||The San Francisco International Film Festival 2012 like the City itself contains a number of spectacular hills and deep valleys. Here are some high and lows from the festival:
Compliance – Craig Zobel’s second feature uses elements of the Stanford Prison Experiment to create one of the most uncomfortable films in recent memory. Set in a generic fast food restaurant, the film escalates the uneasiness about how far people will allow a situation to progress. Some may hate the film, others not but no one will sit on the fence.
Step Up To The Plate – Wonderfully tasty documentary of master French chef Michel Bras begrudgingly passing the spatula to his son Sébastien. The cooking scenes contain rich visuals and sounds combined with the spirited interaction of the father and son chefs.
The Last Screening – Seemingly pointless homage to films where a young projectionist goes on a murder rampage when informed that the movie theater where he works will close.
Last Call at the Oasis - Got water? That would be the catch-line for this slickly produced documentary about the resource that we humans should be most concerned with. Director Jessica Yu weaves together much of what she calls "water porn" with stirring images of our shrinking fresh water supply. The film contains offers arresting visuals and solid information. The film can only be faulted for trying to pack too much into the fountain.
Since some films cannot be given full reviews yet (as they will be distributed later in the year), check back at some future date for full reviews.