Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason goes to Docfest--Opening Night

Opening weekend of SF Docfest once again conflicts with another one of my favorite film festivals--the SF Silent Film Festival. But opening night on Wednesday was all about Docfest, and all about bringing the noise with TURN IT AROUND: THE STORY OF EAST BAY PUNK. A story of a vibrant, strange, and inclusive community, it takes the audience briefly through the history of the rise of the punk scene in San Francisco, the Maximum RocknRoll fanzine, and how it started to be a haven for violence and neo-Nazi racists. And how at just the right time, at 924 Gilman in Berkeley (a venue that is still operating, BTW) an alternative punk scene grew, with values of inclusiveness, fun, and often quite a bit of silliness. Out of that scene came bands like Green Day (who executive produced the film) and Rancid, but the film delves into what seems like every band that ever played there. Which makes for a long film (over two and a half hours) but one that captured my attention the whole time. It was only after I checked my watch upon exiting the theater that I started thinking about how many of those interviews could have been clipped out (and made into DVD extras.) But in the moment, it all worked beautifully. So be prepared to spend a good chunk of time with this. And after all, part of the point of the film is about enjoying the moment more than nostalgically lamented that you missed the scene (I didn't move to the Bay Area until 2000, so I missed the scene.)

The film is also enjoying a run at the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission, so you all have a chance to check it out outside the festival.

Running Time: 155 minutes
My Total Minutes: 428,209
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