Were you ever inducted into the Jejune Institute?
Back in 2008, I started seeing a bunch of Scientology-esque Memory-to-Media Center fliers around town, involving a device that could transcribe your memories and dreams onto VHS tapes, among other inconceivable claims. If you called the number on the flier, you would be led to the physical office of the Jejune Institute in the Financial District, then down a rabbit hole of scavenger hunts and mystery-solving through some of the lesser traveled nooks and crannies of San Francisco and Oakland. There was a whole host of mysterious characters and seemingly fictional organizations, including a cultish leader, a missing teenage girl, a rival organization threatening to take down the Jejune Institute, a dancing sasquatch, a bizarre low-wattage radio station broadcast from Dolores Park, and more.
It was revealed three years later that the Jejune Institute was a massive, intricate, immersive art project and alternate reality game, designed by artist Jeff Hull in order to encourage residents to explore their own city through an unlikely lens — a kind of Children’s Fairyland for adults. Around the same time, the Jejune Institute closed abruptly and left a lot of questions unanswered.
The Institute, a film by Spencer McCall, appears to be a documentary about the Jejune Institute, featuring many interviews with participants and the creator himself. However, it is not entirely clear how much of the film is real and how much of it is just another chapter to Hull’s art project. Some believe that more installments of the Jejune Institute await, and that this film is just the beginning of the next one.
The Institute is one of the most interesting and weirdly inspiring films I’ve seen lately, and it will appeal to fans of scavenger hunts, secret stairway walks, conspiracy theories, Unsolved Mysteries, the Museum of Jurassic Technology, and the like. The Institute opens on Friday, October 4 and runs through Wednesday, October 9 at the Roxie.
Spotted this kindly monster at Valencia at 20th, peddling his wares (mostly, jewelry made of animal horn) on a sunny afternoon.
Billy and Bruce of Polaroid SF are celebrating another year of daily instants with another show at 111 Minna, and they shared with us a sneak peek of some of their favorite shots from our neighborhood. I was stoked to see that good ol’ Flat Top and Mohawk (formerly Flattop and Mohaw) made the cut! Go ahead, click and zoom in to see them in full glory.
Here’s what they had to say about shooting in the Mission:
The light in the Mission is some of the best in the city. The ‘golden hour’ always seems to last a little longer in this part of the town. And there is never a shortage of characters out on the street to engage with. A day out shooting in the Mission is almost always rewarding.
Another Year in Polaroids opens this Friday the 13th, 5-10pm, and of course it includes a Polaroid photobooth. The show is up for one night only, so add this to your calendars now!
The grand opening is today! The new shop is at 3491 19th Street (at Valencia) in the old Chamalyn space, and they’ll be serving up fresh tea and balls all weekend. Also, the Boba Guys are very awesomely donating all profits from this weekend to Little Brothers SF, a local non-profit that helps the elderly combat loneliness and isolation.
Just in time for Pride, which is just around the corner! And seriously, when was the last time you saw something at the Victoria?
Frameline37 will be showcasing documentaries and narrative features from over 30 countries, and will also be screening films at the Castro Theatre and Rialto Cinemas in Berkeley. Notable films and events in the festival include a film adaptation of Michelle Tea’s Valencia, a retrospective screening of But I’m a Cheerleader, that James Franco-produced documentary on the Armory and Kink.com, another new James Franco project, a spotlight on Queer Asian Cinema, and more.
Did you make it to the Needles and Pens 10 Year Anniversary Show last month? (Fun fact: I arrived there in a cop car.) If you missed it, a couple of talented folks over at Inventory Magazine have produced this dreamy video with some of the highlights.
SFist reports the tragic news that neighborhood icon Virginia Ramos, the Tamale Lady, is no longer allowed to sell her delicious tamales at Zeitgeist due to city codes and regulations and her lack of a permit. This is a serious bummer. Read on for more details from the Tamale Lady herself.
According to her Twitter, Tamale Lady is planning to have her 60th birthday celebration at the Eagle Tavern instead this year. If you have any ideas on how she can sell her tamales in the city legally, reach out to her there, or party with her at the Eagle on the 21st.
Remember those good ol’ days when Woody Allen was in the Mission making a movie? The film opens next month and is called Blue Jasmine, and the first trailer is out, in which Cate Blanchett refers to an apartment nicer than yours as “homey” and another guy refers to the neighborhood as a “big comedown” from what rich people are used to.
SF DocFest, SF Indie’s 12th annual documentary festival, starts today and runs through the 23rd. The festival kicks off tonight with the west coast premiere of Spark: A Burning Man Story at the Roxie Theater.
Notable and relevant film screenings include: