Upcoming classics

With the San Francisco International Film Festival over, I finally have time to write about some other promising upcoming events.

MIDCENTURYECLECTIC

This four-day festival (May 13 – 16) looks at 12 films from the middle of the 20h century that helped prepare the world for arthouse cinema. Programmer Don Malcolm (The French Had a Name for It) has put together six double bills, each one with its own theme.

For instance, Malcolm has titled the opening night double bill of The Forgotten Ones and Forbidden Games  “Children in Peril.” Sunday afternoon, you can rediscover “Forgotten Comic Masters” in The Passionate Thief and The Sheep Has Five Legs.

Clearly, these are not the arthouse classics we all know. You won’t find The Seventh Seal here, but you will find Torment, a 1944 coming-of-age drama written by Ingmar Bergman before he became a director. I haven’t seen a single movie on this list, and only recognize a handful of them by title.

UCLA Festival of Preservation 2016

This Pacific Film Archive series isn’t really a festival. Nine films spaced across six weeks isn’t an intensive experience. But it promises to be a fun one, and probably an educational one, showing films that Cal’s Los Angeles campus has restored or preserved over the years.

The series starts with one of Mary Pickford’s last silents, My Best Girl. preceded by two early Pickford shorts, one directed by D. W. Griffith; the other by Thomas Ince. Judith Rosenberg will accompany all three movies on piano.

I’m particularly eager to see The Big Broadcast, which
I think I saw ages ago–it’s hard to remember with these early 30s review features. Its thin plot is just an excuse to showcase Cab Calloway, Kate Smith, Burns and Allen, the Mill Brothers, and I’m not sure who else. Bing Crosby carries the very light plot.

I know I’ve seen The Long Voyage Home, John Ford’s follow-up to Stagecoach, and his second film with John Wayne. But I haven’t seen this story of merchant sailors on the big screen. I hope to get my chance June 19.

The PFA has other interesting series coming up. The Mexican Film Noir series starts today. Directors Wim Wenders and Seijun Suzuki get their own series. There’s also an Early Music Film Festival which is not, of course, actually a festival, but should still be worth catching.

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