Kooks, Eccentrics and Other Visionaries - Fri. August 17 - 8PM

Oddball Films and guest curator Lynn Cursaro present Kooks, Eccentrics and Other Visionaries, a night that celebrates those special individuals that harbor and foster miraculous obsessions.  An inspiring roundup of dreamers, schemers and true believers, featuring High Wire (1984), which documents Philippe Petit, the subject of the Academy Award winning Man on Wire as he prepares for a gasp-worthy performance at NYC's St. John of the Divine Cathedral (with a sound score by Philip Glass). Revisit the reign of Emperor Norton (1948), self-proclaimed "Emperor of These United States," "Protector of Mexico" and a true San Francisco original. The City by the Bay struts its stuff as a shaper of nascent nuts in the loopy non-narrative Lopsideland (1969). Knighthood is still in flower for the Castle Man (1979), who devoted his life to constructing a scale of a Medieval castle using hand-crafted brick, mortar and stone, in Loveland, Ohio. A young girl’s devotion to school bus safety spills over into a life-defining obsession in the kooky educational short Bus Nut (1980). In Jerry’s Restaurant (1976), famed filmmaker Tom Palazzolo portrays a lovable Chicago deli owner’s oddly endearing service-with-a-snarl approach wins him a devoted clientele.   Full of innovation, persistence and originality, this is one inspiring night that's guaranteed to have tons of character.

Everything's On the Line
Date: Friday, August 17th, 2012 at 8:00PM.
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street, San Francisco
Admission: $10.00, RSVP Only to: 415-558-8117 or programming@oddballfilm.com


High Wire (Color, 1984)
French high wire artist Philippe Petit gained fame for his spectacular walk between the Twin Towers in New York City on August 7, 1974 and was the subject of the award-winning 2008 film, Man on Wire.  In this 1984 treasure, Petit metaphorically bridges the ancient and modern as he walks a high wire suspended between the towers at New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine and a sixteen story high-rise building across the street. Centering on the meticulous preparation for the performance, the film sheds light on the WTC crossings, illuminating them as all the more amazing. With a sound score by the inimitable Phillip Glass.

Tongue on Rye
Jerry’s Restaurant (Color, 1976)
Jerry Myers serves up a little bit of Rickles alongside the pickles in his Chicago deli. The sandwich with a side of browbeating is part of what keeps the lunch-hour crowd coming back for more. Myers’ brand of offbeat affection for his workers and customers is apparent to all, as is his love for his modest showcase.

The Real Heart of San Francisco
Emperor Norton (B+W, 1948)
In this fascinating portrait, we meet the self-proclaimed His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I, a celebrated citizen of San Francisco, California, who in 1859 proclaimed himself “Emperor of these United States” and “Protector of Mexico.” Although official power and influence extended only so far as he would be humored by those around him, he was much esteemed in San Francisco, and currency issued in his name was honored in the establishments he frequented.

Keep Those Hands Inside
Bus Nut (Color, 1980)
Bobbie’s not like the other kids on her morning school bus.  For them it’s just a ride, for her it’s the first step on the path of a life devoted to transportation safety. It’s okay with her parents and pleases professional bus driver Mrs. Harrison, too. This study of youthful obsession is not just a clever guise for a school safety primer, it’s a reminder that some fixations start very early. Co-starring the color yellow.

Not Just Another Brick in the Wall
Castle Man (Color, 1979)
A portrait of modern knighthood!  The construction of a 1/5 scale replica of a Medieval Castle in Loveland, Ohio was only part of Harry Andrews’s vision. While mixing up mortar and making his own bricks, he set out to espouse the spirit and values of knighthood. Andrews built the entire castle himself, using 2,600 sacks of cement, 32,000 quart milk cartons for forming concrete bricks, 54,000 five-gallon buckets of dirt, and 56,000 pails of stones, most materials locally sourced and hauled to the site on foot.

The City That Knows How!
Lopsideland (Color, 1969)
If any city can be considered a colorful character, it’s San Francisco! Has the laissez-faire attitude of its denizens shaped the city, or have all those hills and crannies shaped us? This delightful short doesn’t even pretend to know the answer!

Plus! For the Early Arrivals!

Evan’s Museum (Color, 1974)
What’s a museum anyway? For young Evan, it’s not something you can’t make for yourself out of some old bones and hand-typed labels.

Curator’s Biography
Lynn Cursaro is a local film blogger. Over the past two decades, she has worked in research and administrative positions a variety of Bay Area film organizations.