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 →
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 →
Assembled by Gary Meyer
(Updated November 21, 2022)
The theatrical release of a new documentary by Lisa Hurwitz, The Automat, has taken me back in time with its wonderful clips from classic movies and discussions of food favorites of our youth from Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Pot Pie to Custard Cups and Pumpkin Pie. It is essential viewing for those interested in the history of restaurants in the 20th Century, the combining of technology and home-cooked meals and a trip down memory lane even if you were born too late to actually visit one. But we also cover contemporary attempts at automated food. We have included many photos, film clips, recipes, music, and related links to supplement your enjoyment of The Automat now playing in theaters and at film festivals—only on the big screen.
Continue reading →
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.
Continue reading →
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 →
Curated by Gary Meyer
May 4, 2022 (updated May 6)
As the 25th San Francisco Silent Film Festival starts Thursday, May 5 and plays for a full week, we have gathered a collection of trailers, clips, rare posters and other ephemera from many of the films showing at this year’s celebration. The Festival partners with archives around the world to restore films. At the Festival there will be restored prints (looking better than many of these excerpts) and all are accompanied by live music. Silents does not mean “Silence.” In fact the proper enjoyment of silent movies include great musical accompaniment. The Festival features both local and international musicians. Sound is so important that they bring in their own sound system and technicians as the Castro doesn’t have great acoustics (something being corrected by the new operators).
We are getting ready for an unforgettable week.
Continue reading →