Now Playing! SF IndieFest Brings Much-Needed Dose of Fierce Iconoclasm

Lise Swenson behind the scenes during filming of 'Saltwater.'

Lise Swenson behind the scenes during filming of 'Saltwater.' (Courtesy SF IndieFest)

One of the pleasures of SF IndieFest, a.k.a. the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (through Feb. 16 at San Francisco’s Roxie and Alamo Drafthouse), is the ability to bounce on its wave of rampant and fierce iconoclasm. Doesn’t that sound especially tempting the day after the Super Bowl broadcast, an all-you-can-eat-buffet of generic hyperbole?

Indiefest provides an annual reminder that this land is your land of eccentrics and obsessives, way-out-there philosophers and benighted misfits. (I don’t just mean the people in front of the camera, by the way.)

Still from 'The Other Kids.'
Still from ‘The Other Kids.’ (Courtesy of SF IndieFest)

Let’s single out the local filmmakers, beginning with Chris Brown’s beautifully observed The Other Kids (Feb. 12, 2:45pm and Feb. 13, 9:30pm at the Roxie). A seamless collaboration with a group of Tuolomne County high school seniors, the film meshes reality and fiction to nail the adolescent sensation of being pitched between the present and the future, and that wobble when banality segues into the life-changing in a blink of the eye.

Lise Swenson was the godmother of narrative filmmaking in the Mission, and her passing last year leaves a tremendous void. Her last feature, Saltwater, an experiential drama about one’s responsibility to family and the planet that she shot at the Salton Sea, receives its world premiere Feb. 9, 7:15pm and Feb. 11, 2:45pm (both at the Roxie).

In celebration of Swenson’s life, art and truly fierce iconoclasm, Indiefest and the Roxie host a free screening of her picaresque 2004 street saga, Mission Movie, Feb. 11 at 12:30pm.

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Author

Michael Fox

Michael Fox has written about film for a variety of publications since 1987. He is the curator and host of the long-running Friday night CinemaLit film series at the Mechanics' Institute,  an instructor in the OLLI programs at U.C. Berkeley and S.F. State, and a member of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle.

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