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Daily Plastic is a Chicago-based movie blog, a collaboration between Robert Davis and J. Robert Parks, the same pair who brought you the wearable movie tote, the razor-thin pencil pocket, and that joke about aardvarks. If you know the whereabouts of the blue Pontiac Tempest that was towed from the Plastic Parking Lot on the evening of August 7th, 2008, or more importantly if you've recovered the red shoebox that was in its trunk, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Davis was the chief film critic for the late, great Paste Magazine (which lives on now as a website) from 2005 through 2009, and he counts this interview with Claire Denis among his favorite moments. Every once in a while he pops up on Twitter. He's presently sipping puerh in Chicago, even at this hour. Meanwhile, Parks, whose work has appeared in TimeOut Chicago, The Hyde Park Herald, and Paste, is molding unsuspecting, college-aged minds in the aforementioned windy city. Media types are warned to stay clear of his semester-sized field of influence because of the distorting effects that are likely to develop.

The © copyright of all content on Daily Plastic belongs to the respective authors.

Delphine Seyrig in Alain Resnais' Muriel

Bay Area film writer Brian Darr polls his fellow San Francisco cinephiles at the end of every year to gather a list of favorite repertory or revival screenings, and reading the entries is always a testament to how much film is available to see outside the house. It's also fun to participate, since it means looking over all the year's screenings that weren't eligible for any sort of awards, even though they're often the highlights of the year. As Brian says, "No two eyes can witness all the splendid film presentations that occur in a year here," and "[c]ollectively, these fifteen lists might provide a reasonably accurate view of the range and depth of cinematic experiences to be had for a Frisco Bay rep-head in 2008."

Here's my entry, and from there you can find the others.

I was extra lucky to participate this year since I was only in San Francisco through May. Still, it was hard to whittle my list to ten. As J. Robert Parks has shown, the offerings in Chicago are rich as well, and one of my resolutions is to take better advantage of them this year.

For more year-end list commentary, see 2008 in Negative.

3 Responses to “2008: Rob's Favorite San Francisco Rep Screenings”

  1. Doug says:

    Rob, Muriel is a truly awesome film--I had to watch it two or three times before writing my Filmjourney review. What a treat for you to see this on the big screen.

    And thanks for the heads up on Secret Ceremony, which plays here in a couple weeks. I'm a big fan of Losey's equally strange The Damned (criminally unavailable on DVD) and your comments solidified my interest.

    My other personal favorite on your list is The Terrorizer(s) (apparently the Chinese is ambiguous as to whether or not the title is plural), which is also a film that demands to be seen more than once, eh? I thought I had a pretty good grasp of what Yang was up to until I read John Anderson's book, where he suggests much of what transpires on screen is the work of Chou's imagination (fiction being the ultimate terrorizer). It's an incredibly multilayered movie I desperately want to revisit.

  2. Brian says:

    So glad you were able to participate, Rob. Wish I hadn't missed Muriel; I'll cross my fingers that the print makes a second pass soon. I was *this close* to listing the Terrorizer myself, but I felt, as Doug suggests one might, that I wanted to see it a second time before anointing it.

    It was great to have you here haunting some of the same venues I frequented, and don't think you haven't been missed!

  3. Robert DAVIS says:

    You know, I think most of the films that I included in the rep list this year are real head-scratchers. I'm curious to revisit all of them to see how they hold up.

    Doug, I read that same bit about The Terrorizer(s) in Anderson's book, and it does make some sense. Even if it isn't literally what Yang is doing, the narrative certainly echoes the fiction in the film. Or vice-versa. (BTW, I'm not sure if I should pluralize Terrorizer, either, but I've finally decided to go with Bicycle Thieves from now on.)

    Brian, I miss those screenings, too. I haven't yet established a rhythm of hauntings here in Chicago, but I will. Plus, in new situations I get extremely quiet, so aside from a handful of enjoyable chats with J. Robert, my movie watching is mostly solitary these days. (Plus, Lorraine and I have had to tag-team the cinema for a while, so we don't discuss movies as much as we used to.) I'll warm up, though. And Iris will get bigger and easier. :-) There's a ton to see in the windy city, but I'm always amazed that San Francisco + Berkeley seems to hold its own against any film city in the country, despite it being so much smaller than its rivals. And that poll of yours really makes that clear. Crazy.

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