Saturday, May 15, 2010

What to See in May and Beyond

The Roxie series titled I Still Wake Up Dreaming: Noir Is Dead!/Long Live Noir! runs from May 14 to 27. I've purchased a series pass so I'll be spending a lot of time in the Mission the next two weeks.

On the last day of the Noir series, the Red Vic is screening The Red Machine. I recall this film from the 2009 Mill Valley Film Festival. It interested me but I was not able to see it at the time. I may skip the Roxie that evening. Gandhi at the Bat, a short film about a ficitonal incident where the Mahatma pinch hit for the 1933 NY Yankees.

Washington, DC, 1935: At the height of the Great Depression, hotheaded Eddie Doyle (Donal Thoms-Cappello), an ace safecracker, is just doing what he does best: stealing. Now facing prison, Eddie finds he's got an option after all. Enter Lt. F. Ellis Coburn (Lee Perkins), a cool-as-ice Navy man with a problem only Eddie can solve. The Japanese Foreign Office has changed its encryption codes, and the government isn't too happy. A prominent Japanese diplomat holds the key to his country's secrets in the form of a mysterious red machine. As Eddie and Coburn work together to pull off the heist of a lifetime, they find more to the job than they bargained for as things get personal. Full of crackling dialogue, eye-catching visuals and unpredictable twists, co-directors Stephanie Argy's (Gandhi at the Bat, MVFF 2006)and Alec Boehm's The Red Machine is a charming throwback to the great espionage capers of the 1930s.

On May 29, the PFA is screening The Valiant Ones.

A righteous husband-and-wife swordfighting duo are called to protect China from the machinations of Japanese pirates and corrupt officials in King Hu’s masterly work, noted for its forest fight scene set to the moves of a Go match. “A muscleman is not enough; we need a schemer,” one character muses, illuminating the film’s intricate web of betrayals and plots. The only nobility to be had is in the swords of the valiant ones, those doomed to protect the shores of an empire rotting from the inside. Pai Ying and Hsu Feng are elegance incarnate as the married couple, a suave, sword-wielding Bogart/Bacall act catching arrows out of midair, foiling assassins, or coolly demonstrating their fighting techniques on an assortment of Ming dynasty stooges. Hong Kong action mainstays of the eighties and nineties Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung appear in minor roles, Biao as a young student and Hung (even then) throwing his considerable weight around as the main Japanese pirate.


In wide release, I would like to see Kick-Ass and Iron Man 2.

In limited release, The Good, The Bad, The Weird, La Mission, OSS 117 - Lost in Rio and Harry Brown interest me.


On June 4, PFA kicks off their 3 month Kurosawa series.

That same night, the Paramount Theater in Oakland is screening Georgy Girl (1966), featuring the late Lynn Redgrave's starmaking performance.

PFA kicks off a long weekend of Mexican Classic Sci-Fi films from June 24 to 27.

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival runs July 15 to 18 at the Castro.

Hole in the Head run from July 8 to 22. Will the Thrill and Monica the Tiki Goddess of Thrillville will be presenting a double feature on closing night - Mil Mascaras vs. The Aztec Mummy and its follow-up Academy of Doom.

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