The Sturgeon Queens (2014) is a charming paean to the Russ & Daughters appetizer store on the Lower East Side of NYC, now celebrating its hundred-year anniversary. The story is told by many different voices: three generations of the Russ family; celebrity patrons of the store such as Calvin Trillin, Maggie Gyllenhal, Mario Batali and Ruth Bader Ginsberg; and narrated by long-time customers who read from a script written by director Julie Cohen.
I look forward to the San Francisco Silent Film Festival all year long. It’s an intense event, but encompassable: this year’s iteration crams 19 events into a long weekend—with one movie on Thursday night, May 29, and the rest spread thickly across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The Festival’s brief—to show silent movies, both well-known and obscure, with live musical accompaniment—suits me right down to the ground. But I also cherish the opportunity to descend into a sort of childish gourmandise, built up over the years in a combination of experimentation and ritual. Continue reading →