Saturday, March 17


Equinox knocking

OK, this is almost certainly my last post here before resurfacing next Wednesday, March 21 for the Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors Blog-a-Thon. Actually it'll still be Tuesday here in Frisco when I start collecting and posting links as they come in, just in case any come in from a time zone where the 21st begins before it does here.

I just finished watching Virgin Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors and Turning Gate courtesy of the SF International Asian American Film Festival. The prints felt like pretty much perfect fits with the wall-filling screen at the AMC Van Ness, and Turning Gate's was particularly pristine and beautiful. I have to say that to my surprise I'm already kinda sold on using this multiplex as a venue for a film festival, and the renovations happening at the SFIAAFF's usual home at the Kabuki are going to have to be pretty good if they're going to stack up.

Earlier, I posted some preview coverage of films playing this year's SFIAAFF. I've just been tipped off that the Four Star has inked in the dates of its week-long engagement of my favorite film from last year's festival, Linda Linda Linda: April 6th-12th. Another of last year's SFIAAFF films I didn't see, Journey From the Fall, opens there April 20th.

Konrad Steiner stopped by to let me know that he and Irina Leimbacher, until recently Artistic Director of SF Cinematheque, have developed a program at Artists' Television Access called Kino21 which will show Yvonne Rainer's Journeys From Berlin/1971 March 29th, Bruce Baillie's gorgeous hour-long epic Quick Billy April 26th, and films by Chris Marker, James Benning and more on selected Thursdays through the summer months. ATA will also feature on March 30th an evening of films by my friend who also happens to be one of the most talented lo-fi filmmakers around, David Enos.

If you're already sore from kicking yourself for missing the new print of Jean Renoir's the Rules of the Game when it played the Castro last week, don't forget you have second chances all this week at either the Opera Plaza or the Rafael.

Michael Guillen recently pointed out two fascinating programs happening at venues that until now have unfortunately not been at the center of my radar screen. The first is happening tonight: two programs of animated shorts on 16mm at Oddball Films, a place I've yet to check out for myself. Spike & Mike may be playing down the street, but the twisted cartoons Dennis Nyback is showing were made by some of the legends of animation such as Friz Freleng, Robert Clampett and the Fleischer Brothers.

The other is an SFMOMA series of remakes, reimaginings, and their sources entitled Fidelity and Betrayal and running select Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons through April 22nd. This is a heavy-duty series that I only regret not learning about until too late to catch the first few episodes in the serial I'm most anxious to see in just such a situation: Louis Feuillade's Les Vampires. There's still time to catch the last three episodes, screening with Irma Vep by Olivier Assayas at the Phyllis Wattis Theatre tomorrow afternoon. Of the many other notable highlights I'd like to draw attention to an April 1 screening of the Entity with Peter Tscherkassky's appropriations Dream Work and Outer Space. I was dismayed to learn that the latter short was jeered by patrons of the Castro when it played before John Carpenter's the Thing recently. I suspect the people who appreciated the unusual programming choice far outnumbered the few vocal dissenters, though. It's probably not even worth worrying that any of the latter will be in attendance for the Entity or any of the other films in this series.

From 1946-1954 the SF Museum of Art ("Modern" wasn't added until 1975) was host to the legendary Art in Cinema series that helped inspire a generation of artist-filmmakers and inquisitive audiences. When the SFMOMA moved to its current location in 1995, the new building included a theatre designed for film and video screenings, but for various reasons it has only occassionally been a real cinephile destination. It seem that in the past several months an effort has been made to change that with the programming: the Werner Herzog retrospective, the Rob Epstein-curated series of documentaries, and now Fidelity and Betrayal. After this last series ends, the venue will prepare to host screenings for the 50th SF International Film Festival, running April 26-May 10. The one program announced to play there so far is the complete Hurricane Katrina documentary, When the Levees Broke: a Requiem in Four Acts on Friday, May 4th. That's two days after a Castro-stage conversation between Wesley Morris and Spike Lee, who is this year's recipient of the annual Film Society Directing Award. SFMOMA, here's a long-overdue welcome to the list of Frisco theatre links on my sidebar.

Hi Brian -

Great blog. Thanks for keeping up the cinema dialogue around the bay area. Just a warning: if any Hong fans are planning to see TALE OF CINEMA tonight to prep for the VIRGIN-a-thon, please note: it's been cancelled! print has been delayed, alas, according to the festival's website.

The SFIAAFF regrets to announce that the screening of TALE OF CINEMA (Monday, 3/19, 7:15pm) has been cancelled due to the non-arrival of the print. No additional screening of the film has been scheduled at this time.FFor any questions, please email
Oh, that's a shame! I already had my ticket and was very much looking forward to finally filling in my last gap in Hong's filmography tonight. I hope another opportunity to bring a print comes soon!

Thanks for the alert, though. Much better to learn this way than after trekking over to the theatre.
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