New Newsletter

I know. Bayflicks keeps changing on you. I’ve decided to make the newsletter much less formal. I’ll simply tell you about stuff I think is worth telling you about.

So here goes:

IndieFest (AKA, The Tenth Annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival) opens Thursday night as I write this. It plays through the week at the Roxie and the Victoria Theater.

If you haven’t caught La Vie En Rose and want to see it on the big screen, you can see it Sunday at the Castro on a double bill with Black Book.
Thursday is Valentine’s Day, where we honor a Catholic saint by getting laid. Obviously the biggest date movie night of the year. The Castro celebrates romance with a screening of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 version of Romeo & Juliet, with a personal appearance by the star, Olivia Hussey (who wasn’t much older than Juliet’s 14 years when the film was shot). Like a lot of boomers, I first fell in love with Shakespeare through this lush production. I haven’t seen it in a very long time and I don’t know how I’d react today. The show starts at 7:00.

If your romantic tastes go for the modern and realistic–as well as the funny–the Red Vic screens Annie Hall Wednesday and St. Valentine’s Thursday.

Want live music with your cinema? It’s all in the East Bay this week. The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum presents Rudolph Valentino in The Eagle Saturday night. Not the great lover at his best. Fredrick Hodges will accompany on piano. A better choice would be Harold Lloyd’s Speedy at the Pacific Film Archive Saturday at 3:00. Shot in New York, Speedy provides plenty of laughs, a Babe Ruth cameo, and a great streetcar race. Bruce Loeb on piano. Stick around after Speedy for a 6:00 screening of an early Cecil B. DeMille melodrama, The Cheat. Daisuke Miyao will introduce this lurid and somewhat racist 1915 feature, and Judith Rosenberg will provide accompaniment.

On Sunday, you’ll get a chance to catch the unusual Strange Culture at the PFA. It’s part of the Human Rights Watch International Film Festival. Click here for my review.

The Cerrito will screen Vertigo for this weekend’s Classic. I don’t like the movie, but I mention it because everyone else does.

And speaking of Hitchcock at his least impressive, the Stanford double-bills Rebecca and Suspicion Friday through Monday. Two of his first American films (both set in England), they’re thin works compared to what he had behind and in front of him. Rebecca, btw, is the only Hitchcock movie to win a Best Picture Oscar. That shows you how silly it is to care about the Oscars.

Also worth seeing around the Bay: Juno, Persepolis, The Savages