Bergman 100: The Early Years

by Frako Loden

On the 100th birthday of Sweden’s most famous film director Ingmar Bergman, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive is presenting three programs of films. One program, The Early Years, is screening five of his 1940s works in Theater 2 or the “salon,” the much smaller room downstairs that’s previously been used for film and video installations. This series is the first to use the smaller venue and will be an appropriately intimate space for these works.

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San Francisco International Film Festival Soars High

By Gary Meyer

My parents took me to the 1956 roadshow engagement of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS at San Francisco’s Coronet Theater. This eight-year-old kid was introduced to the wonders of George Méliès’ A TRIP TO THE MOON (1902) during the prelude introduced by trusted TV newsman Edward R. Murrow talking about Jules Verne in the movies.

It was the same year they Irving and Irma Levin (owners of the Coronet and other local cinemas) staged the Italian Film Week that would become the first film festival in the Americas in 1957, The San Francisco International Film Festival.

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THE DARK SIDE OF THE DREAM

by Ben Terrall

Billed as “subversive cinema … for subversive times,” the Roxie’s four-day series “The Dark Side of the Dream” (March 23-26) is a powerhouse collection of hard-hitting American movies made between 1933 and 1964. Former Roxie programmer Elliot Lavine, who returns to San Francisco from his new home in Portland for this run, put together the program with assistance from Don Malcolm, known most recently for his “The French Had a Name For It Gallic noir retrospectives at the Roxie.

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The twelve films on deck were picked for maximum relevance to today’s political climate. Lavine describes the offerings as “both timely and timeless, both eye-opening and mind-blowing.” It’s hard to argue with that assessment. They’re also beautifully shot movies that look great on the big screen.

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INTERVIEW WITH DARK SIDE PROGRAMMER EXTRAORDINAIRE ELLIOT LAVINE

by Ben Terrall

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Let’s start with the obvious question. This film line-up—which is very impressive, by the way—seems to be a response to the times we live in…by any chance has this been building up inside you for awhile now?

Thanks for noticing that. Yes, I think it’s safe to say this series is a direct response not only to the times we live in, but more specifically to the mortifying reality that Donald Trump is now the president of our country. The program began to take shape in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016, but it took a while to hone it into something truly forceful and meaningful. It also helped that my good friend Don Malcolm of Midcentury Productions had similar programming inclinations and he helped pave the way for this series to happen at the Roxie — which, if you know the Roxie’s history as well as my own history there, is the perfect venue for this program.

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