Strange Sinema 78: East Meets West- Experiments in Cinema - Thurs. July 24 - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Strange Sinema, a monthly screening of rare films, new finds and offbeat oddities from Oddball Films’ vast collection of 16mm film prints. Drawing on his archive of over 50,000 films, Oddball Films director Stephen Parr has complied his 78th program of classic, strange, offbeat and unusual films. This installment, Strange Sinema 78: East Meets West- Experiments in Cinema is a compendium of Eastern made and influenced animated, experimental and avant-garde films influenced by Japan, India, Persia and all parts East. These rare films use traditional animation techniques while others, like computer art pioneers John Whitney use early IBM aided computers to craft their work. While the methodology and techniques differ widely, themes of cultural mythology, spirituality, higher consciousness and morality permeate all these shorts. Many are whimsical, others are deeply conscious; expanding in their structure and themes. To anchor our program we are screening a selection of Whitney films featuring motion graphics pioneer John Whitney Sr., brother James and son Michael Whitney’s work; all profoundly audacious and inspiring in their fluidity and motion and spiritual subtext. Films include Tanka (1976), David LeBrun’s pulsating, optically printed insight into Tibetan scroll paintings; Arabesque (1975), John Whitney’s masterpiece of shimmering, oscillating waves set to the music of Persian composer Maroocheher Sadeghi; Binary Bit Patterns (1969) Michael Whitney’s hypnotic, psych-folk audiovisual experience that suggests a secret symbiosis between the digital and the organic as various Eastern graphic permutations appear, dissolve and undergo metamorphoses on the screen; Lapis (1965) made by a spiritualized James Whitney (one of only 7 films he created) and one of the most accessible "experimental films" ever made; A Chairy Tale (1957) by National Film Board of Canada founder and stop-motion genius Norman McLaren’s brilliant, acrobatic tour-de-force about a man and a stubborn chair with soundscore by sitar maestro Ravi Shankar; The Rolling Rice Ball (1965) a whimsical puppet animation featuring from Japan featuring mochi pounding mice(!); The Magic Horse (1953), Lotte Reiniger’s condensed version of her internationally successful cut-out animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmed  about a magician who comes to the court of the Caliph of Baghad to demonstrate his invention-a magical flying horse; Tara the Stonecutter (1955), British filmmaker John David Wilson’s masterful rendering of a Japanese folktale about desire and power through a visual combination of Asian inspired drawing techniques and abstract watercolor painting; Spacy (1979) Takashi Ito, one of the leading experimental filmmakers in Japan created 700 continuous still photographs which are re-photographed frame by frame resulting in a vast spaciousness and an dramatic sensation of hypnotic movement; Perspectrum (1974), directed by famed Indian animator Ishu Patel with koto music by Michio Miyagi, this animated short consists of simple geometric forms, as thin and flat as playing cards, arranged that a kaleidoscopic sense of perspective is conveyed; The Ant and the Grasshopper (1967) leave it to the Japanese to interpret the Aesop’s Fable in a bizarre yet charmingly weird way. Plus! preshow cinematic artifacts like Kathakali: Dances of India and Iran.


Date: Thursday, July 24th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

Smokehouse Films' Cinematic Cabinet of Wonders - Fri. July 25 - 8PM


Oddball Films and guest curator/ filmmaker John Cannizzaro present Smokehouse Films' Cinematic Cabinet of Wonders a compendium of rare & remarkable, strange & wonderful 16mm film gems from the archives of Smokehouse Films.  This unique mix of films includes early works by animation masters Jan Svankmajer’s Jabberwocky (Czech 1971) – loosely based on the poem by Lewis Carroll; and Ladislas Starevich’ Revenge of the Kinematograph Cameraman (Russia/Poland 1912) - a cynical work about infidelity and jealousy among the insects.  Playful, experimental visions erupt with a vengeance in an early work by Gus Van Sant, Little Johnny and his Dog (1972) and in artist/photographer Man Ray’s first film Le Retour a la Raison (1923) one of the first Dadaist films ever made.  Narrative expressed through paint in motion is seen in Witold Giersz’ Fire (Poland 1975) who has described his art as an attempt at "bringing painting to life" and in the masterful hand of Norman McLaren, whose Little Phantasy on a 19th Century Painting (Canada 1946) brings a painting by Boecklin to life.  “Science” makes an appearance in the early silent, oddity The Fly Juggler (Tolhurst c. 1920s) in which we see a fly “juggle” a ball, as well as in some exotic, ethnography from around the globe with the San Bushmen of the Kalahari, some praying pigs, the Serpentine Dance, the Afghan national sport, and a PSA by Simpson’s creator Matt Groening’s father Homer Groening, Man and his World (1969).  Curator John Cannizzaro will also present a new cine-poem made with his son Laszlo on the ever changing father/son relationship, The Son Also Rises (2012) as well as other surprises. 

Date: Friday, July 25th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

Elsewhere: Gypsies, Vagabonds and Refugees - Thur. July 31 - 8PM


Oddball Films and itinerant curator Montgomery Cantsin present Elsewhere: Gypsies, Vagabonds and Refugees, a wide-ranging survey of twentieth-century vagrants and refugees on (16MM) film, covering real and invented wanderings and displacements of all sorts. For one night only, we'll be adrift amidst the down-and-out & the out-and-about; gleaning insights into the "planned mobility" of the gypsy, the hard travels of the tramp, the forced relocation of the refugee, and more. Highlights include: The Hitch-Hiker (1950), a rather racy instructional film on how to get a ride; Railrodder (1965), wherein an aging Buster Keaton traverses the Canadian National Railway in style; Madeline and the Gypsies (1959), the film adaptation of the classic tale by Ludwig Bemelman; The Greenie (1942) a touching bit of WWII propaganda about a young polish refugee; San Francisco Earthquake and Fire (1906), or how Oakland got its start; Thumbs Down (1974), a cautionary educational film featuring real-life Los Angeles hitchers; Story of the Hungarian Refugees (1956), a U.N.-produced piece regarding the perils of border-crossing; and Riff Raffy Daffy (1948), on one unlucky duck's run-ins with the Pigs! ...Plus: Newsreels, Wobblies, Navajos, + "Wild & Bully."   Arrive early for Clowns, Henry Miller in Paris, Donuts and special surprises!  


Date: Thursday July 31st, 2014 at 8:00PM
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

Learn Your Lesson...After School: An Afterschool Extra Special Shockucation - Fri. July 18 - 8PM

Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter present Learn your Lesson...After School: An Afterschool Extra Special Shockucation, the seventeenth in a series of programs highlighting the most ridiculous, insane and camptastic educational films, mental hygiene primers and TV specials of the collection.  This month we've got a triple feature of all-star ABC Afterschool Specials recently unearthed from the archive about STDs, Dyslexia and Teenage parenting with River and Joaquin Phoenix, Rob Lowe, Dana Plato and Zach Galligan. These melodramatic programs graced the afternoon airways from the early-70s through the mid-90s and offered preteens and teens a healthy dose of social conditioning while touching on a variety of touching and hard-hitting subjects, from marijuana use to alcoholic parents, disabled siblings, illiteracy, bullying and so much more!  They launched dozens of young careers and featured seasoned veterans as concerned teachers and distant parents.  Zach Galligan from Gremlins stars in the gonorrhea cautionary tale  A Very Delicate Matter (1982).  River Phoenix is a thirteen year old dyslexic with a very special teacher who won't give up on him in Backwards: The Riddle of Dyslexia (1984). And Rob Lowe takes off his shirt (a lot!) and takes on parenting in Schoolboy Father (1980).  Come early for a surprise bonus special!



Date: Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

Croatian Animation and Imagination from Zagreb Film - Thurs. July 17 - 8PM


Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter present Croatian Animation and Imagination from Zagreb Film, a program offering the most charming, stylish, and award-winning Croatian animation, mini-docs and short films from the internationally acclaimed studio Zagreb Film. Founded in 1953, Zagreb Film has produced thousands of short films and garnered over 400 international festival awards. Dusan Vukotic, the first non-American to win an Oscar for an animated short, created some of the most stylish of all mid-century cartoons including the witty anti-materialist short Ersatz (AKA Surogat, 1961) and the utterly charming space race-era The Cow on the Moon (1958).  Zlatko Grgic gives us more spacy cartoon cuteness with the tale of a little girl and a little lost alien in A Visit from Space (1954) and a hilarious bit of animated misdirection in Little and Big (1966).  Take an amusing animated look at the history of style in Borivoj Dovniković's Clothing and Fashion: A History (1972). Nedeljko Dragić's Oscar-nominated Tup-Tup (1972) is a darkly-comedic animated commentary on the effects of urbanization. Head on a surreal train trip to the end of the line with Bogdan Zizic's A Journey (1972).  View the innate creativity of children as they explore musical education in the beautiful mini-doc Mur-Bur (1969).  Two artists –one a glassblower, one a painter– collaborate to create Art in Glass (1972).  Plus, Dragutin Vunak's Little Train (1969) and another Borivoj Dovniković: Learning to Walk (1978) plus more surprises from one of the best international animation studios in history!


Date: Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com


Crazy Cats! - Cat Scratch Fever - Fri. July 11th - 8PM


Oddball Films presents Crazy Cats! - Cat Scratch Fever. This evening of crazy cats includes shorts films and cartoons about cats, starring cats and people dressed as cats!  The feline insanity includes: the Oddball favorite anti-drinking primer The Cat Who Drank (and Used) Too Much (1987); The Incredible Cat Tale (ca. 1960), a live action cat adventure from Hungary; The Perils of Priscilla (1969), a neglected pussy sets out on her own and hits the big city; Of Cats and Men (1968), an animated history of Felis Cattus Domesticus from Di$neyThe Cat’s Meow (1976), a hilarious educational short with acrobatic mice; stop-motion charmer Dick Whittington and His Cat (1965), the antique adorable adoption tale Mother Cat and her Baby Skunks (1958); cross-dressing Tom and Jerry cartoon Baby Puss (1943); The Fabulous Cat Girl burlesque and much more!

Date: Friday, July 11th at 8:00PM 
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco 94110
Admission: $10.00 - Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or  415-558-8117.
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com/2014/07/crazy-cats-cat-scratch-fever-fri-july.html

The Fair of the Future - Progress and Innovation from the World's Fair - Thur. July 10th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents The Fair of the Future - Progress and Innovation from the World's Fair, a program of vintage films about and commissioned for World's Fairs of decades past that demonstrate the progress of the past and the promise of a new, automated future. Tour the fair and witness all the exciting sights and sounds of the 1939 New York World's Fair in the World of Tomorrow (1939), including Elektro, the Smoking Robot and GM's Futurama exhibit!  United Airlines commissioned the legendary Saul Bass to follow up his logo design with his promotional short From Here to There (1964), a jet-setting kaleidoscopic whirlwind of imagery.  Jerry Fairbanks produced the charmingly cheesy Century 21 Calling (1964) with two crazy kids touring the fair and learning all about the innovations of tomorrow at the Bell Telephone Pavilion.  Burlesque Queen Sally Rand shows off the progress of France and her famous fan dance at the the 1933 Chicago fair in The Streets of Paris (1933). Ship n' Shore Fashions wants you to see the future of machine-washable clothing with two giggling girls in Fashion Fair (1964). Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner talk about the very first World's Fair, back in 26 AD in a hilarious live performance of The 2,000 Year Old Man (1964). The British had filmmaker Don Levy extol their virtues and innovation for Montreal's Expo 67 in Opus (1967)  Associated Oil promises to Deliver the Goods! (1939) at the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. And explore more of The Golden Gate International Exposition and the 1964 New York World's Fair in gorgeous color! See the sights, hear the sounds and step-back in history to see the promise of a future that already happened.

Date: Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

What the F(ilm)?! 7: All American Cine-Insanity from the Archive - Thur. July 3rd - 8PM

Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter present What the F(ilm)?! 7: All-American Cine-insanity from the Archive, an evening of some of the most bizarre, hilarious and insane films from our massive 16mm collection. This month we're featuring a cornucopia of insane-Americana with Di$ney war-propaganda, fire puppets, psychedelic animation, atomic scare films and even a naked marching band.  Walt Di$ney and Donald Duck help out in the war effort in The Spirit of '43 (1943), a bit of good old fashioned cartoon propaganda. Psychedelic animator Vince Collins produced the mind-bending animation 200 (1975) for the country's bicentennial, and it will still blow your eyeballs out today.  Kinestatic collage documentarian, Chuck Braverman tells the story of America in 3 minutes utilizing 1300 still images in American Time Capsule (1968).  Woody Allen and Jonathan Winters chime in on the age old question How Do They Make Hot Dog Buns? (1970) from Hot Dog, a short-lived bizarro educational program. With two camptastic slices of American cheese, Jerry Fairbanks brings us patriotic talking animals with Speaking of Animals - In Current Events (1940s) and a gorgeous technicolor road trip on a Greyhound Bus full of love with America for Me (1952). Atomic scare film Our Cities Must Fight (1951) wants you to stay in the city after the bomb drops; afterall, the nuclear fallout will dissipate in a couple of days. And since everybody loves a parade, we will be double-projecting the hilariously weird homoerotic short Nude Marching Band (1970s) with Parade, Parade (1973) the kitschy document of a small-town parade.  Plus, stripping for Uncle Sam with The Pretty Priorities and their patriotic burlesque soundie Take It Off (1942), a mini-tribute to the recently departed, the insane puppet anti-drug film Deciso 3003 (1982) featuring double-headed horny puppets by Julie Taymor and narrated by the late great Eli Wallach, and even more insane surprises!

Date: Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com