One Night Stands for the week of February 14-20, 2007 

In this week's rep picks, documentaries on government vote-tampering, a racial lynching, and — just so it's not all bad — the great outdoors.

Reviews by Michael Covino, Don Druker, Kelly Vance, and Naomi Wise

Thu., Feb. 15

Adventures in Wild California — An outdoors documentary, narrated by Jimmy Smits (running time unknown). (Castro Valley Library, 20055 Redwood Rd., 1:30)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer — Three episodes of the TV series for your enjoyment (total running time unknown). (PW, 9:15)

Pierrot le Fou — Jean-Paul Belmondo sings punnishly with Anna Karina about her lifeline/washline/panty line; after a while, she leaves him and he paints himself blue and grows destructive. They've run off to a desert island, fleeing the law, only to face the real, interior problems they've carried with them from the real world; after the "happy ending" of the mainstream film, this is what happens. Not an easy movie, but there's gaiety and color, Raoul Coutard's brilliant photography, and director Jean-Luc Godard's underlying logic, for poetry that's everlastingly new (120 min., 1939). — N.W. (PFA, 7:30)

SF Indiefest — Two programs of indie films (total running time unknown). (CA, 7:00, 9:30)

Fri., Feb. 16

Cars — The latest vehicle to roll off a Pixar assembly line that has thus far kicked out nothing but spit-shined classics answers that age-old question: What would Doc Hollywood have been like had it been populated entirely by, ya know, cars? If the promise of that premise — in which a hotshot (in this case, a hot rod) gets stranded in a small town on his way to Los Angeles and finds love among the ruins of what used to be paradise — doesn't exactly rev your engine, fret not. Cars takes a little longer than most Pixar pics to get from zero to 60, but it eventually gets you where you want to go — the promised land of impulse-purchase trinkets and happy endings (2006). — R.W. (Movies That Matter, Neumayer residence, 565 Bellevue St., Oakland, 6:30)

Cluny Brown — Ernst Lubitsch's comedy of prewar manners matches Cockney plumber's daughter Jennifer Jones with Central European refugee Charles Boyer (100 min., 1946). (PFA, 9:15)

Heaven Can Wait — Don Ameche and Gene Tierney give surprisingly warm performances in this Ernst Lubitsch comedy, which became one of the biggest hits in the WWII years. This overlooked 1943 classic focuses on a deceased gentleman describing his youthful follies to a suave Satan in a very luxurious version of hell (112 min.). — D.D. (PFA, 7:00)

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till — Filmmaker Keith Beauchamp's documentary examines the fate of Till, an young African American who was lynched in 1955 after allegedly whistling at a white woman (70 min., 2005). (Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1924 Cedar St., 7:00)

Sat., Feb. 17

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — The original 1975 British rock music horror spoof, starring Tim Curry as the androgynous Dr. Frank N. Furter (95 min.). (PW, midnight)

Sátántangó — A seven-hour film dealing with the misery and despair of a group of Hungarian peasants. Says here it's a comedy. Directed by Béla Tarr (450 min. with intermissions, 1994). Shown in three parts. (PFA, 1:00, 3:45, 7:00)

Stormy Weather — A fairly silly "backstage" musical is the flimsy excuse for some inventive musical filmmaking by Andrew Stone, and for a series of spectacular numbers by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Lena Horne, Fats Waller, and best of all, Cab Calloway (77 min., 1943). — N.W. (Cerrito, 6:00)

Sun., Feb. 18

Conversations on a Sunday Afternoon — Something strange happens to a man reading a book in a Johannesburg park, in this drama by South Africa's Khalo Matabane (80 min., 2005). (PFA, 5:30)

Stormy Weather — See Sat. (Cerrito, 5:00)

Tue., Feb. 20

This Is Spinal Tap — Rob Reiner directs this madcap parody of rock documentaries and he also plays the documentarian who follows the English group Spinal Tap (which has undergone some seventy changes in personnel over the last twenty or so years) around on their last, disastrous tour. The humor works on every possible level — the dingbat dialogue and interviews, the silly posturing, the old kinescope film clips, the mishaps on stage, the shaky camera chasing after the stars, the petulant groupies — and Reiner maintains the tone from start to finish (82 min., 1984). — M.C. (PW, 9:15)

v.o. — This experimental film by William E. Jones draws on gay pornographic images, to nostalgic effect (60 min., 2006). Shown with Jones shorts: More British Sounds (8 min., 2006) and Film Montages (for Peter Roehr) (11 min., 2006). Jones appears in person. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., Feb. 21

American Blackout — This documentary, directed by Ian Inaba for Guerrilla News Network, alleges a systematic disenfranchisement of African-American voters in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections — with a close focus on US Rep. Cynthia McKinney. McKinney appears in person (92 min., 2006). (GL, 7:00)

Babel — See Ongoing listings. (JCCEB, 7:00)

For Life, Against the War ... Again, a Collective Outcry — From 1967, an anti-Vietnam-war compilation of short protests, curated by Lynne Sachs (75 min., 2006). (PFA, 7:30)

Singin' in the Rain — Only the best American musical of all time, which probably makes it the best musical, period. Every moment is indescribably delicious. With Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, and Cyd Charisse. Book by Betty Comden and Adolph Green (103 min., 1957). — N.W. (PFA, 3:00)

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