Academy Awards season focuses even more attention than normal on a favorite American pastime: Watching movies. They might hold the Oscars ceremony in L.A., but S.F. is the place to be this month for film festivals that will show you something out of the ordinary.
Where can you see The Muppetless Movie, which features six original songs and two-dozen Muppet replicas? Or Manhole 452, the story of a man who fits prosthetic limbs for a living, forced to ride the bus to work after his car is hit by an exploding manhole cover. Or the futuristic Life Internal, or the animated Baggage Claim, or the danceable Tremor Low–Kingmaker? Why, it’s SF Indiefest, of course, which is unspooling at the Roxie Theatre from Feb. 7–21, (and for an abbreviated time, Feb. 8–15, at Berkeley’s Landmark Shattuck).
If the “talkies” get a little too much for you, then head over to the Castro on Saturday, Feb. 16, for the SF Silent Film Festival, which presents a day filled with silent classics: Snow White (1916), One Week (1920), The Scarecrow (1920), The Play House (1921), F.W. Murnau’s surreal Faust (1926), The Thief of Bagdad (1924), and My Best Girl (1927). Musicians will accompany the films — including, of course, the Castro’s famous Mighty Wurlitzer organ.
¡Fiesta Quinceañera! Celebrating the 15th SF Independent Film Festival 2013: Roxie Theatre, 3117 16th Street; Thursday, Feb. 7–Thursday, Feb. 21; Landmark Shattuck, 2230 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley; Friday, Feb. 8–Friday, Feb. 15; $10–$90, www.sfindie.com
Silent Winter: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street; Saturday, Feb. 16; individual film tickets and all-day passes available; contact theater for pricing and schedule, www.castrotheatre.com
PHOTO: courtesy San Francisco Silent Film Festival