We are invited to a screening night at Oddball Films in the Mission, San Francisco.
The world’s smallest cinema’s search for events in San Francisco has been very exciting and fruitful. The most remarkable find was Oddball Films. A true hidden gem, Oddball Films is surprisingly tucked away on the third story of a building on a small street in the Mission. Oddball Films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing, and web projects around the world.
Their films are almost exclusively drawn from their collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educationals, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between.
Oddball Films actively works to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Every week, Stephen Parr and his programmer, Kat Shuchter, put together two offerings of offbeat cinema. On Thursday or Friday evening you can sit between stacks of film tins and watch some truly unique film.
That type of eclectic and unique film offering is definitely something the world’s smallest cinema is working to be part of. Fortunately for Cinema Piccolo, Stephen and Cat enjoy having us there as well. We discovered this after an adventurous first run on a Friday night. Street parking can be somewhat of a hassle in the Mission on a Friday night, but we decide to give it a try anyway. Needless to say, all the parking spots are taken. After a good wait, we manage to get a parking spot in front of the door. We cannot get the cinema up the stairs, so we decide boldly to put it on the pavement.
I start building up and Cat is fixing the electricity. Stephen throws the extension cord down from three stories and, unfortunately, Cat catches it with her head. Ouch! The show must go on, and I manage to get the cinema running. We start fifteen minutes late, but we screen continuously. The responses are overwhelmingly positive.
After watching ‘Nachtblind’ by Nena van Driel, Stephen Parr comments “A surprise birthday party gone wrong- a clever short for I Vitelloni viewers.”
Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. If you find yourself in Northern California, do not miss out on seeing this hidden gem.