Have you ever braved the cold to go to a Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival screening? I have attended about six or eight of their events over the last three years, and they have been very special. There is just something about sitting bundled up under the stars on some of my favorite hills watching film with my friends and neighbors. The festival this year will have some great outdoor screenings (Bernal Playground, Precita Park, Four Star Video’s Backyard Patio aka SUCCULENCE) as well as some warmer indoor screenings (Red Hill Books, SoCha Café, BHNC) and will also feature live music at many of the venues. Have you considered submitting a film of any type to this festival?
This is your last week to do so. Please contact me, or the marvelous women who run the festival (email@example.com) to get your submission in. Like all community events, we need community involvement to thrive. So get involved, and then throw on your coat in early October to come see some great local film.
Another excellent local thing I want to mention is architect Mason Kirby’s KIDS DIGITAL DESIGN CONTEST. In their words:
“Our First Annual Kids’ Digital Design Contest is a digital design competition for ages 0-15. With the help of parents, our goal is to provide a venue for kids to demonstrate, develop and reveal their capacity for creative three dimensional thinking using the digital modeling tool SketchUp (free to download, simple to learn, and amazingly difficult to put down). Our inaugural theme is: “under/over/within” and features an intertidal aquatic site. Your charge is to develop a “structure for living” within the area shown in the base model. We ask that participants challenge the idea of structure and permanence with their design by thoughtfully engaging our aquatic/intertidal site which is at once constantly changing due to factors that are both man made and of a natural consequence.”
This cool competition is free, open to anyone 0-15 and entries are due September 15th, with prizes being handed out September, 22.
More goings-on in the community – The second BERNAL HEIGHTS FILM NIGHTS, presented at the BHNC (515 Cortland Ave) is happening this Thursday, July 30th at 7pm and features a screening of Spike Lee’s definitive piece DO THE RIGHT THING. There will be snacks and a discussion afterward and these awesome screenings (hosted by neighborhood community organizer Sabrina D and sponsored by Neighborhood Centers Together, the BHNC and Four Star Video) are free!
BATTLESTAR GALACTIC: SEASON 4.5 is out this week! Also THE MIGHTY BOOSH: SEASON THREE. In the Criterion world we have REPULSION, one of the all-time great Roman Polanski films (also on Blu-Ray). More new Blu-Ray titles include THIS IS SPINAL TAP and 12 MONKEYS. Also out is a new Joss Whedon series called DOLLHOUSE: SEASON ONE. For all you Buffy and Angel fans, this is a must-see.
Have you checked out SUCCULENCE lately? Please spread the word, Bernal Heights has a succulent store located in the Back Patio at Four Star Video. Encouraged by Darcy Lee (owner of Heartfelt and the patron saint of Bernal Heights), we have been open for one month now and are adding plants and planters regularly. We also do custom plantings, please ask us about them. We are emptying out our backyard barn, and soon we hope to have an indoor portion of the new business where we will be selling antique kitchen supplies, canning equipment, and much much more. As of now, we have hundreds of succulents of all types, and some very lovely planters. Come on back, through the looking glass door. We are here for you.
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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Links we are super hip on this week:
The Rock Make Festival. The excellent musical and crafts outdoor festival presented by The Bay Bridged, Tartufi, Whiz Bang Fabrics and Noise Pop that my band The Dont’s are honored to be playing this year.
Hang Art, a local SF Artists info site, right now featuring artists on the front page including Bernal Heights artist Olivia Brown.
Beyond Asiaphilia is local filmmaker Valerie Soe's excellent blog focusing on Asian/American arts, culture and other related topics.
Do you have a link Four Star Customers should check out??? Email it to me.
AN AMERICAN AFFAIR.
Gretchen Mol/James Rebhorn.
Directed by William Olsson.
* A sideways glance into the Kennedy Presidency and its tragic ending through the story of a young repressed 13-year-old boy who lives across the street from a beautiful woman (Mol) who may be more than just a friend to the President. Great early 1960’s music punctuates the tale.
Brad Johnson/Kelly Stables.
Directed by Steve Shimek.
* In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey…oops, wrong genre, In the time of orcs and dragons, an orphan named Kendrick (parents killed by orcs - don’t pretend you don’t know what that means) teams up with some bad—ass warriors to potentially train to become a dragon hunter.
DRAGONBALL EVOLUTION: Z EDITION.
Yun-Fat Chow/Justin Chatwin.
Directed by James Wong.
* A young Yaba massa joins the evolved Professional Dragonball League in an attempt to gather all seven sacred strikes and bowl the world’s first Z-Tone Babbleball Championship game. When Master Yobolobodingdong enters the competition Yaba massa worries that he has met his match and… Nah, just kidding, I just made all that up. Not sure what this one’s about, but your teenager prolly knows.
Leo Fitzpatrick/Elisabeth Moss.
Directed by Erik S. Weigel.
* An indie about young aimless adults, some the product of a foster-care system, searching for their place in the world. When one of them dies, the others steal his ashes and head out on a road-trip to Mexico. This video has nothing to do with the movie.
FAST AND FURIOUS.****ALSO ON BLU-RAY****
Vin Diesel/Paul Walker/Michelle Rodriguez.
Directed by Justin Lin.
* Vroom vroom. Heroin. Vroom vroom, CIA. Vroom vroom, ex-con. Vroom vroom speeding cars. Vroom vroom revenge.
JUST LOVE ME.
Directed by Ryszard Zatorski.
* Light-hearted romantic comedy centered around peeps working in an architect office.
MIKE YOKOHAMA: A FOREST WITH NO NAME.
Directed by Shinji Aoyama.
* What is this? Not sure, but it looks super cool. Here is info from Amazon: In this hip, action packed re-creation of the hard-boiled detective story, private eye Mike Yokohama (dressed in Elvisesque attire) is hired by a rich man to find his missing daughter. The girl, who is engaged to another rich man hand selected by her father, has run away to join a commune. Mike heads for the commune, located in a forest, where something very mysterious seems to be going on....
REPULSION.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Directed by Roman Polanski.
* This amazing 1965 film was Polanski’s first English-language film and stars Deneuve at the height of her ravishing beauty. Her character, Carol, is a young Belgian living with her sister in London and working at a salon. She is left alone when her sister vacations with her boyfriend, and while alone she slips into a hypnotic, hallucinogenic fantasy state where she imagines things coming to get her and arms slipping through the walls. Her loose grip on reality is released for good when someone comes to the house and she bludgeons him to death. This gripping portrait of insanity is slow-moving and tense, but shot beautifully and sympathetically. Criterion’s release gives it the full treatment.
WHO WANTS TO KILL JESSIE.
Dana Medricka/Jiri Sovak.
Directed by Vaclav Vorlicek.
* In this satirical comedy from 1966, a scientific elixir makes dreams become real and fantasy characters run amuck with their dreamers creating mad-cap chaos.
CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS: IN HIS OWN WORDS.
Directed by Pierre-Andre Boutang.
* An autobiographical documentary about Levi-Strauss, the cultural anthropologist, brilliant theorist, linguist, mythologist and all around ground-breaking thinker.
THE UNION: THE BUSINESS BEHIND GETTING HIGH.
Joe Rogan/Tommy Chong.
Directed by Brett Harvey and Adam Scorgie.
* A doc about marijuana and the business culture of it, especially relating to Canada, this show is especially poignant in light of the strong discussion about legalization here in America. Almost every day local and national news sites lately have written about the industry and potential tax ramifications of legalization. Considering the financial state of the country, and the fact that alcohol and tobacco are legal, this discussion is important.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: SEASON 4.5.
* Just think, there is only 763 minutes standing between you and the end of this mind-opening series that asks the spiritual question – who believes in god more? You or a toaster?
DOCTOR WHO: PLANET OF THE DEAD.
JOSS WHEDON’S DOLLHOUSE: SEASON ONE.
Eliza Dushku/Amy Acker/Olivia Williams.
Created by Joss Whedon.
* Joss Whedon (FIREFLY, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, ANGEL, DR. HORRIBLE’S SING-A-LONG BLOG) is arguably one of televisions biggest innovators. The dollhouse the title refers to is a life-size dwelling that “Dolls” live in when they are not performing missions. The Dolls are DNA-altered and memory wiped humans who work for some shadowy organization.
THE MIGHTY BOOSH: SEASON THREE.
Julian Barratt/Noel Fielding/Michael Fielding.
* Have you been checking out this show? We now have all three released seasons. They say it is hysterical.
TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH.
* Aka: Torchwood: Season Three. More bizarre adventures with Captain Jack Harkness and the crew.
............//NEW BLU-RAY ADDITIONS/............
THIS IS SPINAL TAP.
MICHAEL JACKSON – A REMARKABLE LIFE.
* Never, everland.