Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ryland Walker Knight 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 Ryland Walker Knight, who blogs at Vinyl Is Heavy:

After some time in go-hard Brooklyn and across the wilds of eastern Oklahoma, I got back to the Bay for a mere two months of rep film going. But I did manage to see some great flicks in that brief span. I went to all the Alain Resnais series at PFA and learned a lot, laughed a lot, and I even made a point to write about each film. I saw some good old Hitchcock favorites at the Castro. I even caught City of Sadness at Yerba Buena Center's screening room alongside Brian here. But the real highlight, probably, from a purely spectacular perspective (as in, spectacle) was the Silent Film Festival's winter event: an all-day, five film extravaganza complete with live organs and Anchor Porter and a mostly packed house for every single show (though the Sherlock Jr. screening, smack at 7 o'clock, was clearly the most popular). Perhaps the most interesting movie of the bunch was Abel Gance's frontline World War I epic, J'accuse!, which had an intermission and a whole bunch of fantastic effects at work (as in, fantasy), like the final third's rising of the dead for a choral communion with their survivors to ensure the war's death toll meant something, if only on a personal (as in, person-to-person) basis.

I'm looking forward to all that lies ahead in the calendar, including the spate of Tati just on the horizon (what a weekend coming up!) and all those Lewton flicks (Friday the 22nd is a double bill to die for: Cat People and The Seventh Victim), not to mention actually being here, ready and able to cover next spring's SFIFF. We may not have the sheer mass of options as a place like New York here in the Bay, but, I've come to realize, that's not as important as it seems. There's still plenty of rep cinema here, however dwindled it may be, and if I'm planting here for the foreseeable future, I'd like to play my part, however diminutive it may be, in pumping up that world. Here's hoping to see more crowds, and especially more young faces, around the circuit in 2010.

This may be a hard sell, but, come on, kiddies out there: who needs to see Avatar when you can see Playtime on a big screen?

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