Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Terri Saul: IOHTE

The San Francisco Bay Area is still home to a rich cinephilic culture nurtured in large part by a diverse array of cinemas, programmers and moviegoers. I'm honored to present a selection of favorite screenings experienced by local cinephiles in 2015. An index of participants can be found here.

IOHTE contributor Terri Saul is a Berkeley-based artist.

With the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley closed almost half of this year, my list of repertory and revival films watched in 2015 dwindled to a record low. I only watched two older films in movie theatres last year! How I rely on the PFA to see older films projected in front of an audience.

I did attend festivals, only to catch new releases, which leaves me falling short of ten films for this year’s “I Only Have Two Eyes.”

Screen shot from Criterion DVD
1) Andrei Rublev (1966) by Andrei Tarkovsky, screened at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, on Saturday July 4th at 7:00 p.m. I’d noted a number of the Tarkovsky series screenings on my calendar but got sidetracked and only caught this one. It was magnificent, larger than life.

2) El Sur (1983) with Victor Erice in person was the last film I saw at the PFA before the closure. This one screened on Friday July 31st at 7:30 p.m. I loved The Spirit of the Beehive and had high expectations for El Sur, which were met and surpassed. Apparently this film was originally going to be a series of two, or a much longer story, but for a variety of reasons (censorship or funding issues, if I remember correctly), the follow-up never happened. Erice says, for him, it’s difficult to watch the truncated El Sur, knowing what would have come next (the part where we actually see the mythic South). Erice says he decided to let the work stand (paraphrasing) “it belongs to the audience” he said. It should not be associated with the missing story pieces that he and his crew alone hold.

3) As part of the 2015 San Francisco International Film Festival, the POV Award was presented to Kim Longinotto accompanied by a screening of one of her films, Dreamcatcher. I was under the impression that it was an older film, however IMDB lists it as a 2015 film. We discussed her earlier work, but I suppose even this film won’t count toward my list.

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