It says a lot about the weirdness of film distribution in 2017 that for the third annual Doc Stories festival, SFFILM is now specifying that it’s celebrating some of the year’s best unreleased documentaries. In other words, you can’t just load up Netflix on your fidget spinner, or however it is you kids watch your documentaries these days! You gotta come to the theater to see them, even though one of the centerpiece films is in fact a Netflix Original Documentary and will premiere on the service later this month: Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond — Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton.
In addition to deserving kudos for having the best title of the year — and thankfully not just a single word like Jim or Andy, as is still the vogue — this new film by American Movie director Chris Smith uses behind-the-scenes video as Jim Carrey looks back on how he channeled Andy Kaufman for Milos Forman’s underappreciated 1999 biopic Man on the Moon. Also looking back on unexamined film history is Tony Zierra’s Filmworker, about Stanley Kubrick’s long-suffering man Friday, Leon Vitali. Meanwhile, Personal Velocity director Rebecca Miller’s Arthur Miller: Writer is a portrait of her father, the famous playwright, Communist, and one-time Marilyn Monroe spouse.
Doc Stories 2017
Opens Thursday at the Castro Theatre and the Vogue Theater.