Sparks on Celluloid: Haynes + Vachon, Week 1

A sparkly retrospective of a great modern filmmaking duo and their influences.

Sometimes, our local institutions can get a little staid, so it’s always good news when a place like SFMOMA queers up the joint with a program such as Sparks on Celluloid: Haynes + Vachon. (It queers up the joint properly, unlike the SFPL’s “Drag Queen Story Hour,” which just keeps happening, for some reason.) The three-week series presents the films director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon have made together over the decades, along with films by other directors that they’ve selected.

Highlights include Thursday night’s opener of Haynes’ 1991 debut feature Poison, accompanied by Nicholas Roeg’s Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession. Friday the 13th is the most unmissable night: a pairing of Haynes’ 1998 glam masterpiece Velvet Goldmine preceded by Roeg and Donald Cammell’s proto-glam mindfuck Performance from 1970. Haynes’ 1995 Julianne Moore tour de force Safe brings Saturday morning down hard. Necessarily absent throughout the weekend and the series overall is Haynes’ 1998 Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, in which the life of the famous singer and anorexic is retold using Barbie dolls. SFMOMA couldn’t show Superstar legally even if it wanted to, which it probably does, but it’s available online if you know where to look. (Hint: Look on YouTube, but as always, don’t read the comments.)

Sparks on Celluloid: Haynes + Vachon, Week 1
Opens Thursday, Oct. 12, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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