SF DocFest, Week 1

Let's go to the White House and also to Japan, by way of the Roxie and the Alamo Drafthouse.

If you read SF Weekly’s film section on a regular basis, you probably need better time-management skills, although you’ve probably also noticed that a lot of documentaries play in town. That’s a good thing, but an even better thing is SF DocFest — which, in its 16th year, is spreading the flickering truth at the Roxie, the Vogue, and the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission. Among the highlights of the first week include Pacho Velez’s The Reagan Show, an Our Nixon-style collage that reminds us the White House’s current occupant wasn’t the first to ride there on celebrity rather than ability.

Lack of ability is also no roadblock for the considerably more charming R.G. Miller, the no-budget Kansan filmmaker featured in Justin Johnson and Erik Beck’s Double Digits: The Story of a Neighborhood Movie. Outsider art is further celebrated in the return of Jamie Meltzer’s Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story, which explores the industry in which you — yes, you! — can have your words turned into a quasi-professional-sounding record for a few hundred bucks. Next stop: stardom! (Or not.) Speaking of celebrity, Kyoko Miyake’s Tokyo Idols looks at the fresh-faced teenage girls groomed to be ephemeral Japanese pop stars, and the middle-aged men who worship them from both afar and sometimes too near.

SF DocFest, Week 1
Now playing at the Roxie, the Vogue, and the Alamo Drafthouse New Mission.

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