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Oscars Do-Over: How We'd Change the Awards

Posted by Brad Schelden, January 22, 2016 04:18pm | Post a Comment

creed movie

Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan in Creed

Brad: Some of us take the Oscars very seriously. Probably more serious than they should be taken. But The Academy Awards really do mean something.

brokeback mountain blu-rayThey validate actors and actresses and make them feel special. But they also reward the films and roles that we as fans find important. It really does mean something to see somebody who looks like you win an award. Or to have somebody play a role that looks like you.

It was important for Brokeback Mountain to get a best picture nomination in 2005. It really did mean something as a gay man to see a movie like that get nominated. I am certainly not a gay cowboy. But I will take what I can get.

Billy: Are you sure you’re not a gay cowboy? But yes, I agree. Of course Crash ended up winning over Brokeback Mountain, and that movie was just so-so, but we digress.

Brad: I still remember when John Singleton got nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay in 1991 for Boyz n the Hood. I remember thinking back then that times were changing! This was 25 years ago, and times have still not changed much. They have changed a bit. But in the last couple of years, we seem to be going backwards.

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Curtis Harrington's Night Tide Screens at SF's Balboa Theatre

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 10, 2016 06:16pm | Post a Comment

Night Tide

By Brett Stillo

The early 1960s were a great time for nightmares. This was an era of surreal psycho-thrillers filmed in Night Tideeerie contrasts of black and white. One Step Beyond, Boris Karloff’s Thriller, and the one and only Twilight Zone flickered on TV screens while neighborhood movie theaters and drive-ins were haunted by low-budget creep-outs like Carnival of Souls, The Mask, Confessions of an Opium Eater, and Curtis Harrington’s eerie Night Tide.

Night Tide, which will play at San Francisco’s Balboa Theatre on Wednesday, January 13th, is less of a horror movie and more like a weird dream. Harrington, a colleague of Kenneth Anger who directed several '50s avant-garde short films, orchestrates a gothic beatnik fable set amid the crumbling ruins of a dreamland known as Venice, California. The shadows of Film Noir drape over this desolate landscape. You can almost picture the film's "hero" Dennis Hopper turning a corner and running into a haggard Tom Neal from Detour. The destinies of these two downbeat characters may be different, but they seem to be on similar paths.

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NOIR CITY 14: The Art of Darkness, 1/22 - 1/31

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 5, 2016 03:41pm | Post a Comment

Noir City 14

The Film Noir Foundation's world-famous yearly film festival NOIR CITY returns to San Francisco's majestic Peeping TomCastro Theatre for its 14th edition January 22-31. This year's theme is "The Art of Darkness," delivering 25 noir-stained films exploring the pressures, pitfalls, paranoia, and pain of being an artist in an indifferent and cruel world. This time the tortured protagonists aren't felons or fall guys, they're writers, painters, dancers, photographers, and musicians. I think we can all relate.

The festival features a fascinating line-up of films, including noir must-sees like Nicholas Ray's In A Lonely Place (1950, with Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame), Fritz Lang's Scarlet Street (1945, Edward G. Robinson, Dan Duryea, Joan Bennett), and Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954, James Stewart) to several welcomed surprises like Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960, Carl Boehm), Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up (1966, David Hemmings), and Howard Franklin's The Public Eye (1992, Joe Pesci).

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"Entertainment" Screens at SF's Roxie Theater with Live Performances from Neil Hamburger and Secret Chiefs 3

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 3, 2016 06:30pm | Post a Comment

Comedy fans rejoice! Director Rick Alverson (Comedy, New Jerusalem) has given the world the Neil Neil Hamburger, EntertainmentHamburger vehicle of a lifetime with his latest existential zinger of a film, Entertainment. Fans of Hamburger's performance-art-as-stand-up (or is it the other way around?), devotees of his output with the 1990's San Fran punk outfit the Zip Code Rapists (under his legal name, Gregg Turkington), and rabid collectors of his label Amarillo Records' limited releases have been waiting for this moment since the film showed at Sundance early in 2015.

In Entertainment Turkington/Hamburger Secret Chiefs 3portrays a down-and-out comedian on tour in the Mojave desert. He is a fractured man in search of happiness and his estranged daughter as we follow him through a series of novelty tourist attractions, third-rate venues, and volatile encounters.

Entertainment will have two very special screenings on January 8th and 9th at San Francisco's Roxie Theater, each followed by a live stand-up act from Neil Hamburger and music from Secret Chiefs 3!

SF Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents, December 5

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, November 18, 2015 06:19pm | Post a Comment

San Francisco Silent Film Festival Day of Silents

Douglas Fairbanks, Anna May Wong, Harry Houdini, Shanghai, London, Paris…the world is your oyster at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's A Day of Silents on Saturday, December 5, at the Castro Theatre. This very special day of silent-era movies will be accompanied by live music from Alloy Orchestra (featuring Roger Miller of Mission to Burma) and Donald Sosin.

Check out this action-packed schedule:

11:00am - THE BLACK PIRATE (1926, USA, Directed by Albert Parker, Cast: Douglas Fairbanks, Billie The Black PirateDove, Tempe Pigott, Donald Crisp. 84 min)
The Black Pirate stars the dashing Douglas Fairbanks, full of bravura and charm. The film’s spectacular feats of derring-do include exciting swordplay and breathtaking underwater choreography—all in dazzling two-color Technicolor. Fairbanks plays a nobleman who takes the identity of a pirate to infiltrate and take revenge on the cutthroats responsible for his father’s death. The Black Pirate is not the first pirate story put on film, but probably the most influential.

1:00pm - AROUND CHINA WITH A MOVIE CAMERA (Filmed 1900–1948, compiled in 2015. 68 min)
Take a trip as far back as the days of the late Qing dynasty in Imperial China with this program of rarely-seen films, travelogues, and newsreels. See bustling and cosmopolitan Shanghai in 1900, visit Imperial Beijing in 1910, and cruise the picturesque canals of Hangzhou in 1925 on this odyssey of the remarkable and the everyday. Recently compiled from the collections of the BFI National Archive, the footage was shot by a diverse group of British and French filmmakers—some professionals, but mostly amateurs, including tourists, expatriates, and missionaries.

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