×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cinequest expands

San Jose fest program grows for 10th anni

SAN JOSE — San Francisco casts a formidible shadow, one long enough to make South Bay residents feel themselves cast into the cultural shade. So it struck many as naive — even a tad silly — when executive director Halfdan Hussey first mounted Cinequest, the San Jose Film Festival.

Given that other, bigger-better City by the Bay’s surfeit of high-profile annual film events — S.F. Intl., Lesbian & Gay, Jewish, Asian-American, et al — who needed another? And in San Jose? A collective puh-leeze was heard.

No such shrug-offs greet that notion these days, as the fest marks its 10th anniversary with a newly expanded schedule (from seven to 10 days) and venue sprawl now including the AMC multiplex in nearby Saratoga in addition to downtown San Jose’s Camera and Towne three-screeners.

This year’s Cinequest opens Feb. 24 with a gala presentation of Sundance-bowed “The Big Kahuna” — starring last year’s “Maverick” honoree Kevin Spacey — then wraps March 5 with world preem of Brent Florence’s digital feature “The Solid Ones,” as well as German helmer Andreas Kleinert’s recent Karlovy Vary Fest prize-winner “Paths in the Night.”

Maverick draw

Seeking out program niches unmined by other local fests, Cinequest has proved resourceful — in fact, magnetizing a starrier guest list than usually found at points north. Its loosely defined “Mavericks” honor has drawn personal appearances by an eclectic roster including Werner Herzog, Vilmos Zsigmond, Robert Wise, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jackie Chan and Luis Valdez.

Traipsing up to San Jose this year are another mix of mainstream and off-the-beaten-track talents: thesps Alec Baldwin and Peter Fonda; veteran U.S. director Robert M. Young (“Nothing But a Man,” “Triumph of the Spirit”); two horror legends, Wes Craven (“Scream”) and Dario Argento (“Suspiria”); plus idiosyncratic Amerindie-turned-Eurohelmer Jon Jost, presenting his latest feature “London Brief.”

Remainder of sked runs a typically diverse gamut of archival nuggets (“Andy Warhol’s Trash”), docus, indie features, and international titles from auteurs such as Switzerland’s Daniel Schmidt (“Beresina”) and Sweden’s Colin Nutley (“Under the Sun”).

Techno touch

Fest has long stoked a symbiotic relationship with surrounding Silicon Valley technophiles — seeking out not only funding support but also creative overlaps, with a special emphasis this annum on evolving “post-film” digital cinema. Sony Acquisitions VP Laurence J. Thorpe and producer Lloyd A. Silverman will participate in a March 4 seminar on that topic.

The following day Industrial Light & Magic’s Alex Laurant will take viewers step-by-step through creation of creature F/X for last summer’s hit “The Mummy.” A “digimation” program and several digital features (including Christopher Coppola’s “Sunset Boulevard” update “Bel Air”) will also unspool during fest.

Other sidebars include a Latino Showcase tuned toward the South Bay’s bourgeoning Hispanic populace. For the fourth year, industry panelists will attend fest screenings to determine jury awards in various narrative, docu, feature and short categories.

More Film

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

  • Roman Polanski extradition

    Academy Responds to Roman Polanski: 'Procedures Were Fair and Reasonable'

    UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit from director Roman Polanski that claimed he was unfairly expelled from the organization behind the Oscars. “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said. The Academy’s statement [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content