From Page to Screen

“Auteur, Author: Film & Literature” runs June 1-5 at the Pacific Film Archive.


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The Black Stallion shows June 4 at PFA.

Courtesy of Pacific Film Archive

School’s out all summer! No more teachers, no more books—wait, so how come everybody’s talking about their summer reading list? Because grown-ups covet the longer days (and vacations and staycations) as bonus time for pleasure reading. The written word has always had a close connection with the movies, though you wouldn’t know it from the dimwit dialogue and familiar formulas of the season’s sequels and superhero sagas. As an intellectual counterweight to Hollywood’s numbing noisemakers, the Pacific Film Archive packs the first week of June with a gaggle of colorful writers and pithy portraits under the rubric “Auteur, Author: Film & Literature.”

Curated by former PFA director, Telluride Film Festival co-founder, and creative matchmaker par excellence Tom Luddy, in conjunction with the Bay Area Book Festival, the series encompasses Czech poets and Stockton neo-realists, Turkish Nobel Laureates and Chicago street chroniclers, Italian war correspondents and North Beach beats. Robert Hass and other notables crack the cover of “Auteur, Author” by introducing the 2012 documentary The Age of Czeslaw Milosz (June 1) and placing the writer firmly in the world. That description fits Leonard Gardner, who discusses his tough-minded, small-California-town novel Fat City with critic David Thomson prior to John Huston’s 1972 adaptation (June 3). The reclusive Bay Area filmmaker Carroll Ballard makes a rare public appearance to introduce a matinee screening of his newly restored 1979 classic, The Black Stallion (June 4). Chicago natives Barry Gifford and Philip Kaufman then join publisher Dan Simon and director Oscar Bucher for Nelson Algren Live, a tribute to the late, great author of The Man With the Golden Arm. The list of marvelous guests goes on; there’s truly something for every reader—and moviegoer—in this stirring, stimulating series.

“Auteur, Author: Film & Literature,” June 1-5, Pacific Film Archive, 2155 Center St., Berkeley; 510-642-0808, BAMPFA.org.

Editor's Note: This story appears in the June edition of our sister publication, The East Bay Monthly.

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