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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Welcome To My Movie, Won’t You Come In?

By Steve Segal

May 23, 2022

Ever since audiences fled for their lives seeing the Lumière’s Train Entering the Station in 1895, filmmakers have been trying to bring cinema audiences into the action. I recently saw two such examples. 

Gone Gone Beyond is a one-hour 360-degree cinema collage presented by Recombinant Media Labs CineChamber. It is showing in San Francisco at the Gray Area through Friday, May 27.

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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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More Loudly Anticipating the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

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

Hardly Silent- A Gallery of Silent Film Trailers and Posters

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. 

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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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