Saturday, November 16, 2013

Tabu (2012)

WHO: Miguel Gomes directed this.

WHAT: I have not yet seen this Portuguese-made film which takes its title and, apparently, much more, from F.W. Murnau's 1931 South Seas swan song, but I'm very excited to. Perle Petit has written a piece comparing the two films.

WHERE/WHEN: Screens tonight only at the Pacific Film Archive at 6:00.

WHY: Increasingly, film festivals are not a place to see 35mm prints, especially of new films, even those that cry out to be seen that way. Of the eight current and upcoming local film festivals on my sidebar, I believe only one is planning to screen anything on film: the Another Hole In the Head genre festival which plans to show 35mm prints of Jaws and The Shining in December at the Balboa, which recently installed new digital projection systems but has been lucky enough to be able to retain 35mm projection capability. The San Francisco Film Society's Fall Season included 35mm prints in one of its festival showcases: the retrospective-minded Zurich/SF weekend. And the highest-profile local Fall festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, showed only two 35mm prints this year, one of them for a thirteen-year-old title (Lumumba), and the other for a remake of a 60-year-olf film (Tokyo Family). This is down from the dozen or so titles at the 2012 festival, a dozen that did not included its showings of Tabu despite it having been shot on film and appealing greatly to a good portion of those last cinephiles who still make an effort to support film-on-film screenings.

The upshot of all this is that tonight's PFA screening is not only the first theatrical showing of Tabu in Berkeley, and the first in the Bay Area in over a year when it played MVFF, but the first-ever local showing of the film in 35mm (not to mention the only 35mm screening as part of the PFA's New Portuguese Cinema series). I know it's available on DVD now, but I'm planning to head to Berkeley to see it tonight the way I'm sure it was meant to be shown.

HOW: As noted above, 35mm

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