Arts & Events

Don't Miss This: Fall Showings at PFA

By Dorothy Snodgrass
Tuesday August 24, 2010 - 01:40:00 PM

Have you had it up to here with the insipid, mindless movies currently showing in East Bay theatres -- films certainly not worth eight dollars, much less your valuable time? If such is the case, you'd be wise to pick up a Pacific Film Archives calendar at the Berkeley Art Museum at 2626 Bancroft Way. Whether hosting authors and artists in person, campus discussions, silent film restorations, and old-time music celebrations, the PFA theatre continues to be the place for the campus and local community to come together and access the most eclectic cinema-related live events that the Bay Area has to offer. 

PFA is proud to introduce an ongoing series that gives audiences a rare chance to hear from -- and meet -- those "behind the scenes.", the cinematographers, producers, editors, designers and others who collectively bring the "directional vision" to the screen. This September's guest is the producer Sid Ganis, former President of Motion Picture Art and Sciences. Ganis will talk about the integral role of the producer, his or her creative and financial responsibilities, and the areas in which the producer directly influences the final aesthetic outcome. On September 26th at 4:00 p.m.. Ganis will introduce his film, "Hud", made in 1963, staring Paul Newman and Patricia Neal. Other films in this series will be "In a Lonely Place," starring Humphrey Bogart, Thursday, Sept. 2nd at 7:00 p.m.; "Picnic" starring William Holden and Kim Novak, Sept. 5th at 6:45, to name just a few successful films. 

Another program presented in conjunction with the fall semester avant-garde course is Alternative Visions, with the Luis Bunuel film, L'Age d'or" and "Un Chant d'amour" written by Jean Genet from his prison cell during the war. This is a silent film, deemed obscene by the Alameda Superior Court, concurred by the Supreme Court in l967. 

William Shakespeare has provided inspiration for filmmakers around the world. PFA cooperating with California Shakespeare Company, offers up some of the most eclectic films: a German "Hamlet" made in 1920; Franco Zeffirel's "Romeo and Juliet", Lawrence Olivier's unforgettable "Henry V"; "King Lear", with Peter Sellars and Burgess Meredith, etc., etc. 

In October, PFA will offer "Days of Glory: Revisiting Italian Neorealism" --born out of the ruins of World War II. You'll recognize these familiar classics: Paisan (Roberto Rosselini); "The Bicycle Thief" (Vittorio de Sica) and, of course, "Bitter Rice" starring gorgeous Silvana Mangano. 

With such an ambitious and imaginative program of outstanding films, it should be mentioned here that BAM/PFA this past June announced the selection of the award winning architectural firm, Diller, Scofidio-Renfro to collaborate with BAM/PFA and the University on the execution of a design to repurpose an Art Deco printing plant and to integrate it with a new structure on a site along Oxford Street , between Center and Addison Streets. 

A BAM/PFA Member event will be a Fall Celebration, Tuesday, October 12, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., marking an exciting new exhibition season, namely the highly anticipated "Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945-2000. Oh, and we mustn't forget the very popular Friday night performances at L/@TE, showcasing some of the Bay's Best local music. The five-floor cement reverb chamber is a wonderful acoustic space for artists to fill with sound. Well, now, after all of the above -- if you're not a BAM/PFA member, you may be tempted to join. You can sign up at