Niles: The Town that Gave Hollywood a Run for its Money

by Michael Covino

For a few bright heady years–-1913 to 1915–-the small East Bay town of Niles, about 20 miles south of Oakland, looked like it might offer Hollywood competition as the budding movie capital of the West. A sleepy agricultural town, it was awakened in 1869 when the transcontinental railroad arrived, surveyors having determined that scenic Niles Canyon afforded the best route through the East Bay Hills and into the San Francisco Bay Area.  Continue reading

San Francisco Silent Film Festival: Filmmaker’s Pick–A Conversation with Craig Baldwin

by Brian Darr

If there’s a filmmaker who more exemplifies the cliché of “living and breathing cinema” than Craig Baldwin, it’s hard to imagine who it might be. The Oakland-born cineaste’s conspiratorial works like Tribulation 99  and Mock Up On Mu  are radically collaborative both with the image-makers of the past (infused as they are by clips from industrial films, science-fiction touchstones, and all manner of other reclaimed reels), and with current kindred filmmakers like Bill Daniel and Sylvia Schedelbauer, who have played large roles in their creation.  Continue reading