Watch ARENA’s “Night and Day”

(updated April 21, 2019)
The San Francisco Film Festival gave the Mel Novikoff Award  to the great BBC series ARENA and its producer Anthony Wall. 
The award is named after the much loved San Francisco art cinema owner whose Surf Theatre was legendary. Novikoff saw the potential of taking the rundown and all-but-forgotten Castro Theatre and making it a true destination for movie lovers. It is given “to an individual or institution whose work has enhanced the film-going public’s appreciation of world cinema.” 

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by Meredith Brody

On my first sweep through the SF Film catalogue, even trying to be slightly discriminating and not greedily inclusive, I came up with 54 different films and events that I wanted to see. Fat chance! I knew there’d be overlaps in screening times as well as distances between venues that would cut down that list, as well as life intervening in a festival that occurs tantalizingly in your hometown.


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By Leonard Pitt

I knew Stan Laurel personally. In 1960, I sat with him in his living room and talked about the old days. Well, he did most of the talking. I was only nineteen. In our conversation, he told me about their tour to Great Britain in 1953. Jump forward 59 years and I’m sitting in a movie theater waiting for the curtain to go up on STAN & OLLIE, the film about that very tour. John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan do a great job portraying the two comics. But oh my, what the film missed!

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CALVADOS CLOSE-UP: On Moviemaking as Tasting Trip

by Jonathan Kiefer

The origin of AROUND THE SUN is this. My friend Oliver Krimpas and I had been trying to make a movie together for years. The plan was for me to write a script that he’d direct. After a false start with one project that couldn’t achieve liftoff, austere frugality seemed like the only way forward. I tried to think up some idea involving very few characters in mostly one locale. It was like the Mystery Box challenge: to take a few choice luck-of-the-draw ingredients, and a finite amount of time, and prepare a dish that Gordon Ramsay won’t spit out and yell at you for.

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