Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vampyre with a Y and the Price of Fish Wrap

The Red Vic posted their February calendar on-line a few days ago.

I bought a discount punch card when I saw Fallen Angels. I'm busy checking their calendar looking for opportunities. Looking at their February line-up, I was surprised at how many films I've already seen. Among the films I've viewed with the past year that are on their calendar are:

Stranded (2008 SF International Film Festival)
Timecrimes (December 2008 at the Bridge Theater)
Happy-Go-Lucky (December 2008 at the Roxie)
Let the Right One In (2008 Dead Channels Film Festival)

In addition, they are screening 12 Monkeys and Annie Hall; both of which I've seen previously.

Lest you think there is nothing on the calendar that appeals to me, I quickly noticed that February 11 and 12, they are screening Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) with Klaus Kinski as the vampyre with Bruno Ganz and Isabelle Adjani as the Harkers. This film gets the full Herzog/Kinski treatment - stylish visuals, heavy symbolism and a focus Kinski's existential interpretation of the weary vampyre.

The only problem with the film is that it is being screened during SF Indiefest. To be frank, Herzog's film certainly better than whatever Indiefest is screening those two night.

At the end of the month, the Red Vic is screening two Kevin Epps films - Straight Outta Hunters Point and the premiere of The Black Rock. Epps grew up in Hunters Point and directed this documentary on the recent history of the troubled neighborhood. The Black Rock is another documentary about black prisoners at Alcatraz and the added burden they carried by being a black convict during a period of open racism.

Straight Outta Hunters Point screens on February 26 while The Black Rock screens February 27 to March 5.

Tomorrow and Monday, the Red Vic is screening Jean-Luc Godard's Vivre sa vie (1962). The film star Anna Karina who was Mrs. Jean-Luc Godard at the time. In the film, Karina plays a prostitute and her story is told in twelve vignettes. The full title of the film is Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux. Karina was absolutely gorgeous in the early 60's and there is something about her that I find incredibly appealing since watching her dance the Madison in Band of Outsiders.


Just before the New Year, the price of the San Francisco Chronicle went up. I'm an old school type of guy; I like to read my news on paper and on the subway. At the subway stations, the vendor (a human) sold the paper for a quarter. Now, the price is 4 bits. The news-stands sold the paper for 50 cents and now charge 75 cents. No one likes to pay more for the same product and I feel that the product has been diminished (both in quantity and quality) over the past several years. The paper is thinner and local stories are less frequent. Still, it's hard to get too worked up over an additional $1.50 per week (6 days x additional 25 cents). For some reason, they didn't increase the price of the Sunday paper.

This morning, I had a bagel at Java Beach Cafe. I bought the Chronicle out of a machine outside the cafe. Lo and behold, the price was 50 cents! The vending machines closer to where I live have all been converted to 75 cents. What's the story with that? Maybe it takes time to convert all the machines but it has already been several weeks since the price increase.

I'll give you one guess where I'm buying my newspapers on Saturday mornings now. I have to drive 5 miles to save 25 cents but it's worth's like spending $200 on a film festival pass so you can average less than $6 per film. Total costs go up but the average unit cost goes down.

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