Reel World

A Thousand Pieces of Gold; Fedora; A Day at the Races

A Thousand Pieces of Gold
Music video director Kari Nevil is spending her summer vacation in the editing room -- with occasional visits from executive producer Adrianna Pope -- putting together their debut feature, Your Guardian. Pope studied acting and film at USC, and produced Yvette Torrell's documentary portrait of five single mothers, Just Mom and Me, but this is her first venture into narrative features. "In independent films, the exec producer even does the dishes on the set," Pope divulges with a laugh. "You're a lot more involved in the creative process [than the exec producer on a Hollywood film]. Your input is heard. For me, it's much more than writing a check."

Your Guardian stars Irene Bedard (Smoke Signals) and Chad Lowe (Rob's bro and Hilary Swank's hubby, to lapse into Chron-speak for a second) in a mystical mystery/love story that traces an abandoned daughter's journey from a Reno drag club to Princeton by the Sea. "We'll have a really good idea of what the film will be like by the end of July," Pope confides, "and, God willing, we'll be done by the end of September. It sounds sort of boring, but I learned that making a film is a long gestation process, and you just have to stick with it."

Fedora
I dialed Dewson's Hats on Fillmore to make sport of the newest member of the S.F. Film & Video Arts Commission, Ruth Garland Dewson. Connect the dots: hats-commission appointee -- Willie Brown. But Dewson tamed the bee in my bonnet, so to speak. "I didn't want to serve on a commission just to pass out my card and be on an ego trip," she said, acknowledging that city commissions are typically packed with ineffectual nobodies who wrote a check to the winning mayoral candidate's campaign. "I'm already famous, so I don't need a commission to make me famous," Dewson added. "One of the reasons I wanted to be on the S.F. Film & Video Arts Commission was because I thought I could use my marketing skills to entice more people to shoot in San Francisco." Dewson has to be at least as effective as phantom Film Commission Executive Director P.J. Johnston, last seen scoring an excursion to Cannes.

A Day at the Races
Things I Learned From the End Credits: Local filmmaker Jennifer Gentile, whose brilliantly vivid sets were a crucial element of Jon Moritsugu's breakthrough films, was the set designer on Mike Figgis' Timecode. Unfortunately, it's impossible to detect her work on a quarter of a screen; if there was ever a film that didn't need a set designer, Timecode is it. ... Already depressed by the encroaching Summer of Hollywood Din? Drop by Foreign Cinema on Monday, May 29, for an altfilm smorgasbord. While Dominic Angerame's City Symphony (and several shorts) screens in the courtyard, local media arts groups, festivals, and independent theaters will spread the gospel (and calendars, catalogs, and calls for entries). ... Next month's S. F. International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival brings Nina Hagen and Tammy Faye to town (rumor has it), plus the premiere of Mary Guzman's lighthearted portrait of S.F.-style friendship and romance, Desi's Got a New Girl, which began production back in the summer of '94 -- when we were young.foxonfilm@yahoo.com

Michael Fox is host of Independent View, which airs Fridays at 10:30 p.m. and Saturdays at midnight on KQED (Channel 9).

 
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