Stone Visage

People are funny. They see people even where there aren't people. In a piece of toast, Jesus. In the moon, a man. In the mountains of New Hampshire, another man. That last one, a longstanding configuration of granite that from certain angles resembled a human profile, got a lot of attention over the years. “Men hang out their signs indicative of their respective trades,” Daniel Webster once wrote about it. “In the mountains of New Hampshire, God Almighty has hung out a sign to show that there He makes men.” It also inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story “The Great Stone Face.” It was on a stamp once, and license plates and highway signs, and the back of the New Hampshire quarter. Then, in 2003, it collapsed. Did that mean God had gone out of business? Or had He become distracted by manifesting His son in pieces of toast? And where would New Hampshirites turn next for views of a nonexistent person? These and other questions may or may not be answered by tonight's screening of local experimental filmmaker Kerry Laitala's expectedly exquisite new project, The Old Man of the Mountain. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by Brian Darr, who's known for running the indispensable Hell on Frisco Bay blog about adventurous San Francisco moviegoing, which this event should exemplify. Curated by Other Cinema impresario Craig Baldwin, the screening situates Laitala's piece in conjunction with other cinematic explorations of geologic interest.

Sat., April 5, 8:30 p.m., 2014

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