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Love & Friendship
Love & Friendship

The 59th San Francisco International Film Festival taking place April 21 to May 5, 2016, kicks off with Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship (Ireland 2016), an adaptation of a Jane Austen novella starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny.

Slated as the Festival’s high-profile Centerpiece event is Indignation (USA 2015), James Schamus’ directorial debut based on novelist Philip Roth’s fictionalized account of his college experiences in the 1950s.

The Festival will come to a close with local director Jesse Moss’ documentary The Bandit (USA 2016), a jubilant look at Burt Reynolds, stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham and their high-speed pursuit classic Smokey and the Bandit.

Opening Night: Love & Friendship
Thursday April 21, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre
Director Whit Stillman and star Kate Beckinsale expected to attend.
Writer-director Whit Stillman brings a very funny sense and sensibility to this period comedy as sassy social climber Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale) tries to finagle out of a scandal and gain matrimonial advantage for herself and her daughter. Witty and spry from start to finish, Stillman’s adaptation of a Jane Austin novella set in the 1790s charms as it peers into the affairs of the privileged and those who aspire to be, winking at contemporary pretensions through the lens of the past.

Centerpiece: Indignation
Saturday April 30, 8:00 pm, Victoria Theatre
Director James Schamus expected to attend.
James Schamus (Kanbar Award recipient, SFIFF 2010) makes his directorial debut with an elegant adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel, a fictionalized account of the author’s own college experiences in the ’50s. Logan Lerman gives a terrific performance as Marcus Messner, one of a handful of Jewish students on the Midwestern university campus, whose efforts to assert and define himself are tested in interactions with the college dean, a beautiful blonde and his protective mother.

Closing Night: The Bandit
Thursday May 5, 7:00 pm, Castro Theatre
Director Jesse Moss expected to attend.
An exuberant, surprisingly moving romp through 1970s pop culture, The Banditcelebrates the friendship between superstar actor Burt Reynolds and stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham, as together they create the Southern-fried classic Smokey and the Bandit. Bay Area director Jesse Moss (The Overnighters,SFIFF 2014) brings great warmth and impossibly retro-cool archival footage to this exceptional dual biography.

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