Dear Friends,
If you live in the San Francisco area it is another busy weekend, especially if you love movies.NEW ITALIAN CINEMA 2018 plays Friday through Tuesday at the Vogue with new features and documentaries, three of them with food or beverage themes. And EatDrinkFilms is proud to be co-presenting. Read about them in the new issue.

Our “Shaken & Stirred” mixologist Michael Cecconi returns with a seasonal cocktail recipe and news about his Pop-Up Bar in Berkeley.

The great Czech stop-motion animator Jiri Trnka is being saluted with a wonderful series at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.  We have an article coming in a few days but not in time for the first program this Saturday, December 1.

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I recently had my first visit to Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna, Italy. Over nine days nearly 500 movies made from 1890 to 1998 were screened in restored and archival prints. We averaged five films a day, leaving time for pasta and gelato. One of the true highlights was Frank Borzage’s 7th HEAVEN with Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. At the first ever Academy Awards it won Best Director, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. It has been hard to see in a decent print but the new MOMA restoration is stunning and the movie proved to be one of the highlights of the Festival.  You are in luck as the San Francisco Silent Film Festival is featuring this restoration as part of it “A Day of Silents” on Saturday, December 1 at the Castro Theatre. The wonderful Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will offer live accompaniment.

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Cathy and I will be seeing it again as part of a marathon that will start at 10:00am with “The Real Stan & Ollie,” an obvious reference to the new dramatic film about their later years, STAN & OLLIE .  I was a skeptic going in but I am thrilled to report that Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly are totally believable and I found it a funny and touching biopic. Since you will have to wait until January to see it why not enjoy three of their best shorts with live musical accompaniment by Jon Mirsalis as a great way to start your Saturday?

Want more of the boys? The Stanford Theater in Palo Alto is showing 35mm prints of two of their best features, SONS OF THE DESERT and WAY OUT WEST plus a great sound short, HELPMATES through Sunday.

And while the fabulous Mont Alto is here from Colorado they will also accompany one of Harold Lloyd’s fastest and  funniest features, SPEEDY at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael on Sunday, December 2 at 4:15.  Immediately following the screening, historian John Bengtson will offer a fascinating illustrated presentation about the New York City locations for Speedy, including archival photographs and contemporary images of what the places look like today. , among other books.



Gary Meyer

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