They Were Calling It the Twentieth Century

 

An excerpt from Dana Stevens’ “CAMERA MAN”

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.

Keaton’s STEAMBOAT BILL JR. with live musical accompaniment by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will screen at the 25th San Francisco Silent Film Festival on Saturday, May 7 at 3pm at the Castro Theater. Dana Stevens will introduce the showing. Information and tickets here

Stevens will also appear in conversation with writer David Thomson at the Bay Area Book Festival on Sunday, May 8 at 3:30. It will be both in-person and live streamed. Info here.

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A Filmmaker With The Right Stuff: An excerpt from “Philip Kaufman” by Annette Insdorf

American director Philip Kaufman is hard to pin down: a visual stylist who is truly literate, a San Franciscan who often makes European films, he is an accessible storyteller with a sophisticated touch. Celebrated for his vigorous, sexy, and reflective cinema, Kaufman is best known for his masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the astronaut saga The Right Stuff and an eclectic series of films including The Wanderers, Henry & June, The White Dawn and his remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier; on location with Phil Kaufman for The Right Stuff.

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The Rim of the World

On making the movie Wilder Than Wild, excerpted from Stories Make the World, Reflections on Storytelling and the Art of the Documentary by Stephen Most.

            People have always used fire to protect human life from nature and to alter what nature provides. A key sequence in the story of humanity and fire is the Industrial Revolution when energy from burning fossil fuels began to drive machines. Within vehicles and factories, generators and outlets, appliances, and innumerable devices, firepower is concealed. As people in increasing numbers leave rural areas and fill cities, they perceive fire more as a threat than a tool. Continue reading

CHASING ELUSIVE PORTRAITS

by Elizabeth Rynecki

I grew up surrounded by my great-grandfather’s painting; images documenting the life of Polish-Jews in between the two World Wars. I understood from an early age that my great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943), perished in the Holocaust, but I knew little about how Dad and his parents survived.gyc_wedding (1).jpg Continue reading