I accidentally posted an unfinished article. The full one will come up tomorrow.
We use the word auteur primarily when we talk about directors. Occasionally we call producers auteurs. But Ray Harryhausen was the only special effects engineer who can be reasonably called an auteur. He picked the stories and fleshed them out. His drawings guided the art direction and camerawork. And his model animation technique, which he … Continue reading Three Days of Ray Harryhausen
Almost every Wednesday afternoon at 3:10, BAMPFA screens a film with a lecture or discussion in one of their In Focus series. This Wednesday, I finally got to one. Perhaps that's because they were screening Frank Capra's 1934 classic It Happened One Night. But also because I believe that screenwriters don't get enough credit, and … Continue reading It Happened One Night one afternoon at BAMPFA
Green Book? That's the official best film of 2018? It's not bad. I gave it a B+, which means it's a very good film, but not an exceptional one. But I gave a solid A to three of the Best Picture candidates: BlacKkKlandman, A Star is Born, and Roma…especially Roma, easily the best film of … Continue reading Quick thoughts on the Oscars
What's playing in Bay Area movie theaters this week? Frank Capra, Humphrey Bogart, Buster Keaton, and The Band. Also two film festivals and the Academy Awards at a theater near you. Festivals Modern Cinema: Jia Zhangke closes Sunday. Read my preview. The East Bay Jewish Film Festival opens Thursday. I have a preview for that … Continue reading What’s Screening: February 22 – 28
The Jewish Film Festival WinterFest closed only a few days ago, and we already have another Jewish film festival coming up. The East Bay Jewish Film Festival doesn't take place in Oakland or Berkeley, but much farther east, in the more suburban towns of Pleasant Hill and Livermore. I've seen some of the films - … Continue reading The Jewish Film Festival on the other side of the hills
In a few days, Roma will (hopefully) win the Best Picture Oscar. So, I thought it would be fun to look at the history of the most coveted award in cinema history - even if it really doesn't mean much. Not too long ago, I realized that I'd seen all but five of the current 90 … Continue reading That lousy movie won?! A little bit of Oscar trivia…and some opinions