What’s Screening: March 30 – April 5

Feeling festive? Sorry. No festivals this week. However, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts starts a series called Great Directors Speak!  And here's something that doesn't happen often: Saturday, you can choose between two great French silent films, each accompanied by a full orchestra, playing within five miles of each other. A+ Napoleon, Oakland Paramount, … Continue reading What’s Screening: March 30 – April 5

This Year’s San Francisco International Film Festival

This has been a tough year for the San Francisco Film Society, the organization that produces the San Francisco International Film Festival. In August, Executive Director Graham Leggat died of cancer. Then his successor, Bingham Ray, suddenly died in January. But that's not stopping the Society from putting on a festival this year, and making … Continue reading This Year’s San Francisco International Film Festival

Napoleon at the Paramount: An Incredible Day at the Movies

Abel Gance's Napoleon so overwhelmed me that I hardly know where to start. Despite a few slow sequences, the experience was as innovating, exciting, and entertaining as anything I've experienced as part of an audience. I doubt I have ever seen such a perfect melding of cinema and showmanship; the movie requires this special presentation, … Continue reading Napoleon at the Paramount: An Incredible Day at the Movies

Casablanca: The Accidental Masterpiece

I've already told you about watching Casablanca at a big multiplex. Now I can talk about the movie itself. To my mind, Casablanca is Hollywood's accidental masterpiece. The handful of equally beloved films from the studio era--Citizen Kane, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, It's a Wonderful Life--were unique from their inceptions. They were either independent … Continue reading Casablanca: The Accidental Masterpiece

What’s Screening: March 23 – 29

In festival news, Cinemadness starts tonight and ends Sunday (more on that below). But this week really means one thing for Bay Area film lovers: Napoleon, Oakland Paramount, Saturday and Sunday (plus Saturday and Sunday next week), 1:30. To call this the biggest Bay Area movie event in recent memory would be a gross understatement. … Continue reading What’s Screening: March 23 – 29

Watching Casablanca, Digitally Projected, at a Big Multiplex

Last night, Turner Classic Movies and Fathom--a company that distributes high-definition operas and stage plays to movie theaters--presented Casablanca in 485 theaters--mostly or entirely big multiplexes--across the USA. Needless to say, the movie was digitally projected. The event was tied to Casablanca's 70th anniversary. In fact, the show was officially titled Turner Classic Movies Presents … Continue reading Watching Casablanca, Digitally Projected, at a Big Multiplex