Jacques Becker: An Introduction to a Master

by Frako Loden This past week has been an exhilarating and deeply moving experience for me as I’ve explored the films of French director Jacques Becker for the first time. For my teacher I have another French writer/filmmaker, Bertrand Tavernier (Coup de Torchon, Life and Nothing But, The Princess of Montpensier), whose 2017 documentary My […]

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 […]

PFA Polish Animation 70 Years

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 […]

Critics Corner: LIFE ITSELF

Read two critical perspectives on Life Itself  (2014, Steve James) , from Frako Loden and Dennis Willis.  Life Itself  opens in San Francisco at Landmark Cinema’s Embarcadero Center Cinema, Landmark’s Albany Twin in Albany, and Rafael Film Center in San Rafael on Friday, July 4, 2014. 

PFA: Kenji Mizoguchi–A Cinema of Totality

by Frako Loden [Be warned: Plot spoilers abound] Mizoguchi Kenji (1898-1956) is always in the holy trinity of directors—Kurosawa Akira and Ozu Yasujirô are the other two—invoked by Western cineastes as Japan’s greatest.  But perhaps aside from his 1953 Ugetsu , which won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, few non-scholarly filmgoers have […]