Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jason goes to SFFILM--Day 11

Just two films at the festival on Saturday the 14th. And first up was the program that is often the best of the whole festival--Shorts 5: Family Films. Hooray for kid-appropriate films!
BIG BLOCK SINGSONG WIZARD: A big purple block in a wizard hat, singing about how he's a wiz at everything. Because he is. At everything except...being a wizard.
BIRD KARMA: A beautiful, stylish animated short about a bird who won't settle for any old fish. He wants the shiniest fish in the whole river.
COIN OPERATED: A young aspiring astronaut is disappointed that the coin operated rocketship in front of the store won't actually fly him to the moon. So he works to earn more coins until it will work.
CRISANTO STREET: 8 year old Geovany Cesario takes a video camera and videos his family, living in a trailer on Crisanto Street in Mountain View. But soon they will move into low-income housing (because they're being evicted from the street.)
JESSZILLA: I love Jesszilla. I saw this at Indiefest as was thrilled to see it again. Jesselyn “Jesszilla” Silva is a kick-ass little girl. 10 years old, and in love with boxing. She trains hard and already has plans to go pro. Her father...well, he's not exactly thrilled, but he's totally supportive.
LATE AFTERNOON: An animated film of an old woman who drifts in and out of memory, and her daughter who is taking care of her.
PIG: THE DAM KEEPER POEMS: CHAPTER 4: Beautiful animation from Tonko house. Pig has a little trouble having lunch, because everyone wants a taste. Before he knows what's happening, he's running a restaurant.
SCRAMBLED: A Rubik's cube helps people put down their darn smartphones and maybe connect with real life a little bit.
SHERBERT ROSENCRANTZ, YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL: Sometimes guinea pigs are better than people. They can be the best friend to a shy little girl.
UNDISCOVERED: A favorite from Cinequest, A cute animated short about bigfoot, and why he can't be found.

And then the documentary RBG, a hero-worship piece about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The progressive icon and trailblazer actually was ideologically middle-of-the-pack when she was appointed by Bill Clinton. She has become a liberal dissenter because the court has veered to the right. But this joyful documentary is about more than that. It's about her spirit, her personality, her unlikely friendship with Antonin Scalia (built a lot on a shared love of opera.) It's also about her late husband Martin Ginsburg, who was her biggest fan and completely at ease reversing the role of the great woman behind the great man. And it's about the cult of Notorious RBG that has built up around her. She's not a naturally funny woman (Martin was the joker of the couple) but she understands and jokes about the meme. And it's about her amazing career as a lawyer in gender equality cases well before she joined the court. Really, it's about everything related to her...other than criticism. I mean, it briefly mentions the controversy when she spoke up about Trump being unfit for office during the 2016 election. But other than that, even her conservative critics talk about how much they like her personally. That is, other than the talk radio extremists, and I don't think their voices would add much of value to this documentary.

Total Running Time: 160 minutes
My Total Minutes: 476,922

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