Two more shows on Thursday, starting with the mix of live on stage action and movies, BOOMTOWN: REMAKING SAN FRANCISCO. Several artists created different pieces to explore the changing San Francisco, ranging from a PowerPoint presentation on housing issues to a documentary on the last lesbian bar in San Francisco (The Lexington, which closed that very night.) And a movie on Sutro Tower, the giant antenna on a hill that was a controversial eyesore when it was put up, and now is an iconic part of the skyline...or still a fucking eyesore, depending on who you ask. There was a demonstration of queer artists of color. A trailer for THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO (which you can back on Kickstarter right now.) And there was a section of ROYAL ROAD, which is also playing in the festival in it's entirety. The whole program was sort of a meditation on the issues of gentrification and the changing nature of San Francisco. There was no Q and A after, as the point was kind of to raise the questions but not give you any answers. And at that, it was a successful, fascinating, and entertaining presentation.
And then I caught what was described as the sexiest film in the festival, FIDELIO: ALICE'S JOURNEY. And it's certainly true that Arianne Labed as the titular Alice is fearless in portraying her sexuality. She has a happy and very healthy love life with her artist boyfriend Felix. But her job is as an engineer on the merchant marine ship Fidelio. There she's tough enough to hold her own with the crew of crass men. But complications arise when the captain of this cruise turns out to be an older lover from her cadet days. She tries to remain faithful--at first simply by avoiding him. But he has other ideas. And perhaps she does, too. Normally I don't really care much for these types of movies--the main character choosing between two lovers. I usually just want her to make a damn choice and stick to it (worse yet is when she's too tempted by an obviously wrong choice.) But this time, perhaps because of Labed's fine performance, I was interested the whole way through. It also doesn't hurt that she is pretty beautiful and often naked.
And that was last Thursday at SFIFF. Just one week left, starting with the big final weekend.
Total Running Time: 170 minutes
My Total Minutes: 394,640