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San Francisco's Indie Film Venue The Vortex Room Set To Reopen, But Needs Your Help

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, August 4, 2015 07:38pm | Post a Comment

The independent San Francisco film venue and archive The Vortex Room was unbelievably cool. Where Vortex Roomelse could you catch a screening of Werewolves On Wheels on 16mm amid space-age bachelor pad decor with 20 of your best friends that you haven't yet met? That was the regular just-another-Thursday sort of a scene at The Vortex. It was an underground haven for serious cinephiliacs and fans of trash culture, the secret clubhouse you always wanted to belong to. You had to sign up on their Facebook group or for their email newsletter to find out about the screenings, live shows, and assorted groovy happenings. They called themselves a "film cult" and an "embassy to the stars," and on multiple occasions hosted Bobby Clark, the actor who played the Gorn on original Star Trek. I find it urgent to point out at this juncture that there hung a velvet painting of Charles Bronson at The Vortex, next to a Flash Gordon pinball machine. 

Unfortunately, as many great and culturally important venues in Late Capitalist San Francisco, The Vortex Vortex Roomwas thwarted by eviction in 2014. Freakazoids like myself were crestfallen. Many of the recent closures have affected me, but none like that of The Vortex (and the upcoming closures of Elbo Room and The Lucky Penny, a fantastically mediocre all-night diner on Geary). Death knell of an era, people. BUT now there is hope again! OR as the mysterious overseers of The Vortex have stated, "like an Egyptian Bennu fusing cosmic essence with a Grecian Phoenix, the Vortex has divined a new location right here still in our fair city of San Francisco!"

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Hard to Be a God: A Study in Feculence

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 20, 2015 06:15pm | Post a Comment

Hard To Be A God

by Rebecca Burgan

On the planet Arkanar, identical to Earth but stuck 800 years behind, grey castles stand entrenched in a beastly sea of mud and oomska. Arkanar possesses a medieval civilization, but there is no Renaissance, only fog, squalor, and decay. Scientists arrive to help this culture of humans who have not evolved from an existence of baseness, sickness, and eternal rot.

Be sure to have a settled stomach before embarking on Hard to Be a God, the final masterpiece by visionary Russian director Aleksei German. The Strugatsky brothers, Arkady and Boris (authors of the source novel for Tarkovsky’s Stalker), originally requested that a director of Soviet origin, preferably Aleksei German, direct a version of their Russian science fiction novel, Hard to Be a God. After the brothers’ disappointment with Peter Fleishmann’s 1989 film adaptation, German took on filming beginning in 2000, though he had been planning it for decades, and nearly finished it before his death in 2013. German’s wife and son put the finishing touches on the film allowing it to finally be unleashed onto the world.

Hard To Be A God

This is the most grotesquely filthy film you have probably ever seen—a veritable Bosch or Brughel nightmare come to life, chock full of relentless dripping, fecal mud baths, suffocating fog, blood, mud, rain, putrefying swamps of bodily fluids, demonic horns, monstrous faces, and more mud. A sensation of near panic washes over you, yet you can’t look away, not for the three long hours of brutal submersion.

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San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 23 - August 9

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, July 9, 2015 07:30pm | Post a Comment

SF Jewish Film FestivalThe 35th annual San Francisco Jewish Film Festival returns to the Bay Area July 23rd - August 9th with a lineup that includes 70 films from 16 countries with ten Big Night programs featuring music, history, food, art, and love. Amoeba is thrilled to sponsor screenings of four amazing documentaries:


As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM
AS I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AMForget whatever you’ve heard about the life and death of Philadelphia-born DJ AM (born Adam Goldstein), the superstar club deejay who attained rock star status and survived a fiery plane crash only to die a short time later of a drug overdose at the age of 36. Director Kevin Kerslake’s haunting and heartbreaking portrait intimately conveys the brief life of an obsessive sonic genius for whom music, fame and love were tragically not enough.


Thursday, July 30, 6:25pm @ Castro Theatre 
Friday, July 31, 8:55pm @ California Theater (Berkeley)

Plus, check out Pump Up the JAMs: A Tribute to DJ AM with Mix Master Mike, a special afterparty at Public Works in SF on Thursday, July 30 at 9:00pm. Tix HERE!

Danny Says
Danny SaysFrom the beginning, Queens born Danny Fields (Daniel Feinberg) hardly lived life on the straight and narrow. To keep his family’s energy up, his doctor father kept a bowl of amphetamine pills on the dining room table. Young Fields did manage to get into Harvard law school but soon dropped out to spend all his days and nights with the likes of Nico, Edie Sedgwick, and Andy Warhol in the 1960’s Factory scene. Fields became the legendary “company freak” at the innovative Elektra record label where he earned the wrath of a kidnapped Jim Morrison, discovered and signed underground heroes the MC5 and Iggy Pop in a single weekend, and tried to manage the unmanageable Ramones. Drawing on rare footage and audio recordings (including an incredible cassette snippet of a delirious Lou Reed listening to the Ramones for the first time), this fascinating chronicle is capped by the wry and wistful reminiscence of Fields, the little-known Jewish godfather of punk rock.

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San Francisco Silent Film Festival 20th Anniversary, May 28 - June 1

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 18, 2015 03:23pm | Post a Comment

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary with the most ambitious festival to date. Join them May 28th - June 1 at the historic Castro Theatre for more musicians and films than ever, and even an extra day!

During the five glorious days of silent-era films and brilliant live music, there will be 21 programs in all, including film historian Kevin Brownlow sharing tales of his personal experiences with personalities from the silent film era, actor Paul McGann narrating the British horror-comedy The Ghost Train, a special movie-and-live-dialogue performance of Frank Capra’s The Donovan Affair, a program of hilarious Charley Bowers shorts hosted by inimitable showman/preservationist Serge Bromberg, the premiere of a new score for Murnau's The Last Laugh by Berklee College of Music’s Silent Film Orchestra, and Bay Area’s Earplay performing a new composition for Man Ray’s Emak-Bakia.

See the full line-up and get your tickets HERE!

'Devil's Playground' Exhibit and Sale Shine a Light on Cult Movie Posters May 15 at Lethal Amounts

Posted by Amoebite, May 5, 2015 05:30pm | Post a Comment

lethal amounts

Hundreds of original movie posters for cult films from the 1960s through the 1980s will line the walls of the Lethal Amounts gallery May 15 for “The Devil’s Playground: Salacious Macabre Vintage Movie Poster Wall Candy,” presented by Amoeba.

“Devil’s Playground” seeks to celebrate the eye-catching poster work that characterized the golden age of pornography, exploitation, horror, Gialllo and cult classic films. These rare, original posters come from a private collection and will all be for sale at the event. The show will feature posters from such films as Suspiria, Female Trouble, Zombie, Evil Dead and Debbie Does Dallas.

In addition to these killer posters, the opening reception will host special guests Mink Stole (of John Waters movie fame) and adult film cult legends Long Jeanne Silver and Serena.

The show begins at 8 p.m. Lethal Amounts is located at 1226 West 7th Street in Downtown Los Angeles.

 

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