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Reel World 

Internal affairs; The San Francisco Story; A day at the races

Wednesday, Oct 18 2000
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Internal Affairs The Timecode DVD will be out for Christmas, complete with a wonderfully insightful 18-minute documentary, The Making of Timecode. "We were involved in discussions with Columbia Tristar and Mike Figgis before the production, which is unusual," recalls creative director Paul Lundahl of eMotion Studios, which collaborated on the doc and the DVD with another local company, Angry Monkey. But in a last-minute turn of events, with the eMotion crew on the set and ready to go, Figgis decided to minimize the distractions for his large cast of improvising actors. "They cancelled the shoot because our crew would have been larger than their crew," Lundahl says, chuckling at the irony.

Angry Monkey originally hired eMotion to produce motion-graphic animated transitions for the Blade DVD, and the companies then paired on the Love & Basketball disc. "It's kind of a specialty niche for design studios with strong backgrounds in video, broadcast design, and title design, and with a strong interactive sensibility," Lundahl explains.

The San Francisco Story Few cities are lucky enough to have a pivotal chunk of their history committed to celluloid. I've raved for years to anyone who'd listen that Rob Epstein and Richard Schmiechen's brilliant 1984 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk should be required viewing for new residents. (Under my proposal, S.F. transplants -- from Boston or Walnut Creek -- would receive the video along with their first residential parking permit.) The UCLA Film and Television Archive recently finished the preservation and restoration of Harvey Milk, striking a 35mm print (the film was originally shot on 16mm). The new print screens Oct. 20-23 at the Castro, and truly should not be missed.

In an odd little coincidence, the S.F.-shot Playing Mona Lisa opens here next Friday, Oct. 27. What does this eager-to-please Hollywood programmer have in common with one of the most powerful documentaries ever made? San Francisco, Jewish lead characters, Harvey Fierstein (who narrates Milk and has a big part in Mona Lisa), and Twinkies. Twinkies? If you don't know what I'm talking about, you really must see Harvey Milk.

A Day at the Races Hollywood's in the doldrums, but local art houses are rocking. Live Nude Girls Unite! wraps a fabulous two-week run on Oct. 19 after putting a big smile on the Roxie's marquee. "This is without a doubt the hottest first-run film we've had since the revival of It Happened Here in June," the Roxie's Elliot Lavine says. "It wouldn't surprise me if somebody with 16mm capabilities picked it up after we're through with it. These are the kind of numbers that would warrant a move-over." Dancer in the Dark is selling out weekend shows at the Bridge, meanwhile, while the Embarcadero is a total mob scene with Best in Show, The Broken Hearts Club, and Billy Elliot. "There really hasn't been a breakout independent film yet this year, and these films will play [for] weeks and weeks," says Steve Indig, Landmark's local marketing guru. Yes, but make room for Requiem for a Dream (Nov. 3), Quills (Nov. 22), and State and Main (Dec. 22).

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Michael Fox

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