Seventeen years ago, I was walking in the snow to go knock on the door of the monastery in Khumjung, to see their sacred Yeti scalp. I had spent five weeks in Nepal, collecting Yeti stories and interviewing eye witnesses.
In the years that followed, I would interview similar witnesses, but to those who saw a Bigfoot. Were some of these hoaxes or did these people actually see these giant creatures of the unknown? How did movies turn these beings of lore into monsters in the public’s eye during the 1950’s -70’s? Are they really a race of hiding primates? Dimension traveling beings? Ghosts of cavemen? A hidden tribe of the missing link? I encourage you to explore each possibility at the “Bigfoot Bonanza Film Festival” and conference, Saturday and Sunday, March 10th and 11th at the historic Vogue Theatre in San Francisco.
Editor’s note: It is timely that veteran film distributor and film lover Gary Palmucci has written a review for us of Ben Davis’ new book Repertory Movies Theatres of New York City: Havens for Revivals, Indies and the Avant-Garde, 1960–1994 (McFarland 2017)
Dan Talbot with Alfred Hitchcock, January 13, 1965
The last week of December 2017 saw the passing of one of the giants in art film distribution and exhibition, Dan Talbot. In March, 1960 Dan and Toby Talbot took over the rundown –but with great decor– Yorktown Theater on New York’s Upper West Side and renamed it the New Yorker, reusing the “York” portion of the neon and starting a policy of repertory cinema mixing classics and more recent films in eclectic double features. The Talbots operated the New Yorker until 1973, often at a loss but with some surprise hits.
“The theater had a policy of no policy,” Toby Talbot wrote in The New Yorker Theater and Other Scenes From a Life at the Movies. “We thought of it as our living room, playing movies we wanted to see on the screen.”” I’ll play new films, old films, foreign films, American films—whatever I think merits being shown.” Dan said. “And if the audience agreed with me, great. If they didn’t, too bad.”
Each year Turner Classic Movies creates a touching tribute to many people in the film world who passed away. This year’s 4:31 minute reel continues their tradition of editing together an impressive series of images and clips to remind us, if briefly, who these people were. Some are famous and we recognize them instantly. Others are faces we have seen but never known the name, often character actors who bring audiences so much pleasure but are underappreciated. And many of the behind-the-camera talent are not recognizable until this puts a face to a name and a job.
by Robert Bloomberg
In the classic Roadrunner cartoons, Wiley Coyote could always depend on the Acme Company to deliver exactly what he needed. Fortunately, when it comes to our own animation needs, we can depend on Ron Diamond’s Acme Filmworks to deliver the goods (anvils not included). Their 19th annual Animation Show of Shows is a delicious buffet of 16 animated treats — something for all tastes, with equal parts hilarity, inspiration, and cautionary tales. It is starting its national rollout to cinemas around the U.S. and Canada.
by Frako Loden
For those who have heard about the excellence of Polish animation but haven’t seen much of it, the “Polish Animation 70 Years” series at Pacific Film Archive is a superb crash course in a remarkable body of work starting Sunday, December 3. Since the political thaw of 1956, Polish animation has been winning awards at film festivals all through the world.
Red & Black
Hard Choices Need to be Made For Bay Area Cinephiles This Week
by Meredith Brody
Despite the fact that it has often been said that the San Francisco Bay Area is host to some 70 different film festivals, I rarely feel as though I can’t decide which screening to attend on any given night.
But, after spending last weekend wishing I could be in two places at once – SFFilm’s Doc Stories and The French Had a Name For It 4 – I anticipate the upcoming film traffic jam, with no less than 4 festivals and events calling my name, with extreme dread.