January 07 only

Sadly, founder and Director of Oddball Films and the San Francisco Media Archive, Stephen Parr, passed away suddenly on October 24, 2017 after a struggle with declining health. This memorial, from 12:30pm – 3:00pm will followed by a reception.  There will be film.  There will be performances.  There will be remembrances.  There will be friends and colleagues. The program details and location of the reception will be announced soon.

With death of Stephen Parr, SF Mission loses the archivist behind Oddball Films
– Laura Wenus, Mission Local

“Film archivist Stephen Parr once remarked that the best database of film was in his head — “because there’s a lot more room for serendipity.” That serendipitous database is now lost. The 63-year-old Parr died unexpectedly, possibly as a result of complications from Parkinson’s though details are unclear, late on the morning of Oct. 24. He was the founder and director of Oddball Films, which is both a massive trove of collected films and a quirky cinematic hub where Parr regularly screened different compilations in a small room on the second floor at 275 Capp St. In Oddball Films, Parr created the kind of gem that makes a city feel special.

“I’m screening memories. I’m screening history. I’m memorializing it to a certain extent, reinvigorating it, giving it a new take, recontextualizing it, remixing it,” Parr says in a  “Oddball” a fabulous four-minute capsule of the strange world of Oddball Films and its director Stephen Parr, utilizing a whole slew of Oddball’s own footage, produced by award-winning filmmaker Joshua Moore shot by Matthew Rome.

He held public screenings of pieces that struck his fancy, while earning his keep as the custodian of an enormous archive for clients searching for just the right clip. They included artists, documentarians and commercial media enterprises. That approach earned him and Oddball widespread recognition. “People, constantly, when they hear I’m a film archivist, people say, ‘Oh, you have that place in the Mission,’ because everybody knows Stephen,” said Rick Prelinger, another film archivist and a friend of Parr’s. It helped that he’d worked with some serious heavy hitters. Parr’s first client as a film archivist was director Ridley Scott, who learned that Parr was the man to see for quirky footage.”  Read on.