Barely two months into his new role as executive director of San Francisco Film Society, Noah Cowan held court for a packed audience at the Fairmont Hotel Pavilion Room, where he and other film society programmers announced their lineup for the 57th International Film Festival.
SFFF A scene from Gia Coppola's Palo Alto.
This year's showcase -- like its analogues in Toronto and Cannes and Telluride -- will
pair ebullient coming-of-age stories with "urgent, journalistic documentaries," and other films that evoke the frisson of danger, according to director of programming Rachel Rosen. And it will star James Franco.
Perhaps that's the film society's concession to younger patrons, who will ultimately have to keep San Francisco's art institutions alive. Or maybe it's an easy form of Hollywood cachet. Or perhaps Franco is using this medium-sized, highly aspirational gala as a testing-ground for his own artistic muse -- the festival's centerpiece film, Palo Alto, is based on his book of short stories; another film, Child of God, is his screenplay adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel.
Franco fans will get their share of the doe-eyed actor, too, since he'll appear in the first film (directed by Gia Coppola) and star in the latter. Unfortunately, he won't actually be available for in-person interviews, since the festival conflicts with his Broadway production of Of Mice and Men. Alas.More »