Frankenstein Conquers the World
Universal's vintage horror series unfolds at the Castro in a few weeks, and other monsters lurk in the shadows. Local filmmaker and Euro-darling Lynn Hershman Leeson optioned the rights to Theodore Roszak's Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein and is busy lining up financing and mulling her dream cast. Her screenplay explores 21st-century hot buttons like artificial life and human consciousness -- themes that also surfaced in Leeson's visionary Conceiving Ada (starring a luminous Tilda Swinton), now scheduled for an early 1999 theatrical release. ... Update on B. Ruby Rich and her new book, Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement: The feisty critic will moderate a panel discussion at the Mill Valley Film Festival titled "Chicks & Flicks: Tricks of the Trade." Secrets will be revealed beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 3; tix are available from BASS for $15. ... S.F. filmmaker Sarah Jacobson thought she'd hit the big time earlier this year when her debut feature, Mary Jane's Not a Virgin Anymore, jumped from ATA to the Opera Plaza. Now the princess of self-distribution (and self-promotion, some would say, but hell -- everybody this side of Sofia Coppola and Tiffanie DeBartolo has to earn what they get) has really scored with a January booking at the Cinema Village in NYC.
Sweet Smell of Success
A tale of two papers: The New York Times saluted the revised and restored rerelease of Touch of Evil with a lengthy feature on Walter Murch, wizard sound designer, ace editor, multiple Oscar-winner, and Bay Area denizen; the San Francisco Chronicle opted for a fluff piece on supporting actress Janet Leigh. ... The Examiner, meanwhile, ran this pathetic teaser above the masthead: "Love letter to mother: Meryl Streep, in S.F., shares 'One True Thing,' a look at how a daughter copes with mom's cancer." Goodness, Gladys, a movie star came all the way from Los Angeles to our town. Well, I'll be. We must be almost as big as Harrisburg by now.
By Michael Fox