Inside the Celluloid Dream

The great composer Richard Wagner was said to believe in creating “total works of art.” He wrote operas so expansive the audience would feel lost inside them. A hundred years later, the San Francisco Underground Short Film Festival has taken a page from Wagner's book. It's billed as a “physically immersive event,” although one less interested in opera than “the underground, overlooked, avant-garde, and ultra outrageous.” The festival features two masters of immersive experiences as hosts, Peaches Christ and Sam Sharkey. There are three programs, two of which will kick off with live rock and roll sets from Citizen Midnight and Zbörnak. As for the on-screen action, there are 38 short films, and a special San Francisco premiere of Ladies and Gentlemen: Phatima Rude. The premiere is interactive as well; Christ and Sharkey will host a live tribute performance for Rude and the film's director Paul King, who will both stick around to answer questions after the show. Now that's what we call total art.

Sat., April 12, 4:30, 7 & 9:30 p.m., 2014

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