ANIMATION EXPLORES NEW DIMENSIONS IN 2022

By Robert Bloomberg

In 1928, inspired by the talkie that changed the world, “The Jazz Singer,” Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created “Steamboat Willie,” the first cartoon with fully synchronized music and sound effects, demonstrating the potential power and delight of animation. 

The ten films in this year’s Animation Show of Shows perfectly illustrate the culmination of that potential. Most of the shorts, curated and presented by Acme Filmworks founder Ron Diamond, require no subtitles and rely solely on that marriage of image and sound.

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FANTASTIC NEGRITO: A Cat With More Than Nine Lives

Fantastic Negrito: Have You Lost Your Mind Yet? album review | Louder

 

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

Gratitude Revealed : Repurposed—With Purpose

By C.J. Hirschfield

September 16, 2022

Gratitude and mindfulness are the subject of countless books right now, with credible medical studies showing that cultivating these practices can actually improve both physical and mental health.

So it’s understandable that award-winning director, cinematographer and producer Louie Schwartzberg has chosen the title Gratitude Revealed for his visually stunning and thought provoking new documentary. It could also have been titled “Joy,” or “Celebrating Life,” or even “Sharing my Forty Years of Capturing Beautiful and Meaningful Images.”

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You’re In The Gone, Gone Picture and Beyond

By Gary Meyer

May 26, 2022 (updated May 29)

Most of us see in 3D. We can look around, above, and below. We take it for granted and it is generally not a thrill ride.

But offer us a pair of 3D glasses, a VR rig or some kind of created immersive environment to take us to places we have not been, other worlds or to be in the middle of action scenes and many of us are willing to pay a premium for the enhanced experience—at least once. And then the novelty wears off and we go back to traditional ways of viewing.

Vicki Bennett looks at us

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Gravity Spells Returns- “Embrace the Vortex”

By Brian Darr

May 19, 2022

In 2014 John Davis produced a double-album entitled Gravity Spells: Bay Area New Music and Expanded Cinema Art, which presented sound recordings made by himself as well as Maggi Payne, Tashi Wada, Ashley Beloun and Ben Bracken, paired with accompanying DVDs featuring work by local moving image artists Lawrence Jordan, Craig Baldwin, Paul Clipson and Kerry Laitala. The release was accompanied by four weekend performances at the Kala Art institute in Berkeley, and the discs quickly sold out.

Now nearly eight years later there’s a sequel release, Gravity Spells II involving an entirely new slate of Bay Area sound artists and filmmakers. This time around the performances celebrating the release will all be held  May 19-22  at venerable Mission District venue The Lab. Only the artists know quite what to expect, but they’re sure to present a unique live cinema experiences.

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