Daughters of Ida Lupino

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According to the venerable distributor Women Make Movies, just six percent of the 250 top-grossing films last year were directed by women. That isn’t an indicator of female filmmakers’ inability to connect with the public’s taste so much as a reflection of Hollywood’s deep-seated resistance to handing the reins of bigger-budget projects to distaff directors. There’s no shortage of women outside the industry willing to take cameras into their own hands. Their showcase is the MadCat Women’s International Film Festival, the Mission District–based fiesta that’s consistently one of the hottest fests on the crowded local calendar. Founder and director Ariella Ben-Dov has condensed this year’s edition, the 12th, down to two kickass programs. Tonight’s show, “MadCat Looks Back,” reprises some of the best 16mm shorts made since the dawn of the new century, anchored by Phoebe Tooke’s intimate documentary Hotel City and Lisa Yu’s wryly imaginative household parable, Vessel Wrestling. Tuesday’s bash at El Rio, “Hear It to Believe It,” pairs live musicians with half a dozen glorious new silent works. Don’t mistake a lack of dialogue for having nothing to say.
Fri., Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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