One Night Stands for the week of February 21-27, 2007 

It's Oscar week, so go to the movies — especially the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Reviews by Michael Atkinson, Michael Covino, David Klein, Jim Ridley, Kelly Vance, and Naomi Wise

Thu., Feb. 2

Bonnie and Clyde — Arthur Penn's 1967 film about the Barrow Gang was a breakthrough of sorts for its realistic treatment of the gang and its portrayal of violence, but also for the way it tricked the audience into comic sympathy but then pulled the rug out. Its one weakness is the way it equates Clyde (Warren Beatty) Barrow's impotence with his incompetence as a gangster. Faye Dunaway is the moll Bonnie Parker (111 min.). — M.C. Introduced by David Thomson. (PFA, 7:30)

An Evening of Punching — Oakland filmmaker Erin Gleeson screens two short films, including Tina and Frank (total running time unknown). (Mama Buzz Café, 2318 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, 8:00)

Fri., Feb. 23

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). Introduced by George Scharffenberger. Preceded by a short: Punam by Lucian Muntean and Natalia Stankovic (28 min., 2005). Presented by the Human Rights Watch Film Festival. (PFA, 8:50)

Total Denial — Documentary on human rights abuses by oil companies along the Burmese-Thai border, by filmmaker Milena Kaneva (74 min., 2006). Preceded by a short: Dos Hermanos (Two Brothers) by Juan Manuel Echevarría (5 min., 2003). Presented by the HRWFF. (PFA, 7:00)

Who Is Bozo Texino? — This shoestring documentary on hobo and railworker graffiti, particularly the career of one Bozo Texino, is by filmmaker and "confirmed tramp" Bill Daniel (55 min., 2002). Filmmaker in person. (AK Press Warehouse, 674-A 23rd St., Oakland, 7:00)

Sat., Feb. 24

The Camden 28 — Documentary on antiwar activism during the Vietnam war by members of the "Catholic Left," directed by Anthony Giacchino (82 min., 2006). Presented by the HRWFF. (PFA, 6:30)

King Kong vs. Godzilla — Battle of the Destructo Superstars, circa 1962, as director Ishiro Honda referees the fight between the Big Ape and Ol' Fire Breath. Starring Tadao Takashima and Kenji Sahara (91 min.). (PFA, 3:00)

My Country, My Country — An experienced progressive doc-maker, Laura Poitras has made the definitive nonfiction film about the Iraq occupation. As a counterpoint against acres of corporate-spun non-news, it is indispensable. Time and again, in the months leading up to the 2005 elections, Poitras manages to be where platoons of US telejournalists have been afraid to go, following a heroic Sunni activist-doctor named Riyadh on a quiet crusade in and around the Triangle to repair whatever damage he can, and to get as many Sunnis to vote as possible — even if it's not for him (2006). — M.A. (PFA, 8:30)

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

To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee's child's-eye view of Southern bigotry gains something in its translation to the screen by Robert Mulligan, who knows exactly where to place the camera to catch a child's subjective experience. Mulligan even wrings a respectable performance from Gregory Peck (he won an Oscar for the role) as the country lawyer who defends a black man in a trumped-up charge. Peck's icy remove works for once — as a kid's idea of a parent, he's frighteningly effective (129 min., 1962). — D.K. (Cerrito, 3:00, 6:00)

Sun., Feb. 25

Cerrito's Annual Oscar Bash — Two levels of fun at the Cerrito's first Oscar party: Will the Thrill and Monica Tiki Goddess in the main auditorium, Mister Lobo and the Queen of Trash upstairs. Prizes and games, too (total running time unknown). (Cerrito, 4:00)

KZ — A documentary tour of Mauthausen, a notorious WWII Nazi concentration camp (the title is the German abbreviation for konzentrationslager) that is now an Austrian tourist destination. Rex Bloomstein directs (88 min., 2005). Presented by the HRWFF. (PFA, 3:30)

Parkway's Annual Oscar Bash — The Rocky Horror troupe Barely Legal Productions hosts the Parkway's Oscar night, with live skits, trivia and costume contests, and more (total running time unknown). (PW, 4:00)

Source — The story of the oil capital Baku, in Azerbaijan, is unfortunately the story of petro-industry world domination, as Martin Marecek and Martin Skalski's documentary demonstrates (75 min., 2005). Presented by the HRWFF. (PFA, 5:30)

Mon., Feb. 26

The Jazz Age and the Harlem Renaissance — Film and discussion series with Dr. Dee Spencer (total running time unknown). (Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St., 2:00)

Tue., Feb. 27

Pine Flat — Members of a youth group grow up in a Sierra foothill town, under the watchful eye of filmmaker Sharon Lockhart (138 min., 2005). Lockhart appears in person. Presented by the HRWFF. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., Feb. 28

Body Armor — Five experimental filmmakers' work ganged together (61 min. total running time). (PFA, 7:30)

Stranger Than Fiction — As The Truman Show was for Jim Carrey, this feathery romantic fantasy is for Will Ferrell. Playing up the moony softness he usually plays against, Ferrell is Harold Crick, an obsessive-compulsive IRS agent who begins to hear his every move narrated by a disembodied voice. Meanwhile, reclusive author Kay Eiffel (Emma Thompson) struggles to finish her long-delayed novel — which points toward the death of a mope named Harold Crick (2006). — J.R.(JCC of the East Bay, 1414 Walnut St., Berkeley, 7:00)

Sunset Boulevard — Without question the greatest movie ever made about Hollywood. A would-be screenwriter's (William Holden) car breaks down in LA, where he takes refuge in the decrepit mansion of a washed-up silent film star (Gloria Swanson), whose butler (Erich von Stroheim) is a washed-up director. Nasty, macabre, and hilarious, with pitch-perfect dialogue, written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and D.M. Marshman (110 min., 1950). (PFA, 3:00)


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