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Film, Feature

Rick Prelinger's "Are We There Yet?" Lets You Yell at the Screen, and the Past

The latest from San Francisco-based film archivist Rick Prelinger, No More Road Trips? is a found-footage presentation constructed entirely from mid-20th century home movies of people driving from New York to California, back in the days when driving across the…
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Culture, The Exhibitionist Video of the Day: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco

Video of the Day: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco

Longtime residents often grouse about how much cooler San Francisco used to be, usually around the time they moved here. But what about the city before any of us arrived, or were even born? Now in its seventh year, archivist…
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Calendar, Night&Day Ghosts of San Francisco's Past

Ghosts of San Francisco's Past

People who’ve lived in San Francisco for a decade or more often grouse about how much cooler the city used to be, usually around the time they moved here. But what about how the city was before any of us…
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Calendar, Night&Day Preservation in Motion (Pictures)

Preservation in Motion (Pictures)

Where does the past live? (A wee hint: not on the Internet.) In books, yes, but primarily in movies, as Martin Scorsese reminds us in his 3-D film Hugo, a childhood adventure fantasy that has been called a public service…
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News, Matt Smith

Prelinger Archives Show How San Francisco Has Always Struggled with Change

Megan Shaw Prelinger is proud that her private library — tucked into a former warehouse at 301 Eighth St. (at Folsom) and open to the public on Wednesdays — is a global destination for researchers, artists, and authors. But she…
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Calendar, Night&Day Excavated Celluloid

Excavated Celluloid

It would be a mistake to accuse vaunted San Francisco film archivist and collector Rick Prelinger of living in the past. Sure, he’s forever sifting through vintage reels and tapes of unedited material in search of rare images of historical…
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Calendar, Night&Day Celluloid Kissed the Radio Star

Celluloid Kissed the Radio Star

One person’s all-time favorite tune is another’s object of ridicule. (“Stairway to Heaven,” anyone, or “Papa Don’t Preach?”) With the passage of time, though, it gets a little easier to distinguish pop-culture crap from historical treasures. (Maybe.) Incredibly Strange Music,…
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Calendar, Night&Day The Future of Your Flickr Stream

The Future of Your Flickr Stream

Arriving home from the weekend, we upload and post our pictures and video on social media, which sounds impressive to our parents. In reality, it’s just the latest form of setting up the projector at the cocktail party and stultifying…
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Calendar, Night&Day Primitive Medicine

Primitive Medicine

The elections are over, thank Jah, but that won’t stop the conniving cabal of religious fundamentalists and right-wing culture warriors obsessed with turning back the clock on social and sexual progress. (How’s that abstinence ‘til marriage program working out?) Their…
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Calendar, See/Be Seen Out of the Past

Out of the Past

SUN 6/13 Much ink has been spilled over the fate of so-called "lost films," those silent and early talkie-era classics whose deteriorating film stock has caused their reels to turn to dust. But sad as it is to see the…
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News, Feature Collect Calling

Collect Calling

The first film Rick Prelinger bought for his world-famous collection of industrial and educational movies was When You Are a Pedestrian, a 1940s production warning of the myriad dangers that lurk in crossing the street. It opens with an unidentified…
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