Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jesse Hawthorne Ficks Has Two Eyes

Last month I compiled a set of sixteen lists from Frisco Bay film bloggers and enthusiasts of their favorite repertory screenings of 2009. As proud I am of the thoughtfulness of the taste-diverse participants, not everyone I invited to participate was able to do so before my deadline. Not long ago I received a belated submission from a film programmer who first made an impression on me nine years ago when he was helping to curate and introduce Hong Kong and other Asian obscurities and classics at the 4 Star Theatre. Now he's a periodic fixture at the Castro Theatre with his MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS series, which takes over for two days this Friday and Saturday for a 7-film John Hughes tribute.

I'm honored to present his selections for the "I Only Have Two Eyes 2009" project, which is indexed here.

MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS curator Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' Favorite Bay Area Rep Screenings of 2009.

5. Dancer Double Feature of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger's THE RED SHOES (1948) at the SFMoMA followed by a mad dash to the Yerba Buena Center to see Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA (1977).

4. The Castro Theatre played Andrei Konchalovsky's RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985), a film based on an Akira Kurosawa screenplay, produced by Menahem Golan & Yoram Globus of Cannon Films containing Jon Voight, Eric Roberts & Rebecca De Mornay. Needless to say, minds were melted!

3. The Film Society's San Francisco International Film Festival screened a newly struck print of Francis Ford Coppola's mesmerizing THE RAIN PEOPLE (1969) followed by a round table with his friends of family: George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola and Walter Murch.

2. Frameline's San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival screened a newly restored version of Curt McDowell's 152 minute mumble(hard)core extravaganza THUNDERCRACK! culminating with a pin proving you made it through the whole thing!

1. The Yerba Buena Center in celebration of 20 years of Strand Releasing premiered Johan Renck's totally overlooked DOWNLOADING NANCY (2008); One of the most disturbing and fully realized films of the Y2K decade. Fans of Maria Bello, chronic dissatisfaction and cinematographer Christopher Doyle... SEEK THIS FILM OUT!!

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