San Francisco International Film Festival 2012: “Hysteria”, “Alps”, and “Target” Reviews and Trailers


The rom-com Hysteria is based on the true story of 19th century inventor Mortimer Granville and his invention of the vibrator. Originally designed as a medical cure for female hysteria, what we now call being a bored housewife, the vibrator quickly became more of a recreational device.

Much of the film’s charm comes from Maggie Gyllenhaal whose character is fighting for women’s equality and therefore is obviously deemed hysterical. Humor in the film comes from word play and the juxtaposition of sexual situations in an extremely prudish era. The film is funny and smart, albeit fairly predictable, and I have no problem recommending it to everyone who enjoys light comedies.

The film’s R rating is laughable and just goes to prove how many people are still scared of women’s sexuality. I would say this film is more of a PG-13, although it might be extremely awkward for family viewing.


Giorgos Lanthimos, director of Oscar nominated Dogtooth, is back with another amazingly unique feature in Alps. The film follows a group of impersonators that rent themselves out to replace recently deceased members of a family. This obviously leads to many dark, emotional, uncomfortable and yet humorous situations.

From its style to its writing Alps is fresh, it ignores convention and delivers a thoughtful entertaining viewing experience. Anyone that loves film should see Alps, so long as they can stomach some uncomfortable violence and sexuality.


There are flashes of genius in director Alexander Zeldovich‘s Russian language film Target. It will surely be compared to the science fiction works of Tarkovskiy, although Zeldovich says that they weren’t an inspiration while making the film.

The movie is set in 2020 Russia where a group of wealthy friends travel to an abandon station called “The Target” that is rumored to have the ability to stop aging. As their live start changing around them the group soon finds out that there are other side effects besides eternal youth.

Target is a visually stunning and  thought provoking  film that shows us what sci-fi is supposed to be.


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