Our weekly picks

What to do Dec. 16-22, 2009



Free Form Film Series: "Awesome and Painful"

The folks from Lost Media Archive and the FFFF (Free Form Film Festival) have a Christmas treat for y'all: a screening of the "universally loathed" Star Wars Holiday Special. Before that, six dudes from various parts of the U.S. will treat viewers to experimental videos. With titles like Hulk Smash, Cakestain! and Polygon Sun, it's likely — well, very likely (I did some interweb research) — that these videos are of the laffy taffy, low-tech, seizure-inducing variety. While this might suggest everything jejune and sarcastic, I would also qualify that suggest with smartly so. (Spencer Young)

8 p.m., $6

Artists' Television Access

992 Valencia, SF

(415) 824-3890




Kenneth Anger: Restored Prints

Not one to dabble so much as drench himself in the occult, Kenneth Anger has been dubbed a weirdo. Committed to the underground, his short films are weird, too, but in an interesting and entertaining kind of way as opposed to creepy and cloying. Two of the Anger movies showing tonight — Scorpio Rising (1960) and Kustom Kar Kommandos (1964) — worship handsome James Dean-type men and their equally handsome machines through serene, phantasmagoric pans across shiny engines, belt buckles, and bulging biceps, all queerly contrasted with 1960s pop. The other two films on the program, Fireworks (1947) and Rabbit's Moon (1950/1971) are equally hunky-dory. Also, the 82-year-old weirdo might be in attendance. (Young)

7 p.m., $7–$10

Phyllis Wattis Theater

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

151 Third St., SF

(415) 357-4000



Popscene Holiday Gala with Mike Relm

'Tis the season for video mashups. The holidays always make me want to break out the TV Carnage DVDs — nothing says gift quite like John Ritter making horrified faces to Rosie O'Donnell's performance in Riding the Bus With My Sister (2005). Mike Relm is one of SF's chief video turntablists, with a resume that includes Mike Patton's Peeping Tom project. He won my heart by naming his debut DVD Clown Alley, after the defunct semi-North Beach burger dive known to inspire the Guardian's own Marke B. to break into song. He makes the scene at Popscene's festive gala. (Johnny Ray Huston)

With DJ Sharp

10 p.m.–2 a.m., $5–$10

330 Ritch

330 Ritch, SF

(415) 541-9574




Hubba Hubba Revue's Chrismanukkah

Hubba Hubba Revue is big in England. Word of the SF burlesque troupe's shenanigans had reached my burlesexual friend Lou Lou, who knows about tassel-twirling because, back in Blighty, she's a "maid" who flounces about the stage between acts cleaning up the dancers' tossed underthings. Lou Lou was convinced "the maid" was a universal feature of burlesque shows, and was surprised to learn that in the Hubba Hubba Revue, her role is played by a man-monkey named Zip the What-Is-It, bald but for a tuft of hair on his crown. Things are different here. But they do have lovely ladies stripping all retro-like and enough shiny bells and whistles to keep even the burlesque-shy (does such a person exist?) jaw-dropped and fancy free. The troupe's holiday celebration promises peace and goodwill to (wo)man, and performances by Bunny Pistol, Professor Shimmy, and Meshugga Beach Party, a Jewish folk surf jam experience.