Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Grease Sing-A-Long

The AMC Loews Metreon 16 was selected to run Grease (the) Sing-A-Long on Thursday, July 8th.

Tickets available on Fandango.

Grease Sing-A-Long on facebook
Grease Sing-A-Long on twitter

Danny (John Travolta) [singing] I got chills / They’re multiplyin’ / And I’m losing control / Cause the power you’re supplying / It’s electrifyin’.

Nice to see John so young and electrifyin’!

AMC Summer Movie Camp 2010

AMC theaters will help to entertain the kids this summer with some great family films. Each Tuesday morning admission is only $1.00 at most Bay Area AMC theaters!

Doors open at 9:30 AM and shows begin at 10:00 AM. Advance tickets for each week’s movie will be on sale about one week prior to the scheduled show date. All admission and concession proceeds will benefit two AMC charities, “Variety – The Children’s Charity” and the “Will Rogers Institute.”

The movies …

June 15 – Shrek The Third (PG)

June 22 – Imagine That (PG)

June 29 – Monsters vs. Aliens (PG)

July 6 – Madagascar (PG)

July 13 – Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG)

July 20 – Hotel for Dogs (PG)

July 27 – Kung Fu Panda (PG)

August 3 – The Spiderwick Chronicles (PG)

August 10 – surprise mystery title

San Francisco Theaters:

* Metreon 16
101 Fourth Street, San Francisco 94103

* Van Ness 14
1000 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco 94109

AMC Summer Movie Camp 2010
Tuesdays, June 15 through August 10
10:00 AM (doors open 9:30 AM)
Tickets $1.00

Also: Theaters in the South Bay

Shot in San Francisco

"Double Exposure" from a painting by Homer Ansley

Shot in San Francisco

Curator Pete Gowdy* and Oddball Films* will share vintage 16mm films shot in San Francisco:

San Francisco Queen of the West ~ 1947
Kodachrome Tour of the City ~ 1947
San Francisco Ageless Cable Cars ~ 1950
Kodachrome documentary cable car
Blackie, Wonder Horse, Swims Golden Gate ~ 1938 B+W
1970’s News Outtakes ~ Outrageous nightclub scenes and Mission District Lowriders
Film shot on location at Playland At The Beach
Jefferson Airplane ~Tony Bennett & Judy Garland ~ Drag Legend Charles Pierce ~ Carol Doda

Date: Friday, May 7, 2010 at 8:30PM
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco
Admission: $10.00

> RSVP Only to: 415-558-8117

* Pete Gowdy (aka DJ Chas Gaudi) is host of San Francisco’s Shellac Shack, a weekly 78 rpm listening party and a DJ specializing in vintage sounds: soul, jazz, country, punk and new wave. A graduate of the Vassar College Film Program, he is an associate producer of Marc Huestis Presents, the long-running movie legend tributes at the Castro Theatre.

* Oddballball Films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.
Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educationals, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.

Cathedral Hill Hotel to become hospital

      Gene Hackman as Harry Caul monitoring the goings-on in the Jack Tar Hotel

I was shocked to see this Curbed SF story on the proposed conversion of San Francisco’s Cathedral Hill Hotel to a hospital by the octopus-like California Pacific Medical Center. I don’t know about you, but the first thing I think about whenever I pass that hotel is that part of the great Coppolla film The Conversation (1974) was filmed there when it was known as the Jack Tar Hotel. (Part of it was also filmed at the Embarcadero Center, and somehow that office complex does not evoke the same associations.)

A personal memory I have of that hotel is the 1990 and 1991 Out/Write conferences, which brought together the whole LGBT literary world for the first time. Searching for some mention of these conferences on the web, I found a lovely piece by Edmund White, in which he gives a glowing description of the 1991 conference.

Also read: Curbed SF on the Jack Tar Hotel

Show me what you got, Nihilist. Dipshit.

Lebowski Fest returns to the Bay Area on July 24th with the Bowling Party at the Classic Bowling Center and the Movie Party on July 25th at The Fox Theater. Two parties, two tickets… $28 for Bowling (includes shoes) and $22.50 for movie showing. More info


Film: "In a Dream" at the Roxie

In a Dream, which screens at the Roxie starting Friday night, is a film about the mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, who has become an icon in South Philadelphia due to his long, intensely local career and the massive scale and extent of the mosaics he has created there. They include, by his description, about “a hundred murals” and “seven buildings, top to bottom, inside and out.” His best-known work is Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, which represents the transformation of two derelict buildings into a labyrinthine complex that covers half a city block with winding mosaic-covered passageways and sculptures.

Zagar’s mosaics are bright, colorful, and complex, rich with a celebratory spirit towards physicality and sensuality. But the surface cheerfulness of these mosaics belies the deeper obsession and the narcissism that makes such vast, intricate works possible in the first place, and Jeremiah Zagar — the director of the film and the artist’s younger son — uncovers that darkness here with unrelenting economy. All the father’s past secrets rapidly come out in the open, culminating when one of his most shameful episodes plays out right in front of the camera: his self-centered pursuit of “passion” with his assistant, which ends with a brief separation from his wife Julia, right when their oldest son is separated from his own wife and having drug problems.

Jeremiah describes the moment: “I went home to film my parents as they picked my brother up from rehab. The stress from the situation boiled over, and my father suddenly admitted [the affair] to my mother and me … that same night, my parents separated for the first time in 43 years.” Isaiah’s admission is made directly into the camera, and it’s a moment of remarkable drama. Amazingly, Jeremiah retains his composure — he coughs and the handheld camera shakes for an instant, but that is all — and he goes on to capture every instant of what ensues. “I shot 16 hours that day and hated myself for every minute of it,” he writes. What happens next is unsurprising but not predictable, and the film ends with a brief epilogue, highly effective in its simplicity, that shows how the family continues on into the next adventure.

For all the darkness that Jeremiah reveals, it’s an affectionate film. He shot his footage over the course of seven years, filming “whenever something significant happened,” and he describes the result like this: “what started as an exploration of my father’s life has exposed the secrets of our entire family. But I don’t think that’s a bad thing. … We know now how imperfect we really are, but also how much we need and love each other.”

The film is highly recommended. In a Dream screens at the Roxie starting Friday night. [This review was originally published, in somewhat different form, on October 25th, 2008.]

S.G. Browne’s "Breathers" sold to Hollywood; Diablo Cody to produce

Santa Cruz writer S.G. Browne‘s book Breathers, a comic zombie romance which he describes as “a classic story of suffering and redemption, like The Color Purple or the New Testament, only with cannibalism” has been sold to Fox Searchlight, with Diablo Cody set to produce. (Cody is last year’s slumdog millionaire, as it were — her Academy Award for the “Juno” screenplay vaulted her to fame and Hollywood power.) Browne, a former Disney screenwriter, will be appearing at next month’s Writers with Drinks as well as other venues after the March 3 release of his book.

IndieFest: "Abraham Obama" at the Roxie (Quick Notice)

Today at 12:30, San Francisco IndieFest presents the world premiere of Abraham Obama. It’s a film about Ron English, who created the image of the same name, and the nationwide tour he and a bunch of other artists took in the run up to the Denver convention and beyond, to lend their support to the Obama campaign. Jet Set Graffiti went along on the tour to capture all the shenanigans, and this hour-long film is the resulting product. If you’re interested, you can check out my interview with Ron English over here at Juxtapoz Magazine.

For further reading, check out Jet Set Graffiti and see all the other cool stuff the filmmakers have been up to.

IndieFest: "Circus Rosaire" at the Roxie, Sun 2/15 at 2:45


[Image courtesy Progressive Productions.]

For nine generations, the Rosaire family has been training animals to perform in the circus. At the height of their fame they were a headline act, performing before royalty and at the White House. But times have changed for the circus, and the Rosaires have had to change with it. It’s no longer a glamorous profession, and attendance is down so much that the three-ring circus is largely a thing of the past. And animal acts in particular are less popular than they used to be, largely because of charges of cruelty levelled against trainers as a whole.

However, such charges could never stick to the Rosaires, who treat their animals with enormous respect and love, and who have made a large collective commitment to their animals: they keep them for life, often for decades beyond their performing years, on the family’s extensive property in Sarasota, Florida. And they even take in animals that other trainers can no longer support.

As a result, the Rosaires are getting squeezed financially, between running a sanctuary for exotic animals on the one hand, and the increasing difficulty of booking shows on the other. Circus Rosaire chronicles five years in the family’s life from an intimate perspective. That’s because the director, Robyn Bliley, and her mother, Sheila Segerson (who served as producer), have been friends of the family for decades, and the Rosaires granted the filmmakers unprecedented access to their lives.

It was a labor of love for Bliley and her husband (and DP) Chad Wilson, whose production company, Progressive Productions, is best known for broadband music videos. “Whenever we had some extra nickels and dimes, we’d go shoot,” Bliley said in an interview this morning, held jointly with Wilson and Segerson. Wilson added: “It was a small budget, but we raised it ourselves, through hard work.” This approach required them to shoot the film in sporadic intervals of several days at a time. In this way, from September 2002 through late 2007, Bliley and Wilson accumulated 350 hours of footage.

During all that time, the Rosaires allowed Bliley and Wilson to chronicle their struggles, something of their private lives, and even some moments of raw grief. They even captured what turned out to be the family patriarch’s last performance after a lifetime in show business. It’s really a remarkable glimpse into a world you’d probably never otherwise see.

And I guarantee that you’ve never before seen a chimpanzee barbecuing vegetarian shish-kabobs and steak — the former for himself, the latter for his human family. “Newton would cook for me,” Segerson said, referring to the same chimp. “He’d make tea, he’d make sandwiches,” on the mere suggestion of his human mother, Pam. “She’d say, ‘Newton, why don’t you make her a sandwich?’ And he’d go to the fridge, get the bread, cheese and ham, put it all together, and bring it to me!” Segerson beamed. “It was the coolest thing.”

Circus Rosaire ends with the family performing together on their property for the first time in fifty years, leaving the viewer wondering how things are going for them now. As it turns out, they have performed together every year since that show, and they are slowly making a transition away from travelling performances to giving educational shows right there on their sanctuary. Because in the end it’s not really about the performances for the Rosaires — it’s really about the well-being of the animals in their care. “They are not regular circus-animal trainers,” Bliley emphasized. “They live, breathe, and even drink their animals — they are family to them, even kids.”

Circus Rosaire plays at the Roxie tomorrow, February 15th, at 2:45 PM. Trailer here.

IndieFest: "Let Them Know" and "Skills Like This" at the Roxie, 7:15 and 9:30

IndieFest is showing two films at the Roxie tonight that I want to tell you about: Let Them Know and Skills Like This.

Let Them Know, at 7:15, is the story of Youth Brigade and the record label they founded, BYO Records (that’s for Better Youth Organization, not Bring Your Own). The film interviews and name-checks just about everyone involved in the LA punk scene from the early 1980s on. If you liked Attitude, you’ll definitely like this closer look at one particular scene, as seen through the eyes of an important label. (Trailer here.)

Skills Like This, screening at 9:30, is a completely different animal. It’s a comedy about a failed writer, Max Solomon (Spencer Berger) who discovers his real talent: grand larceny. Berger makes me think simultaneously of Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray, and the capsule review describes the film as “a fast and furious comic ride about the lengths to which the disaffected will go to achieve their dreams.” The film won the Audience Award for Narrative Film at South by Southwest in 2007. (Trailer here.)

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