Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lawrence Chadbourne Only Has Two Eyes

It's impossible for any pair of eyes to view all of Frisco Bay's worthwhile film screenings. I'm so pleased that a number of local filmgoers have let me post their repertory/revival screening highlights of 2011. An index of participants is found here.

The following list comes from cinephile Lawrence Chadbourne:

My rep/revival choices for 2011 though with my travel back and forth I got to see fewer such films last year.

1. À Double Tour Though the print wasn't complete, the choice of this particular Chabrol for Susan Oxtoby's brief tribute to the recently deceased New Wave master especially appealed to me. It showed what he introduced with his use of color and brought back memories of the time, around when this was shot, that I was also staying in Aix-en-Provence, though not in exactly the same surroundings! It remains a scandal that IFC chose not to distribute Chabrol's farewell film here but disrespectfully dumped it onto video.

2. Huckleberry Finn Anita Monga is to be commended for continuing to lift the artistic level of the Silent Film Festival, this year's selection being arguably the richest so far. This surprising and lyrical adaptation was the highpoint for me.Today we know the director William Desmond Taylor mostly for the circumstances of his death but from the few of his movies I've managed to catch he appears to be worthy of further rediscovery.

3. The Rules of the Game This war horse was brought back for a Saturday noon show at the sole surviving single screen house, the Plaza, in Calgary, where I spent a fair amount of 2011. I wouldn't normally have revisited this familiar classic right then but two friends up there with a nodding acquaintance of film history had somehow never gotten around to seeing it at all. The presentation was sparsely attended (It was a typical cold Alberta day) but enriched by a scholarly introduction from a local Cinematheque lady and by a Q & A. My friends both liked the film but were somewhat puzzled and asked me to explain parts of it, which I did the best I could without the aid of the many books and magazines I can draw on back here at home. The result was, the screening stimulated me to rethink this work in a way I hadn't in previous viewings, and it now means even more to me. It is also nice to support the Plaza, where I have been seeing films for 40 years.

I'd like to close by wishing my old friend from the Fine Arts, Keith, the best of luck in bringing us even-better repertory programming at the Castro for 2012.

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