Saturday, February 9, 2019

Joel Shepard's 2018 Eyes

The San Francisco Bay Area is still home to a rich cinephilic culture nurtured in large part by a diverse array of cinemas, programmers and moviegoers. I'm honored to present a selection of favorite screenings experienced by local cinephiles in 2018. An index of participants can be found here

First-time IOHTE contributor Joel Shepard is an independent film programmer.

A pregnant wife and the loss of my longtime job made 2018 an odd, wonderful and challenging year, and my list of notable (not necessarily “best”) rep screenings possibly reflects this...

Image from San Francisco Silent Film Festival
1. Mother Krause’s Journey to Happiness (Castro)

This downbeat drama about the working poor in Weimar Germany was the revelation of the 2018 San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

2. Deliverance (Castro)

John Boorman’s poetic meditation on landscape and violence was the highlight of the Castro’s much-appreciated though poorly attended Burt Reynolds tribute series.

3. Zodiac (YBCA)

Still David Fincher’s best film, an overwhelming portrait of minds ruined by the impossibility of resolution.

Screen capture from Anchor Bay DVD of Halloween
4. Halloween (Castro)

Very strange to see this film again, so long after having been completely electrified and terrified by it at the age of fourteen at a neighborhood theater in Edina, Minnesota. On this viewing, the sexism is a little annoying, as is the fact that hardly anything happens until the last reel.

5. Sisters (Castro)

This great and somewhat idiotic slab of gutbucket sleaze with an artsy patina looked superb on the giant Castro screen.

6. Time to Die (YBCA)

Flawed, but an austere sign of great things to come from the mind of Arturo Ripstein in his first feature from 1966.

7. Car Wash (SFMOMA)

Originally saw this when I was 12 years old at a downtown grindhouse. I found it just mildly amusing, but it brought down the house. It hasn’t aged well. 40 years later it felt like the whitest semi-blaxploitation film of the 70s.

Le chant du styrène screen capture from Criterion DVD of Last Year in Marienbad  
8. Le chant du styrène (SFMOMA)

Plastic has never been more beautiful than in this majestic industrial film by Alain Renais, with gleaming cinematography by Sacha Vierny. Presented as part of the Paul Clipson tribute, held in June.

9. Sleaze Apocalypse (Roxie)

OK, maybe I’m a dick for including my own program on my list, but seriously...this compilation of impossibly rare 35mm exploitation trailers was the hardest-edge and most darkly revealing 80 minutes of film archaeology presented all year.

No comments:

Post a Comment