"Bodega, a New York-based content creation/production company, has extended its reach Westward with the opening of a San Francisco shop headed by executive producer/partner Clint Goldman." More at shootonline.com.
"After whetting local appetites through a successful soft launch last year, 91 films are now listed in the 2011 Napa Valley Film Festival program guide. Those films—many of them short—will be played on 12 screens throughout the Napa Valley, including screenings in Calistoga, Yountville, St. Helena and the city of Napa." More at napavalleyregister.com.
"John Lasseter, the chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, will receive the 2,453rd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today," reports Daily News Wire Services. More at dailynews.com.
Press release: The San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation announced today that it is partnering with Gary Meyer to keep the City’s historic Balboa Theatre (1926) open and to develop a sustainable long-term plan for the theater. The Theater Foundation also announced it has reached an agreement to lease the theater through 2024—securing the future of one of San Francisco’s oldest operating cinemas. More at sfntf.org.
Press release: The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival announced its new Executive Director: Lexi Leban, who begins working with the festival November 7, 2011. A longtime member of the Bay Area film community, Lexi has worked in all aspects of film, from production to distribution. She’s also worked with numerous film festivals, including the Mill Valley Film Festival, the San Francisco International Film Festival, and the Global Social Change Film Festival in Bali. Lexi is currently Academic Director of the Digital Filmmaking & Video Production Program at the Art Institute of California, where she built the department from its inception. Her most recent feature documentary, Girl Trouble, which follows young girls in San Francisco’s juvenile justice system, aired on PBS’s acclaimed series Independent Lens in January of 2006, and won Best Bay Area Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival. More at sfjff.org.
"After their weekend-long Film Independent Forum," reports Sophia Savage, "FIND announced eleven filmmakers and nine projects for their 11th annual Producers Lab, and named Brent Hoff and Malcom Pullinger the winners of the 5th annual $25,000 Sloan Producers Grant." More at indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood.
"Filmmakers and coders hunkered down for two days of creative collaboration here during a first-of-its-kind hackathon that explored the future of web video — specifically Popcorn.js, Mozilla’s HTML5 media toolkit designed to amp up interactivity" reports Angela Watercutter. More at wired.com.
"The launch of SF360.org, an online publication devoted to covering the entire Bay Area film community, was one of San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Graham Leggat's first initiatives when he took over the organization," writes Pam Grady. "...in November, a victim of financial realities and organizational changes in the wake of Leggat's recent death, SF360.org will cease publication." More at SFGate.
Press release: San Francisco Film Society announced the appointment of Bingham Ray as its executive director, effective November 7, 2011. Ray comes to the San Francisco Film Society from New York City, where he recently served as the first run programming consultant to the Film Society of Lincoln Center, executive consultant to the digital distribution company SnagFilms and adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. More at sffs.org.
"Star Wars creator George Lucas is betting millions of his own dollars that moviegoers will be drawn to an action movie about African-American fighter pilots in World War II," reports Christopher John Farley. "Mr. Lucas has self-financed a new film entitled Red Tails inspired by the true story of the first organized group of African-American fighter pilots in the U.S. armed forces." More at wsj.com.
"Netflix Inc. is abandoning its widely panned decision to separate its DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming services," reports Peter Svensson, "because it would make them more difficult to use." More at sfgate.com.
"Fritz Manes, who had a long association with Clint Eastwood, producing, exec producing or associate producing a dozen of the films Eastwood directed between 1977 and 1986," reports Variety, "died of lung and brain cancer on Sept. 27 in Sherman Oaks, Calif." More at variety.com.
AP: "Steve Jobs saw the future and led the world to it. He moved technology from garages to pockets, took entertainment from discs to bytes and turned gadgets into extensions of the people who use them," writes Jordan Robertson. "Jobs, who founded and ran Apple, told us what we needed before we wanted it." More at sfgate.com.
"As chairman and chief executive officer of Pixar," reports Lisa Respers France, "Jobs led the way in marrying the endless possibilities of technology with the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry." More at cnn.com.
"Disney has officially announced today that 'on the heels of the phenomenal success' of The Lion King 3D, they're now setting up 3D re-releases of four Disney/Pixar classics over the next two years, starting with Beauty and the Beast in 3D," reports Alex Billington. More at firstshowing.net.
"The 15th annual Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Fest opens tonight," reports Amanda Schurr, "with a screening of David Weissman’s latest documentary, We Were Here." More at justout.com.
"After an eight-year tenure as the festival’s director," reports Dan Pine, "[Peter Stein] is stepping down Oct. 3 — and once again becoming a regular film festival fan." More at jweekly.com.
“Presumed Guilty was nominated for three Emmys — outstanding investigative journalism (long form), best documentary and best research — and has received some 20 festival awards," reports Cathy Cockrell. More at berkeley.edu.
"The documentary, which aired last season on Independent Lens, reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential advertising creatives of our time." More at beyondthebox.org.
"The multiyear deal announced Monday," reports Michael Liedtke, "will give Netflix's streaming service the exclusive rights to show the latest content from DreamWorks, the studio behind a list of popular franchises that includes Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar." More at usatoday.com.
I find it disturbing that so many people still love Gone with the Wind. I’m not talking about esthetics here (although I do discuss those below), but content. Even by the standards of Hollywood in the first half of the 20th century, David O. Selznick’s epic comes off as exceptionally racist. Warner Brothers, which did […]
The big event this week is the one-day Silent Autumn festival. I’ve placed festival films at the bottom of this newsletter. C+ The Zero Theorem, 4-Star, Elmwood, opens Friday. In the 1980s, Terry Gilliam’s new film feels like a less-effective retreat of his brilliant Brazil. Like that far superior picture, it’s set in a dystopian society […]
“For me, Hollywood no longer exists. It’s past history. I’ve decided to stay in Mexico because I believe I can make my pictures with greater freedom from here.” – Sam Peckinpah (1) Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) is easily Peckinpah’s bleakest, most brutal film, and that in itself is saying something. It’s […]
Popularly viewed as Peckinpah’s first accomplished film following the compromised The Deadly Companions (1961), Ride the High Country (1962) has been mostly seen as the director’s farewell to the traditional Western formula while incorporating features that faintly anticipate future creative developments in his work (1). While offering no real challenge to the achievements of later […]
Walking to Asakusa through deserted cityscape. Stores are shuttered. Very few people streaking by on bicycle or scattering to conbini safety. It’s a holiday and the sky is heavy and grey. Time wave zero vibrations flowing out from the subways, water rushing through dark and secret passages under ...