Amoeblog

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.

Continue reading...

San Francisco's "Russian Embassy" is a House of Legends

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 30, 2012 02:45pm | Post a Comment
house of legends russian embassy fulton street alamo square Some know San Francisco’s Westerfeld Mansion as the “Russian Embassy,” the site of an infamous brothel run by Czarist Russians in the 1920s. Some know it as a ramshackle boarding house for Fillmore district jazz performers of the 1950s. Most remember it as the magical crash pad of 1960’s counterculture luminaries that inspired Tom Wolfe, Janis Joplin, Ken Kesey, Anton LaVey, Bobby Beausoleil, and Kenneth Anger alike to fly their freak flag from the turrets of this Victorian palace.

For all of us who have wanted to know what mysteries Invocation of my demon brother kenneth anger house of legendsare contained within the walls of this Alamo Square manion, F for Fake Pictures brings you House of Legends, a feature-length documentary that explores the making of a legend by investigating the history and the myths behind San Francisco's Historical Landmark #135. 123 years in the making, the Westerfeld Mansion has a brilliant story to tell through many of its famous, infamous, and colorful inhabitants and visitors over the past 12 generations.

Continue reading...

Film Noir Festival 2008, Final Week

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 15, 2008 11:50pm | Post a Comment

So, this year's festival is winding down.  This is the final full week of programming; there is one more double next Thursday, including an amazing Richard Widmark classic.  Anyone not familiar with Mr. Widmark's career take note, this showing of Night and the City is a great starting off point.  Anyone familiar with his work should come out and pay respects as he passed on March 24th after a lengthy illness...

Last Friday my young Sylvian got a nice earful from unannounced guest speaker James Elroy.  My wife Esther spotted his mug when were eating across the street at Musso & Frank, so we kinda figured he was in the area for Hell's Five Hours & The Night Holds Terror, but we didn't know he'd do a number before the 1st feature.  The always lovely Coleen Grey (who starred in Hell's Five Hours) spoke between the films; she's quite a charmer.  Fortunately she wasn't chastised by Kenneth Anger this time around.  Previously at a showing of Nightmare Alley, Mr. Anger abruptly corrected her from the audience about some detail or another, leaving her a bit befuddled.

Continue reading...