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Paul Clipson, Melvin Van Peebles, Kevin Jerome Everson, Jang Kun-jae, More

Max Goldberg, writing for the San Francisco Bay Guardian, has seen Paul Clipson "project films on a billowing screen under the stars; in the squat confines of the Café Du Nord for the On Land music festival, where his work expanded several performances; and on the sides of a dome structure atop Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. There have been more traditional screenings as well, though Clipson's eclectic live projections are drawing attention — he's fresh back from a brief European tour and will be featured in New York's Views from the Avant-Garde this weekend. Before then, he'll present a ranging survey of his recent efforts at SFMOMA, where he works as head projectionist." Paul Clipson Presents the Elements happens tonight and SFMOMA's Brecht Andersch hollers: "Expect complete synesthetic-cinécstasy!"

Meantime, Brian Darr previews the highlights of the Pacific Film Archive's series, Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, running through March 31.

 

LOS ANGELES


Sometimes an artist's work spawns imitations that are at direct political odds with its inspiration's intentions," writes Ernest Hardy. "That particular irony of lineage is on full display with [tomorrow's] opening-night program of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's retrospective Paint It Black: Revisiting Blaxploitation and African American Cinema of the 1970s. Melvin Van Peebles's 1971 experimental, surreal, art-house, black-pride manifesto Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is on the same bill as Gordon Parks Jr's formally straightforward drug-lord tale, Super Fly, released the following year. In countless interviews over the years, Van Peebles has agreed without hesitation that his film was the spark that lit the blaxploitation blaze, but he also has wryly noted that Sweetback's celluloid progeny (many of the films had white writers and/or directors) had been stripped of politics and then populated with buffoons."

Also in the LA Weekly, Michael Joshua Rowin: "Of filmmakers favoring the epic long take, Kevin Jerome Everson is among the most demanding: Viewers must meet him significantly more than halfway, though they'll be rewarded for doing so.... What Everson forces us to observe in Erie — which makes its West Coast premiere Monday night at REDCAT — is process, whether frustratingly incomplete... or joyfully creative.... On Sunday, Los Angeles FilmForum reveals another side of Everson with To Do Better..., a program of films from his past prolific decade."

 

SEATTLE


"By the time Steven 'Jesse' Bernstein arrived in Seattle in 1967, he'd survived childhood polio, been in and out of mental institutions, run away from home, caught a ride on Ken Kesey's magic bus to San Francisco, appeared in porno films, and started doing heroin. Poetry was the next obvious move."

 

 

Eric Grandy in the Stranger on I Am Secretly an Important Man: "Bernstein left behind a body of written and recorded work that has become a cult canon; fortunately for this documentary — showing Wednesday, October 6, as part of the Local Sightings Film Festival — he also left behind some remarkable film and video footage." Local Sightings, "Northwest Film Forum's premier showcase of Northwest filmmaking," opens tomorrow and runs through Wednesday.

 

NEW YORK


Dan Sallitt on Jang Kun-jae's debut feature, which took the Dragons and Tigers award at Vancouver 2009: "Naturally a difficult object for audiences in search of the bittersweet pleasure that the young-love genre promises, Hwioribaram (Eighteen) is the most exciting debut I've run across in some time." As part of the New York Korean Film Festival, it screens tonight at MoMA and on Saturday at BAM.

"[A]s Film Forum's sweeping new series devoted to the heist picture demonstrates, of all the fantasies we go to the movies to indulge in, perhaps none is more elemental than our dream of the big score," writes Benjamin Strong in the L. The Heist Film Festival's three-week run begins tomorrow. Update, 10/1: "Crime is encoded in the DNA of the movies — Edwin S Porter's stick-'em-up one-reeler, The Great Train Robbery (1903), was the very first narrative film — but heist pictures began to flourish only in the 1950s as Hollywood's Production Code began losing its bite," writes Dennis Lim in the New York Times. "The situations differ — money, gold, diamonds and art are stolen from banks, armored cars, jewelers, museums, racetracks and casinos — but all the films fetishize the preparation and the intricacy of the execution. And all come with the inevitable complications of heists gone wrong: oversights and double crosses, poor timing and bad luck. Film Forum's survey, organized by Bruce Goldstein, the theater's director of repertory programming, shows how the heist movie evolved over nearly half a century, cross-pollinating with other genres and across national borders, and suggests some reasons for its enduring appeal."

 

DURHAM


The Carolina Theatre's Charlie Chaplin retrospective runs through October 7 and, in the Independent Weekly, Zack Smith gets in touch with novelist Glen David Gold: "During the eight years I spent researching Sunnyside, I watched all of Chaplin's movies dozens of times on my computer or on DVD or on YouTube. I thought I'd seen Chaplin. I hadn't. There is no substitute for sitting in a theater and hearing people around you start to laugh. It's a communal experience, on a par with the first time you go to a dance or a concert by your favorite band."

 

IN OTHER NEWS


Death has been relentless this week. "Oscar-nominated actor Joe Mantell, who co-starred in Marty and delivered one of movies' most famous lines in Chinatown, has died," reports the AP. "He was 94.... Mantell was a character actor with more than 70 film and TV credits who received an Academy Award nomination in 1956 for his performance as Angie, the best friend of Ernest Borgnine in Marty. His oft-repeated line to his sad-sack friend — 'Well, what do you feel like doin' tonight?' — was one of the beloved film's most memorable lines. He again became a part of movie lore in 1974's Chinatown, in which he played the partner of Jack Nicholson's detective character, Jack Gittes. Mantell spoke the film's famous last line: 'Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.'"

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