San Franciscans who’ve been pining for re-opened movie theaters got big news this week with the announcement that as part of the continued cautious relaxation of COVID restrictions, those indoor venues will be permitted to operate again as of next Wed/7, with limited capacity and other restrictions. As of this writing, there were no specifics yet on just what movie houses will be back in business right away, let alone what they’ll be playing. But no doubt somebody will be throwing Tenet on a local screen ASAP.
Otherwise, for the time being, things are proceeding as they have been these last few months, which means that a number of festivals and other special events are happening—albeit primarily on a “virtual,” online basis. That includes the arrival of the San Francisco Greek Film Festival, which runs Oct. 3-10. A highlight will be the Sun/4 evening tribute to late screen diva Melina Mercouri via screening at the Par 3 drive-in of 1964’s all-star, Istanbul-set caper comedy Topkapi, one of many films she made with her blacklisted American director husband Jules Dassin. Mercouri was made for the big screen—indeed, it’s hard to imagine not fleeing in a panic from her overscaled personality in any smaller-scaled environment.
Other, newer films in the festival include Minos Nikolakakis’ Entwined, a sort of folkloric supernatural mystery-romance in which a new village doctor is held spellbound—then held rather literally captive—by a forest-dwelling woman who is not what she appears to be. My Name is Eftyhia is a biopic of Greece’s greatest 20th-century songwriter, while Siege on Liberti Street and When Tomatoes Met Wagner deal in different ways with the nation’s recent crippling economic crises. There are also a dozen shorts in the 2020 festival; full schedule and ticket details are available here.