Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vinyl-ly Posting

As you've probably noticed, the complexities of life have necessitated my putting this blog on the back burner lately. I haven't been going out to as many films as I generally do, though I have dipped in to sample a few September screenings at the Pacific Film Archive (what I saw of the Milos Forman series was a treat) and the Castro (seeing Nick Ray's Party Girl there last week on a Cyd Charisse tribute night was tremendous.) But all of the local theatres have announced new fall programs, from the Stanford (bringing rare British films for the next month or so) to the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, to the Rafael (hosting the Mill Valley Film Festival, which will kick off an extended Ingmar Bergman series at that venue with a festival in-person tribute to Harriet Anderson and screening of Through a Glass Darkly October 10th- while here in Frisco the Red Vic has booked Monika November 9th and 10th).

Backed up with upcoming screenings worth mentioning for weeks, but struggling to find time to write, I was exceedingly thankful that Ryland Walker Knight invited me to join as a guest on the new podcast he's launched with his fellow East Bay cinephile Mark Haslam, entitled Vinyl is Podcast. On Saturday, after watching Burn After Reading at the California Theatre (which, incidentally, I enjoyed for the way it invites comparisons between the chameleons in Hollywood with those in Washington) we sat down to hash out some of our perceived highlights of the PFA, Castro and Mill Valley Film Festival calendars. Of course we didn't get to everything. I feel particularly remiss not having mentioned the PFA screening of Jerry Schatzburg's Puzzle of a Downfall Child presented by the Film on Film Foundation this Sunday evening after Abraham's Valley, the last (and perhaps most-anticipated, as its DVD transfer is legendarily unwatchable) film in the venue's Manoel de Oliveira centennial-year tribute. Made in 1970, starring Faye Dunaway, directed by the maker of Panic in Needle Park and never released on any home video format, it seems like a must-watch to me. We also didn't get to goings-on at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Artists' Television Access (which has another enticing kino21 screening tomorrow), or the mouth-watering French Cinema Now series being put on at the Clay by the San Francisco Film Society (and handily previewed by Michael Hawley). Not to mention the other copious film festivals accumulating over the next few months and listed in the upper right column of this page.

But we did get to talk about a lot, and it was fun to do. Hopefully it will be fun for Hell on Frisco Bay readers to listen to as well. Check it out.


  1. I'm definitely excited about all those Desplechin titles to be screened. Should be a lot of fun. And, again, thanks for having some laughs with us. Hopefully next time you join us (we hope you do) I'll have better, easier recording technology and maybe, if it's sunny, we can talk outside.

  2. Hey brian add my blog too!

  3. Hi Ryland, Rach. Thanks for commenting. Ryland, I'm definitely intrigued by the Desplechin titles. So far I've only seen Kings and Queen and part of Esther Kahn (need to rewatch that one) from the director. I haven't figured out his strategies and rhythms yet.

  4. Peter Nellhaus9/28/08, 9:45 PM

    I really liked Puzzle of a Downfall Child as well. Another reminder of when American filmmakers were allowed to be adventurous with Hollywood backing.

  5. You can say that again, Peter! I must say I found Puzzle to be much better than I even anticipated.