To anyone who would question this selection, we ask you to remember before 2014. That was the year the nonprofit Frida Cinema moved into the Fiesta Twin space on Fourth Street in downtown SanTana. Pre-Frida, you could count on one hand how many Orange County moviehouses experimented with obscure, challenging and decidedly non-mainstream film titles. Okay, so even with the Frida, you don’t need a second hand to count on. The point is, the Frida, its fearless leader Logan Crow and his dedicated staff of card-carrying film nerds not only showcase the newer indie, foreign and art-house flicks the large theater chains and second-run operations ignore, but they also champion them with their hearts, souls and bloodshot eyeballs. The Frida also clumps together multiple screenings to pay tribute to filmmakers, from Hitchcock to Jodorowsky. Those who came of age after great films left the cinema circuit and only saw them on small screens have been able to see them on the big screen thanks to the Frida, which also welcomes other programmers to present one-off, flashback and shadowcast (think Rocky Horror) showings. It stops on the dime to honor the recently departed, as was done with the Sept. 24 showing of the new film Lucky, starring Harry Dean Stanton. Sadly, it’s a bare-bones operation in constant fear of fading away like old film stock. That’s where all of us movie-lovers come in, lest we return to those dark days of “before 2014.”
305 E. Fourth St., Santa Ana, (714) 285-9422; thefridacinema.org.
Readers’ Choice: Century Huntington Beach at Bella Terra