My Day 4 At San Francisco’s International Film Festival 2012: “The Invisible War”, “Old Dog” and “Headhunters”

Okay, time for some good news/bad news.

Good news:  The Kabuki theatre didn’t burn down as I thought it might have the day before when, as I was heading home I saw a couple of firetrucks speed by me and stop right in front of the theatre’s steps.

Bad news:  The firetrucks weren’t there to distinguish a burning print of Pema Tseden‘s movie, Old Dog.

The Invisible War

First up for the day was Kirby Dick‘s (This Film Is Not Yet Rated) very important documentary dealing with rape in the military, The Invisible War, a film in that every American (civilian or military, democrat or republican, male or female) needs to see.

I never expected to be thrown into a laugh tizzy, or even leave the theatre smiling when I grabbed my ticket to see a movie that deals with the criminally mishandling and negligence associated with service women and men who have been raped in the military.  I’m pretty sure Dick’s intentions in making this movie were to have viewers like me feeling angry and sad, which is exactly how I felt.  Although this documentary was both effective and heartbreaking it did its job.  I now want to have my voice heard and do something about a matter I once knew very little about.

 This plague of victimizing military rape victims on such an enormous scale must stop.

Old Dog

I desperately needed a movie to help calm my anger brought on by the previous film’s subject matter.  Old Dog is about, how did the festival program word it, “an emotionally gripping story about an old sheep herder and his grown son.”  It also states that this movie is “a completely modern approach to narrative, patiently accumulating detail by telling detail.”  Perhaps a more accurate description would have been, A Tibetan filmmaker who hates people who enjoy authentic slow-paced movies decides to show his interpretation on the idiom, a watched pot never boils.

Note to self; never go into a festival movie based solely on the brief description in the program guide.  Whereas the last movie enraged me due to its subject matter and the well done way it was presented, this movie enraged me with its patient testing lingering of scenes and pointlessly dragged out narrative.  My goal for the rest of this festival is to try and find someone who enjoyed this and get them to tell me why.


Nothing like a good cat and mouse genre film with mystery, some crushed in skulls, a few high adrenaline chase scenes, a good heist or two, some guns, a shitload of humor and some big-budgeted suspense to end the night – especially after the last two downers I saw.  Norway’s Morten Tyldum‘s Headhunters is exactly what I needed.  Trust me, the less you know about this movie going into it the happier you will be when you see it, and I do recommend you see it.

Well, that’s all I got for now, but tomorrow I plan on seeing my most anticipated film of the festival, Alps.


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