Friday, August 15, 2008


My internet connection at home is down and my company restricts access to certain websites. I'm writing from my library - not the public library but The Mechanics' Institute, a private library.

Last week, I saw Shoot the Piano Player at PFA as part of its film program titled Streets of No Return: The Dark Cinema of David Goodis. The film was introduced by Mike White. He wrote an extensive article on David Goodis titled The Serious Moonlight: The Cinematic World of David Goodis.

As you may notice, this article is published in White's blog - aka Cashiers du Cinemart; self-described as "the infamous Detroit film zine." I've been surfing the on-line version of Cashiers du Cinemart (before my internet connection crapped out) and rather enjoy it.

Being old school, I wanted the real magazine experience not a webpage. It appears as though one can buy a paper copy of the last three issues from Atomic Books in Baltimore for the low, low price of $5. I'm torn though, it seems like most of the content is free under the Archives section of Impossibly Funky.

Aside - I found one site that is dedicated to movie magazines simply called The Site of Movie Magazines.


When Eddie Muller introduced two Goodis films last week, he made reference that Paul Wendkos was "influenced" by Orson Welles when he made The Burglar. In particular, the amusement park ending from The Lady from Shanghai was evoked in The Burglar. The Lady from Shanghai was filmed in San Francisco and the ending in house of mirrors was filmed at Playland at the Beach. Sadly, Playland at the Beach is long gone and now is the site of some condos and Burger King.

That reminded me that I read about Playland Not at the Beach in El Cerrito. It saved some of the arcade games and seeks to recreate the atmosphere of the original. I haven't been there but would like to make it out there sometime. It's near (5 blocks) El Cerrito Del Norte BART.


I am always looking for upcoming films since most of the films I watch are one-night affairs. A few films catch my attention.

Trumbo opens today. In San Francisco, it is playing at the Landmark Lumiere on California. It's a documentary about screen writer/novelist Dalton Trumbo who was blacklisted during the HUAC hearings. Trumbo has numerous screenwriting credits including Spartacus, Papillon and Roman Holiday which was fronted by Ian McLellan Hunter.

The Castro Theater has posted their upcoming events and it includes a Bette Davis Centennial (Stanford Theater already had one earlier this year), a Nino Rota retrospective (part of the Legendary Composers series), Akira Kurosawa's Kagemusha and four epic films by David Lean.

The 4 Star Theater is presenting Red Heroine on September 19. It's billed as a "1929 Silent Kung Fu Film." There will be live accompaniment by the Devil Music Ensemble.

The 4 Star Theater is also showing Exte: Hair Extensions which was one of my favorites from this year's Hole in the Head.

Dead Channels has announced the date of its festival - October 2-5. I haven't heard or read which films will screen. Dead Channels is Bruce Fletcher's "Festival of Fantastic Films." Bruce was formerly IndieFest's head programmer.

Speaking of Indiefest, they have announced that DocFest will run for 21 days. October 17 to 30 will be at the Roxie and October 30 to November 7 will be at the Shattuck in Berkeley.

From August 29 to September 4, the Roxie presents Rob Nilsson's complete 9 @ Night - "a series of nine feature films [Nilsson] produced over the last decade in collaboration with the Tenderloin yGroup, an inner-city acting and production workshop Nilsson developed in the San Francisco Tenderloin." The nine films have a total runtime of 735 minutes and the series will be presented twice at the Roxie. The films will then move to San Rafael Film Center and the two Speakeasy theaters in the East Bay.

Finally, there are two mainstream releases I want to see. The Dark Knight is getting great reviews. Tropic Thunder looks too audacious to pass up with Robert Downey Jr. in blackface and its lampooning of actors portraying mentally disabled people.

In my younger days, I was a huge fan of The X-Files. I still have some nostalgia and may try to catch the current movie version for old time's sake.

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