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Latin Boogaloo To Industrial Music

Music, laughter, and the past dominate this week of special screenings.

For music lovers, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts offers documentaries on everything from Latin Boogaloo to industrial music. The Castro Theatre offers the opportunity to sing along to The Sound Of Music.

Laughter comes from the Roxie screenings of two comedy classics: Richard Pryor’s famed Sunset Strip concert film and Wet Hot American Summer. The Roxie also offers an opportunity to see an Iranian comic blockbuster.

The past gets honored at the Castro Theatre with a day of silent films and the tenth Lost Landscapes of San Francisco show. It could also be said The Keep shows the dark side of not respecting the past.

The Border

In this contemporary Western, Jack Nicholson plays a demoralized U.S. Border Patrol agent. However, he soon butts heads with corrupt co-workers smuggling Mexican aliens across the border. Things soon get really messy.

Screens December 8 at the Castro Theatre on a double bill with “Sicario”

Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay

Amelie Ravelac and Travis Collins’ documentary traces the origins of industrial music and noise. Starting from Europe’s crumbling cities of industry, the music genre eventually became a staple of American avant garde music. Featured in the film are such acts as Throbbing Gristle and Cabaret Voltaire.

This screening is preceded by Erno Metzner’s bitter Weimar-era silent short Accident.

Screens December 10 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. V. Vale of Re/Search will appear in person for a post-film Q&A.

The Keep

This is a rare opportunity to see Michael Mann’s cult classic, which is still unavailable on home video. During World War II, German soldiers invading a Romanian village make the mistake of accidentally releasing a supernatural force from a centuries-old fortress. This force proceeds to decimate the invaders. Then a mysterious stranger appears who knows about the origin of this aggressive entity. Stars Scott Glenn, Jurgen Prochnow, and Ian Mc Kellen, with music by Tangerine Dream.

Screens December 10 at the Castro Theatre on a double bill with Werner Herzog’s “Nosferatu”

Lost Landscapes Of San Francisco #10

Rick Prelinger’s annual program of footage of San Francisco people, places, and things returns with its 10th edition. This year’s program melds old favorites from previous shows with such new footage as a 1940s Labor Day parade, tourist-shot Kodachromes from the World War II era, and 1930s downtown tavern scenes. As always, this is an audience-interactive event. See if you can identify the place shown or ask questions about what you see.

Screens December 9 at the Castro Theatre. Advance tickets are sold out, but there will be a Wait Line.

Nosferatu, Phantom Der Nacht

Werner Herzog’s remake of F.W. Murnau’s famed vampire tale stars Klaus Kinski as the titular bloodsucker. Isabelle Adjani provides the physical beauty. Popol Vuh delivers the music. This screening will feature the rarely seen in the U.S. German-language version, with English subtitles.

Screens December 10 at the Castro Theatre on a double bill with “The Keep”

A Poem Is A Naked Person

Les Blank’s legendary portrait of singer-songwriter Leon Russell kicks off Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Music Movies film series. Blank’s camera takes the viewer to Russell’s live performances with his band. The film also visits Russell’s Oklahoma studios where the viewer gets to be a fly on the wall as Russell and his friends work and hang out. Never theatrically released for over 40 years, don’t miss another chance to see this film.

Screens December 4 and 6 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Filmmakers Harrod Blank and Maureen Gosling to appear in person at the December 6 screening.

Richard Pryor Live On The Sunset Strip

Late comedian Richard Pryor’s concert film is one of the greatest stand-up comedy performances committed to celluloid. In it, Pryor takes on such subjects as America, racism, and addiction. This screening is introduced by author Jason Bailey (Richard Pryor: American ID) with a post-screening discussion with writer Scott Saul (Becoming Richard Pryor).

Screens December 6 at the Roxie Theater

SF Silent Film Festival–A Day Of Silents

The San Francisco Silent Film Festival presents five programs of silent films. Included in the mix are Around China With A Movie Camera (rarities from the early 1900s to the 1920s showing China’s cities and countryside), the Harry Houdini-starring thriller The Grim Game, and two performances by the amazing Alloy Orchestra.

Screens December 5 at the Castro Theatre

Sing-A-Long Sound Of Music

This annual Castro Theatre event features the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical presented with subtitles so the audience can sing along to its famous songs. Watch Julie Andrews fall in love with Christopher Plummer! Hiss Eleanor Parker’s Baroness! Dress up in costume as your favorite Sound Of Music character for the costume contest!

Screens December 6 at the Castro Theatre

Sperm Whale

The 2015 hit Iranian comedy arrives in the US for a one-day only screening. Arjang (Reza Attaran) has loved childhood sweetheart Roya (Mahnaz Afshar) for the past 40 years. However, Roya has been a trouble magnet for him. Yet even at 50, Arjang still loves Roya…despite enduring revolution, a war, divorce, poverty, and wealth.

Screens December 5 at the Roxie Theater

We Like It Like That: The Story Of Latin Boogaloo

Matthew Ramirez Warren’s documentary chronicles the lesser-known story of the pivotal movement known as Latin Boogaloo. This 1960s expression of Latino Soul sprang up in the stteets of such places as the South Bronx and Brooklyn. The film features interviews with such artists of the form as Joe Bataan, Johnny Colon, and Pete Rodriguez.

Screens December 6 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Wet Hot American Summer

The Jewish Film Institute hosts this 15th anniversary screening of the cult comedy classic. On the last day of a very hot 1981 summer camp, a group of counselors are trying to complete their unfinished business by day’s end. This business includes sexual frustration, separation, and the talent show. Needless to say, the disastrous results produce comedy gold.

Screens December 10 at the Roxie Theater

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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