Elvis Presley Tribute Party!
Live band, guest singers, DJs Return
for first time since the pandemic
Thursday, June 30, Make-Out Room, San Francisco
Thursday, June 30– Elvis Presley Tribute Party
Make-Out Room, 3225 22nd St, San Francisco
Doors 7pm, Band 7:30pm – 9:30pm;
DJ before & after the band
$10 cover / 21+ only
Held at the glamorous Make-Out Room, the party will be all Elvis all night, with the San Francisco Elvis All Stars live band comprised of Hank Maninger, Joe Kyle, Steve Lucky, and Les James.
Our unique group of guest vocalists are: “Bollywood blues man” Aki Kumar, world famous drag king Elvis Herselvis (Leigh Crow), Carmen Getit from Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums, charismatic roots and country performer Mitch Polzak, rock journalist Ben Fong-Torres, and the Bay Area's country sweetheart Lynne Maes. More Elvis music spun by DJ Cammy.
GABIN 118, Tribute To French Film Legend JEAN GABIN, Sunday & Monday May 15-16, 2022, at San Francisco's Roxie Theater
TRIBUTE TO FRENCH FILM LEGEND JEAN GABIN
7 Gabin films screen on Sunday & Monday,
May 15-16 at the Roxie, San Francisco
GABIN 118 – Tribute to French film legend Jean Gabin
The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA -(415) 863-1087
Sunday, May 15
Matinee: ZOU ZOU (1934) with Josephine Baker 12:30
GUEULE D’AMOUR aka LADYKILLER (1937) with Mireille Balin 2:15
MOONTIDE (1942) with Ida Lupino & Claude Rains 4:00
Evening: REMORQUES aka STORMY WATERS (1941) with Michèle Morgan 6:45
DES GENS SANS IMPORTANCE aka PEOPLE OF NO IMPORTANCE (1956)
with Françoise Arnoul 8:30
Monday, May 16
MARTIN ROUMAGNAC aka THE ROOM UPSTAIRS (1946) with Marlene Dietrich 7:00
LE CAVE SE REBIFFE aka COUNTERFEITERS OF PARIS (1961)
with Martine Carol, Bernard Blier, Ginette Leclerc, Françoise Rosay 9:15
Festival pass all 7 films: $33
Single ticket price: $14-15
5/15 matinee (3 films): $15; 5/15 evening (2 films): $14;
5/16 evening (2 films): $14
GABIN 118 delights in finding films from disparate locations in Gabin’s career that showcase his steadfast persona being stretched by the wide-ranging material that interested him. “Gabin had to lobby hard to play opposite Josephine Baker in ZOU ZOU (1934), our opening film on Sunday afternoon,” Malcolm notes. “The result is a scintillating collision of personalities set in the free-for-all world of the Parisian music hall (from which, as you might remember, Gabin himself emerged).’’
Baker is often electrifying in ZOU ZOU, and you’d think she might blow Gabin off the screen with her exotic, sexualized presence. “But Gabin just stands there and holds his own,” Malcolm smiles, “and the story eventually pivots to his troubles. This is the first time, I think, where it’s clear that Gabin can command the screen without necessarily being the primary focus of the story. It’s a window into what made him so incredibly successful in so many different types of pictures.”
The second Sunday afternoon film, GUEULE D’AMOUR aka LADY KILLER (1937), is the orphan child of the Poetic Realist moment, with Jean Grémillon providing a significant variation from the better-known PEPE LE MOKO. “It’s a reteaming of the two stars of PEPE,” Malcolm explains, “but that turns the tables on both their characters. Gremillon knows that Gabin can take care of himself on screen, so he builds up the mystery and allure around Mireille Balin, who became—at least for a little while—the biggest movie star in France.”
The screening of LADY KILLER is a wonderful (and rare) opportunity to “check another box” with respect to the classic films from that mysterious, alluring, shape-shifting phenomenon known as Poetic Realism. “Gremillon is the least known of the directors associated with that movement,” Malcolm notes. “And we’re pleased to have two of his best films in this series.”
The matinee triple bill concludes with an intriguing curio from Gabin’s brief stay in Hollywood during WWII. MOONTIDE (1942) shows what happens when an international star is put through the Tinsel Town wringer. “Hollywood had found a way to assimilate Charles Boyer,” Malcolm notes, “because Boyer wore a tuxedo as well as anyone. But while you could dress up Gabin, he was no fashion plate—he was a man of the people. So, in MOONTIDE they take that idea a bit too far, and the results are a bit weird. But somehow it all works: Gabin’s chemistry with Ida Lupino and Claude Rains and the film’s brilliantly atmospheric photography keep you glued to the screen.”
Sunday evening’s show is one that holds great excitement for “renegade programmer” Malcolm. “These two films—STORMY WATERS and PEOPLE OF NO IMPORTANCE—are deeply engaged with the complex essence of Gabin’s acting style and his search for complex characters who can be portrayed with his unique brand of deceptive naturalism,” Don notes.
In both films, Gabin is a married man engaging in an affair with a younger woman, but from there all the circumstances (and all the character colorations) are different. “A sea captain and a trucker—men who choose solitude for their profession but who somehow wind up embroiled in complicated situations despite themselves—Gabin excels at roles combining strength and vulnerability, and despite the relative obscurity of these two films, these are two of his greatest performances,” Don enthuses. “And the actresses playing opposite him—Michèle Morgan and Françoise Arnoul—are simply superb. People need to see these films!”
So, yes, it’s a marathon day: but past audiences know that such days often prove to be the very best experiences one can have in a movie theater—particularly with the “renegade programmer” at the controls!
MONDAY evening brings us the fabled, bittersweet coupling of Gabin and Dietrich, in a film that, as noted previously, embodies the metaphorical arc of a world-famous love affair. “Unfortunately, Gabin wanted children—and Dietrich was not able to provide him with babies,” Don notes. “After Gabin had children of his own, we start to see Gabin with children in films, and we can see from his on-screen reaction to them how much children meant to him.”
MARTIN ROUMAGNAC would set the tone for many of the Gabin films that followed until his full commercial renaissance in 1954 after TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI. In this shadowy in-between period, he made films about men leading double lives, men who are lost; men who are blind, men who are unwitting murder victims—some of Gabin’s best performances are found in those years and still await rediscovery. Malcolm promises at least one of them in the next FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT festival (coming as usual in November).
The series concludes with an echo of GRISBI, in a film that is, in fact, a kind of sequel to it. “LE CAVE SE REBIFFE was novelist Albert Simonin’s follow-up to GRISBI,” Don notes, “and it was a standard gangster tale featuring Gabin’s character Max le Menteur. But Gabin’s friend and collaborator Gilles Grangier decided that the story take a more comic tone, so he hired noted scenarist Michel Audiard to rewrite it for the screen.”
The result is a rollicking caper film, one of the first (and best) of the “crime comedies” that flourished in France under the shadow of the Nouvelle Vague during the 1960s, with Gabin as a legendary counterfeiter lured out of retirement for the obligatory “one last job” (it seems there was one pigeon that got away!). Only Gabin doesn’t know how bumbling and incompetent his crew is, and how many absurd obstacles they will create for themselves as their efforts come closer to “crunch time.”
LE CAVE SE REBIFFE (aka COUNTERFEITERS OF PARIS) has a stellar cast in support of Gabin (Bernard Blier, Martine Carol, Franck Villard, Ginette Leclerc, and the imperious Françoise Rosay) and boasts a very satisfying twist ending. “I think of it as a wonderful palate-cleanser with which to conclude a feast of filmwatching,” Don smiles. “And I think the French would approve!”
Presenter Don Malcolm thinks Sunday night has the best films, although the others have better known stars to American audiences.
San Francisco Greek Film Festival hybrid format;