Unreality Realized

We present to you a contradiction. You sit in a luxurious setting with a stunning view. People bring you wine and food. On a big screen you watch a man in a prison — a prison that’s so close you can see it out the window. The man is attempting an escape that no one’s ever accomplished. Even if he makes it out, he’ll have a long, cold swim in the bay that might kill him. Is this an übersadistic reality TV show? Is Donald Trump poised to fire the guards if they can’t stop the escape? No. It’s Wind Down with Wine and a Movie in the lounge atop a landmark San Francisco hotel. Tonight’s wines are from Brancott Estate (New Zealand) and Ravenswood (Sonoma County). And the film is Escape from Alcatraz (1979), in which Clint Eastwood plays Frank Morris, one of the only inmates believed to have successfully broken out of the island facility. (He was never found — dead or alive — after the escape.) Tonight’s screening closes out a season of films shot in San Francisco — a season we hope returns next year. Other offerings have included Bullitt, Dirty Harry, and Vertigo. Watching these gems, it’s hard to believe San Francisco was anything but the badass beautiful hip groovy intriguing edgy center of the universe where the good guys always won, the clothes were always cool, and certain cars went really really (and we mean really) fast.
Tue., Sept. 6, 5:30 p.m., 2011

 
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