min, documentary)

Renegade German filmmaker Werner Herzog again reaches remarkable heights in a film that literally goes underground to illuminate the place where it seems that art itself was born—the remarkable Chauvet Pont d’Arc caves in the South of

In Werner Herzog`s "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," the eclectic German filmmaker gains unprecedented access to film the fabled Chauvet cave in the South of France, home of man`s earliest art. Courtesy of San Francisco Film Society.

France. He and a minimal crew were allowed into the extraordinary cave, named after French explorer Jean-Marie Chauvet, who in 1994 made a Tutankhamen-level art find–hundreds of pictures of animals drawn with detail and sophistication by early man an estimated 32,000 years ago.  Not only are its walls decorated, but the cave also contains the fossilized remains of animals now extinct and the cave floor is marked with the footprints of animals and early humans.  Highly subject to erosion, the cave is closed to the public. Herzog shoots in 3D to accentuate the massive, sculptural forms and brings to life what was captured previously in a series of static portraits.  He also interviews the various experts who are allowed down there with him: paleontologists, archaeologists, art historians, and a perfume specialist, who talks about the smells of resin and wood that might have prevailed way back then.  Herzog’s filmic voice is unmistakable and this grand project seems to have completely enthralled him.  At one point, he says that the positions of various legs in the ancient drawings are “proto-cinema” and as he crawls and points, we too feel the magic of this prehistoric artistry.  (Screens: Monday, April 25, 7 p.m. and Tuesday April 26, 9:30 p.m., Sundance Kabuki Theatre)

 The Mill and the Cross (Director Lech Majewski, Poland/Sweden, 2010, 97 minutes)

Our approach to art history will never be the same after this enthralling film by Lech Mjaewski which invites the reader to literally enter the mind of Flemish master Pieter Breugel and glean the deeper meaning of his 1564 painting “The Way to Calvary.”  A first that we can only hope sets a precedent, Majewski uses Breugal’s preparatory drawings, computer generated blue-screen compositing, 3D imaging, a huge painted backdrop as well as on location shooting to invite the viewer into the craggy landscape where all the rituals of daily life unfold.  What you’ll learn is that against the backdrop of the brutal Spanish Inquisition, Breugel had to be clever and he imbedded his work with a series of symbols that tell a compelling crucifixion story.  There are more than 500 figures in the panoramic painting, including an array of villagers at different stations in life and the red-caped invading horsemen who butchered and then suspended them on huge wheels for all to see.  Rutger Hauer plays a Breugel who imparts wisdom about life and art that makes us hunger for more.  Charlotte Rampling delivers a Virgin Mary whose suffering is palpable. The film is based on Michael Francis Gibson’s novel bearing the same name. (Screens: Saturday, April 23, 12:30 p.m. SFMOMA, Wednesday, April 27, 9 p.m. Sundance Kabuki Cinemas)

Nainsukh (North American Premiere) (Director, Amit Dutta, India, Switzerland, 2010, 82 min, in Hindi and Punjabi with subtitles)

Amit Dutta has established himself as one of India’s most talented experimental filmmakers whose works oscillate between Indian mythology and highly personal narrative.   Nainsukhis Dutta’s second feature film and it very poetically explores

Amit Dutta`s NAINSUKH playing at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 21 - May 5, 2011.

the life and art of Nainsukh, the 18th miniature painter from Guler in the northern hills of India who became the court artist of Rajput Princes of Jasrota.  Shot on location in Jammu and Kashmir, Dutta re-constructs Nainsukth’s miniatures through compositions set in the actual ruins of the Jasrota palace and its surrounding landscape.  Nainsukh, played by Manish Soni, a well-known miniature artist, trains at his father’s celebrated painting workshop.  In 1740, he moves on to create delicate masterpieces that elaborate on daily court life with a palpable naturalism he gleaned from Mughal painting.  Because he was given rare entry into the common routines of the prince’s life, and was able to accompany him on such activities as tiger hunts, Nainsukh was able to translate all this into a body of art that far exceeded the normal artistic output of the day which was produced in workshops.  The film reveals how Nainsukth renders his figures in very individual and personal ways with exceptional vitality and truthfulness absent the idealized beauty typical of royal court paintings.  The film’s slow meditative pace pulls you into another era.  (Screens: Friday, April 22, 9:15 p.m. at New People, Sunday, April 24, 2:30 p.m. Sundance Kabuki and Sunday, May1, 7 p.m., Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley)

 

!Women Art Revolution (Director: Lynn Hershman Leeson, USA/Canada, 2010, 83 min, Documentary)

“!Women Art Revolution” “WAR” is Lynn Hershman Leeson’s documentary about women artists who spearheaded the feminist art movement and a shocking visual primer  for the oft-repeated statement “Well behaved women seldom make

Women artists like Shirin Neshat whose provocative works about women and Islam catapulted her to fame in the early 1990`s are the subject of Lynn Hershman Leeson`s documentary "!Women Art Revolution" playing at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival. Image: San Francisco Film Society.

history.”  “WAR” tracks early feminist artists like Judy Chicago, Nancy Spero, and the Guerilla Girls through a montage of archival footage, much of it taken by Hershman Leeson herself over the past 35 years.  The conclusion: women artists have been doing important work all along but they have been ignored, underrepresented, sidetracked and underpaid in the art world’s male-dominated upper echelons.   Impact:  marginalization, no one knows much about the pioneering women artists who decided to challenge the system.   Hershman Leeson, who spoke to me from her San Francisco studio, said she made the film “to show a history that’s never been written or documented, that makes the known history obsolete.”   The film establishes the importance of this movement in contemporary art but is really addressing the broader cultural history of America, the history of freedom of expression and equality starting with late 1960’s and going forward—it really shows the prejudices that fuel discrimination.”

The film isn’t angry or bitter in its approach—it instead profiles a determined and very intelligent group of women who love what they do and used their resources shrewdly to get attention.  History isn’t what happened in the past; it is what later generations choose to remember.  Thanks to Hershman Leeson for this vital work documenting women’s candid stories of WAR.  Hershman Leeson, whose works are in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, chairs the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute and is internationally acclaimed for her pioneering work in new media technology. (Screens, Saturday, April 23, SFMOMA and Monday April 25, 8:40 p.m., Pacific Film Archive)

Drawing Restraint #17 (North American Premiere) (Director Matthew Barney, Switzerland, 2010, 32 minutes)

Drawing Restraint continues on a project that conceptual artist Matthew Barney began in 1987 while an undergraduate at Yale which explores the relationship between self-imposed resistance and creativity.  Barney’s theory is that

Matthew Barney`s "Drawing restraint 17" is set in Basel`s Schaulager Museum and makes its North American premiere at the 54th San Francisco International Film Festival, April 21 - May 5, 2011. Image: Huge Glendinning, courtesy Gladstone Gallery, New York.

encumbrance can be used to strengthen an artist’s output, much as resistance is used by athletes to build muscle.  Barney’s latest film in the series uses the architecture in and around Basel, Switzerland as a key player in the film.  Basel is home to the Schaulager Museum for which the piece was commissioned.  Split-screen sequences incorporate Goetheanum, a center for the study of “spiritual science” (designed in the 1920’s by architect/thinker Rudolf Steiner), a woman digging in soil rich with worms and a tram ride to the Schaulager Museum (designed by (Herzog & de Meuron).  The main action occurs inside the museum where Barney portrays an artist supervising the construction of a sculpture made form rotting wood beams.  This site becomes a metaphoric wormhole.  (Screens: Saturday, April 30, 5 p.m. Sundance Kabuki Cinemas)  Combined with this year’s Golden Gate Persistence of Vision Award  presented by critic and curator Glen Helfand, who will also interview Barney before the audience.  Admission to the interview and screening is $25.

Yves Saint Laurent L’Amour Fou (Director: Pierre Thoretton, France, 2011, 100 min, in French, Documentary)

When iconic designer Yves Saint Laurent died of brain cancer in June 2008, at the age of 71, he left behind a substantial fashion legacy: he had popularized the pantsuit for women as well as the safari jacket, had democratized fashion by offering more affordable prêt à porter (ready to wear) lines, and had launched Opium, a scandalous perfume that many women considered their second skin in the 1980’s.  He also left behind one of the world’s greatest art collections, 700 plus pieces ranging from Egyptian artifacts to important works by Brancusi, Matisse, Degas, Manet, Duchamp, Ingres, Warhol, and many other leading artists assembled over 50 years with his lover and business partner Pierre Bergé.

In Pierre Thoretton`s "Yves Saint Laurent L’Amour Fou" screening at SFIFF54, Yves Saint Laurent discusses his impressions of Andy Warhol`s 1974 portrait of him and its place in his sumptuous art collection.

Pierre Thoretton’s Yves Saint Laurent L’Amour Fou tells Laurent’s story and the story of the couple’s great art (and furniture) collection through both historical and present-day footage.  As Bergé bids farewell to the collection in the famous three day auction orchestrated by Christies at Paris’ Grand Palais on February 23-25, 2009, you’ll see and hear how the couple lived and acquired their collection which they displayed in their exquisite homes in Morocco, France and England.   Mondrian’s 1922 painting “Composition in Blue, Red, Yellow and Black,” which inspired the designer’s groundbreaking 1965 Pop Art chic day dress wasn’t his when he designed the dress but Saint Laurent acquired it later.  In Studio 54’s heyday, Saint Laurent befriended artist Andy Warhol who did his portrait sans the signature glasses.  A very rare early 3 foot tall sculpture in wood by Constantin Brancusi “Madame LR,” was thought to be one of roughly 30 known wooden Brancusis executed between 1913 and 1925.  Throughout the film, it’s clear that Laurent was inspired by beauty in many forms but happiness was illusive.  The film culminates in the frenzy of the famous three day auction of the collection that brought in $262 million on its first night with the Brancusi fetching a record fetched $36,792,835, the Mondrain $27, 191,525 and Matisse’s “Les coucous, tapis bleu et rose” $45,264,579.  (Screens: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 and Thursday, May 5 at Sundance Kabuki Cinemas)

SFIFF 54 Details:

Complete program information: http://fest11.sffs.org/films/

Where: Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Pacific Film Archive

When: April 21 to May 5, 2011

Tickets: $8 to $13 regular screenings, $20 to $25 for Matthew Barney screening and on stage discussion at Persistence of Vision Award.  Purchase www.sffs.org/tickets

April 18, 2011 Posted by | Art, Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment