Wednesday, August 17 at The Berkeley Art Museum•Pacific Film Archive
The Berkeley Art Museum•Pacific Film Archive presents three “Cinema Mon Amour” programs in August where filmmakers, musicians, writers and film curators are asked to present a favorite movie.
On August 11 filmmaker Tiffany Shlain selects The Beaches of Agnès. In this delightful documentary Agnès Varda takes a cinematic stroll through her career—and the history of French film including her “being a part of the New Wave, raising children with Jacques Demy, losing him, and growing old. She explores her memory using photographs, film clips, home movies, contemporary interviews, and set pieces she designs to capture a feeling, a time, or a frame. Shining through each scene are her impish charm, inventiveness, and natural empathy.” (1)
Musician Vijay Anderson will introduce John Cassavetes’ Love Streams on August 14. The fiercely independent filmmaker tells the story of a middle-aged brother and sister who find themselves caring for one another after the other loves in their lives abandon them. Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands offer stunning performances.
Gary Meyer co-founder of Landmark Theatres, former owner of the Balboa Theatre and long time Telluride Film Festival co-Director, could have chosen a favorite feature for his show on Wednesday, August 17. But he felt that is limiting because “there are so many wonderful and under-seen movies.”
Instead he asked to program an evening of shorts and trailers that offer a tour through his life of loving movies. This would become a challenge, narrowing down ideas from what could have been a dusk-to-dawn show to 85 minutes of film time —and then searching for prints from filmmakers, collectors and archives.
Meyer says, “The selection ranges from George Méliès to Gunvor Nelson, Norman McLaren to Stan Brakhage, Alfred Hitchcock to Mel Brooks, and much more in a program of classic and contemporary short films I hope you will find to be hilarious, experimental, thought-provoking, animated, outrageous, and inspiring. Many are about the experience of cinema itself. There will also be rarely seen trailers that defy our expectations of what we expect from “previews of coming attractions.” The films range in length from 10 seconds to 10 minutes. I will also share stories and comments and offer some rare prizes.”
“Growing up I looked forward to the ‘trailers’ as a look ahead at the previews of attractions coming to my local theater. They were full of florid hyperbole and scenes from movies I got excited to see–though some of those clips were not in the final movie. Unlike most of today’s trailers, which give away all the best moments, jokes and surprises, usually in a formulaic editing style with the film’s title only mentioned at the very end, these were sometimes mini movies that made sure you heard the name of the movie several times. While a very serious Cecil B. DeMille took us behind the camera with a series of grand teases about how his epics were created, Alfred Hitchcock used humor and irony to get audiences talking about his next thriller around the water cooler. Some “prevues” intrigued us by showing little of the movie they were promoting but offering a special visit with the stars.”
“Like so many people, I grew up loving classic cartoons and the short comedies of Laurel and Hardy, the Little Rascals and the Three Stooges plus Flash Gordon and Batman serials on Saturday morning TV and at the weekly Kids’ Matinees. But it was at the reserved seat showing of AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS that I discovered the world of short films was much bigger. TV Commentator Edward R. Murrow appeared on screen to tell us about the relationship Jules Verne had with movies going back to George Méliès A TRIP TO THE MOON, and then he showed a short version of that 1902 science fiction spectacle. Needless to say I wanted to know more and it was off to the library — there was no Internet. There I learned more and would seek screenings of short films. Méliès and Canadian animator Norman McLaren became my heroes as both experimented with the medium in so many ways. The pioneer Frenchman made over 500 short movies with elaborate special effects that are the foundation of the visual wonders we see today in movies. McLaren mostly expanded the meaning of animation as he drew directly onto film, played with multiple imagery, stop-motion, pixilation, pinscreen and much more. Making a short film is often the way a filmmaker can show off and move into bigger projects. Other filmmakers make a career with experimental work that influences the direction of the art. We will show some of each.”
Film Curator Kathy Geritz worked with Meyer tracking down original archival film prints and stunning restorations to screen movies in their original formats. Geritz explained, “The projectionists are excited to meet the challenge as we will put them through quite a workout with mostly rare 35mm, a few 16mm prints, plus video and digital where appropriate.”
The titles will not be revealed until each film appears on the big screen at the beautiful new Barbro Osher Theater in the Berkeley Art Museum•Pacific Film Archive.
A program will be handed out after the show with surprise treats from Berkeley’s TCHO -New American Chocolate.
The show starts at 7:00pm but when the doors open at 6:30 there will be a pre-show.
For more about “Cinema Mon Amour” and BAMPFA go here where you can buy tickets.
2155 Center Street
One Block from BART
(1) quote from J.Hailey, IMDB