Most of the people who visit this site don't live in San Francisco, but as long as I'm updating my personal calendar each week with potential screenings, I might as well dump a few of the highlights here.
Coming up in the next week, a little something for everyone:
Holy cow, even without setting foot in a multiplex, it's impossible to see everything, but it's hard to go wrong with any of the above. I'll be spending most of my weekend riding roller coasters, literally, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to squeeze in. We'll see.
And don't forget that Sunday is Mother's Day.
If you're taking suggestions on the Films From Along the Silk Road program, I'd say the best of the bunch is Darezhan Omirbaev's Ka?rat and Ardak Amirkulov's The Fall of Otrar. The odd part is, the program was named from a Marat Sarulu film called My Brother Silk Road (at least when it played at Lincoln Center) - they kept the program name, but not the film. :)
Thanks very much for the suggestion. I'm not familiar with anything in the series, so that helps. My brother recently adopted a baby from Kazakhstan so I've been on the lookout for movies from there, not having seen a single one. That's how this series showed up on my radar in the first place. It's funny that I'd identified the same two movies, but for entirely different reasons. :-)
Oh, that kid must be adorable! I really like the Eurasian aspects of their culture; it seems so harmonious. :)
This has nothing to do with the films but it's a great story about Kazakhstan anyway so I thought I'd share it. ;) Before the screening of Revenge, the filmmaker Ermek Shinarbaev got up to praise profusely the author of the novel on which the film based, a popular contemporary Russian author named Anatoli Kim. He then went on to talk about how, under Joseph Stalin, all Koreans living in Russia were sent on a forced march to central Asia during the height of winter in a kind of indirect attempt at genocide. So, when they got to Kazakhstan, they were surprised to find that these Soviet people welcomed them wholeheartedly into their community. Anyway, there is now a thriving Korean population in Kazakhstan, and Anatoli Kim is a product of that community.
The film itself was also quite illuminating because it showed a pre-Soviet aspect of central Asia where the the intermingling between the East and West was more organic, it seemed like such a great cultural melting pot before the formation of the Soviet Union.
BTW, you may also be interested in Kent Jones' online article for the Central Asian program at Film Comment.
That's a great story, acquarello. I relayed it to my brother who said that another group of people that Stalin sent to Kaz were feared intellectuals, so small communities of authors, poets, and other artists rose up in Kazakhstan in towns like Almaty, which became a kind of "second Moscow" for some people, so it has an opera house, ballet, and lots of universities.