What’s Screening: July 20 – 26

The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival continues through the week. I've placed my Festival capsules below the Goyish ones. A- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Bridge, Thursday, 7:00. Corrupt political bosses appoint a naive, young idealist (James Stewart) senator because they think he’s stupid. The second and best film in Frank Capra’s common-man trilogy, Mr. … Continue reading What’s Screening: July 20 – 26

French Cancan

I finished French Cancan last night. I say "finished" because I started it Tuesday night, streaming on Hulu Plus. About 25 minutes before the ending, when the big opening night stage show begins, either Hulu or my Internet connectionI started giving me trouble. It would freeze, start, freeze, start, and so on. Forty minutes later … Continue reading French Cancan

What’s Screening: April 27 – May 3

The San Francisco International Film Festival continues through the week, but the Tiburon Intl. Film Festival ends tonight. I've placed my festival recommendations and warnings at the end of this newsletter. Man of Aran, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum (although this is a talkie), Sunday, 4:00. Early documentarian Robert Flaherty's third feature (his first was … Continue reading What’s Screening: April 27 – May 3

17 Girls

Note: Last September, I screened and reviewed this French film prior to its upcoming Bay Area threatrical release. That release never happened, and my review remained unpublished. I just discovered that the film is  available streaming on Netflix, so I'm posting my review. B+ Adolescent drama Written and directed by Delphine & Muriel Coulin 17 … Continue reading 17 Girls

Free Men

B- Holocaust drama Written by Alain-Michel Blanc and Ismaël Ferroukhi Directed by Ismaël Ferroukhi I had two reasons to see Free Men, despite my general tiring of Holocaust dramas. First, at a time when Muslims are vilified, and when Muslims and Jews are portrayed in the media as natural enemies, it's important to challenge these … Continue reading Free Men

Great Napoleon Photo

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival included this photo in a recent email. I thought I should share it: Click it to see the full-sized image. I've also added this image to my report on Saturday's screening.

Napoleon at the Paramount: An Incredible Day at the Movies

Abel Gance's Napoleon so overwhelmed me that I hardly know where to start. Despite a few slow sequences, the experience was as innovating, exciting, and entertaining as anything I've experienced as part of an audience. I doubt I have ever seen such a perfect melding of cinema and showmanship; the movie requires this special presentation, … Continue reading Napoleon at the Paramount: An Incredible Day at the Movies