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FILM/HOME IMPROVEMENT San Diego Uptown News | July 22–August 4, 2011

Thora Birch in person with “Ghost World” and/or “The Maltese Falcon?” SCOTT MARKS / FILM REVIEW

Decisions, decisions R

epertory cinema in San Diego? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. This Saturday night, fans of repertory cinema in San Diego (both of you) will have a chance to satisfy crav- ings for vintage celluloid with 35mm screenings of “The Maltese Falcon” and “Ghost World, for which as of this writing, Thora Birch will appear in person. Don’t be (comic) conned! Those over the age of 16— who view movies as something more than a merchandis- ing tool or way to publicly celebrate the fact that they never got laid in high school —will undoubtedly make it their business to steer clear of this weekend’s annual celebration of everything that’s wrong with contemporary cinema. For a long time, the San Diego Film Critics Society

has been kicking around the notion of public screenings of classic movies. Last month it dawned on us: This is the 10-year anniversary of “Ghost World,” the film we selected Best of 2001. The SDFCS also honored the film with Best Director (Terry Zwigoff), Best Adapted Screenplay (Zwigoff and Daniel Clowes) and Best Actress (Thora Birch) awards. All three accepted their awards in person at our (semi) annual awards luncheon. After years of waxing vitriolic over the event, I finally figured if you can’t beat ’em, you can at least maim ’em by glomming onto the hype and pointing those dressed as zombies and Lucas® creatures in the direction of a good movie they might actually identify with. I put in a call to my pal JoEllen Brantferger at Reading Cinemas and she agreed to obtain a 35mm and allow us access to auditorium #1 (aka the Big House) to screen the film. Thanks also go out to Fantagraphics, the publishers of the original source material, for their support of this event. You’re going to have to act fast, but I know you can do it! The Q&A will probably let out at around 11:30. That gives you a half-hour to retrieve your car from Horton Plaza, hop the 94 east to the 15 north, and make it to The Ken Cinema’s Midnight Madness offering of John Hus- ton’s “The Maltese Falcon.”


Thora Birch in “Ghost World.” It’s not the first film noir as some have claimed. That

honor, and so many others, goes to “Citizen Kane.” “Fal- con” is an enormously entertaining page-by-page adapta- tion of Dashiell Hammett’s hard-boiled detective novel. All except for the last page, that is. There was no way Hol- lywood censors were going to allow Huston to close his

picture on a note of sexual intimacy between Humphrey Bogart and his secretary, Effie (played by Lee Patrick). All this in addition to Peter Lorre on the big screen. The two best theatres in San Diego showing a pair of

classic movies back-to-back on the same night. This sure beats the hell out of pub crawling!u

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