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FILM: Jim Van Buskirk explores San Francisco on the Big Screen featuring San Francisco on the Silver Screen (06-04), Hollywood Shakes San Francisco (06-11), The Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen (06-18), Alcatraz on the Silver Screen (06-25).

Cinematic San Francisco: The Golden Gate Bridge on the Silver Screen

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Date(s) - 06/18/2024
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

San Francisco Main Library


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Jim Van Buskirk, a retired SFPL librarian, major movie buff, and public speaker, is the co-author of Celluloid San Francisco: The Film Lover’s Guide to Bay Area Movie Locations as well as other books, articles, blogs and radio broadcasts on San Francisco and film history.

The Golden Gate Bridge has starred in possibly more movies than any other American architectural structure. From its construction to multiple destructions, the Bay Area’s beloved bridge is depicted in this clip-filled program. Not just used to establish a film’s setting, we’ll see the bridge as a character, often a means of entrance to or escape from the urban landscape. Frequently threatened by sea monsters, natural disasters, or supervillains, sometimes saved by superheroes, it has been traversed by suicidal Volkswagens and homicidal apes. Using location shooting or animation or CGI, the iconic bridge has played a wide variety of roles. From Stranded (1935), while the bridge was still under construction, to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), the iconic span appears in wide range of films including Vertigo, Dark Passage, Superman, Star Trek, Time After Time, It Came from Beneath the Sea, Love Bug, A View to a Kill, Monsters vs. Aliens, Interview with a Vampire, and X-Men: The Last Stand.

This four-part series, hosted every Tuesday night in June, celebrates San Francisco’s important role in the movies. These lively clip-filled programs are engaging, entertaining and educational. Beginning with a general overview of Bay Area in films and television, narrowing the focus to representations of the 1906 earthquake, before traversing the Golden Gate Bridge, and finally landing on Alcatraz.

Presented by San Francisco Public Library