Sunday, December 16, 2018

Screenings in the Bay (Monday 17th to Sunday 23rd): Christmas Evil, The Night of the Hunter, Die Hard

As Christmas approaches and many of us turn our attention to gifts and family gatherings, genre films continue to grace the screens across San Francisco, even if their frequency is temporarily lessened. One this is for sure... the Alamo Drafthouse's Christmas Terror Tuesday this week is one you don't want to miss! We screened Christmas Evil to a room full of Overlook genre fiends last year and it was an amazing experience. Although the Drafthouse's audience is a bit more theatrical in their enjoyment, I think a group setting will actually add to this movie rather than rob it of anything. 

You can follow up the Santa slasher with a night of noir at the Castro Theatre the next day, as the Film Noir Foundations presents The Night of the Hunter at 7:30pm. Not only will this be the teaser for the Noir City Film Festival, but host Eddie Muller will also reveal the lineup for the upcoming festival at the screening! 

Terror Tuesday

Tuesday 18th @ 9:45pm (1hr 40min)
Horror/ Thriller (IMDB)
A toy factory worker, mentally scarred as a child upon learning Santa Claus is not real, suffers a nervous breakdown after being belittled at work, and embarks on a Yuletide killing spree.


Monday 17th @ 7:30pm (1hr 43min)
Adventure/ Fantasy (Rotten Tomatoes)
Veteran animator Hayao Miyazaki directs this buoyant children's adventure yarn about a young witch striking out on her own. At her mother's behest, 13-year-old Kiki sets out on a year-long apprenticeship with her black cat in tow. With a shaky command of her broom, she ends up in a charming little coastal town that looks like a cross between the French provincial and San Francisco. Unfortunately, the local hotels have a strict "no witches" policy and the police have taken a dim view of her recent aerial mischief-making. She's saved from the street by a kindly baker's wife, who offers her room and board in exchange for her delivering by broom the baker's wares.

Noir City X-Mas Presents

Wednesday 19th @ 7:30pm (1hr 32min)
Crime/ Drama/ Noir (IMDB)
Adapted by James Agee from a novel by Davis Grubb, The Night of the Hunter represented legendary actor Charles Laughton's only film directing effort. Combining stark realism with Germanic expressionism, the movie is a brilliant good-and-evil parable, with "good" represented by a couple of farm kids and a pious old lady, and "evil" literally in the hands of a posturing psychopath. Imprisoned with thief Ben Harper (Peter Graves), phony preacher Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) learns that Ben has hidden a huge sum of money somewhere near his home. Upon his release, the murderously misogynistic Powell insinuates himself into Ben's home, eventually marrying his widow Willa (Shelley Winters). Eventually all that stands between Powell and the money are Ben's son (Billy Chapin) and daughter (Sally Jane Bruce), who take refuge in a home for abandoned children presided over by the indomitable, scripture-quoting Rachel Cooper (Lillian Gish).

Midnight Madness

Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd @ 11:55pm (2hrs 12min)
Action/ Thriller (IMDB)
It's Christmas time in L.A., and there's an employee party in progress on the 30th floor of the Nakatomi Corporation building. The revelry comes to a violent end when the partygoers are taken hostage by a group of terrorists headed by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), who plan to steal the 600 million dollars locked in Nakatomi's high-tech safe. In truth, Gruber and his henchmen are only pretending to be politically motivated to throw the authorities off track; also in truth, Gruber has no intention of allowing anyone to get out of the building alive.

Encore Screening

Friday 21st @ 9pm (2hr 22min)
Drama/ Sci-fi (IMDB)
A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state.


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