Spike Lee and R. Kelly at Film Society

The San Francisco Film Society will be honoring Spike Lee with their annual Film Society Directing Award at the 50th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 26-May 10.) There will be an interview with the director on stage at the Castro on May 2, followed by a screening of his ambitious master work, the documentary “When the Levees Broke.”

Unfortunately, in the same announcement, they wrote something of such unfathomable idiocy one has to doubt the direction the organization is taking. See for yourself:

“On March 21, SF360 Film+Club returns to Mezzanine with TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET SING-ALONG. The night will be an exploration of R. Kelly‘s artistic canon, complete with audience participation throughout (starting with a rapping contest). The event will feature R. Kelly’s 45-minute hip hopera video Trapped in the Closet; a remake a high school student made for a class project; several of R. Kelly’s classic early videos like “Sex Me” and “Bump and Grind;” and, of course, general R. Kelly celebration. There will be hosted cocktails provided by DAMRAK Amsterdam Gin. Get a taste of the original, have a Dam drink on us. It all starts at 7 pm. Tickets are $8 at the door, but you can email info@sf360.org for $5 tickets.

Trapped in the Closet is a hip-hop opera released by R. Kelly in 2005. It is an astonishing creation — both for its creative music and equally creative narrative — and, as R. Kelly himself says in the director’s commentary, a work for the ages. This show is guest curated by our good friend Henri Mazza of the Austin, Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas. SF360 Film+Club is presented by the San Francisco Film Society, Mezzanine and Rehab. It is sponsored by SFWeekly, 7×7 and DAMRAK. SF360 Film+Club is a monthly event, and past events have featured NEXT: A Primer on Urban Painting, Wholphin and COLMA: The Musical.

Perhaps I am hopelessly square, but is this a joke? R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet” is an “astonishing creation,” a “work for the ages,” worth the San Francisco Film Society seal of approval? Please.

While engrossing in its first installment, R. Kelly’s “urban opera” quickly became a laughingstock. It’s a rambling, incoherent mess, amusing in some parts but mostly juvenile. As usual, Mad TV in their parody, showed what a silly thing it is. By spotlighting this video, the San Francisco Film Society and its sponsors are pandering, and ultimately harming the noble purpose of the organization.

  • Tickets: San Francisco Film Society [Ticket Office]