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"Raiders of The Lost Ark" screening in Dolores Park Kicks Off Film Night in the Park Free Summer Series

Posted by Billyjam, June 13, 2013 11:23am | Post a Comment

This Saturday night marks the continuation of a Bay Area summer tradition of free outdoor movies in parks in San Francisco and Marin: the always free Film Night In The Park series. The series, which began last weekend with a screening of Chasing Ice at the Fairfax EcoFest,  kicks into full gear this Saturday evening at 8pm (or dusk) with a free screening in San Francisco's Dolores Park of Raiders of The Lost Ark (trailer below of this 1981 Steven Spielberg fantasy adventure flick) - projected onto a huge screen with the perfect backdrop of the San Francisco skyline. Attendees are invited to bring picnics and blankets (no chairs so as to not block views) and advised to arrive early to secure a good vantage point. Also bring warm clothes in case that pesky SF fog descends on the hillside park - Dolores and 19th, San Francisco's Mission District.

All screenings are free but "donations are accepted" according to the organizers of this wonderful series that will include such films as Martin Scorsese's recent Hugo in Old Mill Park in Mill Valley on June 21st, School Of Rock with Jack Black at Creek Park in San Anselmo on July 19th, and Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona in Union Square San Francisco on July 13th where on August 17th the American musical classic Singin' In The Rain will screen. Other scheduled screenings in the upcoming Film Night In The Park 2013 series, that concludes on September 21 with a screening of Skyfall in Dolores Park, will include The Avengers in Creek Park, San Anselmo, Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom in San Francisco's Washington Square Park on September 7th, and The Birds in China Camp in San Rafael, Marin County - screening at the beach at Chinese Village which is the perfect setting for this 1963 Hitchcock suspense classic that was filmed not too far from there in Bodega Bay in the next county over from Marin, Sonoma County.
 

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Love and Hate—The Night of the Hunter

Posted by Chuck, March 30, 2011 05:00pm | Post a Comment
Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter

There’s an overriding feeling to 1950s films that everything is happy to the point of sedation. The men have fine posture and slick hair; the women are always starched, enthusiastic and dressed for appearance; the children are trite Osh Kosh cutouts. Such play-acting is a perfect backdrop for something leery, an underexposed set-up that precious few directors back then made use of. Yet, that’s why Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (1955) can’t help but slip into our times as a cult classic.

As with such forgotten films that warrant recirculation, Criterion has brought the film back out on DVD and Blu-ray, and it’s a good thing (one of our staff's fave picks in this issue of Music We Like). There are remarkable things at play, such as it being the only time Laughton (an actor) sat in the director’s chair. As sometimes happens with one-offs, he made it count by forever parting ways with ordinary. It was no small feat. He got Robert Mitchum—the kingpin of film noir—to deliver one of his best performances. Some might argue it was his best work. It’s one of the reasons the film was protected by the National Film Registry.

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(In which the author returns from the hospital.)

Posted by Job O Brother, May 30, 2010 01:53pm | Post a Comment
job o brother hospital
I'm too sexy for my Intravenous therapy.

Well, dear readers, I have returned to you after an opposite-of-glamorous stay at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where I was hospitalized for five days. In the words of French philosopher Ferdinand de Saussure, “Je n'ai pas aimé cela.”

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FUN WEEKEND HAPPENINGS IN THE BAY AREA

Posted by Billyjam, August 21, 2009 02:27pm | Post a Comment
Paramount Theater
Once again, this weekend in the Bay Area there is a lot of really great, fun stuff happening; much of it is either quite affordable for any size wallet or else totally free, as in the case of the three recommended Bay Area Amoeba Music always-free instores this weekend, including the DJ Quest & the Horizons Unlimited/DJ Project showcase later tonight in SF and the two Jay Reatard instores at both Bay Amoeba locations, tomorrow and Sunday. 6pm is the start time for all Amoeba shows this weekend.

The historic Paramount Theater on Broadway near 20th in downtown Oakland is the finest preserved art deco building in California, and tonight (Friday, August 21) there will be a screening of the Alfred Hitchcock classic Rear Window. The film is a masterpiece, deserving of being fully appreciated on the big screen. The film tells the tale of wheelchair-bound photographer Jeff Jeffries' (James Stewart) peeking through binoculars into the windows of his Greenwich Village apartment neighbors while his girlfriend, Lisa Fremont, played by Grace Kelly, isn't so sure he should be spying. But then Jeff witnesses a murder -- or has he?

The Hitchcock film is a part of the ongoing but sporadic, budget priced Paramount Movie Classics series. I attended the last one in early July, a screening of the 3D horror flick Creature From The Black Lagoon, and it was so much fun -- especially when you go with a large group of people. Not to mention there's a mere $5 (cash only) entrance fee that includes the live Wurltizer organ serenade plus a raffle with a chance to win free prizes. Plus, there's the classic movie previews and historic newsreels. The turnout for that screening was so large that by about 7:50pm the theater had reached capacity and people were being turned away at the door, so get there with time to spare, especially if you are driving, since parking is scarce. Cycle or take BART to the 19th/Broadway stop one block away. Ticket box opens at 6pm. Doors open at 7pm. More info here.

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THE BEAUTY OF THE SONOMA COAST STATE BEACHES

Posted by Billyjam, April 22, 2008 02:15pm | Post a Comment
   

Engage any former Bay Area resident in conversation for long enough and odds are that in short time the talk will turn to what they miss most about living in the unique and special place that is the Bay Area region of Northern California.  And one of the things that most folks who used to live in the Bay Area seem to miss most is the easy access to so many breathtakingly beautiful, scenic, peaceful places - all within a relatively close distance and time from San Francisco and the East Bay.

These numerous scenic getaway destinations include the recommended spectacular and dramatic Sonoma coastline, specifically the State-owned, public-access Sonoma Coast State Beaches that stretch for many miles north of Bodega Bay alongside Highway 1. 
This recommended day trip from the Bay (about an hour and a half drive north from SF if traffic is light) offers a breathtaking rugged Pacific coastline dotted with beautiful beaches and great trails (of all lengths) that are wonderful to hike along -- and all open to public access. 

This stretch of NorCal coastline is ideal for beach-combing, tidepool exploration, sea lion and bird observing, whale watching (January through May), reading, writing, painting, taking pictures, or (for idle fun) trying to find faces embedded in patterns in the numerous dramatic rock formations (like the face in the rock left), or simply relaxing and meditating while listening to the soothing sounds of the crashing ocean waves. Note that swimming is not advised since the ocean is very rough with rogue waves aplenty.

This time of the year is one the best times to go since in the summer months fog tends to stick around a lot longer every day.  If possible make the trip on a weekday and avoid weekends, when most folks seem to make the day trip from the Bay.  One recent week I made the trip on a weekday, arriving early in the morning, to find entire beaches (including Shell Beach which is a little bit of a hike down to it) deserted of other human life. Sure, a few hikers will show up here and there but you are likely to find a peaceful refuge nearly all to yourself.

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