Via Chicago
— Errata Movie Podcast —

Most of the people who visit this site don't live in San Francisco, but as long as I'm updating my personal calendar each week with potential screenings, I might as well dump a few of the highlights here.

Coming up in the next week, a little something for everyone:

  • Millennium Mambo — This is the first of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's films to get a U.S. release, and although the distribution has been very limited since it played in New York last December, the movie will be in my neck of the woods for a week starting this Friday, playing at Landmark's Opera Plaza. We're now several years into the new millennium, and the movie did play here once in 2002 at the film festival, but that's not enough. Even though it's one of Hou's minor works, I argue that it's been unfairly dismissed, and anyway this is a rare opportunity to see one of Hou's movie's projected.
  • The Triplets of Belleville — In case you missed this fun and clever animated feature from France, the Red Vic is giving you a few more chances, on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
  • Godzilla — Playing uncut for the first time in the U.S., the original Godzilla is making the rounds. It gets a two-week engagement at the Castro, starting Friday. Here's the dramatic trailer.
  • My ArchitectThe Red Vic will be showing Nathaniel Kahn's personal journey to understand his father, architect Louis Kahn, on Sunday and Monday.
  • Distant — Nuri Bilge Ceylan's acclaimed movie continues through Saturday at The Roxie. I haven't seen it, yet, but it comes highly recommended, and I'm hoping to catch it before it's gone.
  • Chronicle of a SummerThe PFA remembers Jean Rouch with a single screening on Thursday of his man-on-the-street film from 1960, plus a short. Rouch's movies are very difficult to see anywhere, so this is a rare treat.
  • Four by OzuThe PFA is also showing four of Yasujiro Ozu's lesser known movies on Friday and Sunday, all of them about mothers. These were part of the Ozu retrospective that played in several cities last year, and we're lucky to get a second peek. I've seen a couple of them; A Hen in the Wind is particularly devastating.
  • Films From Along the Silk RoadThe Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is running a series in May, starting this Friday, that highlights movies from Central Asia that have been lost in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Holy cow, even without setting foot in a multiplex, it's impossible to see everything, but it's hard to go wrong with any of the above. I'll be spending most of my weekend riding roller coasters, literally, so I'm not sure what I'll be able to squeeze in. We'll see.

And don't forget that Sunday is Mother's Day.

Posted by davis | Link
Reader Comments
May 6, 2004, 06:45 AM

If you're taking suggestions on the Films From Along the Silk Road program, I'd say the best of the bunch is Darezhan Omirbaev's Ka?rat and Ardak Amirkulov's The Fall of Otrar. The odd part is, the program was named from a Marat Sarulu film called My Brother Silk Road (at least when it played at Lincoln Center) - they kept the program name, but not the film. :)

May 6, 2004, 10:22 AM

Thanks very much for the suggestion. I'm not familiar with anything in the series, so that helps. My brother recently adopted a baby from Kazakhstan so I've been on the lookout for movies from there, not having seen a single one. That's how this series showed up on my radar in the first place. It's funny that I'd identified the same two movies, but for entirely different reasons. :-)

May 6, 2004, 04:57 PM

Oh, that kid must be adorable! I really like the Eurasian aspects of their culture; it seems so harmonious. :)

This has nothing to do with the films but it's a great story about Kazakhstan anyway so I thought I'd share it. ;) Before the screening of Revenge, the filmmaker Ermek Shinarbaev got up to praise profusely the author of the novel on which the film based, a popular contemporary Russian author named Anatoli Kim. He then went on to talk about how, under Joseph Stalin, all Koreans living in Russia were sent on a forced march to central Asia during the height of winter in a kind of indirect attempt at genocide. So, when they got to Kazakhstan, they were surprised to find that these Soviet people welcomed them wholeheartedly into their community. Anyway, there is now a thriving Korean population in Kazakhstan, and Anatoli Kim is a product of that community.

The film itself was also quite illuminating because it showed a pre-Soviet aspect of central Asia where the the intermingling between the East and West was more organic, it seemed like such a great cultural melting pot before the formation of the Soviet Union.

BTW, you may also be interested in Kent Jones' online article for the Central Asian program at Film Comment.

May 7, 2004, 04:42 PM

That's a great story, acquarello. I relayed it to my brother who said that another group of people that Stalin sent to Kaz were feared intellectuals, so small communities of authors, poets, and other artists rose up in Kazakhstan in towns like Almaty, which became a kind of "second Moscow" for some people, so it has an opera house, ballet, and lots of universities.

Interesting place.