Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Carl Martin Has Two Eyes

The Frisco Bay repertory/revival scene cannot be taken in by a single pair of eyes. Thankfully, a number of local filmgoers have agreed to share their favorites from 2009. An index of participants is found here.

The following list comes from Carl Martin, who blogs for the Film On Film Foundation and maintains its Film Calendar:

Feb 2, PFA: The Passer By
This unknown little film is about celluloid's miraculous ability to fix us in posterity and a perfect demonstration of it.

Feb 7, PFA: An American Tragedy
When something falls into the water in a Josef von Sternberg film, the water becomes a character of sorts, swallowing, ruminating, reflecting. And what is that contraption shuttling back and forth, back and forth, in the foreground of the textile factory? It is as much a character as the dredge in The Salvation Hunters.

Feb 18, ybca: The Savage Eye
This print was ridiculously gorgeous. Nihilism and despair were never so beautiful and uplifting.

Apr 2, ybca: Truck Turner
One hell of a stylish blaxplo. And check out the sassmouth on Nichelle Nichols! Great print.

Apr 15, ybca: Chumlum
It took a few minutes to ease myself into this film's droning rhythms. Superimposed shots of bodies lounging in hammocks and doing godknows what else. A diaphanous nautical phantasy.

May 21, Castro: Ms. 45
The trailer is a perfect distillation of iconic moments. So is the movie. Kinda faded... Ferrara's own print, apparently.

Jul 11, PFA: Pleasures of the Flesh
I've reserved for this film the word "delirious". A dream and a nightmare, full of hoods and floozies. Oshima.

Aug 7, PFA: Secret Beyond the Door...
A man tells a woman about his hobby which, taken literally, is absurd. But we come to see he is being quite literal. This is apt cinema. Why did Lang disown it? Magnificent print!

Oct 2, PFA: Poil de carotte
Great child performances are rare, and I'm a sucker for 'em. Carrot-top's face magnifies the cruelties of his world. He can see only one way out, but can't comprehend its tragedy. We can, all the more.

Dec 19, PFA: Bonjour Tristesse
The best, most sophisticatedest of the Premingers in this series, and a clear and worthy precursor to the French New Wave.

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