Saturday, May 2, 2009

SFIFF52 Day 10: A Week Alone

The 52nd San Francisco International Film Festival is in its final weekend; it runs through Thursday, May 7th. Each day during the festival I'll be posting about one film I've seen or am hotly anticipating.

A Week Alone (ARGENTINA: Celina Murga, 2008)

playing: 6:15 PM tonight at the Kabuki, with two more showtimes later in the festival.
festival premiere: Venice 2008
distributor: on the festival's "hold review" list, possibly indicating future distribution, but I haven't been able to determine the company releasing it yet.

The "hold review" thing is kinda funny in an online context, given one can read a New Yorker like R. Emmett Sweeney beautifully summarize this film with only a click or a quick google search. But I'm at least equally impressed by Maya writing for the Auteurs a 75-word review of A Week Alone among a tour-de-force of SFIFF capsules. Between the two of them, I'm not sure I have much add, other than my measured recommendation:

A Week Alone is a quiet film that brings the viewer into the restless isolation of privileged youth. Without adult supervision, children can attempt to test social standing within their clique, or else withdraw into introspective or idle activity. Director Celina Murga uses the motif of the remote control to indicate the kids' limited power, then gives way to images of gates and barriers. Alliances are made manifest during the inevitable climax.

SFIFF52 Day 10
Another option: Summer Hours (FRANCE: Oliver Assayas, 2008) David Hudson rounds up the reactions from its screenings in New York last fall.
Non-SFIFF-option for today: The Emperor's Naked Army Marches On (JAPAN: Kazuo Hara, 1987) at the Pacific Film Archive, with director Hara in attendance. The Film of the Month Club discussed the film in depth a year ago.

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