SFIFF 2009’s music related offerings


still from the film Soul Power

This year’s San Francisco International Film Festival is nearly upon us. It runs April 23 to May 7 at the Sundance Kabuki Theater and other theaters in San Francisco and around the Bay Area.

  • Boys: The Sherman Brothers’ Story (4/25 2pm @ Letterman)
    A documentary about the Sherman Brothers, who did the scores to many Disney movies like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, It’s a Small World, Winnie the Pooh, Charlotte’s Web, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. But outside of making award winning scores they were estranged–their sons, the makers of this film, didn’t even meet till they were grown up despite growing up near each other.
  • D Tour (5/1 9pm; 5/4 3:15pm; 5/7 5:15pm; all @ Kabuki)
    A documentary about Rogue Wave drummer Pat Spurgeon and his struggle to get a new kidney because his was failing. Lots of footage from the amazing benefit show and from Rogue Wave’s D tour (where Pat was on dialysis while on tour with the band). I saw this one over the weekend and a full review is forthcoming, but in the meantime, it’s not perfect but it’s a good movie.
  • Every Little Step (4/26 9:30 @ Castro)
    A documentary about the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line and the audition process for it. Looks pretty interesting from the trailer
  • Go Go 70s (3/5 12:30pm @ Clay; 5/5 9:15pm @ Kabuki; 5/7 8:15pm @ Kabuki)
    A South Korean feature film based on the story of the Devils. The band tries to win a contest with their soul sound, only to get a lukewarm reception and become a hit in the underground. But before long internal and external pressures get to the band…
  • Lost World (5/5 8pm @ Castro)
    A classic silent film with live musical accompaniment and an original score by Dengue Fever. I’ve written more about this already.
  • My Suicide (5/1 6pm; 5/5 1pm; 5/6 9pm; all @ Kabuki)
    A feature film about a teen who declares his intention to commit suicide on camera. Musically, this noteworthy for a soundtrack with contributions from Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Joanna Newsom, My Morning Jacket, Daniel Johnston, the Pixies and more.
  • New Muslim Cool (4/25 2pm @ PFA; 4/26 3pm @ Kabuki; 5/4 6:30pm @ Kabuki)
    A documentary about Hamza Perez, a hip hop artist, anti-drug counselor, politcal activist and devout muslim. Trying to set up a new life and a new mosque in the gritty areas of Pittsburgh, Hamza and his brother (who co-fronts their hip hop group) face everything from family not knowing what they’re about any more to an FBI raid of their mosque and loss of jobs due to their religion and political stance. I saw this last week and it’s really interesting and well made.
  • Our Beloved Month of August (4/25 12:30pm; 4/29 3pm; 5/1 8:45pm; all @ Kabuki)
    Somewhere between fiction and documentary and filmed at rural Portugese music festivals, this seems like it’ll be a bit chaotic and at least a bit beautiful.
  • Proving Ground (4/30 10pm @ Kabuki)
    A Leninist diatribe against capitalism and imperialism set to the live music of Los Duggans and with some elements of live theater in it.
  • Soul Power (4/26 5:45pm @ Kabuki)
    Put together from the outtakes of When We were Kings this documentary shows the music festival–with legends like James Brown, Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba, The Spinners, Bill Withers and B.B. King performing–that preceded the famous Ali v Foreman Rumble in the Jungle. This looks like a great film.
  • Unmade Beds (5/7 7pm @ Castro)
    A feature film about two young ex-pats finding their way in London. Musically, it’s noteworthy for its soundtrack with contributions from Daniel Johnston, Kimya Dawson, Tindersticks and Jeffrey Lewis.


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