One-Night Stands 

Repertory film listings for October 9-15, 2008.

Thu., October 9

The Lost Sorrows of Jean Eustache A French-produced profile of the filmmaker, directed by Angel Diaz (53 min., 1997). (PFA, 6:30)

My Little Loves A subtle, uncompromising coming-of-age story about a young boy who moves from a small village in southwestern France to a larger town with his mother and her Spanish lover. Written and directed by Jean Eustache (The Mother and the Whore). With Martin Loeb, Ingrid Caven, and Jacqueline Dufranne (123 min., 1975). (PFA, 8:00)

Dead Channels Film Festival This one-evening festival opens with the US premiere of Puffball (119 min.), then proceeds to a screening of Phil Mucci's short Far Out (5 min., 2007), and concludes with the feature-length Bad Biology at 9:15 p.m. (84 min., 2008). (PW, 6:30)

Fri., October 10

The Battleship Potemkin The Odessa Steps, the broken eyeglasses, the maggots in the meat, the sailors in a shroud — every shot in Sergei Eisenstein's piece has been examined and rhapsodized over, and deservedly so, because Potemkin is one of the most important films of all time, both for what it says and the way it says it. Eisenstein called it "organic unity of the composition of the whole," but the thrillingly edited story of revolution in the Black Sea fleet in 1905 has by now transcended film theory as well as political history. Edouard Tissé's cinematography is sublime. Scenario by Eisenstein and Nina Agadjanova. A must-see for anyone serious about film (75 min.). — K.V. (PFA, 6:30)

The Ascent During WWII in German-occupied Byelorussia, two Russian partisans escape an ambush and trudge through the deep snow to a village, where they are taken prisoner after a woman hides them in her house. Thus the scene is set for director Larisa Shepitko's tale of redemption as opposed to cowardice, a harrowing but ultimately liberating portrait of courage, and not so incidentally, socialist righteousness in the face of fascism (110 min., 1977). — K.V. (PFA, 8:20)

RoboCop Dutch director Paul (Soldier of Orange) Verhoeven's American debut — a futurist's policier — snaps and sizzles as a dead Detroit cop (Peter Weller) is transformed into a robotic Law & Order machine taking on a gang of thugs headed by Clarence Botticker (picture Flannery O'Connor's the Misfit from A Good Man Is Hard to Find and you got him). Corporate gangsterism personified by Daniel O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, and Miguel Ferrer. Gleeful social satire icing the whole thing. Occasionally too brutal, but otherwise fine action. With Nancy Allen. Written by Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner (102 min., 1987). — M.C. (PM, midnight)

Sat., October 11

The Red Shoes Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's Trilby-based ballet film is a cult item among dance freaks; others will probably find its sentimentalism beyond the pale. Still, it's an interesting example of the peculiarly hard-edge Technicolor photography practiced in Britain, circa 1948 (133 min., 1948). — D.K. (PFA, 3:00)

The Sound Barrier David Lean's 1952 film about a driven industrialist who sacrifices everything to create a supersonic plane, the two ex-military pilots who join his crusade, and the involvement of his willful, independent daughter (118 min.). (PFA, 6:30)

Bad Company The first featurette from Jean Eustache centers on a pair of suburban-Parisian protagonists who play pinball and lift a young mother's wallet (40 min., 1963). Followed by Eustache's Santa Claus Has Blue Eyes, the tale of a shy, provincial adolescent (Jean-Pierre Léaud) who succeeds as a street-corner Santa Claus (47 min., 1965). (PFA, 8:50)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon When the American archaeology team arrives at its Amazon campsite and discovers lots of fresh bones, it suspects something is amiss. The scale-covered creature lurking in the vicinity isn't the most impressive; nor is the acting, the dialogue, or the story, but there are several good jolts, and a 3D underwater sequence where the viewers feel as if they're inside an aquarium with exotic fish swimming all around. With Richard Carlson and Julia Adams. Directed by Jack Arnold (79 min., 1954). — M.C. (EC, 6:00)

RoboCop See Friday. (PM, midnight)

Sun., October 12

Sadko Alexander Ptushko directed this 1952 animated fairy tale about a young minstrel's worldwide quest for the bird of happiness. This Russian production is based on Rimsky-Korsakov's opera (90 min). (PFA, 3:00)

The Pig A hog is slaughtered and processed in rural France — a tradition revealed dispassionately and in full detail. Co-directed by Jean Eustache and Jean-Michel Barjol (50 min., 1970). Preceded by Eustache's Bosch's Garden of Delights, an analysis of Hieronymus Bosch's painting The Garden of Earthly Delights (34 min., 1979). (PFA, 5:00)

Number Zero Filmmaker Jean Eustache interviews his grandmother, Odette Robert, who played a large role in raising him (110 min., 1971). (PFA, 7:00)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon See Saturday. (EC, 5:00)

Tue., October 14

RR A film about trains from director James Benning, RR is comprised of 43 fixed shots of passing freight and passenger trains (111 min., 2007). (PFA, 7:30)

Ghostbusters A winner of a comedy with ghost control experts Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson teaming up to defend NYC against a growing plague of paranormal occurrences. You name it — The Exorcist, Poltergeist, The Shining, Cat People — this movie zaps it. Perhaps surprisingly, the movie packs some genuine jolts, fantastic special effects, and a wonderful green monster-ghost that slurps down food by the bucketful. Murray is in top deadpan form, while director Ivan Reitman (who also directed Murray in the so-so Meatballs and the better Stripes) keeps the whole show moving right along. But why is the Environmental Impact Agency made the heavy? With Sigourney Weaver as the possessed girlfriend, and Rick Moranis and Annie Potts. Written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Visual effects by Richard Edlund, cinematography by Laszlo Kovacs (1984). — M.C. (PW, 9:15)

Wed., October 15

Platform In the 1980s, a Chinese theatre troupe mirrors the cultural and political turmoil of the country. With Wang Hong-Wei and Zhao Tao. The Hong Kong-China production is directed and written by Jia Zhang Ke (155 min., 2000). (PFA, 7:00)

Orozco: Man of Fire A documentary portrait of Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco (58 min., 2006). (Madeline F. Whittlesey Community Room, Richmond Main Library, 6:30)


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