Compiled by Gary Meyer (update November 21, 2022)
The Internet can be a dangerous place to find the good, the bad and the ugly. Thanksgiving as a search subject is especially rewarding. We present a sampling, mostly from the past. We found vintage greeting cards, Hollywood stars, ads for disgusting sounding foods, awkward family photos and all around nostalgia. You won’t believe what turkeys have been put through but we hope you will laugh and be astonished.
By Gaetano Kazuo Maida
October 16, 2022
“The drum is like a heartbeat.” —John Santos
I grew up in the Bronx in the ‘50s. This was in an old Italian neighborhood, full of grape arbors and fig trees (even a goat!), but by the time I was eight our neighbors on one side and across the street were from Puerto Rico, and on the other side were African Americans; it’s mostly Caribbean now. My public school was a ten block walk from home and most of my classmates there were Jewish. My parents were a mixed couple (Japanese/Sicilian) and most of their friends were mixed in one way or another as well, so I had a strong sense of a wonderfully polyglot community that ill-prepared me for the rather homogeneous and affluent population of my elite public high school. But it did open my ears to a wide variety of music. The soundtrack at home was folk, blues, soul (long story), flamenco, and opera, but in the streets it was doo-wop and Afro-Caribbean.
By C.J. Hirschfield
October 8, 2022
For a documentary to even-handedly and adroitly cover a complex, painful and controversial subject in just 52 minutes requires not only talent, but a clarity of vision, and cinematic compassion.
Award-winning Bay Area filmmakers Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman have accomplished just that in their timely Town Destroyer, with its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival Saturday, October 8. Continue reading
By C.J. Hirschfield October 8, 2022
Xavier. Amin. Andrew. Blood Sugar X. Oakland’s Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, born Xavier Dphrepaulezz and now known as Fantastic Negrito has had many names, and even more lives. The new documentary Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?, which has its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, traces his remarkable and unlikely journey, telling the story in chronological order, interspersed with song tracks and jam sessions that feature his unique blues/R&B/roots music. It all comes together beautifully. Continue reading
By C.J. Hirschfield
Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said that “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
In Oakland, a remarkable woman warrior for social justice has worked hard–and successfully– to bend that arc over a ten-year period, and a new documentary reminds us just how powerful one passionate person can be.
Part Two- What I Will Be Seeing
By Meredith Brody
May 4, 2022
I learned my lesson early with the San Francisco Silent Film Festival: GO TO EVERYTHING.
The first year I attended, I cherry-picked only the movies I hadn’t seen before. The ones I went to were such a revelation – both in the presentation and the group experience – that my heart hurt as I walked away. What a MAROON I was. Even a movie I thought I knew well would be a fresh experience, featuring as it did not only live music, but one of the world’s great audiences. There’s a kind of euphoria that sets in when you commit to seeing everything on offer. Continue reading