Monday, October 24, 2005

gripe dept: Dear Mr. Mayor.......

I am a San Francisco voter, homeowner, and taxpayer.

I recently saw an extraordinary film called QUALITY OF LIFE shot for $30,000 in San Francisco by a San Franciscan. It’s playing at the U.A. Galaxy. It premiered last year the Berlin Intl Film Festival.

The filmmakers were very enthusiastic about the support they received from the Film Commission. I’ve experienced the same thing, and I thank you for all your effort in making this a more pro active department.

Unfortunately, the same level of enthusiasm and encouragement for up and coming San Francisco directors is not shared by the local tax supported non-profit San Francisco Film Society and S.F. International Film Festival. QUALITY OF LIFE, was rejected by our local festival. This is not the first time local unkown feature filmmakers have been snubbed, even though their films were widely regarded as good.

Local films, with local grassroots shoe string financing especially need our support. Making the film is the easy part, but marketing, and promotion is tough. The San Francisco Intl Film Festival is in a position to be an active participant in helping promote local unkown San Francisco feature filmmakers, and introducing them to the international film community.

There is a big difference between wooing Hollywood productions (most of which have no interest in doing post production here), and growing a grass roots, viable San Francisco filmmaker community which lives and works in San Francisco. The S.F. Film Society needs to be an active participant in supporting and promoting unkown San Francisco narrative filmmaking directors.

Anything you can do to encourage this would be appreciated. Local residents want to see local films.


Misha Anissimov

Friday, October 14, 2005

QUALITY OF LIFE opens in SF to rave reviews

Local S.F. feature QUALITY OF LIFE opens this weekend at the U.A. Galaxy on Vanness.
As many of yo know, opening weekend is make or break time with distributors. Deep six all your whining about crummy Hollywood films. If you don't make it out this weekend to see this flick, you may not see it for a long time. Don't sit on your ass like the young Kerry supporters did in the last election-the results could be disastrous. See ya at the movies..........

Lefty Nobel laureate Pinter's Screenplay Masterpiece

American expat lefty director Joseph Losey (resettled in England after the 1950's commie witchhunts) and recent lefty Nobel prize winner Harold Pinter combined talents in 1963 to make the english masterpiece THE SERVANT. No dought THE cinematic and screenwriting masterpiece to come out of England throughout the 1960's. Pinter's sensitivity to the working class relations with the upper class is uncanny. No left wing working class bleading heart sentimentalism here----all the characters are assholes with agendas- monumental writing. Think "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" meets dysfunctional "Discreet Charm of the Bougouise". 1963 England, B & W, directed by Joseph Losey, written by Harold Pinter.

Monday, October 03, 2005

SECONDS: A.D.D. Film Review #19

Frankenheimer's 1966 Cold War era midlife crisis nightmare SECONDS is a worthy addition to my ongoing list of that genre of films called "people who's faces are bandaged up". Frankenheimer was famous for the original MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, a surreal cold war era masterpiece, and SECONDS does not dissapoint. Picure this: you're a 51 year old white guy banker in a dead end marriage...and you chuck it all for reconstructive surgery to become an artist and...Rock Hudson! Priceless. And there's even an eye popping group nude grape stomping scene.....a bacchanalian delight. 1966, John Frankenheimer, B & W

ZODIAC movie Mark Ruffalo Sighting.......

Stumbled upon the ZODIAC shoot last Saturday at Irving and 25th in the foggy Sunset (our "third" and smallest Chinatown). A couple blocks were shut down and Fincher was shooting a "news crew rushes to the scene" scene, with 1960's vintage KGO news vans and all. Anyway, they're screamin down Irving, about 10 vehicles, including 1960's vintage motorcycle cops, and screech to a halt in front of the "ex" city leased art space which was converted to a "St Vincent DePaul" and who steps out of the lead vehicle?...a quizzically looking Mark Ruffalo playing a SF reporter. His long hair "do" was nothing less than stellar...I used to have one of those!~
Mark Ruffalo is a likable guy, and that ain't no small feat because the first time I saw him was in that horrendous Indy film XX-XY which screened at SF State (long story). He played a wishy washy charactrer I really wanted to choke, but then I kept telling myself "he's only playing a part, only playing a part". He was excellent in Campion's criminally underrated IN THE CUT.

Technical Observation: the entire scene was shot with no artificial lighting due to our unique daytime FOG, which acts as a natural diffuser.......

Another bit from a PA (from LA) I spoke to on the scene..lets call him "Vincent"...17 days shot here in SF. The shoot is wrapped, and they're off to LA to shoot the remaining 83 days (Fincher hates location shooting...see PANIC ROOM, etc...). Big difference between ZODIAC and something like MATRIX which went on and on. Not to belabor the point, but if more energy was spent developing SF Directors with opportunities (remember the Robin Eickman feature award?)...we can keep ALL the shooting schedule AND post THAT would help out local coffers.........