I’d been in L.A. for five years when my friend Dave dragged me to see Santa Claus, a painfully, gloriously awful 1959 Mexican film about a battle between Santa and Satan. I don’t know if Dave, his then-boyfriend (now husband), and my then-girlfriend (now wife) Liz were quite as agape as me, but as I left Cinefamily on December 22, 2007, my relationship to the city shifted.
It may not have been until the 2011 run of Dogtooth that I understood Cinefamily wasn’t just about the lovingly curated, crazy, hilarious, HFS-ness—it brought provocative, challenging, scary-smart films that would have flown under my radar if they screened here at all.
2013 was no fun, and Cinefamily became a lifeline. Even though I live as far east as you can go in L.A., I treated myself to a Black Card. Amidst work insanity, I had Cinefamily screenings to look forward to. That was the year I attended every damn event at Everything Is Festival!
And on it went: the five-minutes game, Benson interruptions, marathons, pajama parties (with or without cereal), and Lost & Found Film Clubs; discussions with Mel Brooks, George Schlatter, Dr. Demento, and Todd Solondtz; performances by Negativland, Bob Dorough, and Wham City; dressing up for Picnic at Hanging Rock and 70s Porn Chic. I almost roll my eyes saying this, but Cinefamily felt like my community. Sure it was chaotic AF, nothing started on time, the seats sucked, their tech was always breaking, and parking was awful… but it was Cinefamily!
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