WHO: This documentary is from Niko Von Glasow, who began his film career as a "production assistant" (that is, coffee maker) on Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Lola and Theater In Trance, then worked his way up the ladder in films by the likes of Alexander Kluge and Jean-Jacques Annaud. Since 1990 he's written/directed, produced, or done both for about a dozen films thus far, and with My Way To Olympia he does all three, plus appears on camera.
WHAT: I haven't seen this documentary, made by Von Glasow at last year's ParaOlympics in London, but it sounds quite compelling, and I'm rather relieved to read reviews assuring what the film is not, such as the one by Cirina Catania I'm about to quote:
Von Glasow’s matter-of-fact approach to his subjects gets our attention right from the beginning of the film when he declares he is not sure he wants to make the movie, he hates sports and he thinks the ParaOlympics are basically a dumb idea. My Way to Olympia is not a gushy story about a group of charismatic, disabled humans overcoming adversity against all odds…
WHY: If you haven't yet seen one of the year's best films, The Place Beyond the Pines, it's playing in 35mm at the Castro today and I urge you to catch it. But if you already have, you may want to turn your attention to DocFest, which is responsible for bringing this screening tonight. At 7PM there's a showcase of shorts by local doc-makers, and an hour-long psittacine feature by another local (Emily Wick) called Life With Alex, which SF IndieFest near-completist Jason Wiener has called "the most amazing thing I've seen in the festival (so far.)" Then at 9 there's yet another by a local: Public Sex, Private Lives, by Kink.com filmmaker Simone Jude; this one was featured in last week's Bay Guardian.
But I'm personally most interested in the most far-flung of tonight's selections, My Way To Olympia, in part because I'm always interested in seeing films made about the Olympics, and why shouldn't that include the ParaOlympics as well? The fact that Von Glasow is himself a paraplegic adds to the allure, I admit; if one-eyed auteurs like Raoul Walsh and André De Toth could show-up most of their fully-sighted directorial brethren when making 3-D films during the 1953 stereoscopy craze, then how good of a picture might a Thalidomide survivor be able to come up with? I aim to find out.
HOW: Digital production and presentation.