Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Marching On

There are a few other items I wanted to mention.

At Noir City, they mentioned an upcoming "Lupino Noir" double bill at the PFA. The Film on Film Foundation is presenting The Bigamist and Outrage on Sunday, March 8. It's a double bill starting at 7:30 PM for only $7. Lupino directed both films but only appears in The Bigamist; the only time she directed herself.

I'm not familiar with FOFF except they have an on-line movie calendar and a blog I occasionally peruse.

The FOFF's mission statement is:

The [FOFF' promotes film as a living art form by screening works from its history and stimulating its continued use in production and exhibition.

We envision a vital film culture in which repertory screenings figure prominently on the cinematic landscape, and film--actual film--is not just an object of nostalgia but a living medium of expression. For over a century, the innate physical properties of film have not only served as the key elements in the work of many of our most significant artists, but have constituted a prism through which we have experienced the world.

In the Bay Area, as in general, the number of venues offering regular repertory programming has been reduced to a paltry few. This is largely due to the popular misperception that the aesthetic qualities of video are essentially equivalent to those of film. Trends in production, distribution, and exhibition have been towards synthesizing these two media, rather than emphasizing their respective strengths. As a result, interest in attending films, especially classics, has waned drastically. Most commercial venues today have adopted a survival strategy based on cutting costs and seeking ancillary profits, and are uninterested in and incapable of offering an excellent film presentation, despite the development of procedures, products, and technologies that make this an attainable goal.

As a nonprofit foundation we reject corporate short-term expediency and allow respect and reverence for film to be our guide. We screen films on film, with uncompromising presentation standards, showcasing the unique visual, material, and phenomenological properties of the medium.


The theme at Noir City was Newspaper Noir. Many of the films were set at newspaper offices or featured a newspaperman as the lead character. In other cases, the screenwriter was a ex-news reporter. Eddie Muller, Sr. (late father of festival founder Eddie Muller, Jr.) was a sport reporter for the SF Examiner for many years.

If you look closely at the poster for the 2009 Noir City Film Festival, you'll see there is a newspaper on the desk in front of the femme fatale. Eddie pointed out that the headshot and article in the far left column was one of his father's old articles. According to Muller, on the full size posters outside the Castro, you could read the article. The model is Alycia Tumlin, Miss Noir City 2009. She was hobbling around with a cane for whatever reason but she vamped it up all festival; posing for photos and whatnot.


The 2009 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival runs March 12-22. The festival will be playing at the Castro from March 12-15.. If it is like years past, they'll be playing at the Sundance Kabuki from March 12-19 and then at the Camera in San Jose from March 20-22.

As critical (hyper-critical?) aside, I like the films at SFIAAFF but the volunteers there are pretty ignorant about how film festivals work. They're nice kids (almost all Asian) but the volunteer coordinator at SFIAAFF needs to train them a little more. At most film festival, I think the volunteeers volunteer because they like films. At SFIAAFF, I think they volunteer out of a sense of obligation to the Asian American Community. I've witnessed/experience issues regarding crowd queueing, pass holder privileges, late seating and general confusion. I guess that's true of many film festival but the crowds at SFIAAFF exacerbate the problems.

The past few years, I've bought a SFIAAFF Castro pass good for the film screening at the Castro (opening night excluded).

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