week in review – 06/25 – 07/01/12

Better late than never!

Theatrical Viewings

Barbarella (Vadim, France/Italy, 1968) – Castro Theatre, 35mm; 2nd viewing

Roman Holiday (Wyler, USA, 1953) – Stanford Theatre, 35mm; 3rd viewing

Sabrina (Wilder, USA, 1954) – Stanford Theatre, 35mm; 2nd viewing

Home Viewing

Les dites cariatides (The So-Called Caryatids) (short) (Varda, France,) – Digital Projection, Fandor

Elsa la rose (short) (Varda, France, 1965) – Digital Projection, Fandor

The Girl’s Nervy (short) (Reeves, USA, 1995) – Digital Projection, Fandor

Upcoming Possibilities

The Connection (Clarke, USA, 1962) – Roxie, 06/29 – 07/05

Beyond the Black Rainbow (Cosmatos, Canada, 2012) – Roxie, 06/29 – 07/07

Le amiche (Antonioni, Italy, 1955) – PFA, 07/06

Always For Pleasure (Blank, USA, 1978) – PFA, 07/07


pretending on a precipice

[This film played in the Roxie Theater‘s film noir festival “I Wake Up Dreaming: The French Have a Name for It.”  It played in a triple bill with Detour and Une si jolie petite plage.]

The Pretender (USA, 1947), directed by W. Lee Wilder–Billy’s older brother–is a rather nasty piece of work, as thematically uncomfortable as it is visually ravishing. The film involves a slimy financier (Albert Dekker) who embezzles money from a beautiful heiress (Catherine Craig) who trusts him unquestioningly; as personal financial losses quickly pile up for Dekker’s character he scrambles to cover his tracks with a desperation that becomes closer and closer to outright hysteria.  Along the way he implicates himself in a series of shady underworld dealings and, most insidiously, attempts to marry the unsuspecting Craig for her money.

When a mafia deal goes awry, Dekker finds himself inadvertently caught up in a potentially deadly trap of his own devising, and the film embarks on a perilous balancing act,
negotiating the audience’s desire to have him get his comeuppance for his generally villainous actions with the impulse of wanting him to escape punishment for a crime he didn’t actually commit.  Once again, what distinguishes this Republic production is the gorgeous and complex lighting schemes and visual effects provided by John Alton; the score also heavily features the theramin–apparently among the first to do so–which is used to creepy, nightmarish effect.  Another nifty demonstration of what can be accomplished on a tight budget and a bit (a lot?) of creativity.

week in review – 05/21 – 05/27/12

Despite the fact it was the first week of summer vacation, other priorities didn’t allow much time for movie viewing.  All first viewings.

Theatrical Viewing

Harold and Maude (Ashby, USA, 1971) – Castro Theatre, 35mm

Brewster McCloud (Altman, USA, 1970) – Castro Theatre, 35mm

Upcoming Possibilities

Written on the Wind (Sirk, USA, 1956) and The Tarnished Angels (Sirk, USA, 1957) – Castro Theatre, 05/30

Keyhole (Maddin, Canada, 2012) – Roxie Theatre, through 05/31

Once Upon a Time in AnatoliaSFFS, through 05/31

La grande illusion (The Grand Illusion) (Renoir, France, 1937) – Castro Theatre, 06/01 – 03

The Color Wheel (Perry, USA, 2012) – Roxie Theater, 06/01 – 07

week in review – 05/14 – 05/20/12

Was fully intending to catch more of the showings at both I Wake Up Dreaming and Crossroads, but, quite frankly, ran out of steam.  Which is a shame, because it meant some excellent and intriguing films were missed.  Ah well.  All first viewings this week.

Theatrical Viewing

Storm Over Lisbon (Sherman, USA, 1944) – Roxie Theatre, 16mm

Shadow of Terror (Landers, USA, 1945) – Roxie Theatre, 16mm

At Crossroads 2012, put on by the SF Cinematheque at the Victoria Theatre:

Monroy; Seeking the Monkey King (Jacobs, USA, 2012)


rites of alchemy (Moyah Pravda Newsreel, 2011)

Village, silenced (Stratman, 2012)

Penumbra Blind (McPhee, 2012)

Snakes and Ladders (McInnis, 2011)

movement (Moyah Pravda Newsreel, 2011)

Awe Shocks (Dornieden and Gonzále, 2011)

Upcoming Possibilities

Harold and Maude (Ashby, USA, 1971) and Brewster McCloud (Altman, USA, 1970) – Castro Theatre, 05/23

week(s) in review – 04/02 – 05/13/12

So as I expected Memories of the Future was forced into a temporary hiatus in consideration of academic priorities, but I turned in my last paper of the semester this evening, and I’m eager to channel my focus towards several exciting projects that have presented themselves, and I’ve jotted down notes on a number of topics I’d like to post on here, starting with my forthcoming contribution to this year’s Film Preservation Blogathon, which kicked off yesterday.

To say nothing of all the films in store for Bay Area cinephiles this summer: the first weekend of the Roxie’s film noir series “I Wake Up Dreaming” was amazing, the Crossroads Festival for experimental film next weekend looks mind-blowing, the Silent Film Festival has announced an impressive lineup, the PFA has several programs this summer I’m eagerly awaiting (Dorsky!  Greenaway!  Czech New Wave!), Frameline will be here in several months, and the list goes on and on…

As usual, first viewing unless otherwise noted.

Theatrical Viewing

The Penal Colony
(Ruiz, Chile, 1970) – PFA, 16mm

A TV Dante: Cantos 9–14 (Ruiz, UK, 1991)  – PFA, 3/4″ Video

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Greenaway, UK, 1989) – Castro Theatre, 35mm

Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, USA, 1970) – Castro Theatre, 35mm

Whores’ Glory (Glawogger, Austria/Germany, 2012) – PFA, 35mm

Workingman’s Death (Glawogger, Austria/Germany, 2005) – PFA, 35mm

Kill Daddy Good Night (Das Vaterspiel) (Glawogger, Germany, 2009) – PFA, Digital Projection

Megacities (Glawogger, Austria, 1998) – PFA, 35mm

The Day He Arrives (Hong, South Korea, 2012) – SFFS Cinema, 35mm

Galaxie (Markopoulos, USA, 1966) – SFMOMA, 16mm

The Big Combo (J. Lewis, USA 1955) – Roxie Theater, 35mm

The Scar (Hollow Triumph) (Sekely,  USA, 1948) – Roxie Theater, 16mm

Knock on Any Door (N. Ray, USA, 1949) – Roxie Theater, 35mm

The Royal Tenenbaums (W. Anderson, USA, 2001) – Castro Theatre, 35mm

Une si jolie petite plage (Such a Pretty Little Beach) (Allégret, France, 1949) – Roxie Theater, Digital Projection

Detour (Ulmer, USA, 1945) – Roxie Theater, Digital Projection from a 35mm print; 2nd viewing

The Pretender (W.L. Wilder, USA, 1947) – Roxie Theater, 16mm

Home Viewing

The Blue Gardenia (Lang, USA, 1953) – Amazon Instant Video

Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich, USA, 1955) – Projected Blu-ray; 2nd viewing

Making the Boys (Robey, USA, 2011) – Netflix Instant

Paranormal State: Seasons 1, 2, 3, and 5 (2007 – 2010) – Netflix Instant (one of my great guilty pleasures)

In Concert

St Vincent with tUnE-yArDs – Fox Theatre

Upcoming Possibilities

Storm Over Lisbon (Sherman, USA, 1944) and Shadow of Terror (Landers, USA, 1945) – Roxie Theatre, 05/16

Killer’s Kiss (Kubrick, USA, 1955) and Female Jungle (VeSota, USA, 1956) – Roxie Theatre, 05/18

To Have and Have Not (Hawks, USA, 1944) and Sergeant York (Hawks, USA, 1941) – Stanford Theatre, May 18 – 20

As much as the Crossroads Film Festival as possible – Victoria Theatre, 05/18 – 20

week in review, 02/27 – 03/04/12

What a week!  It might be my record for seeing films theatrically in a non-festival context.  First viewings unless otherwise noted.

Theatrical Viewing

A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) (Powell & Pressburger, UK, 1946) – Castro Theatre, 35mm; 3rd viewing

The Music Lovers (Ken Russell, UK, 1970) – Castro Theatre, 35mm

Freaks (Tod Browning, USA, 1932) – Roxie Theater, 16mm; 2nd viewing

Island of Lost Souls (Erle C. Kenton, USA, 1932) – Roxie Theater, 35mm

Three Lives and Only One Death (Raúl Ruiz, France /Portugal, 1996) – PFA, 35mm

Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932) – Stanford Theatre, 35mm; 2nd Viewing

One Hour With You (Ernst Lubitsch, USA, 1932) – Stanford Theatre, 35mm; 2nd Viewing


An Evening with Claude Lanzmann – JCCSF

Looking Forward to This Next Week

The Long Day Closes (Terence Davies, UK, 1992) – SF Film Society, 03/08

Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, France, 1946) – Castro Theatre, 03/10

And however many of the Pre-Code films at the Roxie I can get myself to!