Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Taking Inventory as of September 8

The Black Pirate starring Douglas Fairbanks; silent with intertitles; live accompaniment by Dennis James; (1926)
Absolute Beginners starring Patsy Kensit, Eddie O'Connell & David Bowie; (1986)
The Hippie Temptation; documentary; hosted by Harry Reasoner; (1967)
Tyson directed by James Toback; documentary; (2008) - Official Website
Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg; documentary; (2009) - Official Website
Moon starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey (voice only); (2009) - Official Website
Up starring Ed Asner & Christopher Plummer (voices only); animated 2-D Version; (2009) - Official Website
Inglourious Basterds starring Brad Pitt; directed by Quentin Tarantino; (2009) - Official Website

Two Tars; starring Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy; silent with intertitles; live accompaniment by Dennis James; 21 minutes; (1928)
Partly Cloudy; animated; 6 minutes; (2009)


I saw Two Tars and The Black Pirate at the California Theater in San Jose. They had a summer series that was affiliated with the Stanford Theater.

Partly Cloudy preceded Up.

All of these films are well known or general release films.

I enjoyed Inglourious Basterds and have to say that Christoph Waltz's performance lived up to advance billing.

Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg played at this year's SF Jewish Film Festival. It's been playing at the Landmark Theaters for the past few weeks. The documentary focuses on Gertrude Berg, the driving force behind The Goldbergs a radio and pioneering television series. The shows is largely unknown to modern audiences. I never heard of the show or its star before this film. Her story was fascinating though - she basically invented the sitcom format, she stood up to McCarthyites when co-star Philip Loeb was accused of being a Communist and eventually dropped Loeb to save her show. Along the way, she ingrained the matronly, immigrant Jewish characterization that still exists. Loeb is worthy of a documentary in his own right. Zero Mostel's suicide in The Front was based on the actual death of Philip Loeb.

Absolute Beginners was part of a Castro Theater's musical series. I can't remember the name of the series. The 1986 film starred Patsy Kensit, Eddie O'Connell and David Bowie. Directed by Julien Temple, the stylish musical was set in 1950's London and dealt with racism and gentrification. Nice soundtrack featuring Bowie, Sade and Ray Davies.

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