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Castro Street1966

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  • 4.2
Coming of consciousness. Photographed in Richmond, California, CASTRO STREET is a masterpiece of poetic cinema by the legendary Bruce Baillie. The film was selected in 1992 for inclusion in the United States National Film Registry.

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1 member likes this review

When I sit down and read Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" I'm transported in time and place--to the California Redwoods or the coasts of the Atlantic. This film had a similar effect on me, evoking feelings of wanderlust and memories of my own adventures (especially on trains). A well composed visual poem.

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Member Reviews (12)

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top reviewer

When I sit down and read Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass" I'm transported in time and place--to the California Redwoods or the coasts of the Atlantic. This film had a similar effect on me, evoking feelings of wanderlust and memories of my own adventures (especially on trains). A well composed visual poem.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

A flashing glimpse of Sunflower Sutra...white noise and black dust akindle in a dream haze. Beautiful and tragic all at once.

1 member likes this review
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Castro St. in Richmond, CA, not San Francisco. A poem about trains, shot in the rail yard of the Iron Triangle by the founder of Canyon Cinema, the historic Bay Area experimental film collective.

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Loved this. I ride through the industrial wasteland on occasion and am in awe of the changing landscape. The film evokes the sights, smells and motions of this land even 40 years later.

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top reviewer

Images bleeding in and out of each other like memories/ideas drifting on and off a train of thought. Passing clouds. The haze (of superimposition) lifts, giving a sojourn to contemplate the physicality of the space, seeing it with clarity, reinforcing it, before returning to the slipstream.

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top reviewer

I love the use of negative space here, the abstract scenes that don't have the usual framing, close ups, textures and colors that are rich and new, dreamlike. The feel of this is very intelligent, and unique. It takes me into a mood that is appreciative, meditative. I like the non linearity, as it's about a place, and how it is remembered, engaged with. Very painterly appreciation of utilitarian things seen with an eye for beauty.

Wow. Fandor, please accept my deep, deep gratitude for keeping so many Baille films available.

Now THAT is color! And light from color in a way that is very rare outside of painting (it is simply rare in painting).

This must be an immensely influential film; I could see and hear the DNA of so many filmmakers flowing out of this one, David Lynch, especially. In turn, it flowed from so much in such a rich way: Walt Whitman, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, William Carlos Williams, Charles Sheeler, Charles Demuth . . .

One of the best films of the American underground movement. It holds up well.

one of the most beautiful abstract films I've ever seen.

IT SUCKS. ABSTRACT EXPERIMENTAL FILMS WENT OUT WITH THE POMPADOUR

Great Cinema! This movie is a dream. I love floating through the place it creates. I love the cinematic techniques, the abstractions, the progression of sounds. it's a beauty.

Thirty three years ago this autumn I discovered Bruce Baillie's films. Here I reprise both "Castro Street" and "Quick Billy," which were then, as now, among those films I feel the most fondness for.