Marks, who has produced popular BBC documentary films like Nazi Gold and Jimi Hendrix: The Man They Made God, decided in early 2012 to turn his lens on his longtime friend Pirinjian and the near cult-status his shop has garnered over the years. He kicked off fundraising campaigns through the San Francisco Film Society and on Indiegogo.com, and continues to raise money to cover his costs.
The film begins and ends with both aerial shots of Mill Valley as well as street-level views of feet on the ground throughout downtown. But the lion's share of the 58-minute film is set inside Pirinjian's tiny shop at 38 Corte Madera Ave., with hundreds of shoes piled all over the place and beaming customers streaming in and out throughout the day.
They come to get their shoes repaired – Pirinjian says "there's nothing better than a well-worn shoe with a great shine" in praise of reusing versus replacing – but they leave with much more than a pair of renewed loafers.
Throughout his customer interactions, Pirinjian weaves in the sort of back-and-forth that can only be found at a business that is steeped in its community. From passing out dog treats and belt advice to his latest thoughts on pro soccer and cold remedies, In the Cobbler's Shoes shows off a man who is far more than his job title.
Pirinjian will be on hand after the screening for a Q & A.
The 411: On Friday, Oct. 12 at 7pm, the O'Hanlon Center for the Arts' Art Film Friday series screens In the Cobbler's Shoes, filmmaker David Marks' documentary about Tony's Shoe Repair owner Misak Pirinjian. 616 Throckmorton Ave. 7pm. $5.
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