Whatever else you can say about 2018, at least it’s one of those times when the centerpiece of the San Francisco International Film Festival straight-up deserves to be the piece in the center: Boots Riley’s locally grown Sorry to Bother You, already one of the best films of the year. In a present-day yet slightly off-kilter Oakland, taciturn Cassius Green (Atlanta’s Lakeith Stanfield) takes a job at a seedy telemarketing firm. He discovers a hidden vocal talent that elevates him to the top of a game that proves to be far stranger than he could have imagined.
Sorry to Bother You is getting a theatrical release in July, but it’s still worth seeing sooner rather than later, if only so its many surprises don’t get spoiled in the meantime. Amy Adrion’s documentary Half the Picture looks at why so few women have directed movies in Hollywood over the past 20 years. (Hint: The movie industry is still run by horrible men.) And this week’s non-festival releases Where is Kyra? and You Were Never Really Here are not the only films about the sometimes dark impacts mothers can have on their own children; in Georgian director Ana Urushadze’s Scary Mother, a 50-year-old matriarch writes a roman à clef that wreaks havoc in her family.
61st San Francisco International Film Festival
Now playing at the Castro Theater, the Vogue Theatre, the Children’s Creativity Museum, the Walt Disney Family Museum, the Dolby Cinema, the YBCA Screening Room, SFMOMA, the Roxie Theater, the Victoria Theater, and the SFFILM FilmHouse.