With only a handful of films to his credit, Sixth Generation Chinese director Jia Zhang-ke has become one of the world's great master filmmakers, and he has the lack of distribution to prove it. Like many other greats from Orson Welles to Hou Hsiao-hsien, he has struggled to get spectators and his movies together at the same place and the same time. His film Still Life won the Golden Lion at the 2006 Venice Film Festival and promptly sat on the shelf. It received a cautious and limited release in New York earlier this year, but since it never turned up on the West Coast, the San Francisco International Film Festival picked it up as an entry in the 51st fest (after failing to secure it for their 50th), and it opens at the end of this week at the Roxie Cinema. It's by far the best film I've seen in this year's fest, and it probably would have been the best of last year too.