Friday, April 13


Late Oughta-Mentions

You may have noticed that recently this blog has not been quite as comprehensive about keeping up with all the repertory film events and festivals on Frisco Bay as it has in the past. For example, I still haven't mentioned the currently-in-progress Sonoma Valley Film Festival, or the fact that the Cerrito Classics schedule is updated now through August, or that a screening of San Francisco at the Balboa will happen this coming Wednesday, the 101st anniversary of the Great Quake. Well, I guess I just did, but I might not have if I wasn't trying to make a point. The fact is, I'm finding myself increasingly busy these days and want to focus my energies on the events I'm personally particularly excited about, at least for a while. This seems like a good time to remind you of my sidebar; the "Frisco Bloggers and Websites" section in particular is loaded with other Frisco cinephiles trying to digest the local film scene and sf360, the Evening Class and the new and improved Bayflicks seem particularly reliable at notifying about upcoming film events. Keep up with those as well as with my site, and you ought to be in pretty good hands.

Living in Frisco proper, it's the events in other parts (especially the non-BART-accessible parts) of the Bay that I'm least likely to take note of. Unless they're really, really cool, that is. Like this, at the Cubberly Auditorium in Palo Alto, appears to be: a Friday evening series of Japanese films from 1960, in 35mm prints, starting tonight with Mikio Naruse's When a Woman Ascends the Stairs. Most of the greatly-revered names of Japanese cinema will be represented in this series: Nagisa Oshima by Cruel Story of Youth April 27th, Akira Kurosawa by the Bad Sleep Well May 4th, a week and a half after the upcoming Shakespeare Blog-a-Thon, Kon Ichikawa with Her Brother May 11th, Kaneto Shindo with the Island May 18th, Yasujiro Ozu with Late Autumn (one of the few titles I've seen in this series, it's perhaps my favorite of Ozu's films) May 25th, and Shohei Imamura with Hogs and Battleships June 1st. Most of these haven't played on a nearby big screen in quite some time, and if the series were being held a little closer to my work or home, I'd probably attend every night. I hope to go to a few anyway. I'd head down for When a Woman Ascends the Stairs tonight, as it was one of the Naruse films from last year's PFA retrospective that I (and many others, as the screening was sold out) missed.

Except that tonight I'll be at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts watching Syndromes and a Century, a privilege I very much regret to learn that Thai audiences have been prevented by a censorious government from doing. The film plays here Saturday and Sunday as well, but I have other plans those days. As of yesterday there were still plenty of tickets available through the box office, though. That's a hint, for any of you who are still on the fence on seeing this film.

Hey, wait a minute!! I thought you were gonna pick up the slack for me?!!! Why I oughta....
Brian, thanks for the heads up. I caught Syndromes last night (Sunday) and enjoyed it very much. In my efforts to be more productive, I managed to get down a few words about it on the blog
Sorry, Michael...

Barry, thanks for the link! I just left a (far too?) lengthy comment on your excellent post.
Brian, no problem at all with your comment. I really appreciate it and was glad to get your take on things.

This piece in particular I found most interesting:

Yet I do feel I do understand it, not on the level of analysis or even recognition of Joe's motifs from other films, or of bits and pieces of the Thai culture I was exposed to. It feels like a more universal, more cinematic understanding. And it's combined with a perhaps even more overwhelming lack of understanding, that somehow doesn't get in the way of appreciation at all.

This, to me, is the keenest observation of the film. And it's something I tried but could not put into words. In the most smug version of myself, I'd say the thoughts you've expressed outside Syndromes has certainly deepened my understanding of it =)
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