Cleaning Out My Celluloid Closet


Poppa Hooker’s “Best Of” Stash

Greetings and salutations* Bay Area film nerds and nerdettes

If you’re tuned in and turned on to the Reel, you know it’s Poppa H’s mission to be your primo filter to all things cinematically relevant on the S.F. film scene.  And if you’re down with the Cinephiliac Cause, you know your esoteric embodiment of an aesthetic film filter (moi) is putting the system on trial* this week by literally holing himself up (in protest) a la Howard Hughes in a subterranean private theater with prints of some of my favorite movies. 

Alas every act of Cinematic Civil Disobedience must come to an end … So as the soggy-footed Wavy Gravy chased me from the Beatnik Library’s Secret Screening Room with my Howard Hughes Recluse Beard flapping in the North Beach air, I had an personal epiphany while I observed in phobic horror as my overgrown Hughes-inspired toenails shredded-from-within the Kleenex boxes that were once securely fastened to my germless feet. Double trouble was the Hughes Corp. Standard Issue Mason Jars Of Urine I was carrying began crashing mad in my wake, and … the final sign I probably need Hughes-Caliber “help” was I couldn’t use the payphone on Columbus and Broadway due to the fact my fingernails were twice the length of Patti LaBelle’s …

courtesy of Paramount Pictures

After shearing my extremities and taking an eight-hour shower, I finally realized what a nut I’d been for socking myself away in celluloid darkness from the real world.  Instead of retreating, I should be like the rest of Americans and charge blindly ahead! Yeah, that’s the ticket.* So whether you like it or not, I’ll do my part to help faithful readers get through this putrid summer of movie sequels by bestowing some taste on your starved cinematic palettes …

courtesy of De Laurentiis Entertainment

I feel better already. Like Belushi in The Blues Brothers, I’ve finally found my calling. This Thursday I’m on a mission from God* so listen up buttercups. Since 7x7 is all about Best of San Francisco these days, let me oblige faithful readers with a set of ten filmic bests from my cinematic closet.

These are films you should rent, savor like a fine wine then treasure for all eternity. If you don’t like them, you can beat my teeth out and kick me in the stomach for mumbling.* Until next week, this is MRF signing off. Be bad and get into trouble baby*.

Sunset Boulevard (1950) Dir. Wilder
Wings of Desire (1987) Dir. Wenders
The Long Goodbye (1973) Dir. Altman
To Have or Have Not (1944) Dir. Hawks
Blue Velvet (1986) Dir. Lynch
The Philadelphia Story (1940) Dir. Cukor
Shadows (1959) Dir. Cassavetes
North by Northwest (1959) Dir. Hitchcock
Young Frankenstein (1984) Dir. Brookes
Paris, Texas (1984) Dir. Wenders
The Graduate (1967) Dir. Nichols

Happenings Round Town:
•    Friday (6/15) to (6/18) – Grindhouse (2007) Dir. Tarantino & Rodriguez - Red Vic
•    Saturday (6/16) – Bloomsday Celebration (1904) Author: Joyce – Celebrate Ulysses, James Joyce’s Modernist Masterpiece as it turns 103 at the Mechanic’s Institute

Dolores Park Film Series, Tonight! (6/17) 9 pm
Hitchcock vs. Vincent Price In a Death Match Face Off. Who will win? You be the judge!
•    Dial M For Murder (1954) Dir. Hitchcock
•    House of Wax (1953) Dir. De Toth

Volume 18 Footnotes*
•    “Greetings and salutations.” – Heathers (1991): Christian Slater (channeling Jack Nicholson) to Winona Ryder.
•    “We’re putting the system on trial!” - And Justice for All (1979): Al Pacino shines in a tour de force performance as a lawyer with a hot streak.
•    “We’re on a mission from God.” – The Blues Brothers (1980): Inspired by the Penguin, Jake and Elwood vow to get the band back together.
•    “Yeah that’s the ticket.” – Saturday Night Live (1985): Jon Lovitz convinces himself with yet another lie as Tommy Flanagan.
•    “You know what Canino will do, he’ll beat my teeth out and kick me in the stomach for mumbling.” – The Big Sleep (1946): Bogie to Bacall in the climactic finale penned by the legendary trio William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler and Leigh Brackett.
•    “Let’s get into trouble baby.” – Tapeheads (1988): Soul Train host Don Cornelius (as Hollywood Producer Mo Fuzz) to upstart filmmakers Tim Robbins and John Cusack.

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