What’s Screening: June 15 – 21

Bergman illustrates Mozart. Antonioni does adventure. Garbo plays the Queen. And Keaton wrecks the house. All that, plus a full week of LGBTQ films in Bay Area movie theaters.


  • Frameline continues through this week and beyond

Promising events

McKellen: Playing the Part, Embarcadero Center, ShattuckAquarius, Tuesday, 7:00

The great Shakespearean actor (and movie star) Sir Ian McKellen tells the story of his life and work. Having listened to him live in 2015, I know that he can be as entertaining talking about himself as he can be when pretending to be someone else.

The Magic Flute, Pacific Film Archive, Saturday, 4:30

I haven’t seen Ingmar Bergman’s adaptation of Mozart’s family-friendly opera in maybe 30 years. But my memories of it are almost entirely positive. The original libretto was written in German, but this version is in Swedish with English subtitles – which may be a problem since this screening is part of the ongoing series Movie Matinees for All Ages. The screening is also part of two other series: Bergman 100: A Summer Interlude and Early Music on Film 2018.

Big Screen Science: Apollo 13, New Mission, Monday, 6:45

Sometimes it’s hard to get down to Earth. I remember liking Ron Howard’s fact-based thriller about the back-luck trip that didn’t get to the moon, but I never got around to seeing it again. John Sayles did an uncredited rewrite on the screenplay. After the movie, Kishore Hari and Jeff Silverman will discuss the movie’s math and science.

Great double bills

A+ Singin’ in the Rain & A+ The Adventures of Robin Hood, Stanford, Friday through Sunday

Two of the most entertaining, family-friendly movies ever made, and both of them shot in glorious three-strip Technicolor. And you can see both of them for a single ticket. You can read my A+ appreciations of both Singin’ in the Rain and The Adventures of Robin Hood.

Recommended revivals

B Comedy Shorts Night, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Saturday, 7:30

The Museum’s comedy collection gets a B this month. I’ve seen all four movies, but can only recommend two. Buster Keaton’s One Week is a masterpiece. The Laurel and Hardy entry, Double Whoopee, is pretty damn funny. Harold Lloyd’s His Royal Slyness, like so many of his shorts, is just kind of okay (he really found himself in features). The Fireman is one of the few bad movies Charlie Chaplin made during his Mutual period.

B L’avventura, Pacific Film Archive, Friday, 7:00

Michelangelo Antonioni’s story of the young and amoral hardly counts as an adventure–although it starts like one. A group of wealthy, spoiled young adults take a yacht to a deserted island, where one of them mysteriously disappears. Her friends search for her, then casually give up. L’avventura isn’t about rescuing a loved one; but about the shallowness of modern relationships. Part of the series Michelangelo Antonioni.

B- Queen Christina, Pacific Film Archive, Saturday, 7:30

Not really a great movie, but an interesting one for a number of reasons. Queen Christina reunites one of the great romantic teams (on and off camera) of the 1920’s–Greta Garbo and John Gilbert. It has the best part Gilbert got after talkies destroyed his career. And finally, this 1933 MGM spectacular is a good example of just how free movies were about sex before the production code came in and cleaned them up. Part of the series The Luminous Legacy of Greta Garbo.

Lebowskies (frequently-revived classics)