The Best Films You Couldn’t See in 2008

I saw a lot of great movies this year. Unfortunately, quite a few of them never got released in this country. They screened at local festivals, but didn't get picked up for commercial exhibition--even by the small, independent distributors who pick up the good stuff that the Hollywood studios and their faux independent subsidiaries, don't … Continue reading The Best Films You Couldn’t See in 2008

Blue Angels

Now here's something odd: Josef von Sternberg's The Blue Angel was one of the first German talkies. As was common in the days before dubbing and subtitles, the movie was shot twice--once in German, and once in English. The German version is widely considered a classic. (Personally, I find it interesting, and Marlene Dietrich wonderful--it … Continue reading Blue Angels

What’s Screening: December 12-18

Double bill: The African Queen & Sabrina, Stanford, all week. That A is for The African Queen. Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Africa, and Technicolor all make for splendid entertainment in John Huston's romantic comedy action adventure. According to Huston's autobiography, he didn't intend the film to be funny, but during production he realized that Bogart … Continue reading What’s Screening: December 12-18

metropolis Report

My wife and I attended the screening of Metropolis at Stanford University (not the Stanford theater) last night. This was as much a music event as a movie one--maybe more so. The West Coast premiere of Martin Matalon’s score, performed by members of the Santa Rosa orchestra under the baton of Bruno Ferrandis. My wife's … Continue reading metropolis Report

What’s Screening: December 5-11

Metropolis, Stanford University's Memorial Auditorium, Saturday, 8:00 (pre-performance discussion at 7:00). The first important science fiction feature film still strikes a considerable visual punch. The images--workers in a hellish underground factory, the wealthy at play, a robot brought to life in the form of a beautiful woman--are a permanent part of our collective memory. Even … Continue reading What’s Screening: December 5-11