News from the Archive - Recent Projects


Oddball Films is letting you in on some of our most recent stock footage projects in film, television, commercials and more.  Recent highlights include providing offbeat footage for the credits for the Emmy nominated series Transparent, The New York Times, Ray Donovan as well as the documentary series OJ: Made in America and We've Been Around about transgender trailblazers. We also did research for Jim Jarmusch’s Iggy Pop documentary Gimme Danger, retro-tech for Danny Boyle’s Academy Award nominated Steve Jobs. And wouldn’t you know it?  They came to us when they wanted some 70s smut for The Nice Guys, Ryan Gosling’s latest movie! 

Buster Keaton Rides Again - Thurs. Sep. 1st - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Buster Keaton Rides Again, a night of 16mm film shorts from the 1920s-1960s dedicated to that inimitable silent film star Buster Keaton with silent gems, terrific talkies, rarities, commercials, and an intimate documentary inside the mind of the comedic giant. A vaudevillian from the age of five, Keaton was given the name "Buster" by Harry Houdini and began his film career with Fatty Arbuckle at the age of 21, directing and starring in his own films a couple of years later. The films from this silent era are his most enduring--and are inventive, visionary, and as funny as anything that has followed. Unlike his contemporaries Chaplin or Harold Lloyd, Keaton does not mug; he does not implore his audience; he watches calmly along with the audience as chaos unfolds and reacts with his trademark smarts, physical skill and elegance. Films include Cops (1922), a Kafka-esque story of a man on the run from the entire police force; The Balloonatic (1923) with gags galore, this film finds Buster bumbling through each frame, finally whisked away by a rogue hot air balloon and dropped into the woods to fend for himself; Grand Slam Opera (1936) with Keaton performing his juggling act over the radio; the rare documentary Buster Keaton Rides Again (1965) which gives you a rare look behind the scenes of his trademark slapstick style a mere year before his death, and The Railrodder (1965), a modern salute to classic Buster made by The National Film Board of Canada (1965). Plus, Vintage Keaton Commercials and early birds will get the opportunity to see an episode of The Misadventures of Buster Keaton (1950s). Everything screened on 16mm film from our stock footage archive.


Date: Thursday, September 1st, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilms.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

Better Living Through Di$ney - Educational Shorts from the Magic Kingdom - Fri. Sep. 2nd - 8PM

Oddball Films brings you Better Living Through Di$ney - Educational Shorts from the Magic Kingdom. While obviously more well known for their animated features, Di$ney (as Walt Di$ney Educational Media) has been making educational primers since the 1940s with audacious subject matter like menstruation, venereal diseases, war propaganda, drug abuse and more. This program features high/lowlights of Di$ney's educational side with shocking shorts, some animated, some live-action and all Di$ney. In the notorious pseudo-science film White Wilderness: Lemmings (1958), Di$ney filmmakers manufactured a "documentary" about lemming behavior that not only cost dozens of rodents their lives, it changed public perception about the little furballs forever. A goofy cowboy gets pressured into smoking at The Smokey Mountain Dude Ranch in Smoking: The Choice is Yours (1981). In VD Attack Plan (1973), a cartoon syphilitic sergeant directs his VD troops into battle against ignorant humans. Benny's a teen that's got it all, but he might lose it if he trades his friends for steroids in Benny and the 'Roids (1988). Learn all about growing up, from an animated embryonic cycle to adolescent pimples in the zippy musical short Steps Towards Maturity and Growth (1968). From the same series, we learn about The Social Side of Health (1969), including an animated drug trip and more zippy songs, and Physical Fitness and Good Health (1969). Di$ney also got into the war effort with several propaganda cartoons including Don@ld Duck's surreal Nazi nightmare Der Fuehrer's Face (1943) and The Grain That Built a Hemisphere (1943) touting the nearly magic properties of corn. Two dopey guys try to explain computers to a clueless teacher in the dated cheesefest Computers: The Truth of the Matter (1983). Plus, you can learn How to Catch a Cold (1951)! With even more surprises in store, you'll never think of Di$ney the same way again!



Date: Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilms.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com

Oddball in the Press

People love to talk about us! From the Huffington Post to the SF Weekly, our massive collection and unique screenings have impressed, baffled, and inspired folks all over the world. Read what they're saying about the country's strangest film archive. 


A Century of Drag Cinema - Fri. Aug. 26th - 8PM

Oddball films presents A Century of Drag Cinema, a night of 16mm film shorts from the 1910s-1970s demonstrating the progression of drag in film from a mere comedy gag to a transgressive movement. Drag got its start in pictures early on as a typical comedy gag with most of the major comedy stars of the day cross-dressing for laughs. See Charlie Chaplin in one of the earliest uses of drag in film, as he shaves his trademark mustache and dons a lovely frock to get a part in a film in the Keystone silent comedy The Female Impersonator AKA The Masquerader (1914). Gender bending is the norm in the imagined future of Hal Roach's What's the World Coming To? (1926). Amour Pour Une Femme (1950) is a quick stag-gag, with a dressing room full of lovely ladies, but they may not all really be ladies. Bugs and Daffy get into semantics and Bugs slips into ladies' clothes in one of the best Bugs Bunny shorts, Chuck Jones' Rabbit Seasoning (1952). Woody Woodpecker uses drag to get back at a horny landlord, then eats him out of house and home in Chew Chew Baby (1945). As homosexuality and gender-transgression began to come more into public view, drag became a counter-cultural movement and began to reflect the real demographic of gender-benders. The camptastic Sinderella (1962) retells an age-old fairy tale with a cross-dressing twist for a new generation. The frank and entertaining documentary Black Cap Drag (1969) takes an in-depth look at two British drag performers in 1960s London as they discuss their lives and careers and sing a few Barbra and Marlene numbers along the way. Experimental filmmaker Coni Beeson gives us an intimate and poetic look at Drag (1970). With incredible costumery in the 1969 Halloween Show at the Levee from our very own San Francisco, drag legend Charles Pierce performs his own unique brand of comedy and music from The Charles Pierce Review (1969), a snippet of dragged up Homoerotica (1970s), and tons of other dragalicious bonuses! Early birds will be treated to the unaired, unsold pilot for the TV show Some Like it Hot (1961) with Tina Louise in Marilyn's role.  Empowering and entertaining, you'll want this night to drag on forever! Everything screened on 16mm film with silent prints courtesy of the Jenni Olson Queer Film Archive.

Date: Friday, August 26th, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco (map)
Admission: $10.00 - Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilms.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com/

"You're born naked, the rest is Drag"
-Ru Paul Charles


Strange Sinema 103: Cinemania - Thur. Aug. 25th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Strange Sinema 103, a monthly evening of newly discovered finds, old favorites and rarities from the stacks of the archive. Drawing on his collection of over 50,000 16mm film prints, Oddball Films director Stephen Parr has compiled his 103rd program of classic, strange, offbeat and unusual films. This installment, Strange Sinema 103: Cinemania, is an offbeat look at the origins and bizarre expressions of cinema through historical inventions, experimental innovations and hand-made films throughout the ages with a blend of documentary, animation, early cinema rarities and even historic smut. We start off with a fascinating documentary The Origins of the Motion Picture (1955) examining cinema history from Leonardo de Vinci to Thomas Edison featuring oddities such as the Thaumatrope, the Phenakistiscope, Muybridge’s Zoopraxiscope and more. We follow with the early cinema experiments of Georges Méliès in excerpts from The Inn Where No Man Rests (1903) and The Witch's Revenge (1903) and Tex Avery's Daffy Duck in Hollywood (1938) where our duckster editor makes movie mayhem by creating a masterpiece using stock footage to enrage his boss! Lumiere’s First Picture Show (1895-1897) is a compilation of the earliest films ever made by French cinema pioneers the Lumière Brothers as well as a vintage look at the Lumières' patented cinematograph, a combination camera, projector, and film printer. Witness Camera Magic (1943), a rare curio by notorious oddball photographer Arthur “Weegee” Felig demonstrating a variety of camera techniques used to produce special effects. Moving on to the 70s, we take a cue from Stan Brakhage, Len Lye, and other avant-garde film makers in Michael and Mimi Warshaw’s How to Make a Movie Without a Camera (1972) which encourages kids and adults alike to make beautiful movies by scratching and drawing directly on film and animating films using hinged cut-outs, clay, toys, and hand-painted film. Robert Swarthe's Oscar-nominated Kick Me (1975)- painted directly onto the film - cleverly takes its meta-post-modernism to new dimensions. Bombay Movies (1977) is an inside look at the wild and extravagant world of Bollywood films in the 1970s. Hop on board for what some say is America's first hardcore porn, the notorious silent stag film A Free Ride AKA Grass Sandwich (1915) and try not to scream at the world's first pornographic cartoon Eveready Hardon in Buried Treasure (1928).

Date: Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilms.com or (415) 558-8117
Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com 

Learn your Lesson's Final Exam - Shockucation's Last Hurrah - Fri. Aug. 19th - 8PM


Oddball Films and curator Kat Shuchter present Learn Your Lesson's Final Exam: Shockucation's Last Hurrah, the 41st and final in a monthly series of programs highlighting the most ridiculous, insane and camptastic educational films, mental hygiene primers and TV specials of the collection. After 40 months of sex, drugs, and schlock and roll, we're retiring everyone's favorite educational programming with one final explosion of weird! Teen girls need to watch out for intruders, even when they inexplicably become your instructor of Self-Defense for Girls (1969). In the evangelical Charlie Chaplin rip-off Charlie Churchman and the Clowns (1960s), a proselytizing pastor goes to the carnival in search of new souls and encounters the most terrifying clown in cinema history and crucifies a ventriloquist dummy. Guardiana: Safety Woman saves you from a stove fire and from your dad's gun in Harm Hides at Home (1974). Or learn about poisons with Egbert, one puppet boy with a penchant for poisoning himself over and over again in Watch Out for Poison (1970s).  Another disgusting puppet learns all about dental hygiene in Big Mouth Goes to the Dentist (1979). Mike Miller is a good Mormon Boy, but will he be lured by fast cars and wild women in the hilarious Measure of a Man (1962) from Mormon-mental hygiene pioneer Wetzel Whitaker. NFL great and needlepoint enthusiast Rosey Grier sings "It's Alright to Cry" from Free to Be...You and Me (1974) for all those boys questioning the masculinity of emotions. Three pubescent girls lament about their underdeveloped bodies in an uncomfortable musical number "The Itty Bitty Titty Committee" from Junior High School (1978). With door prizes, other surprises and more shockucation for the early birds, it's your last chance to learn your lesson!

Date: Friday, August 19th, 2016 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