If your idea of a good time at the movies requires a three-act narrative consisting of the hook, the conflict, and the climax, followed by a quick resolution, then Amateurs of the Impossible is not for you. Filmmakers Margaret Rorison and Zach Iannnazzi are like painters — or, as Orson Welles suggested, poets with camera lenses for eyes. They reach beyond the presentational to build film-loop elegies, plein air panoplies, and celluloid sonatas that whip up dreams, memories, emotions, and musings. Rorison, co-founder of Baltimore's much-loved roaming experimental film series Sight Unseen, contributes six shorts, including a handmade study of Danish wind power, a collaboration with the Effervescent Dance Collective, a landscape portrait of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, and a 16-mm tribute to her grandfather that is saturated by field recordings of oil rigs and fishing lines on the Louisiana bayou. Iannazzi offers three shorts, including a found-footage scrapbook of fading Northern California and a superimposed diptych of home movies that explores "mid-century male bonding and the hubris of hunting culture."
"Amateurs of the Impossible" begins at 7:30 p.m. at Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia St., S.F. $10; 415-824-3890 or sfcinematheque.org. More
As President Salva Kiir announces his rejection of the latest peace agreement, it's difficult to grasp the scope of what faces South Sudan. The country, independent only since 2011, has been at war for 42 of the last 60 years, with nearly one-fifth of the population displaced. And yet, business is booming — nearly 10 percent of the land has been sold to foreign investors in the last four years alone. Reading facts like these is like trying to glean the life of a beekeeper from the window of an airplane; human perspective is almost impossible. For We Come as Friends, Academy Award-winning director Hubert Sauper knew he had to get out of the plane — a lot. Traveling across South Sudan in a homemade aircraft constructed from tin and canvas, Sauper captures interviews with Sudanese warlords, American evangelists, UN peacekeepers, Chinese oilmen, and regular people just trying stay alive in the midst of an endless cycle of colonialism and holy war. It won't be long before Sauper's film title – like the wonder of his sweeping aerials – leaves you feeling queasy and heartbroken. But it's a trip you have to take.
We Come as Friends opens at 7 p.m. and continues through Sept. 3 at Little Roxie, 3117 16th St., S.F. $10; 415-863-1087 or roxie.com. More
With five locations in San Francisco, another four across the bay, and more on the way, Super Duper clearly wants to replicate the success of Five Guys and Shake Shack, other burger joints that became regional powerhouses.