Jarmusch pic opens SFFF, 'Law of Attraction' closes

A correction was made to this article on April 21, 2004.

SAN FRANCISCO — In-person tributes to Milos Forman, Chris Cooper and Cyd Charisse are among the highlights announced for the 47th San Francisco Film Festival, which unspools April 15-29 at various Bay Area locations.

Official opener is Jim Jarmusch’s “Coffee and Cigarettes,” a collection of vignettes featuring Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray and Roberto Benigni. Helmer is confirmed to attend. Closer 15 days later will be “Sliding Doors” director Peter Howitt’s romantic comedy “Laws of Attraction,” which toplines Julianne Moore, Pierce Brosnan, Parker Posey and Frances Fisher.

“Adaptation” Oscar winner Cooper and fabled Czech-emigre Forman, a two-time holder of the golden guy himself (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Amadeus”), will be guests of honor at the annual Film Society Awards Night April 22 at the Ritz-Carlton. Celebrants expected include Danny DeVito. Thesp Cooper will be interviewed onstage prior to screening of his ’87 film debut “Matewan” the night before, while the night after Forman will undergo same alongside his ’79 version of seminal ’60s musical “Hair.”

Perhaps the movies’ last great female dancing star, Charisse will be honored April 16 at city’s classic movie palace the Castro. She’ll grace the stage before gracing the screen via 1957’s “Silk Stockings,” the remake of “Ninotchka” that provided both her and Fred Astaire with their final MGM musical vehicle. Other tributees this year are veteran local documentarian Jon Else (“The Day After Trinity”) and preservationist Paulo Cherchi Usai, who will present a program of rare rescued silent shorts on the 26th.

Other programming highlights include live performances by the Alloy Orchestra to accompany Buster Keaton’s silent classic “The General” and Charles Vanel’s seldom-seen 1929 masterpiece “Dans la Nuit,” as well as a State of the Cinema address on April 18 by B. Ruby Rich, locally based critic for the Nation, Village Voice and other publications.

World preems among the 105 features to unspool are Gavin Dougan’s new jazz pic “Brass Tacks”; “Girl Trouble,” Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajiko’s verite look at the San Francisco juvenile justice system; and Hideyuki Kobayashi’s Japanese horror fantasy “Marrionnier.”

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