Amoeblog

NOIR CITY 18: INTERNATIONAL II, January 24 - February 2

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 3, 2020 07:53pm | Post a Comment

Noir City 18

Amoeba Music is proud to join forces once again with the Film Noir Foundation's epic yearly festival, Le DoulosNOIR CITY this January. America doesn't have a monopoly on swaggering gangsters, larcenous lovers, surly ex-cons, corrupt cops, and scheming femmes fatales. Six years after the first NOIR CITY: INTERNATIONAL, the Film Noir Foundation is at it again with NOIR CITY 18: INTERNATIONAL II, presenting an array of classic films from around the globe. It's going to be a wide-ranging, thematically cohesive immersion in a sordid world of sinister and sexy affairs, including the world premieres of two new restorations by the Film Noir Foundation. Yes, "It's a Bitter Little World," but for ten days and nights at the majestic Castro Theatre, NOIR CITY will be cinema paradiso. As always, the festival is programmed and hosted by Eddie Muller, internationally renowned "Czar of Noir" and host of the popular Turner Classic Movies series Noir Alley.

For veteran cinephiles, it's a chance to again experience cherished cinematic masterpieces in a bona Pale Flowerfide movie palace. For those just starting their cinematic journey, NOIR CITY is the perfect introduction to a wide world of international filmmakers and stars, on the big screen, larger than life. The 10-day excursion travels through hot-blooded nightclubs of the Mexican cabareteras, neon-streaked alleys of Japanese yakuza thrillers, the stylish Parisian underworld, Italian palazzos hiding crimes of every social strata, a Kafkaesque Prague as envisioned by the Czech New Wave, even a rare serial killer film set in Nazi Germany made by Hollywood's finest director of film noir, Robert Siodmak. Tour guides include some of the world's most revered filmmakers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Andrzej Wajda, Julien Duvivier, Jean-Pierre Melville, Roberto Gavaldón, Jirí Weiss, and Masahiro Shinoda.

Continue reading...

Having A Movie Moment with Jon Longhi: Kung Fu Vampires & Medieval Christians

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, June 18, 2019 01:25pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

Welcome to this month’s Having A Movie Moment With Jon Longhi where I review recent Blu-ray releases. This month I review a crazy cult vampire kung fu zombie movie and a cinematic masterpiece about a Christian painter in the Middle Ages.

The Legend Of The Seven Golden Vampires, Shout Factory/Scream Factory:
This was the only time that the mighty Hammer Studios teamed up with the Shaw Brothers, but they should have made a habit of it. This delirious kung fu vampire zombie film is one of the most entertaining movies either studio produced. It kind of combines what both studios did best. On the Hammer side, you have actors like Peter Cushing playing distinguished aristocrats and the studio's beautiful gothic neon technicolor cinematography. On the Shaw Brothers side of things, you have hideous monsters, surreal flourishes in the story and images, and some of the best kung fu fighting you'll ever see. When you mix them together it's like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup of pure horror movie fun. The film starts with a Chinese villain traveling to Transylvania to enlist Count Dracula's help in reincarnating the legendary seven golden vampires in his homeland. Dracula instead steals his identity and travels himself to China to become the new ruler of these vampires of the far east. Meanwhile, Doctor Van Helsing (played by Peter Cushing) is giving a lecture tour in China, trying to warn the country's scientists of the vampire scourge. He tells them that he has heard legends of a town terrorized by a group of seven vampires. He's pretty much laughed off the stage by everyone except for one man who knows the doctor is telling the truth. The man's name is Hsi Ching and he's from the town the seven golden vampires have recently returned to. He and his seven brothers enlist the aid of Van Helsing, and, with the help of a traveling dilettante heiress who underwrites the expedition, they all take off to defeat the monsters. What follows is a series of adventures that plays like an Indiana Jones movie infested with vampires and zombies. The film is filled with action scenes that are like a form of kung fu ballet. The vampires have a literal army of zombies and the fight scenes are non-stop.

Continue reading...

Wild Indonesian Rock & Fantasy Flicks

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, May 30, 2019 07:39pm | Post a Comment

Indo-Rock

By Kai Wada Roath
Ambassador of Confusion Hill and host of the Super Shangri-La Show

Resting your feet up on your ottoman (with rips repaired by duct tape), you strike a match to light your The Tielman Brotherscalabash pipe as you take a pause reading Bernard Heuvelmans' On the Track of Unknown Animals, contemplating if the small humanoid ape-creatures named the Orang Pendek on the island of Sumatra could in fact truly exist? Just then, your cat dips its tail into your tropical concoction you poured in an old Mr. Bali Hai mug. Indonesia seems to be in the air...so why not take it a little further this evening as I offer you some interesting appetizers from the "Emerald of Equator."

The Tielman Brothers are perhaps the most famous Indonesian rock band and are considered the pioneers of rock and roll in the Netherlands. This is due to Indonesia once being a Dutch colony, creating a unique cross-over of Indonesian and Western music called Indo-Rock. If rare international surf music "surfaces your submarine," you may have already heard their hit "Java Guitars" on the amazing bootleg surf album, Guitar Mood, still seen sealed new from time-to-time at Amoeba.



Continue reading...

San Francisco Silent Film Festival, May 1 – May 5

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, April 22, 2019 02:50pm | Post a Comment

The 24th San Francisco Silent Film Festival (SFSFF) runs May 1st – May 5th at the historic Castro Theatre! This year's festival features 25 programs (including an illustrated lecture presentation at the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley), all with live musical accompaniment! There are films from ten different countries — Bali (Goona Goona), Czechoslovakia (Tonka of the Gallows), France (L’Homme Du Large), Germany (The Oyster Princess, Opium, The Love of Jeanne Ney), India (Shiraz: A Romance of India), Italy (Rapsodia Satanica, L'Inferno), Japan (Japanese Girls at the Harbor), Sweden (Sir Arne's Treasure), U.S. (Wolf Song, Husbands and Lovers, Lights of Old Broadway, Hell Bent, The Wedding March, and more), and the USSR (Earth) — and more than 40 brilliant musicians from around the world to accompany the films. Bookended by Buster Keaton classics The Cameraman (1928) and Our Hospitality (1923), the film selection has something for everyone, including melodrama, horror, adventure, westerns, and even Nordic noir.

All films at SFSFF are accompanied with live music by extraordinary musicians including Club Foot Gamelan, Frank Bockius, Guenter Buchwald, Stephen Horne, Sascha Jacobsen, Matti Bye Ensemble, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra, Philip Carli, Wayne Barker, Utsav Lal, and Donald Sosin.

Continue reading...

Exodus shocker -- the latest Hollywood Bible cartoon isn't very realistic

Posted by Eric Brightwell, December 17, 2014 09:06am | Post a Comment

The other day I found out that some people are outraged by the casting in a Hollywood film -- in this case Ridley Scott's latest effort, Exodus: Days of Future Past (or whatever its full title is). They're apparently so upset that they're boycotting it, which is something I do with all but one or two Hollywood films every year although I refer to it simply as not paying to see it.

The problem that the boycotters have, it seems, is that Exodus is almost completely historically inaccurate (It's safe to guess that most of the Egyptian and Jewish characters are most portrayed by Anglo-Saxons and presumably speak Modern (if pretentious) English with a modern British accent, or approximation of one. Without having watched a trailer I'd guess that there aren't a lot of apparently Middle Eastern Africans portraying Middle Eastern Africans and the actual actors of African descent are used entirely for background color and supporting roles). 

Apparently these scandalized and offended won't-be viewers have never seen a Hollywood film before... or assumed that they'd somehow completely change their raison d'etre. Even at Hollywood's artistic peak in the 1930s, racial sensitivity and historical accuracy were not exactly hallmarks of Hollywood films -- making loads of money was, and that's what they did and they did it well. At one point Hollywood made loads of money with elaborately choreographed, brilliantly scored, escapist musicals. Nowadays Hollywood makes loads of money with loud CGI superhero cartoons. Sometimes -- rarely -- art slips through the cracks. Much more often big, dumb-looking movies like Exodus get released that look rather like the big, dumb movies that Hollywood was mostly pumped out for the last 90 years.

Continue reading...
<<  1  2  >>  NEXT