Monday, January 26, 2015

IOHTE: Veronika Ferdman

"IOHTE" stands for "I Only Have Two Eyes"; it's my annual survey of selected San Francisco Bay Area cinephiles' favorite in-the-cinema screenings of classic films and archival oddities from the past year. An index of participants can be found here.

Contributor Veronika Ferdman wrote in 2014 for Slant Magazine, In Review Online and elsewhere.

That nine of the ten films on this list are ones that were viewed at the Stanford Theatre is a two-fold reflection of the incredible (miraculous) programming that occurs there and the fact that living in the South Bay also makes this one of my few "local" rep theatres.

A strong part of me wants to create an alternate ballot of an imaginary top 10 of the best rep films I would have seen if distances were shorter and I was better at managing time. Surely, many of the Hou Hsiao-hsien and Georgian films played by the PFA would be there, as would the Castro's screening of Chelsea Girls, and the William Lustig Maniac Cop trilogy shown by the YBCA, and, oh, so many others.

Screen capture from The Story of Film DVD, Music Box Films
But, to leave the imaginary ideal and get back to the films seen in the physical world..

The last rep film I saw in 2014 was Ernst Lubitsch's The Shop Around the Corner, which had the simultaneous and divergent effect of making me want to run out of the theater and have ecsatic conversations with people on the street while also pulling me back into the darkness ever-desirous of more images. The best pieces of cinema have that effect - pushing us into the real world with a new way of viewing or approaching it while also joyously propelling us back into the fold of images and sounds.

My Top 10:

screen capture from Warner DVD
1.) The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (Stanford Theatre)
2.) The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Stanford Theatre)
3.) Clash by Night (Stanford Theatre)
4.) Night Nurse (Stanford Theatre)
5.) Underground (Castro Theatre)
6.) Jeopardy (Stanford Theatre)
7.) There's Always Tomorrow (Stanford Theatre)
8.) Remember the Night (Stanford Theatre)
9.) The Reluctant Debutante (Stanford Theatre)
10.) The Shop Around the Corner (Stanford Theatre)

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