Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Only Have Two Eyes: Shahn

2008 was another great year for Frisco Bay repertory/revival screenings. I'm so pleased that a number of local cinephiles have agreed to provide a list of their favorite events attended here over the year. An index of participants is found here.

The following list comes from Shahn, proprietor of six martinis and the seventh art:

It's embarrassing, the low number of films I saw in theaters this past year. It's a good thing each outing was so memorable.

1. The King and the Chorus Girl at Pacific Film Archive. I ventured over to Berkeley with a friend I see far too seldom for one night of the Joan Blondell festival. The only event that could redirect our conversation was the oh so charming Fernand Gravet. Our long conversation was interrupted just long enough to gaze slack-jawed at the miracle that was he. Why oh why hadn't he become a major Hollywood leading man? I'm so glad I got to experience his suave and elegant ways even just once.

2. Harriet Craig at the Castro Theater. Two phenomenon that I usually find annoying - Joan Crawford and people who talk loudly during a movie - combined in the most fun-loving way for this "shout-along." Every over-the-top delivery of line was met by matching vocal disapproval, every hammy maneuver was hissed and cheered, all by an enthusiastic Crawford fanbase. I've never enjoyed over-acting as much as this night.

3-10. The Silent Film Festival at the Castro Theater. Surely a counting cheat but even if I'd attended more films I would still rank 'em thusly. No great film discovery this year but a nice run of good and entertaining films. What puts this firmly in the memory banks is the blog convention that convened in the theater: yours truly, Brian from Hell On Frisco Bay, Michael from the Evening Class, Michael from Film 415, Ryland from Vinyl is Heavy, Darren from Long Pauses, Girish and more sat together (in different combinations) through most of the weekend. It was so much fun to talk together about the films right after they happened as opposed to running home to blog about them, waiting for comments to continue a conversation. A most memorable film week-end.

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