What’s happening at BAMPFA: December thru April

From early December through late April, here's what will happen cinematically at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). As I write this, the museum's theater is currently the only cinema in the Bay Area that focuses specifically on old films. They're offering a lot of good movies, and at least two stinkers. BAMPFA arranges … Continue reading What’s happening at BAMPFA: December thru April

Soviet bureaucracy & Vietnam: Two nights at BAMPFA

Over the last weekend I watched two interesting films at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA). Both presentations involved actual live people along with moving pictures. My Grandmother Friday night, my wife and I attended a screening of the 1929 silent Soviet comedy, My Grandmother, with musical accompaniment by a little-known jazz duet called … Continue reading Soviet bureaucracy & Vietnam: Two nights at BAMPFA

Ascension: The Rat Race in “Communist” China

A Documentary Directed by Jessica Kingdon If you think America is the land where people desperately fight for a piece of the pie, you should see how it works in so-called "socialist" China. Jessica Kingdon's spellbinding, narration-less documentary shows the People's Republic as a country of paupers scrambling to raise themselves financially - or at … Continue reading Ascension: The Rat Race in “Communist” China

Movies I’ve recently seen: They Were Expendable ֍ The French Dispatch ֍ Laura ֍ Eyes Wide Shut

In my last "recenty seen" post, I noticed that new movies seemed to be better than old ones. Not this time. A- They Were Expendable (1945) The Navy very much wanted to make this film, and especially have it made by Captain John Ford USNR (yes, that John Ford). Much as I like the picture, … Continue reading Movies I’ve recently seen: They Were Expendable ֍ The French Dispatch ֍ Laura ֍ Eyes Wide Shut