All That Breathes

By C.J. Hirschfield

(January 17, 2023)

The Oscar folks recently announced their shortlist of 15 films that will advance in the Documentary Feature Film Category for the upcoming Academy Awards, out of 144 that were eligible. It’s an impressive list that includes excellent features on Russian activist Alexei Navalny, iconic poet/singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen, and two fearless volcanologists who made an exciting life together.

And while I think it’s a long shot that a film about two brothers in New Delhi who have devoted their lives to rescuing injured birds will ultimately win, HBO’s All That Breathes deserves a place on the distinguished and competitive lineup for its sensitive portrayal of family, its reverence and respect for the natural world, and its warning about the dangers of religious hatred that divides us. Continue reading

UNSUNG HEROES THROUGH THE NIGHT- Special Free Screening Thursday, Jan. 19

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Updated January 17, 2023)

Shanina and Noah

Shanona Tate is one of the frontline workers we have come to revere as of late—a pediatric emergency room nurse who works the overnight shift at a New York hospital. We can bang pots and pans to acknowledge her service and that of other employees within essential industries who must physically show up to their jobs—at whatever hour–but until we really see the economic and psychic toll it takes we can’t begin to understand how our current system is not working for them.

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NEW YEARS CHEER- A Nostalgic Look at Past New Years Through Images, Movies and Music

Welcome 2023!

We have brought back some of our favorite images, videos and music from our last version of this celebration and added new finds and fun. You will find music, food, drinks, photos and more. From Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald to Chuck Berry, Etta James, The Ramones, L’l Nas, Nina Simone, and watch The Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve 4+ hour concert to close Winterland following a collection of Dead NYE concert posters. There are superheroes, favorite cartoon characters, movie stars from the silent era onwards, comedians including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges plus how to  countdown to midnight with Star Wars.

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I Didn’t See You There

By C.J. Hirschfield

(Updated January 9, 2023)

A monument to circus showman P.T. Barnum stands in Reid Davenport’s hometown of Bethel, Connecticut. “He got a pedestal,” says the director of I DIDN’T SEE YOU THERE, the new documentary that premiered at the 65th SFFILM Festival, while the disabled filmmaker’s perspective is from the sidewalk. The film, a meditative and personal feature that invites the viewer to see the world through his eyes—and at his level– often refers to the corrosive legacy of Barnum’s freak shows and how society relates to those who are different.

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They Were Calling It the Twentieth Century

 

An excerpt from Dana Stevens’ “CAMERA MAN”

(Greatly updated December 3, 2022)

In this genre-defying work of cultural history, the chief film critic of Slate places comedy legend and acclaimed filmmaker Buster Keaton’s unique creative genius in the context of his time.

Buster Keaton will be celebrated at the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive during the month of December, 2022. Starting Sunday, December 4 with SHERLOCK JR. and two shorts and continuing through Wednesday, December 21, five features and 15 shorts will be screened with musical accompaniment. Author Dana Stevens will introduce several programs. Continue reading

Silents, Please!

Anticipating the SFSFF’s Day of Silents Makes My Endorphins Rise

by Meredith Brody

(December 1, 2022)

William Haines and Marion Davies in SHOW PEOPLE

I keep my TV tuned (do we say tuned, nowadays?) to TCM. It’s what greets me when I snap on the TV (do we say snap on, nowadays), and has resulted in me being surprised that The Apartment or The Women or Wild River or Touch of Evil is playing. I pause to watch “for JUST a few minutes,” and end up trapped, mesmerized by The Whole Thing. Continue reading