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 2016. An index of participants can be found here.
First-time IOHTE contributor John Slattery is a filmmaker based in Berkeley, CA.
The following films were seen at the new PFA—a theatre haunted by the ghost of the former (15 yrs of her life) house manager (Becky Mertens) who disappeared during the move from the shed on Bancroft. The latest word from the guy who is responsible for disappearing her (Executive Director Lawrence Rinder) is that she was boxed up with some artwork that has yet to be unpacked.
Maurice Pialat gave us unsentimental vitality: cinema as rupture. He made brutal, awkward, messy and alive cinema that impresses upon us the realization until THIS, we’d really never seen such a truthful depiction of the human on the screen.
2. À Nos Amours: Sandrine Bonnaire …and a reminder that perhaps a real slap in the face is both what we see the least in cinema and one thing, perhaps, the camera captures best.
3. Van Gogh: Underrated and underappreciated. Aside from Peter Watkins’ Edvard Munch (74) it remains one of the great naturalist renderings on film—one artist brings us another.
4. We Will Not Grow Old Together: Adults: you’ve always known them, but until now, maybe you’ve never really seen them - in movies.