Unique New Yorkers: Big Apple Mini-Docs and More - Thurs. June 23rd - 8PM

Oddball Films presents Unique New Yorkers: Big Apple Mini-Docs, a program of compelling, hilarious, inspiring and absurd character documentaries about some fascinating personalities from the NYC of yesteryear including break-dancers, Barbra Streisand enthusiasts, blues masters, and wild animal lovers with a patented Oddball smattering of vintage New York ephemera. Head out for a beer with a bull in the hilarious and horrifying documentary Manimals (1978), about people who keep exotic pets in their New York City apartments from Oscar-winner Robin Lehman. In I Remember Barbra (1980), Kevin Burns takes to the streets of Brooklyn for ridiculous and revelatory recollections of Barbra Streisand from the many colorful characters of her hometown who all have an opinion and a fond memory (if not a collection of candid snapshots) of the superstar. Harold Becker paints a portrait of mid-60s Harlem and the unsung blues-master Blind Gary Davis (1964), a short, lyrical and moving mini doc. See the construction of some of New York City's iconic architecture in Twenty Four Dollar Island (1927), legendary documentarian Robert Flaherty’s portrait of NYC in the 1920s. Plus, Take the A-Train (1949) with the Delta Rhythm Boys in a rare mid-century Soundie and catch some vintage promotional travel films from the Big Apple, and more ephemeral surprises. Catch the hilarious and super-rare short That's Me (1963) written by and starring a young Alan Arkin. Plus, early birds will get a taste of break-dancing in the Bronx. Everything screened on 16mm film from our stock footage archive (and most unavailable elsewhere).


Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 at 8:00pm

Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilms.com or (415) 558-8117

Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com 


Manimals (Color, 1978)
Directed by multi-Oscar winner Robin Lehman, this intriguing personality documentary centers around New York City inhabitants who keep exotic pets.  Alternating between humor and horror, the film explores the people who humanize wild animals, revealing some interesting characters and the semi-wild monkeys, goats, cows and birds that accompany them in their New York apartments and even out on the town.  The film features a cow that goes to the local bar to get a bucket of beer and a woman who dresses her exotic birds in Yankees uniforms.  You can catch a clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8dLIwRZDjs

I Remember Barbra (Color, 1980)
In this marvelous tribute to everyone's favorite hometown gal; filmmaker Kevin Burns 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 Barbra as a student, a neighbor, a high school sweetheart, and a heroine.  A bizarre and amusing slice of Brooklyn circa 1980. 

Blind Gary Davis (B+W, 1964)
Directed by Harold Becker (who went on to direct The Onion Field and Taps among other films). An inside look into the music and lifestyle of one of music’s lesser-known masters, this short documentary focuses on the great country blues artist and reverend, Blind Gary Davis. Davis first recorded in 1935 and greatly influenced the folk movement of the 1960s. He is featured singing and talking about his career amidst the poverty of his Harlem neighborhood. Intimate and revealing, the film’s rich black and white tones compliment the dark tones and lyrics of Davis’s music. It is a sensitive and moving portrait that succeeds in making both social and personal statements.

Plus! Vintage New York Ephemera:


Take the ‘A’ Train (B+W, 1949)
The Delta Rhythm Boys sing and dance about taking the subway train to happy Harlem and Sugar Hill in this uniquely New York Jazz and Jive Soundie.

New York City! (Color, 1968)
Straight boy meets straight girl in this “Fly the Friendly Skies of United” promo. Our “swingin’ squares” discover the sights and sounds of the Big Apple as they tour the touristy Times Square hot spots. Later they hit a belly dance lounge and end up at the famed club Salvation featuring the 60s garage rock band “The Churls” (with psychedelic backdrops). The evening ends with our two lovebirds heading home on motorbike-to mom!
Twenty Four Dollar Island (1927, B+W)
Legendary filmmaker Robert Flaherty’s portrait of New York City as a living breathing mechanical and industrial overlord, reflecting centuries of human civilization.

That’s Me  (B+W, 1963) 
An off-kilter and hilarious short dealing with a young Puerto Rican man (Alan Arkin) who finds it difficult to adjust to life in New York City, and withdraws to Central Park to spend the time playing his beloved guitar. An interview of the high school dropout by a well meaning social worker brings out the boy’s apathy and his biting commentary on the situation, and the social worker is made aware of some surprising gaps in his own adjustment. The script was improvised by the actors Alan Arkin and Andrew Duncan.

Plus, Bronx breakdancers for the Early Birds!


Curator’s Biography

Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 200 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.

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.