Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Did you know ...


* * * * *

(With sincere apologies to Jonas Mekas)

Did you know the Rafael Film Center has put out its latest calendar? That they're playing Roberto Rossellini's beautiful the Flowers of St. Francis for four days in early August? Did you know that Guy Maddin's latest short film, a tribute starring the neorealist's daughter Isabella called My Dad is 100 Years Old, will be paired with the 1950 classic at each screening?

Did you know the Rafael is showing American Graffiti for free this Saturday at 11AM? And that it's the Frisco Bay venue for both the indieWIRE: Undiscovered Gems series and the Sundance Institute Art House Project? Did you know that the Sundance Institute is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and that they're bringing to the Rafael prints of films like Allison Anders's Gas Food Lodging this July 9, Charles Burnett's To Sleep With Anger July 23, and Rob Nilsson's Heat and Sunlight August 2nd?

Did you know the Rafael also hosts the Mill Valley Film Festival October 5-15? And that they're warming up with a series called Global Lens starting September 21? And that they're also one of the venues for the Jewish Film Festival? Did you know that Israeli director Amos Gitai is receiving an award from the SFJFF this year? Did you know that I've never seen a single one of this Cannes regular's films? Or that I'll have a chance to remedy that situation on July 23 when the Castro plays House, News From Home/News From House and Free Zone, with several other opportunities to see those films in Berkeley, San Rafael and Mountain View in the subsequent weeks?

Did you know that the Silent Film Festival will be hosting a free event called Amazing Tales From the Archives on July 16th at 11AM, just before the 12:30 Castro screening of three Laurel and Hardy films directed by the entirely underrated Leo McCarey? Did you know that film archivists are my personal heroes, and yours too if you like seeing beautiful (or even halfway decent) prints of our cinematic heritage? Did you know that children 12 and under are admitted to all SFF events this July 14-16 for free?

Did you know that the Stanford Theatre is almost as wonderful a place to see a silent film as the Castro is? And that they're playing four silent films on Friday evenings as part of their newly-announced Summer schedule packed with Hollywood classics? That one of them is G.W. Pabst's second film made with Louise Brooks, Diary of a Lost Girl on August 4? And, of course, that this is the perfect compliment to the July 15 SFF screening of that pair's first collaboration, Pandora's Box, which will be preceded by rare trailers for lost Brooks film the American Venus?

Did you know that the Balboa Theatre is hanging onto the print of Jean-Pierre Melville's Army of Shadows for at least one more week? But that tomorrow is the last day to see Iron Island at the Roxie or the Death of Mr. Lazarescu or Lady Vengeance at the Lumiere? Did you know that I consider the latter film the most fascinating of Park Chan-wook's vengeance trilogy, combining the emotional trial-by-fire of Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance with judicious flashes of Oldboy-style narrative and visual gimmickry, with a final reel or two both shocking and self-critical?

Did you know that Artists' Television Access has all sorts of interesting-looking programs coming up? That the makers of the extremely controversial 9/11 documentary Loose Change will be at the Four Star July 13 to show the film and, hopefully, answer audience questions? That the Lark Theatre will be broadcasting the World Cup Final between France and Italy this Sunday at 11 AM? Or that the Edinburgh Castle will be as well? Did you know that the latter will also be the venue for a screening of a set of road movies by Frisco filmmakers on Monday, July 24? That it's free?