It is to tell people that an outdoor movie screening at the fire station on 19th and Folsom, begins at 8:00 p.m. and to get there early to ensure a seat, when the movie in fact starts at 8:45 and it's freezing cold outside. It's partially our own fault, though -- in our zeal to comply with the time requirements listed, we blithely ignored the sentence in the same release cautioning attendees to "dress warmly." If you see any typos in this review, it's because our fingers have not yet fully thawed out from Friday.
Cartography of Ashes is an art film by Dolissa Medina recounting small folkloric anecdotes from the 1906 earthquake, using the map of the SF burn zone as its unifying image. As a result, it was a not-unpleasant mix of people at the world premiere screening, including not only film festival fans but also art students, history buffs, members of the San Francisco Neighborhood Emergency Response Teams, and firefighters -- the most prestigious of whom was Chief Joanne Hayes-White, ending what must have been a pretty hectic centennial week for her.
We hadn't heard a lot of the stories before, and the ones we had heard, Medina presented in a new and innovative way (did you know that the Mission legends held that the waters of the 21st Street Creek, which fed the Golden Hydrant, were magical and healing?). Only thing, though: by the end of the movie, it was so chilly out that we kept thinking, "wow, that Great Fire sure looks warm."
Take the sensible approach, and check out Cartography of Ashes's second screening in the climate-controlled Kabuki at 12:45 p.m. on Monday.cruel