September 18, 2002
Arts and Entertainment
Film listings are edited by Cheryl Eddy. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Meryl Cohen, David Fear, Dina Gachman, Susan Gerhard, Dennis Harvey, Johnny Ray Huston, Patrick Macias, and Chuck Stephens. The film intern is Adam Wadenius. See Rep Clock, page 93, and Movie Clock, page 94, for theater information.
Festival íCine Latino!
Cine Acción's 10th annual Festival íCine Latino! runs Sept 18-22, with a special "Best of the Fest" presentation Sept 27-29. Venues are the Brava Theater Center, 2789 24th St, S.F., and New College of California, 777 Valencia, S.F. Most shows $5-7; for more info, call (415) 553-8140 or check www.cineaccion.com. For commentary see "Camera, Action," page 38. All times p.m. unless otherwise noted.
Brava Oriundi 6:30. Moving Forward, Thinking Back 9. "Yo soy Chicano" and "In Search of Aztlán" 9:30. A Cuban Legend 11.
Brava "Student Screening" (shorts program) 10a. Almost a Woman 1. Señorita Extravida 6:30. "Development Program" (shorts program) 7. Password 8:30. "Zapatista Series" (shorts program) 9. Alegría de una vez 10:30. "Argentina Program" (shorts program) 11.
Brava "Student Screening" (shorts program) 10a. A Cuban Legend 1. Princess and the Barrio Boy 6:30. El Chogui 7. Los patriotas 8:30. Everyday Eastlake 9. "Various Latino Shorts" (shorts program) 10:15. Hawaiian Gardens 10:30.
Brava Mixed Feelings 1. El Salvador: Crises and Challenges 1:30. Las Castañuelas de Notre Dame 2:30. El barco prometido 3. "Latin Entertainment Program" (shorts program) 3:30. Almost a Woman 6:30. "Familia" (shorts program) 7. "Mirror, Mirror" (shorts program) 8:30. "Cuba Vive Program" (shorts program) 9. Testimony: The Maria Guardado Story 10:30. "Latino Shocking Shorts Program" (shorts program) 11.
Brava Adio Kerida 1. "Guatemala Program": Haunted Land 1:15. "Immigrant Program" (shorts program) 2:30. "Nicaraguan Program": Casita 3. "Educational Program" (shorts program) 4:45. El espíritu de mi mamá 4. Manito 6. "Spirituality Program" (shorts program) 6:30. Adios East Los 8. "Freecuencia Experimental Series" (shorts program) 8:30. "Latinos in the Crossfire Program" (shorts program) 10:30.
MadCat Women's International
The sixth annual MadCat Women's International Film Festival plays Sept. 6-29. Venues are Artists' Television Access (ATA), 992 Valencia, S.F.; El Rio, 3158 Mission, S.F.; New PFA Theater, 2575 Bancroft, Berk; and San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut, S.F. Most shows $7; for more info and a full schedule call (415) 436-9523 or check www.somaglow.com/madcat. For commentary, see the Sept. 4 issue of the Bay Guardian. All times p.m.
ATA Program Four: "Truth Seekers" 8.
ATA Program Four: "Truth Seekers" 5.
Art Institute Program 5: The Odds of Recovery 8.
El Rio Program 6: "Getting There" 8.
Apollo 13: The Imax Experience Houston, we have a really big problem. (1:57) Metreon IMAX.
Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever Antonio Banderas and Lucy Liu star as elite secret agents battling to retrieve a deadly assassination device. (1:30) Grand Lake.
The Banger Sisters There's a genuine sadness to Bob Dolman's The Banger Sisters, and I'm not talking about the pseudo moment of self-discovery when Suzette (Goldie Hawn) realizes that sleeping with "zonked-out musicians" all her life has left her empty and unhappy. No, it's our own somber realization that not only is Hawn grasping at the frayed ends of her illustrious youth, but also for some reason she thinks she can re-capture it by following in the footsteps of daughter Kate Hudson (Almost Famous). After losing her bartending gig at an LA nightclub, the weathered Suzette ventures off in search of her long-lost friend Lavinia (Susan Sarandon), who, Suzette assumes, will most certainly dump her lavish lifestyle and successful family for another chance to go out and party like the good ol' days. Maybe it's just me, but two aging ex-groupies out flailing the night away to "Burning Down the House" is not a particularly appealing cinematic experience. (1:37) Century Plaza, Century 20, Empire, Grand Lake, Orinda. (Wadenius)
*Biggie and Tupac See "Life after Death," page 34. (1:47) Roxie.
Blue Wild Angel Inaccurately touted as "the definitive document of Jimi Hendrix at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival," Blue Wild Angel is little more than a simple filming of his performance (his last), with a brief series of interviews preceding the event. These first 15 or so minutes reveal nothing about the festival or Hendrix, other than drummer Mitch Mitchell's contention that the trio was the "best band" ever to play music, and the fact that the building of the stage for the event was behind schedule. Filmmaker Murray Lerner then jumps into the extended concert scene, which has a vibrant energy pulsing beneath it, as Hendrix wails through great tunes like "All along the Watchtower" and "Foxy Lady." Fans who have never had the chance to see the voodoo child live and in concert will certainly relish this opportunity to watch him riff on his upside-down Stratocaster, while those in search of an in-depth look at the festival will be disappointed. (1:42) Red Vic. (Wadenius)
The Four Feathers Shekhar Kapur (Elizabeth) directs a photogenic cast (Heath Ledger, Kate Hudson, Wes Bentley) in this epic tale of love and war. (2:03) Century Plaza, Century 20, Empire, Jack London.
His Secret Life Turkish director Ferzan Ozpetek (Steam: The Turkish Bath) left his country for Italy in the 1970s, and his films tend to be explorations of outsiders, whether they're expats, gay men, women, or marginalized eccentrics. His latest follows the subdued Antonia (Margherita Buy), who loses her husband, Massimo, in a tragic car accident and soon after finds a note written on the back of a painting to Massimo from a mysterious lover. Shocked out of her grief, Antonia tracks down Massimo's paramour, and finds out her husband was involved with another man, Michele (Stefano Accorsi), for seven years. Antonia soon finds that she needs Michele and his unconventional group of friends, and her real growth as a woman, and as a person, begins with their presence in her life. It's too bad that the writing, and the incredibly disjointed editing, don't do justice to a potentially intriguing story. On a hopeful note, Buy plays a sexy, intelligent older woman the kind of role that is, unfortunately, increasingly on the fringes. (1:45) Embarcadero, Shattuck. (Gachman)
How I Killed My Father A successful doctor (Charles Berling) is given a letter informing him that his father (Michel Bouquet), who had abandoned his family decades earlier, has just passed away in Africa. Later that same evening, the father suddenly appears at his son's house for an extended stay, wherein the patriarchal figure proceeds to puncture the doctor's frail façade of a perfect life bit by control-issue-driven bit. Fans of ye olde European art house enigma flicks will find themselves happier than pigs in slop trying to discern Freudian fantasy from neurotic fact, while actress-turned-director Anne Fontaine (Dry Cleaning) lays wreaths at the altars of maestros past (an Ophuls gliding camera here, an angular Bergmanesque duality homage there) along possibly patricidal psychological-thriller pathways. Her willingness to blur reality lines serve to incite analysis rather than confusion, however, and what at first seems little more than a dysfunctional family portrait turns into an enthralling case study as its layers are peeled off one by one. (1:40) Lumiere. (Fear)
Igby Goes Down Every attempt is made to present this film as a coming-of-age story of a troubled youth, yet try as he might, writer-director Burr Steers is unable to keep from unsettling the audience with brash dialogue and a loathsome cast of characters, resulting in nothing more than an unappealing journey of a rotten little ingrate. After getting himself booted out of countless prep schools, the smart-mouthed Igby (Kieran Culkin) is sent off to a military academy by his neurotic mother (Susan Sarandon). He soon ditches the academy, and with his mom's stolen credit card, escapes to New York, where he hangs out with a drug-addicted artist (Amanda Peet) and a scrappy college dropout (Claire Danes). It's not often that a film asks you to feel for such a monstrous lead character, who finds every opportunity to insult, hurt, and take advantage of the family and friends around him, for reasons unexplored by the filmmaker. (1:38) Century 20. (Wadenius)
In Shifting Sands: The Truth about UNSCOM and the Disarming of Iraq This new doc by former United Nations weapons inspector (and ex-Marine intelligence officer) Scott Ritter studies why weapons inspection in Iraq has become an increasingly tense issue since the Gulf War. The United States which, despite an agreement to the contrary, kept economic sanctions against Iraq in place even after the United Nations special committee declared Iraq more than 95 percent disarmed comes across as exceedingly sinister, willing to override the wishes of the U.N. for its own selfish purposes. On the other hand, the film notes that Saddam Hussein's refusal to allow inspectors access to certain locations is a clear indication of his priorities he'd rather keep whatever weapons he might have hidden away, rather than comply with the U.N. and clear the way for the sanctions against his poverty-stricken people to be lifted. Somewhat dry and saddled with its own baggage (though not revealed to the viewer, the film was largely funded by an alleged pro-Saddam Iraqi American), In Shifting Sands isn't quite the open-and-shut excoriation of the U.S. government it would like to be. However, its insider perspective on such timely subject matter makes it well worth a look. (1:32) Roxie. (Eddy)
*Quitting See Movie Clock, page 94. (1:52) Lumiere.
*'Resfest' See Critic's Choice. Palace of Fine Arts.
Satin Rouge Each night in a small Tunisian town, a cabaret filled with jovial male patrons comes to life when bejeweled belly dancers take the stage. The allure of such a sensual underworld is unimaginable to Lilia (Hiyam Abbas), a widowed seamstress who divides her time between sewing, cleaning, and worrying about her rebellious teenage daughter. That is, until she stumbles upon it while snooping into her daughter's love life. What follows is a much needed tour of self-discovery for Lilia. Unfortunately, her metamorphosis, while uplifting, is disappointingly slow and predictable. The film, by writer-director Raja Amari, is partly redeemed by its many belly dancers, whose fluid movements and rapid-fire gyrations are quite enchanting, and by the breathtaking Tunisian cityscapes. There is also something to be said for touting an image of feminine beauty that celebrates women as they exist in nature, folds, love handles, and all. (1:40) Opera Plaza. (Cohen)
Spirited Away Princess Mononoke creator Hayao Miyazaki's latest the animated adventures of a young girl trapped in a magical world was a monster hit in Japan; it opens here in English-dub form. (2:04) Kabuki, Metreon, Piedmont, Shattuck.
Trapped Charlize Theron gets medieval on Kevin Bacon's ass when he (along with Courtney Love, yikes!) kidnaps her young'un. (1:39) Century Plaza, Century 20, Jack London.
Austin Powers in Goldmember (1:36) Balboa, Century 20, Kabuki, Metreon, Oaks, 1000 Van Ness.
Ayurveda: The Art of Being (1:42) Rafael, Roxie.
*The Bank Making money menacing is the goal of new Australian thriller The Bank, writer-director Robert Connolly's second feature. Jim Doyle (David Wenham, who gets serious face time as Faramir in the next two Lord of the Rings installments) is a rumpled, thinky cutie fresh outta grad school who's already "on the verge of discovering the Holy Grail of economic theory." This attracts attention from Simon O'Reilly (Anthony LaPaglia), sharklike CEO of the enormous CentraBank corporation. The unproved Jim is promptly granted staff, a top-security lair, and all the computing gizmos a near bottomless budget can buy in order to develop a system that could actually anticipate market crashes before they occur. He wants to alleviate so much human suffering; Simon, of course, smells less altruistic opportunities. In visual terms, Connolly's direction is only competent, but still, The Bank is progressive pulp a movie that entertainingly worries just how perilously everyone's financial world balances on the greed and whim of institutions we have almost no influence on. (1:43) Balboa, Rafael. (Harvey)
Baraka (1:36) Castro.
Barbershop So much can happen in one day on the South Side of Chicago: so many changes, so many lessons learned, so many haircuts. Calvin Palmer (Ice Cube, who deserves meatier material) resents the fact that he had to take over his late father's barbershop, so he keeps dabbling in moneymaking scams and yearning to be free of the family business. When a slimy businessman offers Calvin a wad of cash for the shop, Calvin sells out and takes the bills. While all this is going on, two not-so-smart thugs are trying to pry open an ATM they stole the night before, which of course eventually ties into Calvin's woes and gives the story some momentum. The best scenes are those in which the characters who work and hang out at the barbershop (including Cedric the Entertainer and rapper Eve) sit around and jaw about everything and nothing. But the rest of Barbershop is weighed down by its too-obvious attempts to be deep and meaningful. (1:42) Century 20, Century Plaza, Grand Lake, Jack London, Kabuki, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness. (Gachman)
Blue Crush (1:44) Century 20, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
The Bourne Identity (1:53) 1000 Van Ness.
Breaking the Silence (1:31) Four Star.
The Business of Fancydancing Native American author Sherman Alexie makes his directorial bow with this complex, intriguing look at cross-cultural identity. A popular "crossover" artist because of his Caucasian-friendly poems about Indian suffrage, Seymour Polatkin (Evan Adams) is much less loved in his formative Northwestern tribal community, where he's considered a New Age sellout. As he journeys back to attend a childhood friend's funeral, the gay scribe gets a harsh wake-up lesson in community loyalty. Uneven in character and story development, the movie nonetheless has a textural richness and restless intelligence that consistently fascinate. (1:43) Four Star. (Harvey)
*The Chateau A pair of adopted brothers the neurotic, hippy-dippy white-guy philosophy major Graham (Paul Rudd) and the all-business African American Web entrepreneur Rex (Romany Malco) travel to the south of France to sell a castle they've unexpectedly inherited from a recently deceased uncle. The castle's staff, including a comely maid (Sylvie Testud), subtly tries to sabotage the duo's attempts to unload the property lest they have nowhere to live. Commence crazy fish-outta-water shenanigans. Writer-director Jesse Peretz (the man responsible for that Mentos-flavored Foo Fighters video) bypasses the material's inherent audience-friendly expectations, opting for a more personal, intimate road less traveled that makes all the difference. Surprisingly gentle and giddily goofy, The Chateau beats to the rhythm of a real, human pulse. (1:32) Lumiere. (Fear)
City by the Sea The true saga of the LaMarca family (Angelo, executed for murder; his son, Vincent, a hero cop; Vincent's son, Joey, a junkie-turned-killer) unfolds like a grittier, uncampy version of The Bad Seed. NYPD detective Vincent LaMarca (Robert De Niro) is an introvert, terrified of unleashing the pain he's so meticulously locked out of his life caused by the loss of his father at a young age while also being branded a criminal's kid, and later the bitter dissolution of his marriage to Margaret (Patti LuPone). Then, of course, there's Joey, the child LaMarca abandoned when the divorce sent him roaring away from the wasteland of Long Beach, N.Y. for good or so he thought, until the body of a tattooed man with a Long Beach address in his pocket washes ashore in LaMarca's jurisdiction. Director Michael Caton-Jones (This Boy's Life) keeps the Long Beach scenes gray and dreary, a desolate landscape that's note-perfect for the inevitable confrontation between detective and quarry, father and son. Franco blusters a bit, and the filmmakers' decision to add a fourth LaMarca generation (Joey's son, Angelo ... get it?) is a little overwrought. But the compelling true story and De Niro's controlled, slowly unraveling performance render City by the Sea more haunting than expected. (1:48) Century Plaza, Century 20, Grand Lake, Kabuki, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness, Presidio. (Eddy)
Everest (:44) Metreon Imax.
feardotcom (1:38) Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
*Full Frontal (1:47) Four Star, Galaxy.
*The Good Girl Jennifer Aniston stars a little aggressively in another Miguel Arteta, Mike White, and Matthew Greenfield (director, writer, and producer, respectively, of Chuck and Buck) film about unhealthy obsession. Aniston plays a wife who feels, probably unfairly, imprisoned in her marriage to kind if potheaded painter husband Phil (an always awesome John C. Reilly). She looks to aisle two for spiritual relief in the form of a tormented soul, a faux writer who's renamed himself "Holden" (Jake Gyllenhaal). Their romance goes predictably awry, in a typically unpredictable Arteta way. Yet it's the bit parts that bring the real laughs in this film from Fargo hubby John Carroll Lynch, "your store manager," to Phil's bony painting partner Tim Blake Nelson. If you, unlike me, can reduce Aniston to the anonymity of her surroundings accomplishing the inhuman feat of removing all knowledge of her soul-mating to Brad Pitt and familiarity with a certain popular TV comedy about a group of "buddies" then you may truly be able to inhabit the film's brilliant comic nowhereland. I had to protect my eyes: her star power was shining far too neon bright in a movie where some all-purpose fluorescence was truly required. (1:34) Embarcadero. (Gerhard)
*The Last Kiss Writer-director Gabriele Muccino's The Last Kiss, a tender look at the realities of growing up and settling down, is also a modernized take on the traditional Italian sex comedy. Less about raw lust (though there's no shortage here) than about the restlessness that permeates contemporary relationships, the film ultimately paints love as a state of perpetual confusion and repeatedly asks whether it is ever possible to recognize happiness once you've found it. Muccino accomplishes this through the interwoven stories of a group of college buddies on the verge of hitting 30: Carlo (Stefano Accorsi, also of the Italian import The Son's Room) is secretly petrified of marrying his pregnant girlfriend, Paolo (Claudio Santamaria) can't seem to get over his domineering ex, and Alberto (Mario Cocci) is beginning to question the value of an endless string of one-night stands. Well-structured and well-acted, The Last Kiss deftly canvasses the gamut of human emotions, from the joys of childbirth to the dizzying fear that somehow, somewhere, a better life is passing us by. (1:44) Embarcadero, Rafael. (Cohen)
*Lilo and Stitch (1:25) Century 20, Oaks.
Mad Love (1:57) Embarcadero.
Men in Black II (1:28) Century 20, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
*Minority Report (2:25) Century 20.
*Monsoon Wedding (1:54) Opera Plaza.
*Mostly Martha Hamburg-born writer-director Sandra Nettelbeck's sumptuous new film, Mostly Martha, extends the Euro-foodie film genre to Germany with its story of a woman looking for love amid scads of gorgeously shot meat, fish, and pasta. Martha (Martina Gedeck) is a top chef at a fancy Italian restaurant in Hamburg. Martha's fiery, uncompromising spirit comes across in her meticulous control of the kitchen and in her refusal to ever let a customer get away with criticizing her food. Even in her therapy sessions she can't bring herself to express her feelings about love and life but obsessively recites recipes to her shrink. The sudden death of Martha's sister in a car accident is the tragic catalyst that opens her emotional floodgates, the rock-bottom moment that makes her fall apart. When Martha's boss (Sibylle Canonica) brings on a free-spirited Italian sous chef (Sergio Castellitto) to help out in the kitchen, Martha's frustration and anxiety mount. Martha offers an array of sensual and cinematic pleasures, and it ultimately has even more to say to us about grief and longing and about how we must reach out to those around us in both good times and bad. (1:47) Clay. (Jenni Olson)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2:01) Galaxy, Metreon.
Mysteries of Egypt (:39) Metreon Imax.
One Hour Photo A lonely SavMart photo developer (Robin Williams) who's been obsessing over a "perfect" suburban family has taken to stalking their house, collecting their snapshots, building shrines, etc. When photographic evidence points to a possible infidelity within his idealized clan, things move from uncomfortably creepy to downright ugly. Director Mark Romanek wears his music-video past on his sleeve, imbuing his bloodlessly perfectionist compositions and color-coded set-design schematics (warm amber for the family's house, bland and banally sterile for the lunatic fringe mindset) with the self-conscious air of a still-life painter used to working within three-minute formats. Fighting for eye-space is Williams, already deep into his summer-of-discontent phase with Insomnia and hell-bent on proving that his real strength is less manic shtick than tour de force unravelings. Stuck amid arty Dutch angles and smooth Steadicam lolling, it's still Williams' blank stare and needy grin that steals the show, frazzling viewers' nerves long before the film dutifully cuts to the bone. (1:38) Bridge, Century Plaza, Century 20, Empire. (Fear)
Possession (1:42) Galaxy, Kabuki, Metreon.
*Read My Lips (1:55) Galaxy.
*Rivers and Tides Building elaborate installation pieces out of Mother Nature's flotsam and jetsam in its own "natural" habitat (open fields, seashores, riverbanks), artist Andy Goldsworthy spends hours altering the landscape or working his elemental materials into man-made paths and patterns of harmonious grace. A finished work can last for as long as a few days or as short as a minute before a light breeze or an eddying tide picks it apart like carrion; in Goldsworthy's art, deconstruction is as much a part of his vision as construction. German documentarian Thomas Riedelshiemer's affectionate, awestruck look at the man and his mission to tap into a frequency of symmetrical order in terra firma's chaos is as hypnotically dazzling as his subject's abstract expressionist products. Fluently gliding around Goldsworthy's struggle to complete a fragile twig leitmotiv before it collapses under its own weight or pulling far back to reveal a sidewinder pattern snaking around a forest glen, Riedelshiemer's camera becomes the subject's partner, capturing the artist's attempts to channel the ebb and flow of organic life for posterity in a gorgeous, wide-screen, 35mm time capsule. (1:30) Opera Plaza, Rafael. (Fear)
Road to Perdition (1:59) Four Star, Kabuki, Metreon, Oaks, 1000 Van Ness.
Serving Sara (1:40) Metreon.
*Signs (1:46) Century 20, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
Simone (1:57) Four Star, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
Spider-Man (1:51) Century 20, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams (1:45) Century Plaza, Century 20, Oaks.
Stealing Harvard Remember when Jason Lee was cool? When the pro skateboarder turned actor brought us the inimitable Brodie, king of the mall in Mallrats? Or, more recently, when he made asshole an art form as Stillwater's lead singer in Almost Famous? Well, sadly, those days seem to be gone. As John Plummer, a medical supply salesman who in a less- than-clever plot twist finds himself strapped for the 30 grand needed to cover his niece's college tuition, Lee reveals that his charm and wit are no match for an idiotic script and unappealing costars. Plummer's dysfunctional sidekick, Duff, for instance, is played by Tom Green, who proves conclusively here that, despite some high points in Road Trip, he's just not funny. All in all, director Bruce McCulloch (of The Kids in the Hall fame) delivers an unfortunate and insulting example of cinematic nonsense hardly worthy of home video viewing. (1:23) Century 20, Century Plaza, Kabuki, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness. (Cohen)
Swimfan (1:26) Century Plaza, Century 20, Kabuki, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
*Tadpole There was a brief time in the '70s when, if your only contact with American society was through contemporary film and literature, you'd swear that the United States was mostly composed of New York's Upper East Side. Gary Winick's Tadpole would, in a perfect world, restore the inhabitants of that occasionally grainy-lensed, sometimes Gershwin-soundtracked cultural gestalt to center stage. Fifteen-year-old budding intellectual Oscar Grubman (Aaron Stanford), nicknamed "Tadpole," comes home from boarding school to celebrate Thanksgiving with his history professor dad in Manhattan. His main interest in the holiday homecoming, however, involves a monster crush he's nursing for his middle-age stepmother (Sigourney Weaver). Complications arise when Oscar's seduction by his stepmom's best friend (Bebe Neuwirth) threatens to derail his own Oedipal courtship. Shot in dusty-looking digital video and focusing on a precocious teen pining for an older woman, it's tempting at first to dismiss Tadpole as a low-rent Rushmore. But the hyperintelligent writing and wit overcomes the cruder, clumsier technical moments to make this upper-crust comedy of manners the freshest sex farce in ages. (1:17) Balboa, Opera Plaza. (Fear)
*13 Conversations about One Thing (1:42) Balboa.
*24 Hour Party People Manchester-based label Factory gave the world Joy Division, the Happy Mondays, and the seeds of rave culture via its sister club Hacienda and was renowned as much for its owners' bad business sense and drug-fueled burnout as for its stark, minimalist sound. 24 Hour Party People seems destined to cement the collective's rightful place in the pantheon, but any notion of genuflection or pedestal polishing quickly gets pissed on. Laden with one of the cinema's most unreliable narrators in the form of Factory impresario Tony Wilson (Steve Coogan) and brimming with pop art detritus filmmaking (punky Super 8 comfortably cuddles with druggy D.V.), the film is less concerned with facts than with Factory's mythos as a beautiful supernova failure. Director Michael Winterbottom (Wonderland) incorporates Lester-like giddiness, deconstructive asides, and even actual participants from the era (keep an eye out for Mark E. Smith and Howard DeVoto) to correct the film when it "gets it wrong," still, any glitches are overrun by the film's gleeful willingness to jettison narrative and biopic concerns in order to hook viewers on a feeling. (1:57) Embarcadero. (Fear)
XXX (2:00) Century Plaza, Century 20, Kabuki, Metreon, 1000 Van Ness.
*'All the Colors of the Dark: The Films of Mario Bava' Euro "art movies" always got away with otherwise objectionable content by being, well, arty about it, but by the 1960s the line between edification and exploitation was blurred into an impressionist smear. Directors were permitted any auteurist indulgence (on the set at least such stuff often got rudely cut out by foreign distributors) so long as they delivered enough sex and violence to maintain the audience's delicious sense of slumming. Generally dismissed or despised by mainstream critics at the time, Eurotrash genre cinema of the '60s and '70s now makes the period look like a golden era of artistic adventure in the cause of crass cash-harvesting. No one was more deeply embroiled in both values than Mario Bava, the late Italian horror master whose works are showcased this month at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and next month at Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive. The visual intoxication should be well over legal limits during these series, since the 35mm prints to be screened were fully restored for simultaneous DVD release and represent the most complete versions of oft-cut, retitled, and otherwise messed-with titles. This week: House of Exorcism (1972); Kill, Baby, Kill (1966) as a double feature with Knives of the Avenger (1965) Fri, 7; and The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) as a double feature with Four Times That Night (1972). Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. (Harvey)
'The Alloy Orchestra performs with The Black Pirate, Nosferatu, and "Dragonflies, the Baby Cries" ' See 8 Days a Week, page 48. Castro.
*'Kung Fu Kult Klassics' This week's Thursday double feature which happens to be not particularly kung fu-ish includes Wong Kar-wai's first film, 1989's As Tears Go By, and Lee Chi Ngai's 1996 Lost and Found. Four Star.