Monday, February 2, 2015

IOHTE: Carl Martin

"IOHTE" stands for "I Only Have Two Eyes"; it's my annual survey of selected San Francisco Bay Area cinephiles' favorite in-the-cinema screenings of classic films and archival oddities from the past year. An index of participants can be found here.

Contributor Carl Martin is a film projectionist & keeper of the Film On Film Foundation's indispensable Bay Area Film Calendar.

jan 22 @ the castro: the fortune: taking its place among the best '70's prohibition-era-nostalgia pictures (at long last love, the night they raided minsky's), this screwball delight channels preston sturges, embracing the escalatory power of the long take. in one memorable scene, jack nicholson, warren beatty, and stockard channing get upstaged by a flying sandwich.

jan 28 @ the castro: death is a caress (døden er et kjærtegn): presented as a norwegian noir, its characters are damned by their own choices, not by fate or censorship board. a refreshingly frank film.

feb 7 @ pfa: strange impersonation: strange indeed. a dozen b-picturesworth of absurd plot contrivances are packed into one movie. the female scientists are guileful and beguiling, the men all bumbling fools. surely it can't be real!

march 26 @ the roxie (16mm): the argyle secrets: this is a mean and nasty little movie! when the hero's progress is impeded by a perfectly innocent woman--and he knows she's done nothing wrong--he punches her lights out. whoa!

june 1 @ the castro: harbor drift (jenseits der straße): i only remember bits and snatches of this slice of society's underbelly: a necklace, a man reading the paper. but it was dynamic and beautiful and it moved me.
Screen capture from Blue Underground DVD
aug 15 @ ybca: vigilante: i checked and i didn't include this one in 2009. in this underachieving year, it makes the cut. once again william lustig's violent revengesploitation film bowled me over. robert forster is a badass and rutanya alda, as his ill-fated wife, is revelatory.

sept 19 @ the castro: coal miner's daughter: sissy spacek, beverly d'angelo (who both do their own singing), the ever-reliable tommy lee jones, and, in his debut dramatic role, levon helm, all turn in stellar work in this most excellent of musical biopics. if there's a sugar coating it's a thin one.

nov 3, private screening: point break: finally caught up with this one. patrick swayze mesmerizes as the leader/guru to a band of new-agey wave riders in kathryn bigelow's strange, mythic vision of surf culture.

Screen capture from Anchor Bay DVD
nov 7 @ the castro: minnie and moskowitz: this filled a hole in my cassavetes viewing. seymour cassel is a madman. in one intense scene, he seems genuinely surprised at his own impulsive action, which ends up messing up the continuity of the picture. no matter, it's a hell of a moment. bonus points for the timothy carey scene.

dec 5 @ roxie (16mm): crime wave: john paizs's wildly inventive, budget-transcending tale of a screen-writer's travails, seen through the admiring eyes of a 13-year-old girl, manages to be sweetly innocent and yet not at all innocent. he avoids solipsism and even steps into lynchian territory, around the time that lynch himself is just dipping his toes in.

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