Defined by Merriam-Webster as, "The attainment of prominence, respectability, recognition, or maturity," "coming-of-age" is widely considered a point in every young person's life when they walk the precarious edge between being a child and being an adult member of their community. This edge might be magnified by any number of given plot turns – be it a forced exile, an unexpected abandonment, or the opportunity to fight for something of great importance; in the feature directorial debuts, La Sirga by William Vega, They'll Come Back by Marcelo Lordello and Tall As The Baobab Tree by Jeremy Teicher, the coming-of-age narrative is central, poignant and profound. Vega, Lordello and Teicher not only tend to their subjects with compassion and intimacy, they also experiment with the artform, making strong and inventive choices in sound design, cinematography and narrative format. These powerful representations of the coming-of-age experience are set amidst different cultural contexts, yet all focus intently on the heroine, allowing specific cultural norms to be digested seamlessly while providing a rich and intriguing backdrop for each protagonist. All three films explore, in different ways, a sense of muted grief and desperation that meditates on the potential emotional reverb of lost innocence.
All director interviews and film screenings were facilitated with the aid of the San Francisco International Film Festival 2013.

 

Directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärne Nilsson Sound Of Noise is labeled as a black humor and oddball action film, which it is. More than anything, though, it is a music film – one which celebrates and pays homage to experimental music, as well as avant-garde classical composers. From the hand-drawn opening credits of Sound Of Noise, I knew there would be something punk rock about this film, and there certainly is. A pair of misfits -- a music school dropout and a stoic songwriter -- enlist four percussionists to join them for a four-movement composition entitled Music For One City And Six Drummers. Executed in true anarchist fashion, the movements take on the form of musical flash mobs, performed in stuffy locations using unlikely on-site equipment. In their first movement, "Doctor, Doctor, Gimme Gas (In My Ass)," the six-person band research and field record every sound in a hospital to find their ideal instruments. They then perform their gig in a surgery room, where they use everything from heart rate monitors to vacuum pipes and oxygen tanks as percussive tools. Every subsequent movement scales up in level of illegality and general outlandishness, concluding in a fourth movement so extreme that even director Johannes Nilsson admitted in a San Francisco International Film Festival Q&A that it may not actually be feasible.

If you are looking for films from today, Sunday, the 30th, you can see them here. Below are choice picks for the FINAL week of the San Francisco International Film Festival! Get your butt out there. Full festival details and movie listings here. --- American Teacher If you're an average American, you know that...

If you are looking for films from today, Wednesday, the 27th, you can see them here. Below are choice picks for the remainder of this week! Full festival details and movie listings here. --- Asleep In The Sun This Argentine film evokes the tag words: "metaphysical mystery," "canine-crazed," "soul-deep," "Kafkaesque world," "psuedo scientists," "self-possessed,"...

This week's San Francisco International Film Festival round-up is quite beefy, so we're splitting it into two parts! For now, what you can see from Sunday through Wednesday. --- Asleep In The Sun This Argentine film evokes the tag words: "metaphysical mystery," "canine-crazed," "soul-deep," "Kafkaesque world," "psuedo scientists," "self-possessed," and "'50s decor." It...