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THIS JUST IN!: San Francisco International Film Festival Announces 2015 Schedule

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People, it is SF International Film Festival time again. Actually, April 23 – May 7 is SF International Film Festival time but this morning the SF Film Society announced the full schedule of films screening at this year’s festival. And holy shit there are some really good ones!

At $15 a pop per ticket, the Film Festival remains one of the best ‘date night’ values in our outlandishly unaffordable town. Plus many of these film screenings have big-deal stars scheduled to attend, hold court and participate in lovely Q&A sessions. Let’s take a look at a few standouts from the festivals’s 100+ films from 47 different countries.

“The Taking of Tiger Mountain”

Kick-Ass Feature Films

This year’s Film Festival repertoire contains a 3-D kung fu historical epic (The Taking of Tiger Mountain), Ian McKellen as Sherlock Holmes (Mr. Holmes), Kristen Wiig who is simply the funniest fucking person in Hollywood right now (Welcome to Me), John Cusack as Brian Love in the Beach Boys biopic (Love & Mercy), Isabella Rossellini live, in person and in hilarious costumes (Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live) and a Ukrainian movie about deaf kids with no dialogue, no subtitles and told entirely in Russian Sign Language (The Tribe).

“Whatever Happened, Miss Simone?”

 Can’t-Miss Documentary Films

If you’re a massive documentary dork like me, you will clear your calendar and make time to see the Nina Simone documentary (Whatever Happened, Miss Simone?), the women’s boxing documentary (T-Rex), the documentary about the shittiest movies of the 1980s (Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films), the Silk Road documentary (Deep Web), the Residents documentary (Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents), and a documentary about teens doing a Shakespeare production on the violent streets of Richmond, CA (Romeo is Bleeding).

“Cop Car”

Midnight Movies at The Roxie (with Booze Served!)

The Midnight movies actually play at 11 p.m., but alcohol returns to the Film Festival’s Friday and Saturday late-night screenings that feature gore, horror and exploitation galore.  This year’s ‘Dark Wave’ late-night movie series feature a terror-suspense film about two kids stealing a police cruiser (Cop Car), a plastic surgery horror film (Goodnight Mommy), a dirty, erotic Italian horror film (The Editor) and a Japanese splatter flick about a hard-boiled cop with an appetite for violence (The World of Kanako).

Tickets for these and all the other SFIFF58 flicks are available at the SF International Film Festival website. They’re not all $15 tickets.  You’ll pay a little more for the opening night Steve Jobs documentary, the movie with Jason Segel playing David Foster Wallace (The End of the Tour) and the films with live musical accompaniment from Cibo Matto (New Scene) and Kronos Quartet (Beyond Zero: 1914-1918).  But those “big night” screenings will be crawling with famous people and in many cases there are afterparties involved.

Many of these films will not receive a theatrical release until this summer.  Others will never play in theaters in the US again. This makes the 58th annual San Francisco International Film Festival required viewing, and one of the most beautiful things about our outlandishly unaffordable little town.

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Joe Kukura- Millionaire in Training

Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.