Thursday, April 12, 2018

SFFILM 61 Day 9: I Am Not A Witch

The 61st San Francisco International Film Festival began last week and runs through April 17th. Each day during the festival I'll be posting about a festival selection I've seen or am anticipating.

Image from I Am Not A Witch provided by SFFILM
I Am Not A Witch (UK/FRANCE/ZAMBIA/GERMANY: Rungano Nyoni, 2017)
playing: 6:00 tonight at the Roxie, with RUSH status showings at YBCA 8:15 Friday and at BAMPFA 5:30 Saturday.

One of my favorite new discoveries of this year's SFFILM festival so far, I Am Not A Witch tells a story, set entirely in the Southern African nation of Zambia, of an 8-year old girl accused of witchcraft and sent from her village on a tour of her country as a kind of combination lucky charm and sideshow. Often absurdly humorous in tone and visionary in design, this ultra-widescreen fable with a ring of truth is something that should certainly be seen on a big screen.

SFFILM61 Day 9
Other festival options: Though there's nothing hotter in the festival than tonight's double-venue (Grand Lake & Castro) centerpiece screening of Sorry To Bother You, which has been quickly selling each new set of advance tickets released by the festival, we all know it's getting a major theatrical release in just a few months, so it may be wiser to avoiding tying up precious time in a RUSH line and check out something less likely to show in a local cinema. That could mean Hong Sangsoo's Claire's Camera, distributed by Cinema Guild (which notoriously lets SFFILM festival runs substitute for true local release) and playing for the third and final time at YBCA tonight. Or perhaps a distributor-less selection like Jenny Suen's The White Girl, with cinematography by Christopher Doyle, and playing the Creativity Theater tonight. Or another without a current distributor, Jupiter's Moon by Johanna and White God director Kornél Mundruczó; it plays the Castro tonight.

Non-SFFILM option: Tonight's the final night at the Stanford Theatre to see the original 1940 version of Gaslight, directed by UK undersung auteur Thorald Dickinson and starring Anton Walbrook in the role Charles Boyer later made his own, along with the 1944 Lewis Allen ghost story The Uninvited, both in 35mm prints.

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