Reel World

Sidewalk Stories; High Art

Sidewalk Stories
Everybody's favorite dreadhead, Brien Burroughs, is prepping to shoot a follow-up to Suckerfish, the droll stroll through S.F. pet shops Burroughs improvised from a rough outline with a gaggle of local comics. "We don't really know what the film will be and, honestly, these things stay fluid until we start shooting, then they stay viscous while we shoot," the deadpan Burroughs told me. "It's something about security guards who gradually start acting like cops, and it will likely be another black comedy with a bit more of the surreal than Suckerfish had."

Burroughs plans to film in November, aided by the Robin Eickman Feature Film Award, a package of goods and services worth more than $45,000 that the Film Arts Foundation bequeaths each year to a feature narrative budgeted under $200,000. The big news is the deal includes a 35mm camera and 4,000 feet of 35mm Kodak stock (plus a guaranteed slot at IFFCON 2001, the annual S.F indie-film financing conference).

"Our cast is more or less the same people who were in Suckerfish," says Burroughs, naming Tim Orr, Dick Goodman, and Stephen Kearin. "We missed some talented [local] folks in that one and I hope to get them this time." The infinitesimal budget notwithstanding, Burroughs harbors dreams of luring some big dogs onto his set. "Now all we need is to entice Bill Murray into a three-day visit to S.F. this fall, and hope Nicolas Cage watches the damn tape I left in his house months ago. And yes, he [Cage] does owe me a favor. Long story." We'll save it for another time. Incidentally, Suckerfish screens at the Fine Arts Cinema in Berkeley from July 6 to 11 with Fargo, fresh from a two-week run in L.A.

High Art
Oscar winners Allie Light and Irving Saraf (In the Shadow of the Stars) just completed post-production on Blind Spot: Murder by Women, and no, it's not too early to mention Sundance 2001. ... Well aware that it's likely her last shot at a mega-payday, Sharon Stone agreed to star in a Basic Instinct sequel. Or maybe she heard the crowds howling for more at B. Ruby Rich's "Killer Lesbians" show at the S.F. Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. ... Realtime Video, one of the few remaining old-line, ad agency-oriented post-production houses in town, just closed its doors. In this crazy market, the owners concluded they could make more money simply leasing the Waterfront District building to somebody else. ... Personal to the Chronicle (who else would possibly be interested?): Barry Levinson is rumored to be selling his Marin County house and relocating his family to Connecticut, even though he's supposedly shooting his next film in the Bay Area. ... The youth-oriented multimedia arts center Zeum @ Yerba Buena Gardens will screen a series of top-shelf film noirs in the fall. If only someone had warned me about femmes fatales when I was a tyke.

Michael Fox is host ofIndependent View, which airs Fridays at 10:30 p.m., Saturdays around midnight, and Sundays at 5:30 p.m. on KQED (Channel 9).

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