Though it turns 19 this year — yep, all of us are that much closer to death — SF IndieFest continues its youthful mission of bringing “some of the most innovative, new independent films and digital programs from around the world” to the screens of the Roxie, Brava, and Alamo Drafthouse New Mission. This year’s must-see may well be Fear Itself, the latest montage film by Beyond Clueless director Charlie Lyne. It’s entirely assembled from existing horror and suspense films spanning 1922’s Nosferatu to 2014’s It Follows — with the occasional outlier like Brazil or Gravity — as an unseen narrator (Amy E. Watson) ruminates about her relationship to horror movies, past traumas, and, well, fear itself. Another essential remix is Greg Bierman’s eight-minute Battlestar Abstractica, screening along with Dean Fleischer-Camp’s YouTube-riffing Fraud; Abstractica kaleidoscopically repurposes footage from the 1978 Battlestar Galactica into what may be the most unsettling recontextualization of a single film since Peter Tscherkassky’s Outer Space. And if you need a glimmer of hope that 2017 might not be as terrible as 2016, here it is: The people who made fun of Space Jam at last year’s IndieFest — which was not OK, because Space Jam is not a bad movie! — have not been asked to return. Sleep well knowing cinema is once again safe from mockery.
19th SF IndieFest
Opens Thursday at Roxie Theater, the Brava Theater, the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission.