Oddball Films and guest curator Landon Bates bring you Submerged Cinema, a screening teeming with celluloid cephalopods and European seamen. Among other wet wonders, we'll spy the likes of shimmering starfish and gnashing sharks, in films that range from nature docs to sci-fi shockers. Peering through our 16mm porthole, we'll begin our descent into the murky depths with that nephew of Neptune, that red-capped Renaissance man of the sea: Jacques Cousteau. In Sharks, an episode from The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau (1970), the captain and his Calypso crew provoke that ferocious fish--and all for the sake of science. Biology is on the brain again, when an unsuspecting team of researchers find themselves in the lair of The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954); in this excerpt from the Jack Arnold classic, the eponymous monster stalks a scientist’s wife from below, Jaws-like. Smaller and less hostile creatures abound in the microscopic slides of photographer-biologist Roman Vishniac, in The Big Little World of Roman Vishniac (1980's), whose wondrously amorphous images come to resemble avant garde cinema; which will lead us to L'etoile de Mer (1928), Man Ray's somber surrealist film, starring a starfish and shot through textured glass to produce a delirious underwater look. Before concluding with one last Cousteau--Night of the Squid (1970)--we'll get a dose of Diver Dan, a puppet-laden live action children's show from the early 1960's. In "Secrets of the Throne," our scuba man Dan finds himself in hot water, bubbling in the prison cell of an evil king. So, pinch your nose, hold onto your trunks, and start your summer off with a splash at Oddball!
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 558-8117
Two Cousteau Classics from The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau
Among his almost innumerable accomplishments in the realms of both marine biology and cinema (a couple of which feats include developing the Aqua Lung, and collaborating with Louis Malle on the Oscar- and Cannes-winning film, The Silent World), Jacques Cousteau’s specials revealed the mysteries of the ocean to an international audience. While Cousteau’s series often took the form of nature documentaries, episodes such as these contain the suspense and thrills of the adventure film. The aesthetics and tone achieved in the series have also been lovingly adopted and parodied in subsequent television shows (e.g. “Fishing With John”) and films (e.g. Wes Anderson’s Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou).
Sharks (Color, 1970)
Join Cousteau and the crew of The Calypso as they take on that ancient and inscrutable sea creature, the shark. Cousteau and his men conduct experiments to study how sharks are attracted to an alien presence in the water, how they make visual discriminations, how night affects their behavior, and how man might protect himself from them. The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling lends his authoritative voice.
The Night of the Squid (Color, 1970)
Cousteau and co. investigate Sea Arrow Squids, who gather in large masses during their annual mating frenzy and exhibit strange behavior after dark.
In this 1954 sci-fi horror film directed by Jack Arnold--starring Richard Carlson, Julia Adams, Richard Denning, Antonio Moreno, and Whit Bissell—an amphibious-humanoid monster goes after the scientists who study it. The creature lurks in his lagoon, excited by human visitors (particularly the ladies).
One in a series of 104 short children’s TV programs; in tonight’s film our main man Dan and his fish puppet companions find themselves in an undersea pickle once again. While Dan is trapped in a deep-sea prison cell by an evil king, he is assisted by pal ‘Trigger’ and a sawfish (who easily saws through the metal bars with his snout) to narrowly escape an underwater earthquake. Don’t miss the action-packed adventures of this scuba goofball and his puppet pals!
The Big Little World of Roman Vishniac (Color, 1980’s)
Photographer, biologist, and art historian, Roman Vishniac is most widely remembered for his photographic documentation of pre-Holocaust Jewish culture in Central and Eastern Europe. Vishniac also contributed to the development of photo microscopy (photographs taken through microscopic lens) and time-lapse photography. In this film, showcasing various marine specimens, the gentle Vishniac discusses his love of the natural world and the abundance of life found on the seashore.