In 2012, SIFF featured Mark Cousins's amazing The Story of Film, a 15-hour (!!) tour of world cinema narrated by a man you'll want to never stop speaking. (It's still streaming on Netflix and dear God you should absolutely watch it.) This year's SIFF brings another, much more concise film about film: What Is Cinema?, Chuck Workman's 90-minute response to his titular question, fleshed out with illuminating clips and interviews. What makes it special is its inclusion of filmmakers from the wilds beyond Hollywood: Maya Deren, Marlon Riggs, Kelly Reichardt, Bill Viola, the vast universe of Vines. A fully engaging, lightly illuminating tour of the power and possibility of the moving image. (DAVID SCHMADER)
What Is Cinema? plays today at the SIFF Cinema Uptown at 2 pm.