What’s Screening: July 31 – August 6

This weekend marks the end of Pacific Film Archive screenings in its 15-year-old "temporary" theater. The PFA will reopen early next at their new location near downtown Berkeley. In festival news, the Brainwash Movie Festival reopens today and closes Saturday. As I write this, the programs have not yet been released. But the San Francisco … Continue reading What’s Screening: July 31 – August 6

Resnais and Stroheim at the Pacific Film Archive

Friday night, I attended two very different screenings at the Pacific Film Archive. The first, Alain Resnais' Hiroshima mon amour, is a widely-acknowledged masterpiece. The other, Erich von Stroheim's Queen Kelly, is the uncompleted final work of great but controversial filmmaker. It was my first experience seeing either film. Hiroshima mon amour Why did it … Continue reading Resnais and Stroheim at the Pacific Film Archive

The A+ List: Five Easy Pieces (also Cries and Whispers)

I'd like to bring your attention to two excellent dramas, both made in the early 1970s, and both about dysfunctional families. Both earn my A+ rating, which I only give to films that I've loved for decades and still love. [12/14/2015: Added the URL] I've already written about Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers, so I'll just … Continue reading The A+ List: Five Easy Pieces (also Cries and Whispers)

Dough and Opening night at the SF Jewish film festival

I attended opening night of the SF Jewish Film Festival at the Castro last night. It was, for the most part, an enjoyable evening. Although it did start with the inevitable reserved seating problem. The whole front half of the theater was cordoned off for VIPs. Luckily, I convinced a volunteer usher that as press, … Continue reading Dough and Opening night at the SF Jewish film festival

What’s Screening: July 24 – 30

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival runs through this weekend and beyond. And the Brainwash Movie Festival opens tonight, runs through the weekend, takes the week off, then revives for next weekend. I've placed the festival films that I've seen at the bottom of this newsletter. A+ Red River, Balboa, Thursday, 7:30 John Wayne gives one … Continue reading What’s Screening: July 24 – 30

Yet another great American film list–and like the others, mostly about white people

We've got yet another all-time greatest films list. So what's different about this one? It's a list of American films, but it's not an American list. It comes from the BBC, and was created through a survey of film critics from around the world (and yes, Yankee critics were allowed to submit their opinions). Of … Continue reading Yet another great American film list–and like the others, mostly about white people

Miracle Mile: A quirky romantic comedy thriller about the ultimate disaster. My Blu-ray review

I usually review Blu-rays of well-loved classics. This time, I'm covering a little-known film you've probably never heard of. But it should be a well-loved classic. Miracle Mile starts as a quirky, one-of-a-kind romantic comedy. Harry (Anthony Edwards) woos Julie (Mare Winningham)--in a science museum--with his wit and his slide trombone. He meets her grandparents. … Continue reading Miracle Mile: A quirky romantic comedy thriller about the ultimate disaster. My Blu-ray review