One-Night Stands 

Repertory film listings for November 13-19, 2008.

Thu., November 13

CRWDSPCR A documentary on the creation of Merce Cunningham's CRWDSPCR dance using Life Forms, a software program he developed to compose complex counter-rhythms of the arms, legs, torso, and head. Directed by frequent Cunningham collaborator Elliot Caplan (85 min., 1996). Preceded by dance short Locale (30 min., 1979). (PFA, 7:30)

Alice Master Czech animator Jan Svankmajer directed this absurdist vision of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland — an artful blend of live action and stop-motion animation. As inventive as it is, though, it's more a technical tour de force than a magical rendering of Carroll in the manner of Dennis Potter's haunting Dreamchild (84 min., 1988). — M.C. (PW, 9:15)

Fri., November 14

The Yellow Handkerchief of Happiness A Japanese gangster is released from jail and heads home to Hokkaido, where his wife will either have the titular yellow signal out for him or she won't. Along the way, he meets and learns from a pair of fellow travelers. Directed by Yoji Yamada (108 min., 1977). (PFA, 6:30)

Vengeance Is Mine Psychological perceptiveness, bits of grim humor, and erotic scenes of great power inform Shohei Imamura's deeply serious biography of a mad-dog killer on the lam, which opens like one of Sam Fuller's hard-hitting action flicks, but settles into a slow-moving, highly detailed study of personal and societal pathology (140 min., 1979). — N.W. (PFA, 8:35)

Disco Dolls in Hot Skin Vintage porno from the days of double-knit bell bottoms, platform wedgies, and no condoms. Screened in up-close-and-personal 3-D. (PM, midnight)

Sat., November 15

Sherlock Jr. Buster Keaton stars as a projectionist and amateur sleuth who dreams his way onto the screen in this all-ages commentary on the art of cinema (45 min., 1924). Preceded by Keaton shorts The Scarecrow (19 min., 1920) and Cops (18 min., 1922). (PFA, 3:00)

The Song of the Scarlet Flower A pastoral morality drama by Swedish filmmaker Mauritz Stiller. It concerns a fellow named Olof (played by Lars Hanson). Directed by Stiller, who wrote with Harald B. Harald, based on a novel by Johannes Linnankoski (100 min., 1918). (PFA, 6:30)

The Red Detachment of Women This is the ballet Richard Nixon was invited to watch on his China trip, and while it is no great shakes as a ballet performance, it does become fairly engaging — thanks largely to the piquancy of its heroine, who turns to the Communist revolution in the '30s after a series of brutal encounters with the evil landlord (105 min., 1970). — D.D. (PFA, 8:40)

Holiday Thrill-O-Tronic Show A collection of vintage Christmas-themed shorts, cartoons, TV shows, and more. Plus the Devil-Ettes, Satan's Santa Babies, and the Mistress of Mistletoe performing live. (EC, 2:00)

Disco Dolls in Hot Skin See Saturday. (PM, midnight)

Sun., November 16

Akiko — Portrait of a Dancer An intimate portrait of pioneering Japanese dancer Akiko Kanda. Written and directed by Sumiko Haneda (107 min., 1985). (PFA, 3:00)

Bliss Chinese director Sheng Zhimin's introspective debut winds its way through the life changes and struggles of one family in the riverside city of Chongqing (96 min., 2006). (PFA, 5:15)

Tue., November 18

Collisions in Forms: Experimental Videos from Shanghai and Beijing A collection of eleven experimental shorts created in China between 2002 and 2008 (total running time 88 min.) Curated and introduced by Steve Anker. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., November 19

In the Fields of Dreams Sirkka Salonen, Miss Europe of 1938, stars as an innocent shepherdess taken on as a servant on a prosperous farm. Religious symbolism and natural eroticism ensue (108 min., 1940). (PFA, 7:00)

Unnatural Causes This documentary examines the root causes of health and illness in an effort to reframe the debate about healthcare in the United States. (Humanist Hall, Oakland, 7:30)


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