Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Maureen Russell Has Two Eyes

The Frisco Bay repertory/revival scene cannot be taken in by a single pair of eyes. Thankfully, a number of local filmgoers have agreed to share their favorites from 2009. An index of participants is found here.

The following list comes from Maureen Russell, Noir City & SFSFF volunteer, SFFS member:

1) Erotikon (Czech)
Silent Film Festival, Castro Theatre
The Silent Film Fest had great programming this year. I'd seen this film before and it was as amazing the second time. Other memorable Silent Film Fest screenings included The Fall of the House of Usher (July) and West of Zanzibar (December).

2) SFMoMA's series The Future of the Past: Utopia / Dystopia 1965 - 1984
I went to several screenings in this series. It was great to see Logan's Run again and on the big screen. The others I hadn't seen: Godard's Alphaville, Stalker; but I really loved Fantastic Planet (France) - sci-fi animation. I've been trying to track down an affordable copy of the soundtrack since.

3) San Francisco Public Library series in conjunction with Punk Passage photo exhibit
Punk Live on Film: Screenings of Louder, Faster, Shorter; Deaf Punk and Insect Lounge Sally RemiX 1978 followed by audience Q & A with filmmaker Mindy Bagdon and photographer Ruby Ray.
October 7, 2009, Main Library, Koret Auditorium
Film Screening of SF Punk (West Coast Premiere) by Target Video followed by audience Q & A with photographer Ruby Ray and video producer Joe Rees.
November 4, 2009, Main Library, Koret Auditorium

Although shown on DVD, Louder Faster Shorter and Deaf Punk were originally on film. Target Video's great too.

4) The Lost World with live music by Dengue Fever
San Francisco International Film Fest - Castro Theatre
I always look forward to the silent film with live music accompaniment at the Castro as part of SFIFF. This time the film was imaginative and Dengue Fever created a soundtrack that worked.

5) Martin (George Romero, 1977, archival print)
PFA's Eccentric Cinema series
PFA summer double feature with
The Brother From Another Planet (John Sayles, 1984)
UCLA Fest of Preservation series

My first time seeing either of these. Although part of different series, they went together well as a double bill.

6) All Night Long (UK, 1961)
Roxie Theater
I Wake Up Dreaming B Noir film fest
I'd never heard of this rarity which kicked off the Roxie's first B noir fest of the year. Great story and characters with real jazz musicians playing themselves in a groovy London local.

7) Noir City at the Castro Theater
double bill of newspaper noir theme
The Killers (restored)
Sweet Smell of Success

Two great films worth repeat viewing, with beautiful prints at one of my favorite festivals (and film audiences).

8) Costa-Gavras' Z - Castro Theatre
new 35mm print
I'd never seen this before. It hold up well and is relevant today. I was sucked in.

9) Thundercrack! - Victoria Theatre, San Francisco
Frameline Fest
A fun and unusual late night screening with George Kuchar in person. This was a unique blend of art film and porn film, with some horror thrown in. I understood John Waters more after seeing this. Best seen with a theater crowd as there was something to shock everyone.

10) Double Shot of Shat
Thrillville at the 4-Star Theater

My first time attending a Thrillville event. Over the top Shatner I hadn't seen before. A western with spiders? Shatner as an psycho second personality drunken murderer? Wow! Both from the 1970's.
Kingdom of the Spiders

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