One Night Stands for the week of January 3-9, 2007 

In this week's rep picks: Bogie, Bacall, and Hitchcock.

Reviews by Michael Covino, Rob Nelson, Ella Taylor, and Kelly Vance

Fri., Jan. 5

Casablanca — This 1943 romance pairing Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in wartime Casablanca is one of the most pleasing films ever made. Bogart — cynic, romantic, lover, adventurer, smuggler, gun runner — tends a bar in Vichy-controlled Casablanca when his old love Bergman arrives, stirring up memories and desire and of course making life once again difficult (and fun). Will Bogart, comfortable in his expatriate existence, risk his peace of mind and even his life for the woman he loves and the cause of the French Resistance? Don't think about it too hard: you know the answer (102 min.). — M.C. (Paramount, 8:00)

The Last Temptation of Christ — Adapted by Paul Schrader from Nikos Kazantzakis' novel, Martin Scorsese's life of Christ is too artful, too reverential, and too, too along. In fact, it barely feels like a Scorsese film (at times it feels downright campy, like when Lazarus discourses on being dead). Willem Dafoe plays the vacillating, sexually tempted Christ almost cautiously — some of his line readings are painful to listen to. In the final issue, it might well be that it requires an act of faith, even more than a suspension of disbelief, to like a movie like this. The story only takes off in the last half hour when Christ, crucified, hallucinates a different kind of life (which makes for a different, more interesting kind of movie). Harvey Keitel is a forceful Judas, Barbara Hershey a sexy Mary Magdalene, and David Bowie the urbane Pontius Pilate (164 min., 1988). — M.C. (Neumayer residence, 565 Bellevue St., Oakland, 6:30)

Who Killed the Electric Car? — Admit it: For years you've been burning to know what ol' Phyllis Diller really thinks about electric cars, which first (dis)appeared in her youth. "They were very quiet," she recalls. The real question is why this purportedly impassioned documentary investigation of a great subject — American culture's conspiratorial dismissal of eco-friendly alternatives to the gas-guzzler — would assume such massive viewer disinterest that it coats the pill with C-list celebrity NutraSweet, including Martin Sheen voiceovers that would sound unforgivably hackneyed even on basic cable (2006). — R.N. (Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, 7:30)

Sat., Jan. 6

The Paris Mosque — The documentary story of 1,700 Jews saved from the Nazis in WWII France by members of the Parisian Muslim community (running time unknown). (Unitarian Fellowship, 1924 Cedar St., Berkeley, 7:00)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show — The original 1975 British rock music horror spoof, starring Tim Curry as the androgynous Dr. Frank N. Furter, with Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. Directed by Jim Sharman (95 min.). (PW, midnight)

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. (Cerrito, 7:30)

Sun., Jan. 7

Vertigo — See Sat. (Cerrito, 5:00)

Wed., Jan. 9

Quinceañera — A winning tale of sex, real estate, and more or less immaculate conception in Echo Park, Quinceañera edges as close to a complex view of L.A. Latino life as can be hoped for from white-boy filmmakers Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. Intended, a trifle oddly, as a tribute to 1960s English kitchen-sink drama, this delightfully saucy, heartfelt movie about a community under siege from gentrification turns on the testy efforts of a pregnant teenager (Emily Rios) and her gay, borderline-delinquent cousin (Jesse Garcia) to hang onto their Mexican identity while growing up American (2006). — E.T. (JCCEB, 7:00)


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