SFIFF: Shots in the dark - Page 3

Short takes on SFIFF
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Also May 1, 4 p.m., Sundance Kabuki.

MAY 1

D Tour (Jim Granato, USA, 2008) There's been many a band-on-the-brink doc about groups torn apart by substance abuse, or creative differences, or just plain nuttiness (see: 2004's DiG! and Some Kind of Monster, and any number of Behind the Music eps). In D Tour, local indie popsters Rogue Wave face, and are drawn together by, an entirely different brand of crisis: drummer Pat Spurgeon's urgent need for a kidney transplant. Director Granato is given full access to subjects who are very open about their feelings (and, in Spurgeon's case, unpleasant medical procedures). The result is a music- and emotion-filled journey that'll no doubt inspire many to check off the "organ donor" box on their driver's licenses. A sadly ironic, late-act twist involving a different band member will come as no surprise to Rogue Wave followers, but D Tour incorporates the tragedy into its storyline without ever exploiting it. (Eddy) 9 p.m., Sundance Kabuki. Also May 4, 3:15 p.m., Sundance Kabuki; May 7, 5:15 p.m., Sundance Kabuki.

MAY 2

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (David Russo, USA, 2009) Animator Russo's first feature is a (mostly) live-action whimsy about rudderless Dory (Marshall Allman from Prison Break) who gets fired from his white-collar job and lands in the much scruffier employ of Spiffy Jiffy Janitorial Services. Its punky artist-type staff clean a high-rise's offices, including one for a test-marketing trying out "self-warming cookies." When our protagonists develop an addictive liking for these treats, strange things begin to occur — like hallucinations and, eventually, male pregnancies of mystery critters. Depending on mood, this arch quirkfest with an '80s feel (think of all the similar, mildly surreal indie comedies that rode 1984 release Repo Man's coattails) may strike you as delightful or just plain irritating. (Harvey) 11 p.m., Sundance Kabuki. Also May 6, 3:30 p.m., Sundance Kabuki.

Tyson (James Toback, USA, 2008) Director Toback is picking up this year's Kanbar Award for "excellence in screenwriting," but his latest film is a doc scripted largely in the mind of its subject. To call Mike Tyson a polarizing figure is an understatement (and raises the question: Does anyone really like him except Toback, whom he's known for two decades?). This film — narrated by Tyson, the sole interviewee — won't endear him to a public that's seen him besmirch his glorious boxing-ring talents with an array of bad behavior, from a rape charge (here, Tyson calls his accuser a "wretched swine of a woman") to the chomping of Evander Holyfield's ear. Though he chokes up on occasion and admits at one point that he starting taking fights just for the money, he's still about as unsympathetic as humanly possible. Fun fact: a friend convinced him to go tribal with the face tattoo. Tyson himself wanted hearts. (Eddy) 4 p.m., Sundance Kabuki.

MAY 3

Moon (Duncan Jones, England, 2008) The Bay Area's own Sam Rockwell has quietly racked up a slew of memorable performances in variable films — including 2002's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and 2008's Choke — so the fact that he's pretty much the whole show in this British sci-fi tale is reason enough to see it. A one-man space saga à la Silent Running (1972), it has him as Sam Bell, the lone non-mechanical worker (Kevin Spacey voices his principal robot assistant) on a lunar mining station in the not-too-distant future. He's just about to finish his long, lonely contracted three-year stint and return home to a desperately missed family when strange things begin to occur.

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