The more observant among us may have noticed, in the past few months, the appearance of a new cabal–the just-born secret society of art film-loving genre hounds behind a series of grindhouse-style double features showing at the grand old Victoria Theatre.
The San Francisco Cult and Psychotronic Film Society, which manifested for the first time this past July, is fueled by the occult, powered by the bizarre, devoted to the obscure.
Anyone who's worked in media in the last few years is surely familiar with the concept of "stickiness." According to the gospel of modern media, it's a certain X-factor that guides the spread of the news, ideas, and even governs which personal narratives tend to rise to the top in celebrity circles. Stickiness determines which narratives flourish and which die on the vine, and is ultimately more important to the spread of a story than its falsehood or veracity.
As a child and early adult, I suffered from an undue attachment to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, beginning with the rather drab Disney version, and rapidly expanding to include the original book and its sequel Through the Looking Glass, a series of somewhat creepy porcelain and fabric figurines.
After a marathon weekend of black-and-orange celebration of all sorts, (Go Giants!) the last of the Halloween offerings trickle into theaters; most will slither away shortly after they came, but some are worth checking out. Here are our picks:
Now that a certain chill is in the air and pumpkin food and drink is being hawked by every vendor in sight, we take a break from our regular film calendar (which isn't really doing much in the horror department this year–come on San Francisco!) to share some of the best overlooked horror flicks from the past.
There are certain imperatives and obligations that come to the forefront when one becomes a journalist of any sort. Traditionally, they have to do with integrity, fairness, respecting the intelligence of the reader and other fairly unglamorous notions, but when one sets foot in San Francisco, they start–like most other things–to get a little weird. In our fine city, I can see no journalistic imperative higher than the obligation to encourage the leading arts and cultural institutions to program the silliest, most over-the-top, most fun events and programs–because if no one but you goes to see them, maybe they won't do it again, you know?
Somewhat troublingly for those of us without cars, bikes or private helicopters, one of the San Francisco's biggest film events, the Mill Valley Film Festival, isn't actually in San Francisco. Known for its propensity to attract top-tier talent and lead the Oscar season more than its laughably ugly program covers, the MVFF takes a bit of patience to reach by bus, but is resoundingly worth the trip, and makes a great weekend mini-getaway to boot.
Welcome to "On Location," a micro-feature taking you to little-known cinematic locations of SF and taking a look at the films shot in the city by the bay over the years. This week we head to the Mill Valley Film Festival for an interview with Spencer McCall, director of the local doc The Institute.
Now that the heatwave has subsided and you've begun to feel that good ol' San Francisco malaise start to return, why not throw on your puffy jacket, grab your boyfriend/girlfriend (if you didn't break up with them in a fit of Indian Summer-induced mania), take a seat in a nice comfy theatre and enjoy some rays of a different sort. This week's recommendations:
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