Heart of S.F. to host indie films

An 800-square-foot inflatable movie screen is coming to Union Square for three nights this week as part of the Independent Film Channel’s first national open-air tour.

Starting tonight, movie lovers can bring blankets and lawn chairs to Union Square for a free screening of “Raising Arizona,” the 1987 film by Joel and Ethan Coen featuring Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter.

While each movie will begin with a candy giveaway and a sing-a-long of “I Want Candy” after sunset, the festivities will start at 6:30 p.m. with various booths to browse, including an area for people to donate used DVDs that will be given to the San Francisco General Hospital’s pediatric unit.

The IFC Media Lab Lounge will also be showcasing short films by six Bay Area filmmakers who submitted their shorts to the IFC or Comcast Web sites.

“It’s not unlike a very small film festival,” said Evan Shapiro, general manager of IFC. “This is something that is tailor-made for The City —so much of the community is built around being outdoors.”

Shapiro said the films — which will include “The Princess Bride,” a 1987 film about a kidnapped princess on Wednesday and “Napoleon Dynamite,” a 3-year-old movie that pokes fun at the American high school experience on Thursday — were chosen for their appeal to a wide variety of people.

“The Princess Bride” night is typically swarming with children, while teenagers and college students flock to the festival for “Napoleon Dynamite,” said Bennett Wilson, the tour’s manager.

“No matter what night you come, everyone has a blast,” he added.

Shapiro said IFC is hosting the free film festival to showcase how accessible independent movies can be.

“These are films that were made in the independent film mines out of the Hollywood machine, but they’re pretty successfulfilms at the same time,” he said.

arocha@examiner.com


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