One Night Stands for the week of January 24-30, 2007 

In this week's rep picks: Lubitsch, Hitchcock, Lennon, and Ono.

Reviews by Don Druker, Bill Gallo, Kelly Vance, and Naomi Wise

Thu., Jan. 25

The Mind Is a Liar and a Whore — Berkeley filmmaker Antero Alli's most accessible feature film is a sci-fi parody (we hope) about four housemates trapped in their East Bay home during a bioterrorist attack. Cassie Powell, Brady M. Woolery, Rebekah Barnett, and David Gauntlett star (92 min., 2007). (21 Grand, 415 25th St., Oakland, 8:00)

Vertigo — Alfred Hitchcock combines a double-cross murder plot with a subjective exploration of obsessive eroticism in his masterpiece about a San Francisco detective (James Stewart) who gets taken for a foggy, psychological ride by a mysterious woman (Kim Novak). A surprising number of big themes are here — the nature of love, art, memory — along with several layers of effects and allusions, from color tricks to black humor to deep-focus terror (128 min., 1958). — K.V. Introduced by David Thomson. (PFA, 7:30)

Fri., Jan. 26

The Smiling Lieutenant — Rare Ernst Lubitsch movie with Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, and Miriam Hopkins in a story of romance versus royalty (88 min., 1931). Preceded by a Lubitsch short: If I Had a Million (excerpt) (3 min., 1932). (PFA, 8:45)

The Wildcat — Antimilitarist silent satire in which an army commander and his soldiers are portrayed as bumblers, with Pola Negri as "The Wildcat," who falls in love with a handsome lieutenant. Ernst Lubitsch directed (85 min., 1921). Bruce Loeb on piano. (PFA, 7:00)

Sat., Jan. 27

Little Birds — Takeharu Watai's documentary looks at the stories of ordinary Iraqis caught up in the midst of war (102 min., 2005). Presented by the Arab Film Festival. (Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, 7:00)

The Marriage Circle — Ernst Lubitsch's second American film (1924) and his first major American success, this elegant comedy of marital complications stars Adolph Menjou and Florence Vidor in a tale of infidelity and flirtation that was to give new meaning to film satire and introduce a new note of subtle wit and movement into an industry reared on slapstick (85 min.). — D.D. (PFA, 6:30)

Ninotchka — One of Ernst Lubitsch's best, a sparkling, witty fairy tale of a cold, but beautiful, Bolshevik commissar (Greta Garbo) who succumbs to the charms of Paris (and Melvyn Douglas), jeopardizing her honor and her career. The casual sophistication and stylistic grace that were Lubitsch's trademarks are fully in evidence, with a great deal of help from the Charles Brackett/Billy Wilder/Walter Reisch screenplay (110 min., 1939). — D.D. (PFA, 8:30)

Psycho — At first considered a failure because its shock sequences were simply too shocking, Psycho has since been recognized as the very definition of the Oedipal-maniacal thriller, and made Tony Perkins a household name. The opening segment, pre-shower, is a short film noir worth the price of admission all by itself. In Alfred Hitchcock's world, everybody is guilty of everything, and Janet Leigh is no exception (109 min., 1960). — 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., Jan. 28

A Child's Love Story — In director Ben Diogaye Beye's Senegalese coming-of-age pic, preteens grapple with their biological and emotional urges (93 min., 2004). (PFA, 3:30)

New Visions from Africa — A collection of shorts from Senegal, Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa (78 min. total running time). (PFA, 5:30)

Psycho — See Sat. (Cerrito, 5:00)

Tue., Jan. 30

Bed-In — Denied entry into the United States in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono took to bed for a week in a Toronto hotel and entertained a steady stream of hip and media-dumb visitors while preaching peace and filming the whole dim-witted business. With Lennon and Ono's short, Apotheosis (1970), with them borne aloft in an air balloon — hot air being an apt metaphor (61 min., 1969). Followed by shorts: Lennon, Sontag, Beuys by Kota Ezawa (3 min., 2004), and Will **** for Peace (excerpts) by Yong Soon Min and Allan de Souza (20 min., 2003). De Souza and Min in person. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., Jan. 31

Ritual Redux — Experimental video shorts by Vito Acconci, Terry Fox, Joan Jonas, and William Wegman (78 min. total running time). (PFA, 7:30)

Scoop — Woody Allen might have done well to end his expatriate adventure in London with last year's intriguing morality tale Match Point. This alleged return to comedy — starring Point's nubile Scarlett Johansson as a naive American journalism student, Allen himself as the phobia-rattled magician who poses as her father, and Hugh Jackman as a dashing English nobleman who may be a serial killer — is so flat, dull, and off-form that its seems to have been conceived in a fog (2006). — B.G. (JCCEB, 7:00)

Show People — King Vidor directs Billy Hearst's girlfriend Marion Davies in a silent movie about movie people. With William Haines, John Gilbert, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and Vidor (80 min., 1928). Bruce Loeb on piano. With a lecture by Marilyn Fabe. Preceded by a short: The Masquerader by Charles Chaplin (16 min., 1914). (PFA, 3:00)


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