This week’s 4/20 and Earth Day celebrations summarily require the accompaniment of one of the 10 best San Francisco songs of all time. Fresh Air by Quicksilver Messenger Service, one of the 10 best San Francisco bands of all time, charted five months after the inaugural Earth Day in 1970 with the car-radio-friendly lyric, “Have another hit / of fresh air.” There are other events of note on the calendar as well, whose observation is complemented through the magic of motion pictures.
Happy Belated Birthday to Charlie Chaplin (April 16)
Charlie Chaplin would have turned 131 this year. The silent-era child actor True Boardman reminisces about his encounters with the immortal Chaplin in one of a series of videos presented by Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, the unwavering East Bay institution devoted to preserving the Bay Area’s place in early film history. The most popular video on the Niles YouTube channel, not surprisingly, is entitled “Moviegoing During the 1918 Influenza Outbreak.”
Holocaust Memorial Day (April 21)
A few years ago, long before COVID-19 forced the Jewish Film Institute to postpone this year’s San Francisco Jewish Film Festival from July–August to November, the organization compiled a catalog of first-rate films available to stream. Some are free at JFI On Demand, while others require a visit (and perhaps a rental fee) to another platform.