Saturday, September 29, 2018

The Innocents (1961)

A woman’s suffering face appears above a pair of tortured hands. Birds twitter…her distraught voice whispers…

All I want to do is save the children not destroy them. More than anything I love children. More than anything they need affection, love, someone who will belong to them and to whom they will belong.

And then a man’s voice is heard, “Do you have an imagination?” he asks, and the scene shifts to a well-appointed office where an elegant gentleman is addressing the young woman whose face we have already seen. She is now sitting in a chair and speaks animatedly with him as he continues asking questions and explaining the situation he offers.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


September 23 brings the 3rd annual Art House Theater Day, and when I first learned of it, I smiled. Memories of long-ago days and nights spent in the art houses of San Francisco and Berkeley came to mind. It was in these funky little theaters nestled in the Bay Area’s nooks and crannies that I was introduced to the films of Powell & Pressburger, Fellini, Chabrol, Lina Wertmuller and other filmmakers from outside the U.S. It was in these ragtag movie houses that I watched “revival” screenings of films like Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe? and John Cassavetes’ Husbands for the first time. Back in the day, art houses that presented foreign, indie and classic American films flourished around the US, in all major cities and university towns.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

6 Day French Noir Fest Coming to San Francisco

French Film Noir Series Focuses on the Frenetic '50s, Including Jeanne Moreau and Jean Gabin Programs

My friend Steve Indig, who's been brilliantly managing promotion for Midcentury Productions' film festivals for the past few years, has just announced details of this year's French film noir series in San Francisco. Set for November 15 - 20, the program for 2018 is bigger, and promises to be better, than ever:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Forever Roses

"Even bedridden, she was the most beautiful old lady I'd ever seen. There she was with no makeup but still beautiful skin, big blue eyes and little hands fluttering like small birds in the air. She smelled beautiful, too, like roses." - Sacha Briquet

Marlene Dietrich lived her final years in an apartment on Avenue Montaigne in Paris. French actor/comedian Sacha Briquet (1930 - 2010) had become a friend and confidante and was one of few visitors she would see as she made her way into advanced age. Briquet's lovely reminiscence has me contemplating the purchase of a lifetime supply of Jean Patou's Joy, with the fantasy of emanating the scent of roses for the rest of my life. Of course, I wouldn't mind doing this from an apartment in Paris either...