Lousy timing on my part. Just as I finally go commercial and add advertising to Bayflicks.net, I stop writing. Yes, as I need visitors viewing my pages I stop giving them a reason to come here.
But I never was much of a businessman.
Nor am I always brilliant about what films I should see for the benefit of this site. Consider The Rape of Europa. When I examined the films showing at the San Francisco International Film Festival, I decided I could skip that one. Did I really need to see another documentary about the Nazis? And, you know, compared to their other crimes, stealing paintings seemed almost benign. I also skipped a post-festival press screening, and have yet to catch it in a theater. But everyone I know is raving about it, and itâ€™s playing, has recently played, or will soon play at every theater I list that plays current movies.
So let me recommend a couple of movies that playing around town but not listed in the Bayflicks schedules:
Once. The most romantic picture since Before Sunrise, Once charms you with winning characters, an odd kind of low-key suspense, and terrific music. The music comes out of the story, which concerns two talented but unprofessional musicians (Glen Hansard and MarkÃ©ta IrglovÃ¡) becoming close friends and collaborators. Thereâ€™s clearly a romantic attraction, but youâ€™re never quite clear where itâ€™s going to go. Wherever it goes, it gets there musically; if the film isnâ€™t a hit, the singer/songwriter-style soundtrack will be. Sorry, but I have to say it: You’ll want to see Once twice.
Golden Door. Emanuele Crialese begins his immigration allegory with two men climbing a mountain, barefoot, each carrying a sharp stone in his mouth. From there, Crialese fills his tale with strange, beautiful, and occasionally bewildering imagery. He also fills it with fascinating people and a dry, sardonic humor. Many of his characters–Italian peasants immigrating to America–are superstitious, ignorant, maybe even stupid, but theyâ€™re decent people and we care very much for them. We also care for theÂ considerably more worldly Englishwoman who joins them on their journey, but in part because she’s played by Charlotte Gainsbourg. Through these people’s eyes and experiences Crialese shows us the entire process of leaving a community, crossing the ocean in steerage, and navigating the inspections and bureaucracy of Ellis Island, all in more detail than Iâ€™ve ever seen it before. A unique, remarkable, and funny motion picture.
I promise to write more. Expect something in a few days about the coming silent movie festivals, as well as other topics.
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