One Night Stands for the week of February 28-March 6, 2007 

Beginning Friday, the PFA's tribute to the San Francisco International Film Festival on its fiftieth anniversary.

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

Thursday, March 1

Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo — Documentary on the 1977 protest by the mothers of the "disappeared" in Argentina to learn the fate of their children from the military dictatorship. Directed by Susana Muñoz and Lourdes Portillo (64 min., 1985). Artists in person. Preceded by two shorts: Untold Legacy by Leslie Brown (13 min., 2005) and The Farm by Reiko Fujii (5.5 min., 2006). (PFA, 5:30)

Salon with Lourdes Portillo — The filmmaker leads a discussion with clips, about her career, etc. (90 min. total running time). (PFA, 7:30)

Fri., March 2

Blue Velvet — For all its sumptuous queasiness and artful grotesquery, David Lynch's pseudopsychological crime film comes off more like Blue Velveeta. The joke — Lynch's only joke — is that under the surface of a foolishly cheerful small town lurk perverts, beetles, and things that go bump in the night. Dennis Hopper and Isabella Rossellini have a fine time portraying all of the above, while Kyle MacLachlan and Laura Dern are trapped in the director's weak-kneed parody of middle-class conventions (120 min., 1986). — K.V. (S, midnight)

Red Desert — Industrial and personal anomie are carried to such languorous heights in Michelangelo Antonioni's first color film that he might have created a new genre: Art Angst. With Monica Vitti, Richard Harris, and Carlo Chionetti (120 min., 1964). — M.C. (PFA, 8:45)

Shadows — John Cassavetes' electrifyingly ultramodern 1959 debut is the story of three African-American siblings in New York and how they lead their lives, from an improvised screenplay based on ideas by Cassavetes. Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, and Hugh Hurd star. Music by jazzman Charles Mingus (87 min.). (PFA, 7:00)

Sat., March 3

Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena — Up close and personal with the late Tejana pop star (shown here in her teens), who is still revered by her fans. Lourdes Portillo directs (47 min., 1998). Followed by a Portillo short: My McQueen (20 min., 2004). Filmmaker in person. (PFA, 7:00)

The Devil Never Sleeps (El Diablo Nunca Duerme) — SF filmmaker Lourdes Portillo turned a trip to Mexico to visit her family into a sort of mystery documentary journey into cultural terrain (87 min., 1994). Filmmaker in person. (PFA, 9:00)

It Happened One Night — Claudette Colbert shows Clark Gable how to hitchhike, in a puffball Frank Capra comedy considered "naughty" back in 1934. No longer very naughty, but still highly risible, it has both Roscoe Karns and Ward Bond in supporting roles (better support would be hard to find)(105 min.). — N.W. (Cerrito, 6:00)

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)

Sun., March 4

Aparajito — The second and least-seen chapter of Satayajit Ray's famous "Apu Trilogy." The pace picks up somewhat from the first, as the young Apu grows away from his parents and their traditional ways, entering school in Calcutta. Ray's relaxed, open style (some would say sluggish and confused) had a tremendous influence on the film world of 1956, but time has made it into something of a cliché (127 min.) — D.D. (PFA, 2:00)

Blue Velvet — See Fri. (S, midnight)

It Happened One Night — See Sat. (Cerrito, 5:00)

La Notte — Director Michelangelo Antonioni is in the prime of his Italian period with this story of a married couple (Jeanne Moreau and Marcello Mastroianni) who act out their frustrations with life and each other in the impassive settings of upper-middle-class Milan (122 min., 1961). — K.V. (PFA, 4:30)

Tue., March 6

Nicky Hamlyn: Film Art Phenomena — A collection of shorts by the British filmmaker, who appears in person (80 min. total running time). (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., March 7

Am I Making Art — Experimental shorts by five artists (82 min. total running time). (PFA, 7:30

Black Gold — The high price of gourmet coffee in the developed world is contrasted to the low wages and suffering of Ethiopian bean growers, in Marc and Nick Francis' UK-produced doc (78 min., 2006). (Oakland Museum, 6:30)

The Conversation — Francis Ford Coppola's film about an electronics surveillance expert who becomes unintentionally involved in a murder starts off so slowly that we are almost tricked into boredom. But gradually, inexorably, the film gathers force, until finally it snowballs into an excruciating powerful portrait of a nonentity going insane. Starring Gene Hackman, with Robert Duvall and John Cazale (113 min., 1974). — M.C. (PFA, 3:00)


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