SFIndiefest's Documentary festival, aka Docfest, started last night, and for the first time they played at the Brava Theater. Beautiful theater, if a bit cold (especially down in front.)
But hey, this isn't about the theater, this is about the film. And Docfest opened with a breezy, entertaining film about unique people and unique cities. WORKING CLASS uses Charle's Dickens "A Tale of Two Cities" as a sort of loose framing device to explore the cities of San Francisco and San Diego (note: where I lived before moving to the Bay Area, so it was cool to see the old hang-outs and beaches again!) and the artists Mike Giant (SF) and Mike Maxwell (SD.) For most of the movie director Jeffrey Durkin interviews them separately, and the cuts make for some funny moments (best part, Maxwell admits that San Francisco Mexican food is better, except for fish tacos. Giant admits that the first thing he does whenever he's in San Diego is get a fish taco.) It's clear that Giant and Maxwell know each other well (Giant can't even remember how they met) and have a lot of fondness for each other and their unique styles. The movie ambles along at it's own breezy but never hurried pace, talking about art, religion, women (and particularly violent female images in art), tattoos, skating, pot, war,...sort of whatever they wanted to talk about. But it's always fun and engaging and when they finally appear together for the end to the film it's so natural you'd swear they were right next to each other the whole time.
So here's to a great kickoff for another great Docfest. Unfortunately, due to unavoidable conflicts I'll only catch less than half of it (I'm out of town for a while after next Wednesday) but I'll make the most of what I'll be able to see.
Running Time: 72 minutes
My Total Minutes: 302,819