Jessie Kahnweiler Or Orson Welles?

This coming weekend of special screenings offers something for both the traditionalists and the fans of the new. The Orson Welles classic The Lady From Shanghai gets screened in a digitally restored version. The Pacific Film Archive offers a couple of film rarities: a 1935 train documentary censored by the Nazis and a French melodrama made during the German Occupation that now ranks as a great French film. But if you want something live to accompany your film-watching, head down to Japantown to catch an evening with comedian Jessie Kahnweiler. Not only will she be doing a standup set, but she’ll be premiering her new series The Skinny.


These two documentaries from Guatemalan filmmaker Luis Argueta offers two looks at immigrant parents working and children growing up in America’s heartland. Abrazos offers portraits of 14 US citizen children who deal with the problem of having mixed immigrant status parents. AbUSed looks at the single largest immigration raid in US history and its effects on the families and communities targeted by the raid.

Screens June 20 at the Pacific School of Religion

An Evening With Jessie Kahnweiler

Filmmaker, comedian, and viral video sensation Jessie Kahnweiler appears in person for an evening of standup comedy, a Q&A session, a screening of clips from her prior web video series, and the premiere screening of the pilot for her new series The Skinny.

Screens June 19 at San Francisco Japantown’s New People Cinema

The Lady From Shanghai

As part of its “Welles At 100” celebration, the Rafael Film Center presents a digital restoration of this classic noir tale starring Orson Welles and then-wife Rita Hayworth. Sailor Michael O’Hara (Welles) joins the yacht crew of criminal lawyer Arthur Bannister (Everett Sloane). Also aboard the ship is Bannister’s wife, aka the film’s femme fatale, Elsa (Hayworth). O’Hara soon becomes mixed up in murder plots and double-crosses as the story eventually lands in San Francisco’s Chinatown before reaching its famed climax in Playland at the Beach’s hall of mirrors.

Screens June 21 at the Rafael Film Center

Lumiere d’ete (Summer Light)

Jean Gremillon’s directs this melodrama from a Jacques Prevert (Children of Paradise) script. A remote mountain inn is the setting for an ultimately tragic class-crossed love affair. The film’s critique of the debauched rich as compared to the more cohesive poor echoes The Rules of the Game. Unamused Vichy French censors may have banned Gremillon’s film, but it’s since been recognized as one of the great French films made during the German Occupation.

Screens June 17 at the Pacific Film Archive

The Phantom Foe Chapters 6-10

This continuation of a 1920 silent serial thriller pits heroine Janet Dale against a mysterious criminal mastermind. The tale has been praised as “a…proto-feminist masterpiece.”

Screens June 21 at the Pacific Film Archive

The Steel Beast

This 1935 film was directed by the great 1920s German photographer Willy Otto Zielke. Officially a cinematic celebration of the centennial of the Nuremberg-Furth railroad line, Zielke’s surrealist-influenced film channeled Dziga Vertov in using abstractions, historical commentary, and even images of eroticized machinery. The highly unamused Third Reich censored Zielke’s film for its “decadent aesthetics.” It took famed Cinematheque Francaise programmer Henri Langlois to rediscover this aestheticized propaganda film.

Screens June 19 at the Pacific Film Archive

The Strange Case Of Angelica

Manoel de Oliveira brings a painter’s eye to this bizarre tale of a young man who falls in love with a recently deceased young woman. But this odd premise serves as the starting point for considering such metaphysical subjects as the death of beauty and the hold of tradition.

Screens June 20 at the Pacific Film Archive

Workingman’s Death

Late documentarian Michael Glawogger takes viewer on a tour of the faces of heavy manual labor in the 21st century. The film introduces viewers to Ukrainian coal miners, Indonesian sulfur workers, Nigerian slaughterhouse workers, and Pakistani shipbreakers. The result is a tour of hells on Earth invisible to the Western world, set to the music of John Zorn.

Screens June 19 at the Pacific Film Archive

About the Author

I'm a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film...but don't tell anyone.

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