All the way back in the distant past of fall 2014, Doris Moskowitz and other employees at Moe's were approached by Kevin Laird, a salvager for Urban Ore in Berkeley, who said he'd found something they might be interested in.
It turned out to be a film of a party that Moe had thrown at the bookstore in 1965, which up until that point had existed mostly in the memories of those who had been there. In the film, which is only 2 minutes and 41 seconds long, Moe Moskowitz is in the center of nearly every shot: arriving in a Rolls Royce, pouring drinks left and right, smoking his trademark cigar, and talking and laughing with the people who surrounded him.
Doris, Moe's daughter, said in a blog post she wrote in February 2015: "People have talked about this party and beamed about having been there. I have been told that a film, long ago lost, had been made. But, like most interesting performance art, the actual event was too ephemeral to capture without the film. I believed that the film was lost forever."
Doris was not the only one who appreciated this serendipitous story. It made the local news at the time, and Siciliana Trevino, filmmaker and creator of Quirkeley, decided to make a film about the story.
Trevino said of the film: "I grew up in Berkeley loving its cafes, used record and book stores. Although I never knew Moe Moskowitz I'm charmed by how he found his way back to his daughter and their iconic Telegraph Avenue bookstore through a found film that turned out to be made by the co-writer of Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys. It's an uncanny story, a diamond in the rough, a Berkeley fairytale about used books, film and recycling. I couldn't resist making a short movie about it". The film, according to Quirkeley, won Best Editing at Tempe Arizona’s 2015 Filmstock Film Fest, and was an official selection at the 2016 Mill Valley Film Festival. It screened at BAMPFA as part of the 2nd Annual Area Book Festival’s Auteur, Author: Film and Literature series.
On April 1, 2017, the 20th anniversary of Moe's death, there will be a special screening of Trevino's film at Moe's books. Come and relive the "beautiful absurd circus" of Moe's books in the 1960s, and hear the unique story that makes this film so charming.