• Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur
  • The Cage
  • The Lead Shoes

schedule

Sidney Peterson’s San Francisco Surrealism

So there we were, twelve people, thirteen, counting myself, two ballads, a diving suit, and three hamsters. You have to start somewhere.

Sidney Peterson

After collaborating with James Broughton on The Potted Psalm, Sidney Peterson was invited to teach the first-ever filmmaking classes at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). There, with his Workshop 20 students, he made a series of dazzlingly strange and wonderful films in which poetic intelligence, a spirit of radical experimentation, and the exuberant energy of the students transformed San Francisco into bizarre dreamscapes. Balzac meets Picasso in Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur, a surreal retelling of The Unknown Masterpiece from the point of view of painter Frenhofer’s model Gillette. In The Cage an eyeball escapes its socket and is pursued through the city. The Petrified Dog shows the strange world of adults through the mind of an eight-year-old girl. The Lead Shoes sets two murder ballads to a propulsive score, accompanying an oblique oedipal drama that revolves around a diving suit unearthed on the beach.

Films in this Screening

Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur

Sidney Peterson, United States, 1949

FEATURING
Royal P. MacDonald
Walter Degan
Paul Baum
Pat Shuey

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 16mm
  • 21 mins
source
  • BAMPFA
permission
  • Canyon Cinema

The Cage

Sidney Peterson, United States, 1947

FEATURING
Joseph Brusberg
James Keeney
Anne Hopkins
Beverly Campbell

FILM DETAILS 
Cinematographer
  • Hy Hirsh
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 16mm
  • Silent
  • 28 mins
source
  • BAMPFA
permission
  • Canyon Cinema

The Petrified Dog

Sidney Peterson, United States, 1948

FEATURING
Gail Randall
Marie Hirsh
Jo Landor
Ian Zellick
William Heick

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 16mm
  • 18 mins
source
  • BAMPFA
permission
  • Canyon Cinema

The Lead Shoes

Sidney Peterson, United States, 1949

FILM DETAILS 
Print Info
  • B&W
  • 16mm
  • 16 mins
source
  • BAMPFA
permission
  • Canyon Cinema