The number of foreign films on offer in U.S. theaters declines every year, even in the hotspots of Manhattan and San Francisco. Thank Jah for the long-armed reach of the various local festivals and "For Your Consideration," a sizzling sampler culled from the 63 titles in the running for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. A now-annual tradition at everyone's favorite Marin movie outpost, the series includes 17 stunners by world-renowned directors such as Manoel de Oliveira of Portugal (Belles Toujours, a sequel to Bunuel's Belle de Jour) and Giuseppe Tornatore of Italy (The Unknown Woman, a taut tale of a Ukrainian immigrant shedding her sordid past) and rising stars Baltasar Kormakur of Iceland (the hypnotic murder mystery Jar City) and Roy Andersson of Sweden (the deadpan comedy You, the Living). The finest filmmakers of Peru, Egypt, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Georgia are also represented, but only a handful of the Sweet Seventeen will ever grace a San Francisco screen. If you couldn't get to Cannes (or Berlin or Dubai or Venice or Toronto) last year, a trip or two across the Golden Gate Bridge will ease your world cinema jones.
"For Your Consideration" screenings start this evening at 6:30 with Ben Xand 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days.
Jan. 11-24, 2008