To start with today, Sunday, there’s a couple of films I’d like to push: the dreamy horror film Suspension, playing at 10:30am at the Camera 12 (9:30am real time, thanks to the vagaries of daylight savings); I’m happy to hear good reports from those who saw Who is K.K. Downey?, playing again 3pm at Camera 12. Then, tonight is the closer, Take, playing at 7:30. Didn’t fancy Take much, despite agreeing with it on the social issue it takes up.
Friday night was the highlight of the fest for me; I got to meet the K.K. Downey gang, though it was rather hard to talk in the Agenda Lounge (ambient noise, not music). Then at 7 at the regal California Theatre, Eisenstein’s October, with Dennis James at the Wurlitzer and Cyndi Mortensen reading over the Russian subtitles on Martin Scorsese’s own print of the classic.
At 2 hours, 15 minutes, it plays long—there are scenes of the various Soviets voting and holding roll calls that slow things down, and I saw a couple of walkouts. They missed the grand finale: the storming of the Winter Palace, and the excruciating tension as the ultimatums are delivered to the stonewalled provisional government. James did something I hadn’t expected for these pre-dawn scenes: he stopped playing entirely to reflect Eisenstein’s images of a silent early morning, right before the camped troops start stirring.