Having a (wonderfully upfront second row) seat as I did to experience Peter Sellars remains a high point of the 50th SFIFF. Here is your direct link to the full transcript, and I encourage you, no, insist you make the time to read it in full for one of the more electric presentations you will have the pleasure to survey, to grasp the current and future state of the cinema. - MS
"To deal with the state of cinema, I first want to deal with the state of the state. That would be California." Peter Sellars would pull no punches in his State of Cinema address to the Sundance Cinemas Kabuki audience at the 50th SF International Film Festival. "All over the world governments are the problem, not the solution," he said, which is why "we need to create as artists another possibility for a new set of states to which we can belong, adhere, subscribe." The uncontainable Sellars, who's resume includes not only the staging of "Doctor Atomic" a few years back for the San Francisco Opera but also an appearance on "Miami Vice," oversaw the collection of world films commissioned for the New Crowned Hope festival (films including "Daratt" and "Opera Jawa," which just finished runs at SFIFF50). His talk, which concluded with hopefulness about what he termed "the technology of democracy as it's unfolding around the planet," gave the crowd plenty to ponder for the remaining days of the festival. What follows is a transcript of his speech.