Thursday, July 8, 2010

Oakland in Films and Books...

From David Buuck

some bay area films & readings that may be of interest (far from exhaustive, and compiled off the top of my head while away from my shelves...) (many of these i have to lend or screen or xerox if anyone's interested)


-Chan is Missing (great faux-noir indie set in 80s Chinatown)

-The Huey P Newton Story (Spike Lee's film of Roger Smith's one-man show - really super)

-The Joy of Life (wow. amazing.)

-Straight outta Hunters Point (ok doc)

-The Fall of the I-Hotel (great Curtis Choy doc on tenants-rights movement in 70s Manilatown, esp paired w Karen Tei Yamashita's giant new novel I-Hotel). also Choy's What's Wrong with Frank Chin?

SF of course has a great underground film tradition, from Bruce Conner's Hells Angels and Nuke flix to Craig Baldwin's politicized mash-ups. Konrad Steiner, local filmmaker, curator & impressario, can often get his hands on 35 mm reels from Canyon Cinema if anyone wants to do a screening night. Konrad also has his own great flim-essay on SF in the spirit of LA plays itself.


well, there's a plenty. Outside of the many (often 'political' to some degree) poetry & experimental fiction traditions & scenes (Beats, SF Ren, Bolinas, La Raza, New Narrative, How(ever), Language, Kearny Street, Analytic Lyric, poets theater, etc etc), one might check out:

Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture (A City Lights Anthology) by James Brook, Chris Carlsson, and Nancy J. Peters (a great collection & wide range of user-friendly material)

The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area by Richard Walker

No There There: Race, Class, and Political Community in Oakland by Chris Rhomberg

The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II by Marilynn S. Johnson

On the Lower Frequencies by Erick Lyle (amazing shadow histories of anti-gentrification/punk/squat culture in 90s SF)

Rebecca Solnit, Hollow City (on dot-com gentrification in SF)

Kay Boyle, The San Francisco Strike (excellent engaged new journalism re panthers & 69 sfsu student strike, esp as to when-why-which faculty decide to side w students vs admin)

187 Reasons Mexicanos Can't Cross the Border: Undocuments 1971-2007 by Juan Felipe Herrera

Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 by Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung

new world border, ethno-techno, etc., by Guillermo Gómez-Peña (& cf his website

Painting on the Left: Diego Rivera, Radical Politics, and San Francisco's Public Murals by Anthony W. Lee

Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today! by Chris Carlsson

Adam Fortunate Eagle, et al, Alcatraz! Alcatraz! (on AIM occupation)

This War Called Love, by Alejandro Murguia (Mission District stories)

Michelle Tea, Valencia (MIssion District stories)

Peter Plate, various (dirty realist squatter noir)

there are many more that other locals could perhaps suggest?

I also have PDF of Richard Walker essay if anyone wants me to send:

"The Boom and the Bombshell: The New Economy Bubble and the SF Bay Area" from _The Changing Economic Geography of Globalization_, ed. G.Vertova, 2006 and also his "Oakland: Dark Star in an expanding universe," (draft/unpub, 1997) is free at

also: check out the rest of !

and there's the black panther legacy tour which i believe is no more but we can walk/drive it if I can find the map.

I'm also open to organizing a (de)tour/site-writing-workshop as well, in/around the bay (Skaggs Island, the Headlands Bunkers, Treasure Island, Albany Bulb landfill, etc.).

and great bookstores, including Bolerium (in SF) for an amazing archive of old & out of print radical, leftist, labor, queer, la raza, etc publications, plus a great pile of old soviet pamphlets and the like. Modern Times nearby, plus Moe's in Berkeley, Green Apple in SF, etc etc...

also: there are readings & talks the weekend before 95 begins for those coming early:

Rob Halpern & David Wolach in Brkly (house reading/party) on the 24th, plus Wolach's giving a talk on the afternoon of the 25th for/with the Nonsite Collective (

and there's a poetry reading in Oakland the night of the 25th (but I can't find details right now

there ya go --- see you soon ---

1 comment:

  1. ". . . Bruce Conner's Hells Angels and Nuke flix . . ."

    "Nuke" I get (CROSSROADS); but Hells Angels? That one stumps me. What am I forgetting, or have you missed the mark with that one?