The prolific work of El Cerrito-based filmmaker Les Blank is being celebrated at a series of screenings of his documentaries and personal appearances and discussions in Berkeley.
The series, "Always for Pleasure: The Films of Les Blank," started July 8 and continues through Aug. 30 at the Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft Way.
Flower Films, the name of Blank's independent production company, is based at Arhoolie Records, which has an El Cerrito street address but is actually in Richmond.
Blank (www.lesblank.com), often in collaboration with Maureen Gosling, Chris Simon and Arhoolie owner Chris Strachwitz, has assembled a body of work for the past five decades documenting regional culture and music around the United States.
"He has an ear for regional music, from the blues to Tex-Mex and polka; an eye for dancing and food; and a feel for the people who enjoy it all," notes PFA curator Kathy Geritz in her online introduction to the retrospective. "Backyards and front porches, kitchens and cantinas, neighborhood alleys and church aisles overflow with good times that arise from these deep-rooted cultural practices."
The next screenings in the series, each featuring an appearance by Blank, are the 1984 film "In Heaven There Is No Beer?" at 7 p.m. Sunday and the 2006 film "All in This Tea" at 5 p.m. July 22.
A full schedule of programs, including an Aug. 25 lecture by Blank on
WEST COUNTY NOTES: Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan play a pair of Allied airmen trying to escape after being downed behind enemy lines in the 1942 feature "Desperate Journey," which will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday in hold 4 of the SS Red Oak Victory, 1337 Canal Blvd. in Richmond.
Admission is $5 to the screening, part of the summer Home Front Film Festival at the historic ship. Boarding is at 6:30 p.m.
This is a return engagement for Crimmen and friends, who provide the live music at the Cruisin' in the Sun classic car show in Old Town each June.
The music series continues in the park each Friday in July.
The city's Outdoor Cinema series will screen family feature films in the park at sunset each Friday in August.
The El Sobrante chapter of the international service club is involved with projects such as scholarships, disaster relief, dental clinics in Mexico and Peru, literacy projects in Contra Costa County and Vietnam and local parks beautification.
To learn more about the chapter, contact Khoury at 510-669-9351 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
"We want to collect, digitize, catalog and preserve old movies on DVD (and whatever formats are to come) to exhibit, educate and entertain," writes the society, adding that video will be made available on a film archive it plans to establish.
Anyone willing to share film of events such as parades, holidays, athletic events, ribbon-cuttings and vintage scenic views can contact the group at info@pinolehistoricalsociety.
Accepted formats include VHS, Beta, camcorder, DV tape, and 8 mm, Super 8 mm, 16 mm, 35 mm film. The society will digitize and return footage.
The seasonal market continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday at the newly renovated Nevin Plaza next to the Richmond BART station.