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Tonight: Witchcraft Double Feature At SF's Balboa Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 25, 2016 04:36pm | Post a Comment

Black Sunday

-- By Brett Stillo

1960 was a year of change for the horror film. Alfred Hitchcock drove a knife into the collective Black Sundayconsciousness of movie audiences with Psycho, and movies soon followed that twisted the blade. Peeping Tom, Eyes Without a Face, House of Usher...these films took a darker, twisted path, going further than most contemporary horror movies of the era. Two standout films of this seminal year, the supernatural thrillers Black Sunday and City of the Dead will play Tonight, Wednesday, May 25th, at San Francisco’s historic Balboa Theatre at 7pm.

Black Sunday is the stunning directorial debut of legendary Italian director Mario Bava It’s an old-fashioned tale of witches, ghosts, and vampires set amid rotting Victorian splendor, but Bava conjures a grisly visual style that’s bold and shocking. It's a bit ironic that this master of vivid color cinematography launched his directorial career with a black and white movie, and yet the color seems abundant in this gothic-goes-to-the-Drive-In opus. Bava crafts a tapestry of shadows, layer after layer of dark images from a palette that ranges from thick walls of black to opaque shades of pale grey. These monochromatic Horror Hotel, City of the Deadlayers create a weird pseudo-3D effect that makes the backgrounds seem to reach out beyond the screen. Add the haunting beauty of a 23-year-old actress named Barbara Steele and you have one of the true classics among horror films.

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San Francisco Silent Film Festival, June 2-5 at Castro Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 24, 2016 12:02pm | Post a Comment

Sf Silent Film Festival 2016

The 21st annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs June 2–5 at SF’s landmark movie palace, the Louise Brooks, Beggars of LifeCastro Theatre, and Amoeba Music is proud to be a sponsor. This year's program features a diverse and lively schedule of silent-era films, all with live musical accompaniment by accomplished musicians from around the world, such as the Matti Bye Ensemble, the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Oakland Symphony musicians and members of the Oakland Symphony Chorus conducted by Michael Morgan, and many more. The line-up is also brimming with new film restorations, including five films that SFSFF has had a direct hand in restoring.

The festival opens on Thursday, June 2 at 7pm with William A. Wellman's Beggars of Live (1928), which features Louise Brooks (in her best American film) as a freight-train hopping runaway who dresses as a boy to escape capture by the police. She joins up with young vagabond Richard Arlen and along the way they encounter a hobo encampment and its charismatic leader, played by Wallace Beery in a performance that Brooks later called “a little masterpiece.” Live musical accompaniment will be provided by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

Special guest presenters include author Leonard Maltin, who will present Laurel & Hardy’s The Battle of the Century (1927) and other comic restorations on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00am, and actress and author Illeana Douglas, who will present Fritz Lang's Destiny (Der Mude Tod, 1921) on Sunday, June 5th at 3:45pm.

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The Mihmverse: The Wild & Retro Films of Christopher R. Mihm

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 18, 2016 06:13pm | Post a Comment

Christopher R. Mihm

-- By Brett Stillo

The Earth is once again under attack from giant mutated arachnids, deformed subhuman creatures Christopher R. Mihmbeneath the surface of the earth, and alien life forms from beyond space…all of whom are under control of a gentleman from Minnesota. Christopher R. Mihm is a prolific filmmaker (he's made ten feature films in ten years) with a singular vision. In this digital, high definition, hyper-streaming world, Mihm is dedicated to recreating the black and white, mutated, atomic terror of 1950’s sci-fi monster movies with a series of wild and wonderful tributes to B-Movie thrillers all linked together by a strange rift in space and time called “The Mihmverse.” Thanks to Mihm, the horror double feature is alive and well, and the Drive-In is still open for business.

Mihm will be at the Balboa Theatre in San Francisco on Wednesday, April 20th at 7:00pm, showing a double-fisted double-feature of his work with The Giant Spider and The Wall People. The Amoeblog recently caught up with Mihm in his secret underground laboratory somewhere in a strange realm beyond our imagination called Minnesota.

Amoeblog: Where does your love of movies come from?

CM: Growing up, going to the movies was a big thing in my family. My folks--and particularly my dad--treated movies like some people do sports. There was even a drive-in near our house that we'd hit almost every weekend when it was warm (being in Minnesota, you don't waste opportunities to be outside when it's not blisteringly cold).

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Criterion Collection Releases "Only Angels Have Wings"

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 14, 2016 07:50pm | Post a Comment

Only Angels Have Wings

-- By Brett Stillo

Criterion Collection: Only Angels Have WingsOnly Angels Have Wings once again takes to the skies this week in a comprehensive new video restoration-release from the Criterion Collection (available on Blu-ray & DVD). This is a classic Hollywood romantic drama of the 1930's, accented with bold swaths of adventure and humor, orchestrated by one of the true masters of the craft, director Howard Hawks.

Only Angels Have Wings is the robust tale of a band of bush pilots based in the fictional South American town of Barranca, who risk their necks flying treacherous airmail routes through the Andes. The heat in this Tropic Zone is turned up with the arrival of Bonnie Lee, a down-on-her-luck cabaret singer played by quintessential 1930's heroine Jean Arthur. Bonnie soon encounters the tough, no-nonsense leader of pilots, Geoff “Papa” Carter (Cary Grant). The inevitable sparks begin to fly as these two characters from two very different worlds push and pull at each other's emotions.

The 1930s were the glory days of early aviation, and Hawks subtly isolates the mystique of this era with terse, low-key magnificence. Hawks’ pilots are the new cowboys (Geoff and his fellow pilots all wear gun belts though it’s never explained why, other than it just looks cool), laconic daredevils in leather jackets and wide-brimmed hats (stylistic ancestors of Indiana Jones), who walk and talk with the casual aplomb of men who make a living by risking their lives.

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10 Limited Edition Soundtracks Out On Record Store Day That You Can't Live Without

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 12, 2016 04:16pm | Post a Comment

10 Record Store Day Soundtracks

Record Store Day is almost here! On Saturday, April 16, 2016, independent music stores everywhere will unite to celebrate record store culture and to bring YOU fabulous limited edition releases! Download a PDF of those exclusive RSD releases right HERE.

This year RSD has several special vinyl soundtracks in an assortment of tasty colors in store for the film hounds among you. Here's our 10 favorite from those being offered:

Dark ShadowsDark Shadows by Bob Cobert
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the vampiric day-time soap opera Dark Shadows with this special re-release pressed on purple 180 gram vinyl, complete with the original poster from the 1966 version. Kick back in your velvet-lined coffin and dream of the 175-year-old vampire Barnabas Collins, mortal governess Victoria Winters, and creepy old Collinwood Mansion as you enjoy hits like “Shadows of the Night (Quentin’s Theme)” and "Opening Theme." There's good reason this album remains one of Billboard’s Top 10 selling television soundtracks of all time!

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