Doug Benson is a very funny guy. You may have seen him on TV or at a local comedy club; he tours all the time. Or you may be familiar with his stoner documentary Super-High Me. But I’ve gotten to know Doug because he hosts a podcast called Doug Loves Movies (formerly known as I Love Movies) that’s recorded in front of a live audience at L.A.’s comedy hotspot, Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. The heart of every show is a competition he calls—no kidding—The Leonard Maltin Game.
Doug is a dyed-in-the-wool movie buff, as smart as he is funny, and every week he gathers fellow standup comics and actors to play the game, in which he serves as quizmaster. The object is to guess the name of a movie based on—
If you’re in New York City any time over the next two weeks and you’ve never seen “old-school” Hollywood 3D, make a beeline for Film Forum on Houston Street. Forget the untruths and distortions you’ve read about how primitive the process was in the 1950s and judge for yourself. You’ll have a great time, even if most of the movies aren’t great…and you won’t be wearing red-green glasses: that’s just one of the myths that’s been perpetuated by an ignorant press while touting new digital 3D.
To quote Film Forum’s press release, “The fifteen rare 35mm 3-D prints (not digital) in the series will all be run in the original dual-projector Polaroid system, employing a silver screen, special filters, two synchronized projectors (one for the left eye, the other for the right) and a super-cool pair of Buddy Holly-style 3-D glasses for each member of the audience. Film Forum is the only cinema in New York equipped to screen vintage double-system 3-D.” That’s because Film Forum’s program director, Bruce Goldstein, is a movie lover of the first order who does things right. Appropriately, the 3-D Fest overlaps with a tribute to—
I’m pleased to announce the debut of a new weekly TV show. After nearly four years of writing and hosting Secret’s Out on ReelzChannel, I am bowing to requests that I cover major Hollywood releases as well as the indies and foreign films I love. The result: Maltin on Movies, which debuts this Friday and repeats several times over the weekend.
To celebrate the 15th year of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, its directors decided to extend the event by an extra day, kicking off Thursday night and screening all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The results were exhausting but exhilarating. As in years past, near-capacity crowds turned out at every show, with several shows, like the newly-restored Metropolis, turning customers away.
There are other vintage film festivals around the country but none is as elaborate, ambitious, or masterfully mounted as this one, a genuine cultural event in San Francisco. It has a perfect home in The Castro, a glorious 1927 movie palace, and its programmers and board of directors create a first-class experience. There are signings with authors of film-related books between showings, along with the sale of books and DVDs, and informative slide shows that set the stage for each screening. What’s more, the audience is treated to the widest possible variety of live music. This year, Dennis James kicked off the proceedings by accompanying John Ford’s The Iron Horse (1924) on the Castro’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ, the three-man Alloy Orchestra played for—
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