Saturday, August 20


Pacific Film Archive calendar: September-October

The next calendar for Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive looks very enticing. In addition to the focus on British Silent Cinema that I mentioned in my last entry (which will include Hitchcock's Downhill, which he made directly after his more well-known The Lodger), there's work by Derek Jarman, Peter Kubelka, Elem Klimov and Larissa Shepitko, and a September 11 theatrical premiere of the great maverick director Rob Nilsson's new film Security, which won the Audience Choice Award at the 2005 Greencine Online Film Festival.

Labor day weekend provides a double-bill in the A Theatre Near You "non series" (as Robert Davis called it) meant to provide Berkeley residents opportunities to see new touring film prints that otherwise wouldn't make it to the East Bay. Well, Au Hasard Balthazar, which they played this past May, never made it to the Frisco side either, and now they're showing another monumental Bresson work that hasn't played anywhere around in years: Pickpocket (in fact, I'm pretty sure the PFA is the last place to have screened a print of the Dostoevsky-inspired film). The bill is filled out with Orson Welles' Confidential Report.

The excellent traveling series curated by Alla Verlotsky and Kent Jones, Films From Along the Silk Road, makes another swing through the Bay Area, featuring five of the six features (unfortunately not my favorite, Kairat) that played the Yerba Buena Center in May 2004, including the vivid epic The Fall of Otrar, as well as ten more films that didn't make it to the Frisco event. Most of them are either newer of older than the selections from the 1970's and 1990's that played at Yerba Buena. Especially exciting is a 1928 silent film from the region called The Roof of the World. The series plays most Thursdays and Fridays throughout September, timed to coincide with a conference regarding the region being held on the UC Berkeley campus that month.

What I'm personally most excited about, however, is October's tie-in with the San Francisco Opera's upcoming premiere of the new John Adams / Peter Sellars opera, Doctor Atomic. Steve Seid has plucked films from diverse genres, countries and time periods to build a fascinating cross-section of film in the nuclear age. Everything from 1947 Hollywood's The Beginning or the End? to Akira Kurosawa's I Live in Fear to Bruce Conner's Crossroads (pictured) to the Adam Curtis BBC series Pandora's Box is included. I'm going to be busy.

On an unrelated note: according to the ever-reliable Lincoln Spector, several of the Harold Lloyd films playing at the Castro this week will include live musical accompaniment after all: starting with tomorrow's Welcome Danger (though not Why Worry?), and continuing with Monday's Hot Water, Wednesday's shorts program, and Thursday's Grandma's Boy. As much as I love Harold Lloyd, I must admit I felt a bit disappointed at the prospect of seeing his films with musical tracks attached to the print, especially while having to look at an unused Wurlitzer organ in the middle of the Castro stage. I'm glad to learn I was prematurely pessimistic!

Neat! Have you gotten a chance to see Ermek Shinarbaev's Revenge yet? Of the films that I caught at the Walter Reade Reade run, I found that to be the most thematically rich and novelistic (based on the book by Anatoly Kim), although it seemed to have suffered from its "epicness". The entire back history of Koreans being force marched out of Russia by Stalin and eventually settling in Kazakhstan is quite interesting too.
I haven't seen that one, acquarello. With your recommendation, it's now my highest priority of the series. Thanks for dropping by my site!
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?