'Her Name is Sabine' With SF360 Movie Night

Susan Gerhard November 29, 2007

Park your car in your own driveway and/or give your MUNI pass the evening off: It’s SF360 Movie Night, for which the entire Bay Area is invited to watch a film simultaneously in the comfort of home — yours or someone else’s. The selection this time around comes via monthly DVD club Film Movement, who’s sharing French actress-turned-documentarian Sandrine Bonnaire’s “Her Name is Sabine.” A delicately observed, clearly heartfelt, and extremely intelligent depiction of Bonnaire’s autistic sister as she experiences a different reality than many of us and moves/is moved through a variety of settings, “Her Name” offers viewers plenty to talk about at Tosca after the private screenings. The Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight FIPRESCI Award winner, says Rebeca Conget, Film Movement’s Vice President of Acquisitions and Distribution, is a piece of art. “It wasn’t just a dry documentary, but incredibly moving, beautifully shot.” And the subject matter? Conget reminds us of its relevance for a mental-health challenged North America, where autism is more common than cancer in children.

SF360 Movie Night, says, San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Graham Leggat, was developed in early 2006 as a riff on the “one-city one-book” idea. “SFFS is keenly interested in a wide spectrum of film-viewing experiences and in being part of the new social formations that arise around these experiences,” explains Leggat. “SF360 Movie Night marries the grassroots house party with a DVD subscription service and video blogging and tops it off with a party/discussion at Tosca.”

When a few hundred participants watch “Her Name is Sabine” Thursday night, November 29th, they may be watching in the homes of individuals, but they are participating in a collective encounter. Says Leggat, “Though this event will take place across the Bay Area, technology (and the post-screening nightcap/chat in North Beach) allows for a networked expanded cinema, a conservation of community, as it were. This is interesting to us, and to our audiences. And it’s not happening anywhere else in the country.”

Film Movement, the service that’s offered the film, is a company that started with the idea of bringing quality films from the international film festival circuit to people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them, according to Conget. These are people perhaps not so much like you and me: people who live in areas without an art house theater, or who live in major metropolitan areas, but don’t have time to get out. The subscription model of the company, she says, makes them feel they’re in the loop — that they can actually see the films being talked about in the New York Times or SF Chronicle.

But Film Movement has appeal to more than just the temporarily shut in or geographically shut out: Their catalogue includes the highly touted Danish Academy Award entry, “Adam’s Apples,” and ’07 Sundance World Cinema Selection from Burkina Faso, “Dreams of Dust,” among many other titles.

SF360.org is a co-publication of the SF Film Society and indieWIRE.

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