One-Night Stands 

Repertory film listings for July 24 through July 30.

Thu., July 24

A New Dawn Mexican filmmaker Julio Bracho shows that he's well-versed in the conventions of the film noir (and also that he's studied Hitchcock) in this 1943 suspense drama starring Pedro Armendáriz as a labor official sitting on some incriminating documents, and Andrea Palma as a former girlfriend who helps him escape the inevitable killers. One or two vividly realistic Mexico City location setups, but a little slow-paced by Hollywood standards. The nightclub scene, however, with Palma as an ashamed entertainer, is very good. Directed by Bracho, who co-wrote with Xavier Villaurrutia (108 min.). — K.V. (PFA, 6:30)

Los Olvidados Under a merciless white sun, an unutterably brutal blind man plays "Fagin" to a gang of young thieves, in Luis Buñuel's unforgettable account of "the forgotten ones," the slum children of Mexico City. The combination of harsh black-and-white realism, and the surrealism of the dream sequences, lends the film the air (and the power) of a hallucination (88 min., 1950). — N.W. (PFA, 8:40)

Repo Man Nutty '50s sci-fi à la Roger Corman meets a funny cast of urban losers in Alex Cox' first feature, in which a diffident punk (Emilio Estevez) discovers ethics (of a sort) while repossessing cars. He also finds a UFO Chevy Malibu. Dripping with social comment and film-school tics, this journey through the underbelly of Los Angeles was the freshest film of 1984, the celluloid equivalent of punk graphics. Harry Dean Stanton costars as the daddy of all repo men: "Ordinary fucking people. I hate 'em" (92 min.). — K.V. (PW, 9:15)

Fri., July 25

Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie Festival A collection of fifteen shorts. (Mandela Village Arts Center, 9:00)

It's Always Fair Weather Three ex-Army buddies (Gene Kelly, Michael Kidd, and Dan Dailey) agree to meet ten years later, and find they hate each other — and themselves. A temporarily pessimistic musical, which perks up with the injection of love (Cyd Charisse, Dolores Gray) into the equation. Contains Kelly's offbeat garbage can and roller skate dance numbers and plenty of shots at TV. An example of how to say the same things about post-WWII America as film noir, only within a song-and-dance framework. Directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen, with songs by André Previn, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green (102 min., 1955). — K.V. (PFA, 7:00)

Giants and Toys A satire of corporate life and consumerism from Japanese filmmaker and intellectual Yasuzo Masumura. Based on a short story by Ken Kaiko (92 min., 1958). (PFA, 9:00)

Sat., July 26

Brainwash Drive-In/Bike-In/Walk-In Movie Festival Fourteen more short films, followed by an awards presentation. (Mandela Village Arts Center, 9:00)

Nazarín In 1900 Mexico, under the regime of dictator Porfirio Díaz, a priest attempts to live the life of Christ and meets only humiliation and hostility. Luis Buñuel's 1958 meditation on the folly of pure Christianity is widely respected, and deservedly so. It lacks, however, Buñuel's brilliant wit, and seems much less adventurous than his '60s masterpieces (94 min.). — D.K. (PFA, 6:30)

Raging Bull An implacable film. Ostensibly the life story of Bronx world middleweight champion Jake LaMotta, a boxer who bombs through on dogged fury, the film is barely a boxing movie, indeed barely a life story. The film itself, alternately brutal, lyrical, furious, graceful, blasts through on an unrelenting rage without the balms of catharsis or conciliatory humor. The period details are exact, the final effect awesome. Robert De Niro stars as Jake, with Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci. Screenplay by Paul Schrader and Mardik Martin. Black-and-white cinematography by Michael Chapman. Directed by Martin Scorsese (129 min., 1980). — M.C. (PFA, 8:30)

White Heat Raoul Walsh's incandescent prison story is fueled by James Cagney's extraordinary performance as a psychopathic hoodlum obsessed by Oedipal passion, and betrayed by the only man he trusts. The film maintains a remarkable level of intensity even in its minor scenes, but its tour de force set pieces guarantee its status as a mythic masterpiece. Cagney's psychotic outburst in the prison mess-hall when he learns of the death of his mother is shattering enough, but it's surpassed by the climactic vision of Cagney atop an exploding gas tank, ranting demonically in his towering inferno (114 min., 1949). — N.W. (EC, 6:00)

Sun., July 27

The Magnificent Seven John Sturges directed this exciting musical about gunslingers hired by the peasants of a small Mexican town to defend it against the gang of bandits who've been terrorizing it. Sound familiar? Based on Akira Kurosawa's The Seven Samurai, its likable — and impressive — cast of desperados includes Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Horst Buchholz, and Brad Dexter. Elmer Bernstein wrote a pretty good score for it, too (128 min., 1960). — M.C. (PFA, 5:00)

Ride Lonesome A 1959 Western from director Budd Boetticher, written by Burt Kennedy, and starring Randolph Scott — a bounty hunter who captures a young outlaw of rapidly changing value (74 min.). (PFA, 7:30)

White Heat See Saturday. (EC, 5:00)

Mon., July 28

Elf Will Ferrell, recently seen streaking down Main Street in an Old School bender, spends the entirety of Elf in green tights and a pointy hat. It's his commitment to the costume this time that's truly amazing, transforming what could have been a sketch into something a wee bit more substantial. Ferrell plays Buddy, a human amongst elves as oblivious as he is useless. It comes as a shock when he discovers he's not an elf at all but a human whose daddy (James Caan) lives in New York City. You can, of course, see the ending climbing down the chimney well before Christmas Eve: Santa's sleigh can't fly without a full supply of Christmas cheer, and Caan, as a cynical publisher of books for the very children he can't seem to stomach, is the consummate Grinch. Will Buddy thaw his little black heart in time to propel Santa round the world? And will his daddy find a hit book in all this holiday fa-la-la? Do reindeers crap in the woods? — R.W. (Wente Vineyards, Livermore, twilight)

Tue., July 29

Sweet Smell of Success Gossip columnists and press agents as we've always imagined them — vicious, scheming, and phonily ingratiating. Directed by Alexander Mackendrick. Written by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman from Lehman's novel. The strong cast includes Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Marty Milner, and Sam Levene. (96 min., 1957). (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., July 30

Days of the Eclipse Director Alexander Sokurov's political allegory wrings mystery from the plight of an exiled doctor in Central Asia, who sees his world crumbling from afar. Alexei Ananishov stars (133 min., 1988). (PFA, 7:30)


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