Thursday, May 3


Return of the Short Ends

I've taken a day or so off from the 50th SF International Film Festival. Here's a few relatively quick, (mostly) non-SFIFF-related film tidbits for any cinephiles on Frisco Bay who might want to think about non-festival films for a few minutes.

1. The Stanford Theatre has its new program schedule up. Tomorrow night it's hosting a double-bill of two Madame Butterfly adaptations: Anna May Wong in the silent Toll of the Sea, with Jim Riggs at the organ, alongside the rarely-seen 1932 version starring Sylvia Sidney and Cary Grant. Saturday and Sunday it's a double-bill of Cat People and the Curse of the Cat People. Then the theatre hosts a 20-film Katherine Hepburn centennial tribute, starting with her debut in George Cukor's 1932 a Bill of Divorcement May 11-13 (on a double bill with Cukor's the Philadelphia Story) and concluding with Desk Set June 22-24, which plays with the Hepburn-free Bells Are Ringing. This Vincente Minnelli film stars Judy Holliday who, probably inspired by her pairing with Hepburn in Adam's Rib (playing May 18-20,) is getting a six-film tribute of her own alongside the Hepburn series.

2. The Another Hole in the Head Film Festival has its new calendar up, and from June 1-14, 2007 at the Roxie, the festival will run concurrently with something called the Indiefest: Gets Animated sidebar, which will feature animated features and shorts programs, some of which are even dubbed "kid friendly"- I bet Holehead fans weren't expecting that one. Though I must admit I found the film opening one "kid friendly" program (June 2 & 6) to be rather creepy- perfect for creepy kids, I guess. The film is called Loom and it's an intricate piece of stop motion made by Scott Kravitz in Noe Valley. Loom is also playing this year's SFIFF though with a completely different set of companion films, some of which are decidedly not "kid friendly". It's on a solid, eclectic, independent animation program called Frame By Frame, which has one more screening May 6th at SFMOMA.

Back to HoleHead. I'm sure there will still be plenty of completly depraved, absolutely repulsive, totally entertaining horror films on view as well. Blood Car and Hazard look like they may be prime examples. I can't figure out whether Richard Elfman's 1980 cult oddity Forbidden Zone was programmed for the main festival or the sidebar, as it contains horror film aspects (its setting in Hell and other dimensions, its random violence, and its eager-to-offend spirit) but also mixes live-action with animation (think Fleischer Brothers on the cheap, not Who Framed Roger Rabbit). At any rate, it's screening at 11:45 PM June 2nd, with the director (elder brother of Danny Elfman, who put together the soundtrack and plays Satan) in attendance.

3. The Roxie is also opening the Pervert's Guide to Cinema on May 11th. I just got back from a screening of it at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. This is my first real exposure to Slavoj Zizek firsthand, and I guess shaking up current wisdom is a big part of his schtick, but I'm not sure I buy that many of his arguments on the meaning of sound and image in cinema. For example, his characterization of silent cinema as childlike seemed completely out of whack to me after recently reading Kevin Brownlow's Behind the Mask of Innocence, but perhaps I missed that Zizek was only meaning to comment on Charlie Chaplin's use of silence and sound, and not an entire medium's. Out of whack or not, though, he's got some fun and clever ways to make his points. Seeing big screen juxtapositions of certain clips, like those from the Conversation and Psycho, got me excited about the form of analysis he and director Sophie Fiennes are using. And it definitely makes me want to check out a few films I haven't seen yet, like Dead of Night and Pluto's Judgment Day.

4. I haven't spotted the new calendar for the Red Vic Movie House yet, but it will be playing the hip-hop documentary Rock the Bells from June 8-14.

5. Lincoln Specter notes that one of the last single-screen theatres in Marin County, the Lark, is in impending financial trouble, and its owners are trying to raise funds to purchase the theatre outright in order to avert closing. The theatre's accepting donations, but I bet a spike in attendance would be welcome as well. It's playing Hot Fuzz through May 10, and on the 11th starts showing the Wind That Shakes the Barley.

6. And finally, some good news from the Four Star theatre: Every Friday during June and July the Richmond district venue will host a double-bill of Asian films. A sample, on June 8th: Infernal Affairs plays with the old-school martial arts picture Knight Errant. Another example, on July 13th: Shintaro Katsu's last entry in his famous series, Zatoichi 26, paired with the incredible Helen Ma as the Deaf and Mute Heroine. The full list can be found here.

Hey Brian! Thanks for the "Blood Car" trackback! It's nice to know that I may have moved, but am not forgotten...
No problem, Jay! Enjoy your new stomping grounds.
Post a Comment

<< Home

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