Coming Attractions: What you can soon see in Bay Area Theaters

As you probably know, Gene Wilder passed away Tuesday. I didn’t love every movie he made, but I always loved his performance.

Now the good news: On Friday, September 23, the Balboa will host a three-movie Madeline Kahn-a-thon. It will include Gene Winder in Blazing Saddles.

Here’s some other good news:


The really big day at the Castro will be Sunday, September 11–although you’ll have to buy two tickets to get all of it. First up, at 1:30, they’ll screen The Big Parade, the first great war movie. It’s a spectacular story of a young man who enthusiastically signs up to fight “the Hun,” and is then dropped into the hellish reality. They’re screening this 1925 silent classic off a DCP, with live organ accompaniment by Bruce Loeb.

Then, at 5:00, they’ll run a Merchant Ivory double bill of Remains of the Day and Howard’s End. Remains will be off a 35mm print (too bad they couldn’t show a 70mm one; that’s how I first saw it). Howards End has just received a 4K restoration, and will be projected digitally.

Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, one of the most visually beautiful films ever shot, will screen Thursday, September 8 (read my essay). This is another film I first saw in 70mm; I hope the DCP does it justice. It’s on a double bill with a more recent Malick work, Knight of Cups.

On the very next day, Friday the 9th, they’ll screen Alejandro Jodorowsky’s The Holy Mountain. I saw this bizarre, spiritual, and sexually explicit film around 1974 at a Los Angeles film festival. I remember little of it, but I remember that it was strange. On a double bill with Zardoz.

On September 24, the Castro will screen five films starring the great Italian actress Anna Magnani in a mammoth Magnani marathon.

Pacific Film Archive

If you want to see those Anna Magnani movies, but not all in one day, you’ve got another option. Those five and many more will screen at the PFA from late September into early December.

Two great directors will get their own PFA series on the coming months, although both of these series concentrate on a particular part of their careers. Contemplative Cinema: Ozu’s Late Films looks at the quiet family dramas that dominated the great Japanese director’s final years. And Something To Do with Death: Sergio Leone sticks with the four classic westerns with which he redefined the genre.

Stanley Kubrick everywhere

The New Mission continues its Jewish Contemporary Museum-connected series Kubrick in Color. And the Balboa is also getting into the act, going all Kubrick in their September Thursday night classic series.


It’s about time a local theater gave us a Samuel Fuller retrospective. Samuel Fuller: A Fuller Life packs ten films into a weekend of tough talk, tough people, and full-throttle liberal humanism.

Fuller wrote and directed a string of low-budget, impressive genre films from the late 40’s to the early 60’s. His pictures were bold, direct, and in-your-face, and utterly lacking in subtlety. Yet they’re also marked with a strong, open-minded humanism, a hatred of violence, and sympathy for those on society’s margins. You can read my previous article.

The event starts Friday, September 23 with the documentary A Fuller Life. Amongst the best films to be screened: Pick Up On South Street, The Steel Helmet (above), Underworld USA, and Forty Guns.