San Francisco Dance Film Festival 2012

This young film festival was one of my favorite events of 2011 so I expanded my scope for visiting this year. Two nights – including opening night this time – while of course revisiting the short program.

There’s something about short films. They’re this little nugget of inspiration. And sometimes the smallest thing about the execution – a particular way of getting off the ground in a solo, the use of music at a particular cue – can stick with you for months if not years. This year’s selections were, I think, a cut above even last year’s (which were exceptional). Here are the clips and in some cases full films of my favorites:

In a Moment (trailer)

(Canada, 2011) 8 min

Directors: Ricky & Jeffrey Kuperman

“A man with no memory fights to recognize his wife.”

This was the one out of all of them I was particularly looking forward to seeing since it’s very similar in inspiration to Context (memory abnormalities ala Oliver Sacks). The one that took me by surprise was Into Minds (UK, 2011) directed by Azul Sierra. It included a “blind” man and audio of counting in Italian. Whoa!

Beautiful Illusion

(UK, 2011) 4 min

Directors: Jessica Taylor & Aaron Buckley

“A dance between the vulnerability of flesh and the hard reality of science. At what cost do we suffer for our art?”

Lived up to my high expectations from the promotional photo. Incredible that the dancer also choreographed and did the graphic images that made the idea come to life.

Handke, Part One: Solos (trailer)

(Hungary, 2011) 9 min

Director: Réka Szűcs

“I have lived in time. I have thought about the beginning and the end. I have realized that I am not you.” —Peter Handke, “Self Accusation”

Watch the trailer on Vimeo

We just got to see the two solos, but even just that slice was enough to want to see again and again. They were fierce and sexual and had enough of things I knew that meant that the bits I hadn’t seen I wanted to try. Definitely will keep an eye out for the full film.

Viool in de Nacht

(Netherlands, 2010) 6 min

Director: Altin Kaftira

Choreographer: Toer Van Schayk

“As Anatole returns from his dance rehearsals he hears music in the background, which takes him to a visualization of his dance while he confronts his state of mind.”

This was the second short film shown on opening night of the festival. I love so much about it – the black and white look, the gradual dirtying of Anatole’s hands, the location, the eerie music.

Two Seconds After Laughter (trailer)

(USA: Los Angeles, 2011) 16 min

Director: David Rousseve

“Weaving Indonesian dance, Sundanese music, and a true-life narrative of an immigrants journey,Two Seconds After Laughtercreates a border-jumping dialogue on a universal irony: The heart longs most for the place to which it can never return…home.”

One of my top picks for audience choice (the others being Handke solos and In a Moment – tough choices with such a strong set). This one feels like the most complete story told.

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