Best Punk Rock Cinema San Francisco 2007 - Other Cinema
The sound always cuts out at some point. The theater is cramped, often cold, and let's face it: In winter, there are bugs. That's why curator Craig Baldwin's Other Cinema series may not be for everyone. But the every-Saturday-night-at-8:30 p.m. series presents small, beautiful films with enough soul and grit to keep you buoyed up and pissed-off for at least a week. That's why we're slapping it with the overused and outdated "punk rock" label: It's an angry, stylish, do-it-yourself operation. A recent screening included work by a group of Rhode Island artists guest curated by Bill Russell. Russell's opening film showed twentysomethings at a rock show (R.I. experimento-punkers Lightning Bolt). Because it was shot on 16 mm, only a central circular orb was visible, through which the kids bounced, head-banged, and sweated. Slow motion and an overlay of elegiac music morphed them into something different and sacred: devotional dancers of some kind, dervishes, or holy fools. So while the joint may make the Roxie look like the Metreon, the handmade films make blockbusters look like Hallmark cards.