If filmmaking in general is at best a crapshoot, independent filmmaking might be considered sheer folly. The target audience for independent films is small, and the budgets are even smaller still. Absent studio muscle and marquee talent, the independent filmmaker mostly does it for love.
But love — in life as in filmmaking — is often all that one really needs.
Roger Rhoten, of the Sebastiani Theatre, understands the chasm between capitalism and art, which is why he’s scheduled Strephon Taylor’s “San Francisco Cable Cars” to screen Sunday, May 7, at 1 p.m. “I approached Roger about showing our new film, and he was happy to help out!” Taylor said via email. “It is very hard to get independent films shown around the Bay Area and relationships like the one we have with the Sebastiani Theatre are unique and extremely appreciated.”
Taylor will bring artifacts for display and host a Q&A session at the conclusion of his feature length film. The movie is not a simplistic ode to “‘Clang, clang, clang went the trolley,” but an historical excavation of a beloved and revolutionary transit system, one that efficiently moves seven million people above ground every year. It covers the complete history of the iconic cable cars, and explains the Gold Rush technology that still makes them work. Peppered with interviews from historians, current mechanics, linemen, and one especially charismatic grip man, “San Francisco’s Cable Cars” is a feel-good romp through a picturesque city that will remind you why it’s the simple pleasures that matter most in the end.