Arts & Events

Movies in the Margin

Gar Smith
Friday November 11, 2016 - 05:06:00 PM

The Notorious Silent Film That Caused an Outcry

In the run-up to the SF Silent Film Festival in December, the folks at the Alamo Drafthouse cinema offered to help the SFSFF celebrate the centennial of the New Mission Theatre by hosting "A SILENT NIGHT at the ALAMO," a selection of silent era classics. The event begins this Saturday, November 12, when the infamous Diary of a Lost Girl (Germany, 1929, 113 minutes) screens at the Alamo from 7-9PM.

G.W. Pabst's 1929 masterpiece stars the luminescent Louise Brooks, who also starred in Pabst's 1928 Pandora's Box. Both films caused a furor upon their release owing to depictions of sexual themes and indictments of bourgeois hypocrisy. But those very qualities have ensured Diary—and its star, Louise Brooks—of a place in cinema history. As Henri Langlois, once wrote in Cinémathèque Française: "There is no Garbo, there is no Dietrich, there is only Louise Brooks."

The film will be accompanied by live music courtesy of The Musical Art Quintet, performing an original score by Sascha Jacobsen. 

For more information about the SFSFF, visit: 

For more information about the Alamo Drafthouse, visit: 


Bollywood and Beyond: The South Asian Film Fest November 10-13 

3rd i's 14th Annual San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival: Bollywood and Beyond (SFISAFF) will run this year November 10th – 13th at the New People and Castro Theater in San Francisco and continue in the South bay at the Bluelight Cinema in Cupertino on November 19th. 

From art-house classics to documentaries, to cutting-edge Bollywood flicks, the five-day independent film festival will screen 15 programs of narrative and documentary features along with shorts from South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora, including stories from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Canada, and the USA. 

This year, 3rd i Films shines a spotlight on Voices from the Diaspora, featuring work by filmmakers living between two cultures. Here are some highlights. 

Sami Khan's intimate and atmospheric feature KHOYA/LOST captures the story of a Canadian man who returns to India after the death of his adopted mother, seeking to unravel the mystery surrounding his adoption. (Khan will be in attendance at the screening.) 

The film features a haunting score by ECMA award-winners Daniel Ledwell and folk musician Jenn Grant. The film stars Rupak Ginn who grew up in San Francisco. 

New York-based Naeem Mohaiemen's immersive and brilliant doc UNITED RED ARMY unravels some dark history. Part of a trilogy on radical left-wing movements, it reconstructs the hijacking of Japan Air Lines flight 472 at the hands of the Japanese Red Army in 1977, and its forced landing in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Mohaiemen will be present via skype for Q&A.) 

In Amit Gupta's charming UK-based, Woody Alan-esque comedy, ONE CRAZY THING, Ray Panthaki (recently named one of BAFTA's Breakthrough Brits) plays a former daytime TV star whose life has hit rock bottom—until he meets his dream girl. There's only one problem: How does Jay tell Hannah about the leaked sex tape that made him an Internet sensation? 

For full details on the films and screening schedules, go to: 

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New Italian Cinema: Benvenuti al Festival! 

It's time to uncork some vino and join your closest Italian cine-buddies at the 20th annual New Italian Cinema (NIC) festival at the Vogue Theatre in San Francisco. The festival runs from Wednesday-Sunday, November 16-20. 

The festivities begin with an opening night screening of Second Spring, which tells the story of an architect whose fixation with the wife of a younger friend gives him an opportunity to see life anew. (Director Francesco Calogero will appear in person on November 16.) 

The traditional Opening Night Party—complete with wine and antipasti—is set for the San Francisco Italian Athletic Club (1630 Stockton Street) from 8.30-11.00pm. 

In addition to the seven features in competition, NIC will showcase five dramatic films by veteran Italian directors as part of the Special Screenings presentations. This year, we will also open a window on Italian documentaries in collaboration with the Festival dei Popoli (Italy's most prestigious documentary film festival) by screening three award-winning documentaries. 

The festival is presented by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of San Francisco and New Italian Cinema Events of Florence. More info at: