By Ray Pride


OCTOBER 22, 2013

Ryan Coogler, Spike Jonze, Michael B. Jordan, Jehane Noujaim, Alexander Payne and June Squibb in Attendance

San Francisco, CA — The San Francisco Film Society announces its first annual Fall Celebration, which seeks to honor creativity, innovation, collaboration and inspiration in cinema. Fruitvale StationHerNebraskaand The Square will be honored at the premiere gala celebration. The event, co-chaired by filmmakers and SFFS Board Members Victoria Raiser and Todd Traina and hosted by fellow Board Members Sid Ganis and Chris Columbus, will take place on Thursday, November 14Ryan CooglerSpike Jonze,Michael B. JordanJehane NoujaimAlexander Payne and June Squibbwill be in attendance.

“The San Francisco Bay Area has a unique perspective on film, with different values than any other city’s,” said San Francisco Film Society Executive Director Ted Hope. “The world knows our directors but we have more industry leaders than any other city other than New York or Los Angeles. This is such a vibrant and diverse community, where creativity and innovation are valued more than any other place in the world. What we chose to celebrate with this new event will soon be recognized as setting the standard worldwide.”

The evening will be among the first on the industry calendar and distinguish itself from others by recognizing extraordinary creative participants and celebrate specific contributions made in film that represent the core values of the Film Society and the Bay Area. SFFS also produces the San Francisco International Film Festival, the longest-running film festival in the Americas; provides media literacy training to more than 10,000 Bay Area students and teachers annually through its education program; and provides over $1 million in funding and support to films each year including Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12, Ryan Coogler’s Fruitvale Station and Benh Zeitlin’s Oscar-nominatedBeasts of the Southern Wild.

“The Fall Celebration is a great way to further link like minds in the Bay Area and Hollywood,” said San Francisco Film Society board member Sid Ganis. “The focus of the Awards Season has now been broadened to the Bay Area where there are thousands of creative artists in all areas of filmmaking.”

The San Francisco Film Society is thrilled to be hosting its inaugural Fall Celebration at The Battery. The Battery, a contemporary private club opening in fall 2013, is poised to forever alter the look and feel of San Francisco’s social scene. Paying tribute to the historic 1907 building in Jackson Square, the joint efforts of owners Michael and Xochi Birch, Creative Director Ken Fulk and architecture firm FME, have restored a brick marble warehouse and given it modern yet timeless glamour. A mix of highly curated art, design and vintage pieces on every level — from the ground-floor gym to the members-only gathering spaces to the penthouse — redefines the notion of a social club.

“We’re delighted to be able to host this fantastic new event in a space as innovative and dynamic as The Battery,” said SFFS Board Member and event co-chair Todd Traina. “This is a perfect match — the Film Society’s entry into the fall awards season couldn’t have a better home than San Francisco’s newest and hottest social club.”

For information about tickets to the Fall Celebration, visit

The San Francisco Film Society appreciates generous support from The Battery and Ken Fulk, as well as media sponsor Variety.

San Francisco Film Society
Building on a legacy of more than 50 years of bringing the best in world cinema to the Bay Area, the San Francisco Film Society is a national leader in exhibition, education and filmmaker services. These three core areas of programmatic activity are led by Director of Programming Rachel Rosen, Director of Education Joanne Parsont and Director of Filmmaker360 Michele Turnure-Salleo.

The Film Society presents more than 100 days of exhibition each year, reaching a total audience of more than 100,000 people. Its acclaimed education program introduces international, independent and documentary cinema and media literacy to more than 10,000 teachers and students. Through Filmmaker360, the Film Society’s filmmaker services program, essential creative and business services, professional development classes, and funding totaling millions of dollars are provided to deserving filmmakers of all levels.

The Film Society seeks to elevate all aspects of film culture, offering a wide range of activities that engage emotions, inspire action, change perceptions and advance knowledge. A 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, it is largely donor and member supported. Patronage and membership provides discounted prices, access to grants and residencies, private events and a wealth of other benefits

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon