It’s film festival season in San Francisco,

Movies by Richa

and the San Francisco International Film Festival, one of the oldest film festivals in the US, began April 24. This, along with the interminably titled San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, is one I never miss. The past couple of years have been great ones, as far as my festival happiness quotient goes, and surprisingly, a large portion of the great films I saw were documentaries. Here are a few of my favorites from the festivals in the past couple of years, as well as one I’m going to be seeing soon:

  • The Great Happiness Space: Tale of an Osaka Love Thief – This documentary about host clubs in Japan, as told through the story of the most popular club in Osaka, is gorgeously made and intensely thought-provoking.
  • Air Guitar Nation – It is hard to separate from the awesomeness of this documentary’s subject matter (The U.S Air Guitar Championships) to focus on the film-making, but that is excellent too. C. Diddy forevah!
  • Planet B-Boy, much like Air Guitar Nation, focuses on a competition, but is of a decidedly more serious bent. Which doesn’t prevent it from being fun. This documentary has it all: pathos, style, and some sick moves.
  • Traveling with Yoshitomo Nara – A dreamy and contemplative look at the artistic process of acclaimed Japanese pop artist Yoshitomo Nara, this documentary chronicles his largest exhibition to date. Gorgeous.
  • Dust is a documentary about just that: dust. It promises to be a fascinating look at something that I never think about except in a vaguely annoyed fashion.
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