Monday, February 2, 2009

February Preview

I averaged more than one film per day in January but that's loafing it compared to what I have planned in February.

First up is the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (aka SF Indiefest) running from February 5 to 22 with a rump session in Tahoe on February 27 & 28.

I noticed that Indiefest did not get a mention in Sunday's Pink Section. Noir City got a write-up on January 18. One of Indiefest's opening night films (Fanboys) was previewed but no mention was made of Indiefest. Instead, the only mention of a local screening was that it's opening in theaters on February 6 (the day after it screens at Indiefest).

Regardless, I've mentally committed to purchasing a $200 festival pass. That will blow my $/film average out of the water as I'd have to see 33 films to keep my average in the $6 range. Even more difficult for me to swallow is that I'll have to miss at least two and possibly three weekend days of Indiefest. Opening night of Indiefest is at the Victoria Theater. The remaining San Francisco screenings are at the Roxie and the final four days are at the Shattuck in Berkeley.

On Sunday, February 8, I'm leaning towards a double feature at PFA. At 2 PM is Josef von Sternberg's The Salvation Hunters followed by Cairo Station. Cairo Station is part of the African Film Festival screening at PFA during February. Then I want to return to SF to fill a gaping hole in my science fiction filmography. I've never seen Soylent Green which is screening at the Castro that evening. I've seen the parody ("Soylent Green is People!!!") but not the original.

I've already purchsed tickets to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival's Winter event on Saturday, Valentine's Day at the Castro. I'm going to watch three out of the four films being screened that day - Our Hospitality, A Kiss From Mary Pickford and Sunrise. I'm passing on The Cat and the Canary so I can make it back to the Roxie to see some Japanese, soft-core porn at Indiefest.

On Sunday, February 15, I'll be at PFA watch Masaki Kobayashi’s The Human Condition - a 586 minute trilogy about Japan’s occupation of China during WWII.

Also screening during Indiefest is Kiss of Death (1947), the film in which Richard Widmark was nominated for an Oscar Award for his portrayal of Tommy Udo, the cackling psychopath that pushes an old woman in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs. Kiss of Death screens at the Castro on February 12.

On February 11 & 12, the Red Vic is screening Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) starring Klaus Kinski and Bruno Ganz.

Various von Sternberg films continue screening at PFA during Indiefest's run as well.


I've never been to Cinequest which is a film festival in San Jose. I've heard good things about it but it is in San Jose. San Jose a 45 minute drive (that's one way and if traffic is light) from where I live. I was invited to the Cinequest Launch Party on January 27. I could not attend because I was at Noir City that night. Reading Jason's Blog, I see they are screening D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation. The chance to see this legendary 1915 film on the big screen is enough to get me down to San Jose. It screens at 7 PM on Friday, February 27 at the California Theater.

The following Friday (March 5), Cinequest is screening Griffith's 1916 opus, Intolerance. I saw that film at the SF Silent Film Festival Winter event at the Castro in December 2007 although I seem to have forgotten to note it in this blog.

Both The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance will feature Dennis James on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

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