Monday, February 2, 2015

IOHTE: Ryland Walker Knight

"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 Ryland Walker Knight is a writer and filmmaker.His latest short film Inside Voices screens at SF IndieFest this month.
Screen capture from Winner World Korea DVD
My favorite repertory screening in 2014 was seeing Streets of Fire at The Castro on 35mm. Somehow, I’d never seen this Walter Hill classic before, and I can easily say it was the most fun I had at the movies in that last calendar. A couple beers helped, as did the presence of my best friend, but the film is a welcome antecedent to whatever it is Tarantino’s up to with his “Westerns”, except this one is pure fantasy in dramaturgy as well as genre tropes.

The other great experience was re-seeing Robert Altman’s The Company, which I have our host to thank for, and a big thanks it is. The last time I saw the film was on a DVD, before I “came of age” in my cinephilia, and as such it felt like a whole new film for me. I want to say I saw it in theatres, but I cannot say that with confidence, so I’m going to tell myself this was the first time I saw it on film, and I love those early-aughts digital films printed to celluloid for how the process transformed the quite common artifacting into rare textures of emulsion—a blown out light source becomes a flash of burnt celluloid where the white bleeds blue and red in an instant. It’s a mistake in a lot of professional registers, I suppose, but what a lovely index of pure presence, announcing the document and its artificiality equally.

My greatest regret when it comes to my 2014 repertory notebook is how thin it is, as seems the case with me each year this decade. I feel at fault, indebted so much to this art, not doing my part to sustain my ardor, especially when the PFA ran so many Godards on 35. Then again, we see what we want to, and I cannot complain about what I did venture forth to seek on screens.

No comments:

Post a Comment