In his 1999 essay, "Blue Movie Notes: Ode to an Attic Cinema," film expert Jack Stevenson describes the emergence of amateur sex films in 1960s San Francisco. Theaters eager for erotic content had resorted to showing gynecological footage -- "probably the most limited subgenre of cinema ever," Stevenson writes, but proof that an audience existed for this kind of thing. The intersection of home movies, the sexual revolution, and the potential for huge profits created a bloom of amateur sex films from West Coast producers like the Mitchell Brothers, Alex DeRenzy, and Bill Osco. Just about anyone who could get their hands on a 16mm camera and round up a few friends could pump out a porno and find a paying public. Tonight, Stevenson salutes the initiative of these eager, uh, beavers, in a three-part program called The Superstars Next Door: A Celebration of San Francisco Amateur Sex Cinema from the '60s. The program opens with a screening of four home movies from 1968, one of which was filmed in a porn bookstore on 6th Street, and continues with The Meatrack, a bisexual sexploitation film shot on the streets of San Francisco and described as "a bizarre milestone of gay cinema." Tonight's admission includes both programs. On Saturday, a tribute to amateur live sex performance ranges from striptease to the explicit. Nothing slick here, except perhaps the bedsheets.
Thu., Oct. 9, 7:30 & 9:20 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m., 2008