This weekend in the Bay Area, you have a variety of opportunities to catch exciting films both classic and current.
The 3rd Annual Oakland Underground Film Festival kicks off tomorrow with “Yelling to the Sky,” which was a hit at this year’s SXSW and stars Zoe Kravitz — who really needs to prove herself after a disastrous turn in the latest “X-Men” film — and precious Gabourey Sidibe. The Festival is happening until Saturday night. Visit the website for a complete roster of films.
Also underway is the San Francisco Irish Film Festival at the Roxie in the Mission. The festival boasts an array of classics, soon-to-be-classics, and new features. Steve McQueen’s criminally underseen “Hunger” (2008) is playing on Sunday, so be sure and catch that one.
Opening at a megaplex near you is Bennett Miller’s apparently great “Moneyball,” a story about the Oakland A’s. Sports pictures — particularly inspiring, uplifting ones that end in rousing cheers, fade-outs and swelling music — aren’t my thing, but whatevs. A cast including Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman will undoubtedly fill theaters, especially since this is a Bay Area-based biopic. Also opening is Gus Van Sant’s “Restless,” which I advise you not to see.
If you prefer a more refined fare, you can increase your cultural capital this weekend at the Pacific Film Archive. On Friday, they’ll be screening renowned Russian avant-garde Dziga Vertov’s 1930 “Enthusiasm: Symphony of the Donbass,” his first sound film. Also, you have two chances to see Robert Bresson’s 1950 “Diary of a Country Priest” in newly restored 35mm glory on Friday and Sunday. Check out the PFA’s website for more information.