One-Night Stands 

Repertory film listings for July 3 through July 9, 2008.

Sat., July 5

Some Like It Hot Billy Wilder's sharp-edged farce was sexually subversive before its time, with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon sporting full drag as they flee from mobsters into a situation of total sexual identity confusion. Marilyn Monroe is at her most luminous as a gold-digging singer who's too innocent to have her calculations add up right. Curtis woos her by feigning wealth and impotence, while Lemmon is pursued nearly to the altar by millionaire Joe E. Brown. With such ironic material, Wilder doesn't need to show his fangs, and this is one of his most purely comedic comedies (120 min., 1959). – N.W. (PFA, 6:30)

Dr. No The first (and shortest) James Bond flick, and if not the most elegant, in many ways the most imaginative, with all the wild gadgets, bright tropical colors, and exotic locations that a still-moderate budget could buy. To Sean Connery, the Bond role was a first chance to charm his way to stardom, and to the distinguished Joseph Wiseman, as the villain, it was obviously a camp. It's one of those movies where everybody seems to be having such a good time that it becomes contagious. Filmed on the Jamaican coast, without slums but with much blue ocean (111 min., 1962). – N.W. (PFA, 6:30)

Thrill-O-Tronic Film Show An "Americana" theme links this selection of classic cartoons, psychotronic shorts, vintage television shows, drive-in movie trailers, and more. From the 16mm collections of Bob Ekman and Paul Etheverry. Plus live theremin by Robert Silverman, special guests Mr. Lobo and the Queen of Trash, and hosts Will the Thrill and Monica Tiki Goddess. (EC, 2:00)

Sun., July 6

Steamboat Bill, Jr. In one of his funniest tour-de-forces, Buster Keaton is an effete Boston lad with beret on head and ukulele in hand, who visits his roughneck steamboat-captain father in Mississippi. In the face of peril, Keaton proves his resourcefulness once again — and he was resourceful, having thought up not only these impossible predicaments, but also their hilarious solutions. This film is best remembered for the famed "tornado sequence," but equally fine and more subtly surprising is the scene where Buster buys a hat (70 min., 1927). – N.W. (PFA, 5:00)

Scarface Howard Hawks' much-imitated gangster film carries more emotional zing and filmic dazzle than either of its brothers in the 1930-32 gangster triumvirate (Wellman's Public Enemy and LeRoy's Little Caesar). It's already a genuine Hawks, although an early one, with emblematic visual touches, sharply defined personalities, memorable set pieces, and a strong, central woman character. Paul Muni is the Capone-like gangster, defeated by his own arrogant stupidity; Ann Dvorak is the jazz-baby sister for whom he holds a more-than-brotherly love; George Raft is a coin-flipping mobster (the first coin-flipper in filmdom), and Boris Karloff does a bit as a rival thug memorably shot down while bowling (89 min., 1932). (PFA, 6:30)

Pièces D'Identités In search of his long-lost daughter, a Congonese king arrives in Brussels, Belgium. Written and directed by the Congo's Mweze Ngangura (97 min., 1998). (PW, 2:00)

Tue., July 8

Stagecoach John Ford's Stagecoach is one of the best, most exciting Westerns ever made. It is in this film that John Wayne — the outlaw Ringo Kid — steps out of the bushes and into the path of the oncoming stagecoach, and in doing so steps into film history. Shot in Monument Valley, Utah, with the legendary Ford landscapes that dwarf and isolate the characters against the overwhelming skies. This film also teaches us something about the differences between archetypes and stereotypes, Westerns and westerns (96 min., 1939). – M.C. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., July 9

The Shanghai Gesture Josef von Sternberg directed this from a cot, but if the story of sin and redemption in a Chinese gambling house looks at times like a fever dream, chalk it up to stylistic despair, not delirium. The last entry in Sternberg's classic Hollywood period stars Gene Tierney as a baby-faced prostitute, with Victor Mature, Walter Huston, and Ona Munson as "Mother Gin Sling." For those who already know the directory's work, it's a treat (92 min., 1941). – K.V. (PFA, 7:30)

Growing Up in the Universe Richard Dawkins explains life through science. (Humanist Hall, Oakland, 7:30)


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