Cult of Personality - Charismatic Mini-Docs - Fri. Jan. 24 - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Cult of Personality - Charismatic Mini-Docs with an evening of short portrait documentaries about outlandish, endearing and out-there characters from a selection of notable and award-winning filmmakers. In I Remember Barbra (1980), Kevin Burns takes to the streets of Brooklyn for recollections of Barbra Streisand from the many colorful characters of her hometown. Tom Palazzolo captures the friendly frenzy of a lunch-rush at Jerry's Deli (1976) with its benevolently loud owner barking and snarking with his amused clientele.  A lovably eccentric inventor in rural England has the solution for rising gas prices in Bate's Car: Sweet as a Nut (1974). Charles Braverman's Trader Vic's Used Cars (1975) features the most charismatic and upfront used car salesmen you will ever meet.  Get inside the mind, and Chicago mansion of Hugh H*fner, in The Most (1963) and behind the music and community outreach of James Brown - The Man (1967).  Meet teenage ventriloquist Shirley Dinsdale and her right hand gal, Judy Splinters in the Universal's Popular Person Oddity Double-talk Girl (1942). Plus, an entertaining excerpt from Martha Coolidge's (Valley Girl, Real Genius) portrait of her Yankee Grandmother, Old-Fashioned Woman (1974). Stranger than fiction, realer than reality TV, Oddball has got character in spades!

Date: Friday, January 24th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117

I Remember Barbra (Color, 1980)
Barbra Streisand retrospective by filmmaker Kevin Burns, who takes to the streets, shops, boardwalks, apartment houses and classrooms of Brooklyn to document the Barbra Streisand her friends and neighbors remembered as an adolescent and up and coming performer. No clips of Barbra are used in the film, nor is her music. Instead, the documentary focuses on everyday Brooklynites and their personal recollections of a favorite hometown girl.  A bizarre and amusing slice of Brooklyn circa 1980.

Jerry’s Deli (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.
Bate’s Car: Sweet As A Nut (Color, 1974)
A portrait of a loveable eccentric, this short film presents Mr. Bate, an inventor living in rural southwest England who discovers a substitute for gasoline in barnyard manure. Even though he fits the classic mould of single-minded know-how and practical dreamer, his discovery is tried and tested. He demonstrates how his homemade digester does turn manure into potent methane gas that powers his auto. And for good measure, he demonstrates his latest sustainable invention – a bicycle powered by the bumps on the road.

Trader Vic’s Used Cars (1975, Charles Braverman)

For used car dealer Victor Snyder, “customer relations are everything.” On his modest Southern California lot, his mostly working class clientele can count on more than just a fair shake. Vic’s folksy sales techniques may seem quaint, but Braverman’s portrait is a refreshing look at a dying breed of small businessman with a deep understanding of the art and psychology of the deal.

The Most (B+W, 1963)

"It's not very flattering but it's a work of art."-Hugh Hefn*r

"a witty and ferociously loaded profile... The simple but devastating technique is to let H*fner spout his philosophy, then, sandwich each banality between fleshy layers of a Pl@yboy party."

The Sunday Telegram July 26, 1964

This rare, award-winning biopic by Richard Ballentine and Gordon Sheppard, chronicles the man known for selling sex to America and creating a socio-sexual cultural phenomenon, Hugh Hefn*r.

The documentary short, which won the 1963 San Francisco International Film Festival's Golden Gate Award,  is an incredibly savage length of film. One wonders, in the face of all the evidence, if it really is a documentary, if its subject-Hugh Hefn*r, Playb*y magazine, Pl*yboy Clubs, Pl*yboy bunnies, the lot - exists at all. That man, strutting, preening, posing, and spouting nonsense, is a new kind of animated cartoon, a sort of mental Magoo who cannot possibly realize what he is saying when he admits, with feigned modesty, "It's probably not true that I have made love to more beautiful women than any man in history," or when he asserts, "Going by the strict definition of the word, yes, I suppose I am a genius."

The prince of playmates lives in an unspeakably vulgar playhouse, with a swimming pool and, apparently, a perennial party. The film shows H*fner's minions (one spits an ice cube back into his drink and says how much "Hef" has done to change his life) and mignonnes. Or, there he is again, in his office, late at night ("I often work in my pee-jays") saying, "I don't think I'd change places with anyone in the world," and that, at least, is a good thing, for no one who has seen Richard Ballentine and Gordon Sheppard's cinematic portrait of H*fner would he willing to switch with him.-Newsweek Magazine September 2, 1963

Double-Talk Girl (B+W, 1942) 
A Universal Pictures “Popular Person Oddity” with Shirley Dinsdale and her right-hand gal, Judy Splinters. There’s nothing more unsettling than ventriloquism. Except for little girls in lace dresses doing ventriloquism. Really, it’s too much. In this wacko newsreel of the bizarre, it’s Lizzy Borden meets Chuckie as we meet a girl who may be the youngest serial killing, doll-loving supernatural psycho ever. Or she’s just good at throwing her voice and has bad taste in hobbies.

James Brown - The Man (Color, 1967)

A rarely seen documentary focusing on the man, his career and his philosophy. From his own background as a drifter and convict to his many successful businesses-including his James Brown "Golden Platter" soul food restaurants to his "Brown and Black" trading stamp venture this film paints a portrait of Brown as black activist and community leader. Riveting performance clips are interspersed with Brown's message to youth: "Don't hate-communicate", still applicable today.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.