The History of ESFS

snobsThe E Street Film Society (ESFS) was founded in January 2002 by two upstart film geeks, Daniel Barnes and Mike Dub, who wanted to create a forum in which to view and discuss cinema.  Every few weeks, ESFS would meet in a small basement apartment on E Street in Sacramento and screen their own film fests.  For each festival, they curated and screened three films that were connected to each other by director, star, genre, year, or a common theme.

Tensions in the E Street Film Society ran high from the beginning, and during an ill-advised screening of Silent Running, dissent erupted among ESFS members over the artistic direction of the group.  In a lavish publicity stunt, Mike Dub vowed to leave the group and take every member with him, eventually fleeing back to Chicago alone under a cloud of shame.

A few years later, Daniel Barnes reclaimed the ESFS brand and re-booted the film society as a movie blog.  Successful for several years, the online version of ESFS eventually struggled under the weight of legal issues brought about by Dub, who demanded residuals from the blog (despite the fact that it had never made any money).  Some still believe that the real reason for the lawsuits was not Dub’s ignominious departure from the society, but rather Barnes’ 2006 declaration that “Dwyane Wade is the new Michael Jordan.”  While Dub failed to secure any financial compensation from the blog, he did succeed in shutting it down.

After five years of silent antipathy between the two founding members of ESFS, they were reunited when, unbeknownst to each other, they both agreed to appear on the 2013 Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon.  During their tearful on-air reunion, Barnes and Dub decided that it was time to bring back ESFS yet again.  This time, they have pledged to set aside their personal feelings and lead ESFS with professionalism, integrity and respect.  They will not allow themselves to succumb to shallow, bickering punditry.  Their newly minted collaboration is a rising star that will forever shine brightly in the evening sky.

As long as they don’t completely screw it up.