Friday, January 2, 2015

The Puzzle Within the Castro Theater's January 2015 Calendar

The January 2015 Castro Theater calendar shows that the theater is only closed two days during the month.  It's holding private events on two other days.  As far as the puzzle is concerned, there only two clues; on the days the theater closed.

When I look at these calendars and try to solve the puzzle, I categorize my attempts into four general levels.  The first level is when I recognize the actor and am so confident that I do not seek verification.  The second level is when I recognize the actor but am not so confident and do seek verification on the internet.  The third level is when I do not recognize the actor but can infer a name or association from the other clues and search the internet using the other clues.  The final level is when I have no idea about the actor, clip the photo from the calendar and use Google Image Search to search on the image.

It's only the fourth level which I consider "cheating."  By those criteria, I did not cheat in identifying the actors this month

January 12 - I immediately recognized Robert Mitchum; Level 1.

January 6 - suspecting the clues pointed to Noir City (January 16 to 25) and already knowing Robert Mitchum was the actor shown on January 12, I started looking for films in the 2015 Noir City program with Robert Mitchum.  Finding none, I started looking through Mitchum's filmography to find noir films.  The first film I recalled was Out of the Past which is one of the seminal film noir entries.  Mitchum's co-star in Out of the Past was Jane Greer.  She was readily identifiable from her photos.  In fact, her Wikipedia entry features the photo shown on January 6.  Level 3.

The combination of Mitchum & Greer point to Out of the Past and that title, I believe refer to the films being screened at Noir City - 60 year old films are "out of the past."


Obviously the highlight of the Castro's January line-up is the 2015 Noir City film festival.  Playing second fiddle, Berlin and Beyond runs from January 29 to February 1 at the Castro.  The two festival have swapped places on the calendar.  Berlin and Beyond has traditionally preceded Noir City on January calendar.

The January calendar is full of interesting non-festival screenings.

Tonight, Midnites from Maniacs screens Snowpiercer & Runaway Train.  I notice Snowpiercer showed up on some "Best of 2014" lists but I wasn't so impressed with it.  I haven't seen Runaway Train and am anxious to see the film written by Kurosawa (Stray Dogs), directed by Konchalovskiy (Uncle Vanya) who went to film school & collaborated with Tarkovsky (Solaris).  Unfortunately, I have other plans tonight so I cannot attend.

January 7 - St. Vincent.  This film has been on my "To See" list for a month.

January 10 - Rear Window & Road Games.  Read Window is one of my favorite Hitchcock films.  Rear Window, Vertigo & North by Northwest form my triumvirate of Hitchcock films.  I think I saw Road Games many years ago but this Stacey Keach/Jamie Lee Curtis Aussie grindhouse film is not ingrained in my memory so it is as good as new for me.

January 14 - Planet of the Apes & Escape from New York.  We're talking about the original Charlton Heston PotA (Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!).  A younger version of myself would have made this double bill a priority but the middle-aged version is only penciling it in on my calendar.

January 28 - Lost Highway & Videodrome.  I saw Videodrome as a teenager and it made quite an impression.  I don't think I've even seen a clip from Videodrome since the early 1990s.  I'm not sure if I have seen Lost Highway.  They had a Barry Gifford series at the Balboa about a decade ago.  I may have seen it then but I cannot remember.

Other films which look interesting are a backdoor Ingmar Bergman double shot: Persona (January 8) & Hour of the Wolf (January 9) and a thriller called White of the Eye (January 11).


Castro Theater Calendar - January 2015

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