Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Puzzle Within the Castro Theater's April 2015 Theater Calendar

Before I forget, the Landmark Aquarius theater in Palo Alto is closed for remodeling until "late summer 2015."

When I first moved to the Bay Area in the early 1990s, my co-workers would take long lunches on Friday in North Beach or Chinatown.  Little Joe's was the preferred destination (they had this incredible aquarium).  However, sometimes we would go to Caffe Sport, Capp's Corner or US Restaurant.  The US Restaurant on Columbus closed many years ago although, confusingly, years later the son-in-law of the owners opened a place a block away called the Original US Restaurant which is still open.

Anyway, Capp's Corner (Powell at Green) is closing on April 19.  I just finished read The Season of the Witch by David Talbot (actor Lyle Talbot's son).  A tremendous book, The Season of the Witch recounts San Francisco's cultural history from the late 1960s to mid 1980s.  Having moved here in 1992, I can relate to many of the events and people profiled in Talbot's book.  When a place like Capp's Corner closes, it makes me realize that I'm as far removed from the early 1990s now as I was from the late 1960s when I first arrived here.

Enough about personal and cultural nostalgia, let's get to the film nostalgia.

The Castro Theater's April 2015 calendar had a puzzle after a two month absence.  It was pretty easy which means I didn't have to use the internet to identify the actors.

April 27 - I recognized Jack Lemmon immediately.

April 28 - this took me a little longer.  I think it was because I was expecting it to be an American actress.  After looking at it for a few minutes, I thought there was something European about the woman.  That's when I realized is was Catherine Deneuve.

I had no idea what Jack Lemmon & Catherine Deneuve had to do with August but a quick internet search revealed they made a film together - The April Fools (1969).  I have not seen or heard of the film.  For some reason, the pairing of Lemmon & Deneuve does not strike me as interesting although I am a fan of both actors' work.


The calendar in April looks promising.

April 10 - Midnites for Maniacs brings one of my guilty pleasures to the big screen.  I saw The Rock upon its original release in the theaters here in San Francisco.  Unfortunately, my film log doesn't go back that far.  I remember thinking that it was a pretty entertaining action film which even by the mid 1990s I was eschewing.  With 20 years of hindsight, the cast of The Rock is rock solid.  The Rock is paired with Rocky IV which in litany of Rocky films is forgettable.  Once they killed of Mickey (Burgess Meredith), the series went downhill.  In Rocky IV, they kill off the next best character in the series - Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers).  It's as if the series has to cannibalize itself in order to survive.  Why couldn't Stallone kill off Paulie instead?

April 12 & 13 - American Sniper & The Theory of Everything, respectively.  If I see these two films, I will have seen all eight films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Oscar.  The April 12 double bill is particularly strong - two Clint Eastwood directed films.  American Sniper is paired with The Unforgiven which is a great film.

April 22 - the actress/director Elaine May directed four films.  I've only seen her The Heartbreak Kid.  A New Leaf was May's debut feature as a director.  She co-stars with the always dependable Walter Mathau.  I've seen portions of this film on television.

April 29 - I have to see if I can get away from the 2015 San Francisco International Film Festival that night but I'm long overdue to see what the hullabaloo is about regarding the infamous lesbian sex scene between Gina Gershon & Jennifer Tilly in the Wachowski Brothers' Bound (1996).  Of course, the Wachowski Brothers are no longer the Wachowski Brothers.  Bound is paired with Alfred Hitchcock's Rope which features a memorable performance by Jimmy Stewart.


Castro Theater Calendar - April 2015

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