One Night Stands for the week of August 1-8, 2007 

In this week's rep picks: Arab Film Festival, Gumby, and Thrill-o-Tronic tidbits.

Reviewed by Michael Covino, Christopher Hawthorne, Dave Kehr, Luke Y. Thompson, Kelly Vance, and Naomi Wise/

Thu., Aug. 2

Both My Moms' Names Are Judy — Short documentary about children with lesbian and gay parents (running time unknown). (Zocalo Coffeehouse, 645 Bancroft Ave., San Leandro, 7:00)

Knowledge Is the Beginning — Documentary about an orchestra comprising young people from Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Tunisia. Directed by Paul Smaczny (114 min., 2006). Presented by the Arab Film Festival. (Roda Theatre, Berkeley, 8:30)

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival — Four programs today. For a complete schedule and program notes, go to SFJFF.com (Roda Theater, 1:45, 4:15, 6:15, 8:30)

Second Verse — A documentary about teenagers performing in spoken word in the Bay Area Followed by a musical performance by Damond Moodie plus perfs by poets (running time unknown). (LP, 7:00)

The Warriors — Gangs on the run in the Big Apple. A refreshingly original angle, too: they're all integrated. Though shot on location in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, this movie may just as well have been shot on Jupiter for all the relation it has to reality. I don't mean to suggest it's surrealistic, either. With Michael Beck, James Remar, and Mercedes Ruehl. Misdirected by Walter Hill (90 min., 1979). — M.C. (PW, 9:15)

White Light/Black Rain — Steven Okazaki's documentary gathers eyewitness stories from survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic attacks (86 min., 2007). Filmmaker appears in person. (PFA, 7:30)

The White Rose — The diary of a thought crime. Director Michael Verhoeven employs a sober, rather mechanical mise-en-scène for his account of the anti-Nazi activities of a group of students in Hitler's Germany. Lena Stolze as "good German" Sophie Scholl has a face that radiates courage and hope (123 min., 1982). — K.V. (Revolution Books, 2425 Channing Way, Berkeley, 7:00)

Fri., Aug. 3

Gumby Dharma — The life and times of Gumby, the lovable claymation character created by Art Clokey. This 2006 documentary is directed by Robina Marchesi (72 min.). (Oakland Museum of California, 1000 Oak St., 8:30)

Happy Heirs — Romeo and Juliet in the Rhineland, as the children of two competing champagne-producing families fall in love. The 1933 German musical comedy was directed by Max Ophuls (75 min.). (PFA, 7:00)

The Karate Kid — John Avildsen directed Rocky and he directs this, but young Ralph Macchio, the movie's contender, is no Sly Stallone. Corny and predictable teen drama, though Pat Morita, as the boy's martial-arts teacher and spiritual advisor, gets in some interesting material re Japanese Americans and their WWII situation (126 min., 1984). — M.C. (CLC, midnight)

Lola Montès — Max Ophuls' 1955 masterpiece is the quintessential director's film, a feast of visual delights presented as the circus of a woman's life. The star of the show is dancer, courtesan, and free spirit Lola (languidly played by Martine Carol), whose celebrated affairs with Franz Liszt and King Ludwig of Bavaria didn't quite prepare her to become a sideshow attraction. Ophuls piles irony upon irony as the camera wheels and gavottes around the ringmaster (Peter Ustinov), clowns, and lavishly mounted flashbacks of Lola's life and times (110 min.). — K.V. (PFA, 8:35)

Shine — Based on the true story of Australian classical pianist David Helfgott, an immensely talented musician apparently driven crazy by his domineering father, the film interweaves past and present to show how Helfgott, with the aid of his future wife, overcame his madness and a decade of obscurity to resume his career. Geoffrey Rush gets Helfgott's schizoid speech and gestures down just right. Armin Mueller-Stahl is good as the father — maybe too good. With Lynn Redgrave, Noah Taylor, and John Gielgud. Directed by Scott Hicks (105 min., 1996). — M.C. (Movies That Matter, Neumayer residence, 565 Bellevue St., Oakland, 6:30)

Sat., Aug. 4

And Life Goes On — In the wake of the northern Iranian earthquake that killed 50,000 people, filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami traveled to that region in search of the two young nonprofessional actors who starred in his earlier feature, Where Is the Friend's Home? With Farhad Kheradmand and Pooya Pievar (108 min., 1992). (PFA, 6:30)

Between Two Notes — French director Florence Strauss made this documentary on the ubiquity of Arab classical music (85 min., 2006). Presented by the Arab Film Festival. (Roda Theatre, 2:40)

Easy Rider — Dennis Hopper's road film about two dope dealers (Hopper and Peter Fonda) who cross America on their motorbikes has dated, not least because of its self-pity — America, with its violent, prejudiced rednecks, isn't quite worthy enough of these people. But Hopper and Jack Nicholson do give fine performances as, respectively, a crabby, stoned hippie and a cracker lawyer turning hip. The rock score is first-rate (94 min., 1969). — M.C. (EC, 5:00)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — The original 1975 British rock music horror spoof (95 min.). (PW, midnight)

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival — Five programs on this last day of the fest. See Thursday. (Roda Theatre, 12:30, 2:40, 4:45, 7:15, 9:30)

Thrill-o-tronic Film Show — An evening of offbeat, rare, and just plain weird 16mm film and TV oddities, including cartoons, plus live theremin music. Hoohah! (total running time unknown). (EC, 2:00)

Through the Olive Trees — The final installment of Abbas Kiarostami's trilogy about life in northern Iran is a movie about making a movie, accompanied by a slowly — and I mean slowly — emerging love story between two first-time actors. The first ten minutes of scene-setting in the dry, wind-scrubbed landscape get your hopes way up, but as soon as the film-within-a-film starts shooting the pace slows to a crawl (108 min., 1994). — C.H. (PFA, 8:30)

Sun., Aug. 5

Easy Rider — See Sat. (EC, 4:00)

The Exile — The sublimely European director Max Ophuls fashioned this Douglas Fairbanks Jr. swashbuckler during his post-WWII tour of duty in the United States. It's not one of his more profound or personal efforts, but the film is indispensable as one of the most exhilarating stylistic exercises to come out of Hollywood (95 min., 1947). — D.K. (PFA, 7:00)

La Signora di Tutti — This early effort (1934) by Max Ophuls displays his trademark moving camera and empathy for put-upon women, but the material is a bit dated and the acting a trifle stiff. Strikingly lovely Isa Miranda stars as a famous movie actress who flashes back through her troubled youth as she lies on the operating table after a suicide attempt. Basically, men fall for her, come to ruin, and blame her for their own weakness. And she acquiesces (97 min.). — K.V. (PFA, 5:00)

The Spirit of the Beehive — This beautiful movie set in a small Spanish village in the wake of the Civil War describes the relationship between two young sisters. Following a local showing of the original Frankenstein — we see all the children sitting on the dirt floor of the screening room watching it in awe — the younger sister drifts into a fantasy world where she befriends Frankenstein and then, in real life, a man on the run from Franco's Guardia Civil. At the time it was made — a few years before Franco's death — this film was considered daring in its understated criticism of the Franco regime. Directed by Victor Erice with exceptional photography and editing (95 min., 1973). — M.C. (GAIA Arts Center, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley, 3:00)

Struggle for Identity — This documentary examines the lives of people who grew up in transracial adoptive families (running time unknown). Shown with: A Conversation Ten Years Later — This follow-up to Struggle for Identity revisits family members (running time unknown). (PW, 2:00)

Mon., Aug. 6

Bourne Supremacy — Much like Spider-Man 2, this action sequel starring Matt Damon essentially delivers more of exactly what you'd expect, along with a blatant hook for the inevitable part three. Damon's Jason Bourne is chilling out in India with love interest Marie (a wasted Franka Potente) when his happiness is shattered and he sets out for revenge against the sinister CIA forces of the previous film (as represented by the returning Brian Cox, Gabriel Mann, and Julia Stiles, alongside newcomer Joan Allen), in addition to some nasty Russians (aren't they all, in movies like this?). Director Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday) adds his imprint, shooting much of the film in faux-documentary style with hand-held camera, many close-ups, and rapid cuts — this may not be the best way to film a large-scale car chase, but it's certainly a fresh twist. Plot matters more here than spectacle; the film's real climax involves no demolition, but rather two characters in a room quietly discussing devastating events in their past (120 min., 2004). — L.Y.T. (Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., 6:15)

The Sandlot — Unobjectionable, unremarkable kids' baseball movie, set in that magical year of 1962, about a bunch of neighborhood kids and a legendary, monstrous dog that lives just over the centerfield fence. Director David Mickey Evans' screenplay (written with Robert Gunter) owes a lot to both the Little Rascals and Jean Shepard, but it's slightly refreshing to see such innocent fun. Slightly (101 min., 1993). — K.V. (Wente Vineyards Restaurant, 5050 Arroyo Rd., Livermore, twilight)

Tue., Aug. 7

Big Eden — Gay romance in a small Minnesota town, starring Arye Gross, Eric Schweig, and Louise Fletcher. Thomas Bezucha directs from his own screenplay (118 min., 2000). (PW, 9:15)

Bowling for Columbine — The baseball-cap-wearin', Nader-votin', muckrakin', best-sellin', corporation-confrontin' son of a gun known as Michael Moore goes searching for the sources of gun violence in America, and comes back with a unique look at the fear and paranoia that can often be found as an undercurrent in American society. If you've seen Moore's previous film or TV work, you know the drill: a mix of easy humor, political potshots, attempts (some successful, most not) at interviewing and confronting corporate crooks, and the odd emotional suckerpunch that'll leave you in horror until he comes back with a laugh a few minutes later (120 min., 2002). — L.Y.T. (GAIA Arts Center, 7:00)

Rugs, Roads, and Palaces: Short Films by Abbas Kiarostami — Four shorts: Rug (10 min., 2006), Birth of Light (5 min., 1997), Jahan-Nama Palace (30 min., 1977), and Roads of Kiarostami (32 min., 2005). (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., Aug. 8

The Mutations — Mad doctor Donald Pleasence camouflages his carnivorous plants in a carnival freak show in this 1974 horror flick, directed by Jack Cardiff (91 min.). (PFA, 7:30)

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in One-Night Stands

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

Holiday Guide 2016

A guide to this holiday season's gifts, outings, eats, and more.

Taste, Fall 2016

Everything you need to know about dining in and out in the East Bay.

© 2016 East Bay Express    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation