Cinema Soiree - San Francisco's Wild History Groove with Mary Kerr - Thur. Oct. 6th - 8PM

Oddball Films welcomes documentary producer/director Mary Kerr for our Cinema Soiree Series, a monthly soiree featuring visiting authors, filmmakers and curators presenting and sharing cinema insights. Kerr will be presenting her documentary San Francisco's Wild History Groove - a look into the untold stories of the Bay Area's Beat scene and unsung artists. The film is a “wild” history of the 50s underground art and poetry scene in California. These individuals produced unusual art as well as spirited poetry, unique to the West Coast. Their mantra was "don't sell out"--no compromising for money or recognition. They took risks, exploring new directions in their work and in the way they lived their lives. This documentary shows the viewer how and why it happened. It brings insight into what developed in San Francisco among these Beat Era rebels. To foreground this fascinating documentary, we'll be screening several 16mm Beat Era rarities from of the archive including the Oscar nominated absurd Beat rhapsody Help My Snowman is Burning Down! (1964) and The Interview (1960) - the hilarious animation from Ernie Pintoff and Lenny Bruce and featuring fictional horn-playing hep-cat Shorty Petterson as he gives a truly bizarre interview. Also screening are excerpts of the incredibly rare documentary USA Poetry: Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti (1969) with poetry readings filmed at City Lights Bookstore.

 Thursday, October 6th, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117

San Francisco's Wild History Groove (Color, 2011, video)
“A fine documentary of San Francisco... how it felt when Bohemia was still alive.”— Peter Selz, Curator, Author, Professor of Art Emeritus, UC Berkeley

Mavericks of the City by the Bay produced innovative art and spirited poetry---unique to the West Coast. In Northern California, new art and poetry was seen and heard in the coffee houses and bars in San Francisco’s North Beach. Occasionally, these avant-garde individuals opened cooperative galleries and staged their own events. Living and working in warehouses, storefronts or in old Victorians throughout the city, these spaces became another setting to show work, share ideas, socialize and produce art.

“We started it (the 6 Gallery) because no place in the city would show our work. Now, it’s all gotten kind of myth-like. But it was a time, in my personal life and in my work, when I felt like I was in-control and out-of control simultaneously and it was a lot of fun—a hell of a lot of fun.”— Wally Hedrick

About Mary Kerr:

In the early 90s Mary Kerr began her career in video production by shooting portions of "Barbary Coast Bebop", a documentary about the jazz scene in San Francisco after WWII. This was aired on local PBS. Over the years she has produced several shorts on a variety of subjects. In 1995 she completed The Beach, a documentary about the art scene during the 50s in San Francisco’s North Beach. Kerr has spent the last years researching and acquiring material forSwinging in the Shadows, a two-part documentary about underground artists and poets in California during the Beat Era.Venice West and the LA Scene , was completed in 2011; San Francisco’s Wild History Groove in 2011.

16mm Selections from the Archive:

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Help! My Snowman’s Burning Down (Color, 1964)
This academy award-nominated short (and winner of 14 international awards) by Carson Davidson stars Bob Larkin (later in the cult film Putney Swope) as a Beatnik who lives on a boat dock off Manhattan with only bathroom furnishings.  A visceral tapestry woven together by stop motion and surreal special effects, this is another Oddball audience favorite. With a snazzy jazz score by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet.

The Interview (Color, 1960)

Animated short by the brilliant Ernie Pintoff has square interviewer befuddled by fictional hipster jazz musician Shorty Petterstein (voiced by Lenny Bruce) as the Stan Getz combo blows and riffs “off camera”.  “Like, don’t hang me- I didn’t wanna fall up here in the first place!”

USA: Poetry – Allen Ginsberg & Lawrence Ferlinghetti (B+W, 1969, excerpt) 
Super-rare documentary focused on two Beat Generation legends: local hero Ferlinghetti and the late Ginsberg. Both men read and discuss Beat history- filmed in City Lights Books and around North Beach.

About Oddball Films
Oddball Films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like The Nice Guys and Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Transparent and Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our screenings 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.