Friday, April 04, 2014

Hope for Cinema: Another PFA Satyajit Ray Film Sells Out

The Pacific Film Archive has been exhilarating and frustrating Bay Area cineastes with its phenomenal series devoted to master director Satyajit Ray's work, since it began in January. The former if you're one of the lucky ones getting in, and the latter if you've been turned away because it the screening was sold old.

This video was shot about ten minutes before the lights went down for the March 29 show of another of his masterpieces, "Days and Nights in the Forest". When it began, every seat was occupied. A most beautiful sight in itself but even more fantastic was seeing the faces of people in the seats basking in the screen's lights, as I glanced back at the audience from my seat in the second row.

As more Ray films sell out and the Jean-Luc Godard retrospective draws packed houses, the signs of hope for cinema continue to mount.

We're being treated to films from the canon by a world-renowned auteur, exhibited as they were meant to be seen on 35mm in a theater and projected on a large silver screen, with a audience's eyes gazing up at the images. This is one beautiful form of community-building for like-minded people from diverse backgrounds and a spectrum of ages, and I'm proud to be part of it.

This weekend, the PFA on Saturday at 5 pm is showing the director's extended cut of "Amadeus" by Milos Forman that I intend to catch for a second viewing, and Sunday at 3 pm unspools Ray's fairy tale "The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha" and it promises many delights.

Word to the wise. Get to the box office early or order tickets online. See you at the PFA!

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