News Column

Bay Area repertory film picks, July 11-14

July 11, 2013


July 11--Ray Harryhausen double feature: He's the man who attacked San Francisco with a giant octopus (1955's "It Came From Beneath the Sea"), possibly the greatest and most influential special effects man of all time. The stop-motion master died in May at age 92, and the Castro has put together a nice double-dip -- his first color film, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad" (1958), and "Jason and the Argonauts" (1963), which features perhaps his signature moment -- Jason's fight with an army of skeletons. With colorful location work, imaginative set design and sweeping scores by Bernard Herrmann, these films lead directly to "Game of Thrones." A great time at the movies. By the way, a documentary about Harryhausen will play at the Smith Rafael Film Center in August, hosted by one of his disciples -- "Star Wars" special effects man Dennis Muren. "Jason" plays at 1, 4:55 and 8:45 p.m. Sunday; "Sinbad" at 3:05 and 7 p.m. At the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F. (415) 621-6120.

S.F. Frozen Film Festival: The annual two-day summer independent film festival at the Roxie begins at 6 p.m. Friday with "From Nothing, Something," a documentary about the habits and inspiration of creative thinkers. Other highlights: A true story, "A Story for the Modlins," about an actor's strange odyssey (it involves the coming apocalypse) after appearing in the film "Rosemary's Baby" (11:10 p.m. Friday); a program of locally made short films (noon Saturday); and a wild San Francisco documentary/murder mystery, "The Institute" (9 p.m. Saturday). At the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F. (415) 863-1087.

Dark Night: Simenon and Cinema: Belgian mystery novelist Georges Simenon (1903-89) wrote some 200 published stories, and filmmakers are forever grateful. This dozen-film series spans the gamut from 1933 (Julien Duvivier's Inspector Maigret mystery "La T te d'un Homme," 7 p.m. Thursday) to 2007 (Bela Tarr's "The Man From London," with Tilda Swinton, 7 p.m. Aug. 29). At Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley. (510) 642-1124.


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