REVIEW: 16th annual San Francisco IndieFest features variety of films


Indiefest, a film festival for independent movies took place from Feb. 6 to 20, 2014.

Tessa Petrich and Mara Pleasure

This year marked the 16th annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival (IndieFest). The festival featured 78 different independent films and shorts at a variety of small theaters all over the Bay Area. The festival started on Feb. 6 with the film “The Congress and lasted until Feb. 20, closing with “Blue Ruin.” The festival’s centerpiece film this year was “Teenage,” directed by Matt Wolf. Although the festival is now over, next year, San Francisco will welcome the SF IndieFest again for its 17th year. Make sure to buy tickets early next year because you won’t want to miss this festival: it never fails to bring together a mix of independent dramas, sci-fi’s and comedies. In the meantime, check out the Bay Area CAAMFest, starting on March 13, for your movie festival fix.

Below are capsule reviews of several IndieFest films by Legend staff critics:

Doomsdays” is a dark dramatic comedy directed by Eddie Mullins. It is about two young adult men, Bruho and Dirty Fred, who break into homes all over the Catskills, living as nomads. The two run into a young teenage boy and later a 20-something woman who unexpectedly joins them in their escapades. However, with the addition of these two new members, Bruho and Dirty Fred’s relationship as friends and the patterns of their lives are threatened. Though this movie does not leave a comforting feeling in your stomach, Eddie Mullin’s filming brings intrigue to the viewer.

How to be a Man,” directed by Chadd Harbold, is a vulgar indie-comedy about Mark McCarthy (played by Gavin McInnes), a former comedian struggling with web-diagnosed male breast cancer. McCarthy hires 22-year-old aspiring filmmaker Bryan (Liam Aiken) to film him as he gives life lessons to his unborn son (and inadvertently to Bryan as well). The movie has serious themes, but will keep you laughing, particularly in the over-the-top sexual scenes. If you have a crude sense of humor, but enjoy a dose of sentimentality, check out this indie-comedy.

Remember You’re Special” gives a glimpse into the lives of Justin and Stephanie, two best friends in their 20s. The indie film, directed by Eliseo Cabrera, follows their lives in the Bay Area as they struggle with work, friends, and never-ending debt. Justin is an aspiring rapper in Oakland, Calif., and Stephanie is a PhD graduate student, but they are both beginning to realize that the “real world” after college isn’t exactly what they though it would be.

You’ll Be A Man,” translated from “Tu Seras un Homme,” is a French film directed by Benoît Cohen. It follows Theo, a broke 20-year-old who accepts a babysitting job for a family steeped in gloom. Theo encounters Leo, an 10-year-old boy who is well-versed in caring for himself as if he were an adult, a practice he developed while living with a callous father and neglectful mother. Theo has a profound effect on the entire family by providing them with a new way of looking at how the roles childhood and masculinity play out in their lives. The film explores the idea of prescribed molds and cultivating joie de vivre (a French phrase meaning “the joy of living” or “an exultation of spirit”) in one another.