This year’s SF Documentary Festival kicks off with a ‘Free’ screening at McCoppin Plaza

The screening is of a movie called Free, and it is free, and it’s this Thursday, and there will be food trucks and stuff. Here’s a blurb about the movie:

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker David Collier and co-director Suzanne LaFetra have crafted a stirring, up-close documentary that follows a group of Oakland teens who find personal liberation and mutual support through dance. These dynamic young people face the very real challenges of poverty, alienation, HIV, sexual abuse, and gang violence but are dedicated to telling the truth— even if it hurts. Because the truth will, to some degree, set them free. FREE captures their struggles as they turn the courage, determination, and stamina required in their daily lives into a contagious joy.

McCoppin Plaza, as you know, is that plaza on the north end of Valencia Street next to the U-Haul place.

More info (on this event and on the rest of DocFest).

Movies-in-the-park season is almost here!

The Onion celebrates this fact in a short article titled “Outdoor Movie Guest Excited To Watch Barely Audible ‘Back To The Future’ While Sitting On Tree Root”:

Thrilled at the prospect of having to constantly reposition himself while straining to hear the movie’s dialogue, local man Sam Weber was excited Friday to watch a barely audible outdoor screening of Back To The Future from atop a hard, knobby tree root, sources reported. “Oh, man, I can’t wait to tiptoe around hundreds of people’s blankets before realizing the only free spot is on some root that sticks a few inches out of the ground and which will dig into my flesh for two hours,” said Weber, adding that while he’d already seen the sci-fi comedy classic many times, he was looking forward to experiencing it faintly projected onto a canvas hung far off in the distance as moisture from the grass steadily soaks through his pants.

Read on for the big finish.

Help keep Lost Weekend Video in the Mission!

It’ll come as no surprise that Lost Weekend Video has long been in danger of having to close up shop. Netflix, HBO Go, Popcorn Time, etc. But they’ve been on Valencia Street since the late ’90s, they’re a living relic of the Mission’s storied past, AND they’re continually taking cool steps toward remaining relevant and exciting.

Firstly, they started up the basement Cinecave performance space where they’ve been doing all kinds of cutting-edge comedy the last couple years. More recently, they’ve welcomed 1-2-3-4 Go! Records in to share the space, and hopefully that’s revving up business a little.

But also, with the help of some crowdfunding, they’d like to do all of this:

We will enhance & expand our video & retail services to better serve the needs of the 21st Century film enthusiast, including:

  1. A fully searchable online catalog, with IMDB links & weekly updates of new acquisitions.
  2. Rental delivery service for when you can’t get down to the store.
  3. Buying & selling of DVD/VHS collections, including new releases, collectibles & special orders.
  4. A continuously stocked collection of our own signature tees, totes & hoodies as well as related local & custom merchandise.
  5. Affordable video transfer services on-site.
  6. Continuing operation of our overwhelmingly popular Cinecave comedy shows.

On their crowdfunding page, for different donation levels you get all sorts of perks, like free video rentals and cool shirts and stuff. 32 hours left to donate! Check it out.

[Photo by 1-2-3-4 Go! Records SF on Instagram]

Tonight’s the final night at the Lex, AND the premier of a short film about the Lex

Lauren wrote in to tell us about all about it:

I realize you’ve run a few “lex is closing” posts – but we wanted to let you know about our project – part of which is a short documentary about the lex which is premiering at the San Francisco International Film Fest on April 30th, which also happens to be the last night of service at the Lex! AFTER PAAAAARTYY!! Just kidding, we will be working after the screening documenting the last night for the feature length that we are developing (by “developing”, we mean “fundraising”).

The short screens tonight at the Kabuki as part of a multifaceted program about a changing San Francisco. Get tickets and info here.

And check out the Lexington Club Archival Project for more.

Inside the Alamo Drafthouse at the New Mission, opening soon!

Today on the Alamo Drafthouse blog, former Roxie boss and new New Mission honcho Mike Keegan gives us the skinny:

What are we going to show at the New Mission? The short answer is, anything we think should be seen with an audience.  The slightly longer answer is: Hollywood blockbusters, independent pictures, classics, not-so-classics, foreign films, insane rediscoveries, restorations, rarities, documentaries, cult stuff, music stuff, interactive parties, and lots more.  From family-friendly sing-a-longs to gigantic space operas to brain-damaged total trash, it’s all under one gigantic roof at the New Mission.

Speaking of the New Mission, want to see how it’s coming along?

This is our big main room on the ground floor.  That scaffolding on the stage is where speakers are going to go, behind the screen.  Do you see those little holes in the ground?  Back in the day, each seat at the New Mission had individual heat blowers in the floor for each guest.  We’re not replicating that particular quirk, but we figure being able to eat and drink from your seat is a fair trade.  EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: We ARE replicating that personal atmospheric maintenance system!

Epic! Great work, Mike!

Read on for more pics and info.

Lost Weekend Video’s rad new plan to ally with Oakland’s 1234Go! Records

Well, this is some GRAND news!  Instead of having to close their doors for good in May as they previously feared, they’re going full Voltron:

First, Lost Weekend, in partnership with Oakland’s 1234Go! Records, will be relaunching the Valencia Street location on April 18th (Record Store Day 2015) as a new video store/record store hybrid, ready to serve all of your physical media needs. VHS, DVD, cassettes & vinyl – all in one place – with an expanded staff of enthusiastic fans ready to recommend the best in new or classic music & film.

A little bit of Oakland is just what the Mission needs right now!

Read on for the rest of the plot.

(Thanks Andy!)

‘Mystery Caller,’ a new short film by David Enos

Local independent filmmaker David Enos just released a new short, and it is amaaaaaaaazing. Filmed on location at Ocean Beach:

Robin Williams movies at the Roxie all weekend!

Here’s the plan:

Robin Williams’ indelible imprint on the San Francisco film community is a proud and distinctive one. In that spirit, on Saturday and Sunday, August 22 and 23, the Roxie Theater is holding a special memorial tribute featuring two of his best films: MOSCOW ON THE HUDSON (1984) and AWAKENINGS (1990). Both films will be presented in studio 35mm prints!

Nice! Get tickets here.

Here & Far at The Roxie

Before we got a bunch of our friends together and built The Secret Alley, Noel Von Joo and I got a bunch of our friends together and spent a number of years making a strange post-zombie-apocalypse movie, When Gravity Changes. It’s about a loner who is stuck on his roof while zombies swarm beneath him, the sun has stopped rising and his only companion is a talking raccoon . . . until he finds a city of fetuses hidden in a tree. It was shot on a roof in Santa Cruz, an attic in Sacramento and a gutter on our very own Capp Street.

Noel at home.
[Noel in the fetus city set]

The movie will be showing as part of Here & Far, curated by Sarah Flores, at The Roxie this Wednesday night. Our movie will follow a bunch of other local shorts, Vacation (2014) Written and Directed by Tracy Brown, As Long as There is Plenty (2013) Written and Directed by Kenneth Vaughn, Chaos Directed by Natalie Eakin, Bequeath the Heart By Zack Von Joo & Million Year Check-up By Davenzane Hayes.

The show starts at 7pm and The Roxie Theater is at 3117 16th St., near Valencia. You can purchase tickets in advance here.

Gypsies, Vagabonds and Refugees

Tonight Oddball Films presents Elswhere: Gypsies, Vagabonds and Refugees, a series of archival short films all about what really gets people moving.

[frame of Buster Keaton in Railrodder]

The Hitch-Hiker (1950), a rather racy instructional film on how to get a ride; Railrodder (1965), wherein an aging Buster Keaton traverses the Canadian National Railway in style; Madeline and the Gypsies (1959), the film adaptation of the classic tale by Ludwig Bemelman; The Greenie (1942) a touching bit of WWII propaganda about a young polish refugee; San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (1906), or how Oakland got its start; Thumbs Down (1974), a cautionary educational film featuring real-life Los Angeles hitchers; Story of the Hungarian Refugees (1956), a U.N.-produced piece regarding the perils of border-crossing; and Riff Raffy Daffy (1948), on one unlucky duck’s run-ins with the Pigs! …Plus: Newsreels, Wobblies, Navajos, + “Wild & Bully.”

Arrive early for Clowns, Henry Miller in Paris, Donuts and special surprises!

Sounds pretty cool. The show is tonight (Thursday, July 31st) at 8:00pm. Oddball Films is at 275 Capp Street (btwn 17th & 18th). Admission is $10 and you can RSVP to or (415) 558-8117