The San Francisco International Film Festival is under way, and they are showing, today and on Wednesday, Il Caimano, Nanni Moretti’s latest movie. It’s a movie-within-a-movie story about Berlusconi’s ascent to power and the inability of contemporary Italian left-leaning moviemakers to make movies with political content, unlike the earlier generation of, say, Elio Petri (the director of Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto).
Last weekend there was the North American premiere of The Heavenly Kings, by Bay Area’s own Daniel Wu. Part mockumentary part Borat-style guerilla filmmaking, the movie follows four Hong Kong actors in their 30s as they form a “boy” band despite their inability to sing or dance, trick the Hong Kong press into believing they are for real, and eventually deliver a series of three concerts in Hong Kong, Taipei, and Shanghai. They came in person to the screenings for Q&A sessions, to the delight of a group of camera-wielding women sitting in the first rows.