Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Only Have Two Eyes: Lincoln Spector

2008 was another great year for Frisco Bay repertory/revival screenings. I'm so pleased that a number of local cinephiles have agreed to provide a list of their favorite events attended here over the year. An index of participants is found here.

The following list comes from Lincoln Spector, editor of Bayflicks:


I saw some awful good stuff, but here is my top five. Not the best five movies, but the best five movie-going experience. That includes the theater, the audience, the technical presentation, live presentations, and, of course, the movie.
Curiously, none of these presentations were in the East Bay. I had to cross water to get to all of them.

In chronological order:

Time to Die at the Kabuki: One of the best films at the San Francisco International Film Festival last year, primarily an old woman talking to her dog, and much better than any film with that description has any right to be. Writer/director Dorota Kedzierzawska, star Danuta Szaflarska, and cinematographer Arthur Reinhart were there in person. Szaflarska, 92 years old, came because she'd always wanted to see San Francisco.

The Kid Brother at the Castro: Opening night of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. One of my all-time favorite silent films (in fact, the first one I fell in love with) got a great accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. I never laughed so hard at the monkey-in-shoe scene.

The Dark Knight in IMAX at the Metreon: Yep, I'm including a new movie in a multiplex. But IMAX made it special. Many Hollywood films have been shown in IMAX recently, but The Dark Knight is the first shot with that presentation in mind. Much of it was even shot in IMAX. Quite an experience.

West Side Story in 70mm at the Castro: The movie's quality swings from brilliant (Jerome Robbins' choreography) to laughably bad (Richard Beymer's attempt at a performance). But the brand-new 70mm print, with a DTS recreation of what I suspect was the original audio mix, emphasizes what's great about West Side Story.

The Sound of Wall-E at the Rafael: I didn't do a top ten list this year, but if I had, Wall-E would have been on it. If the entire movie was as good as the first half, it would have been at the top of the list. But the presence of sound designer Ben Burtt and his crew to demonstrate how they created the sound effects made for an especially delightful afternoon.

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