Reel World

A Face in the Crowd
Yes, that's former Film Arts Festival director and Sex Is ... poster boy Bob Hawk enjoying a cameo in Chasing Amy, the latest dirty-talk opus from Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats). Hawk's appearance isn't all that surprising -- he's credited as the associate producer, which in this case probably means he consulted on the script. The on-camera gig is also an acknowledgement of past favors -- Hawk is the guy who saw a diamond in the rough cut of Clerks, and lobbied for its inclusion at Sundance in 1994. Audiences dug it, Miramax paid for real music, and Smith had a career. Chasing Amy doesn't open till mid-April, and, um, it's got a good soundtrack.

Hope and Glory
New S.F. International Film Festival Marketing and Publicity Director Cathy Fischer is upgrading the program guide from newsprint to book stock, and introducing a nifty folded miniguide (not unlike those at the N.Y. and Chicago fests). The SFIFF (which runs April 24 to May 8) has chosen a pair of local institutions -- Judy Stone, longtime Chronicle film critic, and the estimable Film Arts Foundation -- to receive the Mel Novikoff Award, named for the late owner of the Castro. Italian master Francesco Rosi (Salvatore Giuliano, Hands Over the City) is this year's Kurosawa Award recipient, and, no, I'm not leaking any secrets. Check out your new Pacific Film Archive schedule, with details of the Rosi retrospective beginning March 29. ... Note also the S.F. International Asian-American Film Festival, which blasts off Thursday night. Besides the flicks, indie film hounds have their sights set on Hong Kong cinema maven Tony Rayns' show-and-tell act (3 p.m. Sunday, March 9), which via talk and clips will look at the genre's vibrant past and uncertain future, and the panel discussion among several visiting new-breed Asian-American directors (1 p.m. Saturday, March 8), both at the Kabuki.

The Long Day Closes
That was a dirty trick on the part of KBHK Channel 44, airing The Graduate smack in the middle of the Castro's two-week run. The issue isn't lost revenue -- the TV broadcast couldn't have skimmed off more than a dozen people who were planning to catch Buck Henry's finest moment on the big screen -- but etiquette: KBHK hitched a free ride on the publicity generated by the Castro revival. ... The Act One/Two in Berkeley just began a Saturday midnight-movie series; La Femme Nikita, Luc Besson's glossy, gimmicky, gal-with-a-gun gorefest, screens March 15. ... Finn Taylor's Dream With the Fishes, which was shot in San Francisco, Half Moon Bay, and Pescadero, was picked up out of Sundance by Sony Pictures Classics for release later this year. ... Videos may be the devil's handiwork, but you can beat the current movie drought with The Palm Beach Story, It Happened One Night, and The Apartment all available for rental gratis at the New Main Library. And those are just the American titles.

By Michael Fox
foxonfilm@aol.com

 
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