One-Night Stands 

Repertory film listings for August 14-20, 2008.

Thu., August 14

The Burglars This remake of 1957's The Burglar, nothing like its predecessor but still based on the novel by David Goodis, is a thriller centered on the rivalry between a crook and a cop setoff by the theft of valuable emeralds (120 min., 1971). (PFA, 6:30)

The Thomas Crown Affair Lightweight, "sophisticated" (it's about rich people) romantic caper flick is a slight improvement over the 1968 Norman Jewison/Steve McQueen/Faye Dunaway version, mostly due to the presence of Rene Russo as an insurance investigator hired to recover a stolen masterpiece painting, who falls in love with the debonair playboy (Pierce Brosnan, bronzed and brittle) who stole it. She commandeers the movie with her mature brassiness. He flies glider planes and behaves James Bondishly. Denis Leary provides some relief as a cop, while Dunaway supplies a witty cameo as Brosnan's shrink (113 min., 1999). — K.V. (PFA, 8:50)

Thrillville's Elvis D-Day Luau Featuring a screening of Elvis' 1962 movie Blue Hawaii, plus a live performance by the Wigglin' Wahines. (EC, 9:15)

Fri., August 15

Last Year at Marienbad One of the most parodied art films of all time, Alain Resnais' adaptation of novelist Alain Robbe-Grillet's "objectified" screenplay sets the stage for ... setting the stage. A timeless, endless season of gatherings at a gloomy chateau is recalled in cyclical, hypnotic fashion. The way out of this film points to Robbe-Grillet's films (L'Immortelle, Trans-Europe Express), rather than to Resanis'. Delphine Seyrig stars (94 min., 1961). — K.V. (PFA, 7:00)

Harakiri Masaki Kobayashi's Japanese equivalent of an anti-Western: an antisamurai epic about the meaninglessness of the traditional code of honor as embodied by a soldier who tries to avenge the forced suicide of his son-in-law (135 min., 1962). — D.K. (PFA, 8:55)

8 1/2 Federico Fellini could never be accused of lacking a personal viewpoint in his films, For better or worse, "Fellini-esque" describes a verifiable style, of which this film is the epitome. Marcello Mastroianni stars as a world-weary film director, and if you see the main character as Fellini, you could say that they're all Fellini — the actors cavorting around a Rome that never was. With Claudia Cardinale and Anouk Aimee (135 min., 1963). — K.V. (The Dream Institute, Berkeley, 7:00)

Sat., August 16

The Past and the Present A woman drives her rich second husband to suicide, only to discover the first one is still alive. This almost surreal black comedy is directed by Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, working in the Luis Buñuel tradition, or anti-tradition if you will. Based on a Vincente Sanches play. With Maria de Saisset, Manuela de Freitas, Pedro Pinheiro (117 min., 1971). (PFA, 6:30)

Benilde, or the Virgin Mother A quiet, middle-class girl gets heavy with child in 1930s Portugal, then claims Immaculate Conception. Her family wants to buy the explanation. Filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, who wrote, directed, produced, and edited Benilde, creates a theatrical atmosphere in this literal adaptation of Jose Regio's play. With Maria Amélia Aranda, Jorge Rolla, and Varela Silva (106 min., 1975). (PFA, 8:45)

Charlotte's Web E.B. White's parable on life, friendship, gullibility, and prejudice is served up by Hanna-Barbera and Sagittarius Productions as a syrupy cartoon feature that preserves some of the form and language of the original but fattens and sweetens his lean and pungent prose. Debbie Reynolds is the voice of Charlotte (94 min., 1973). — D.D. (EC, 3:00)

Sun., August 17

Lawrence of Arabia This restored version includes essential footage originally removed from the film in the movie's initial weeks of release in 1962. Watching Peter O'Toole's half-mad T.E. Lawrence dance and gallop and murder his way across the Sahara, one realizes – as do his Arab companions – that he is filled with his own desert places. As much as this is a powerful historical drama, it also is a scarily psychological one. With Alec Guiness, Omar Sharif, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains and Arthur Kennedy. Written by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson (221 min.). — M.C. (PFA, 3:30)

Last Year at Marienbad See Friday. (PFA, 7:30)

Charlotte's Web See Saturday. (EC, 2:00)

Mon, August 18

Back to the Future Teenager (Michael J. Fox) befriends mad scientist (Christopher Lloyd) and rides his nuclear powered DeLorean sports car/time machine back to 1955, where he learns firsthand that his dad-to-be (Crispin Glover) is a nerd from way back. But his mom-to-be (Lea Thompson) is a cute little number who — horrors! — keeps coming on to him. This is Oedipus Rex cast as American comedy by director Robert (Used Cars, Romancing the Stone) Zemeckis and executive producer Steven Spielberg, whose commercial instincts are as healthy as Sophocles' (111 min., 1985) — M.C. (Wente Vineyards, Livermore, twilight)

Tue., August 19

The Long Goodbye Elliot Gould plays Phil Marlowe, or rather, a combination of anti-Marlowe and anti-Gould in this, Robert Altman's attempt at rigorously parodying Chandler's original 1953 novel. Marlowe mumbles his lines, figures things out only after the cops already have, tells jokes no one else laughs at, and just generally screws up. Yet because of his sincerity and startling innocence, he emerges as the most likable character in a movie more subtle than it first appears. The photography, particularly in some of the night scenes at Malibu Beach, is among Altman's best. With Sterling Hayden as the blocked writer Roger Wade (112 min., 1973). — M.C. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., August 20

My Case Manoel de Oliveira's 1986 film based on a play by Portuguese writer José Régio. An intruder interrupts the start of a carefully rehearsed play by demanding his case be heard, then convinces others to do the same (88 min.). (PFA, 7:30)

Hijos de la Guerra Documentary by Alexandre Fuchs about a deadly Salvadoran street gang in 1980s Los Angeles known as MS-13. (Madeline F. Whittlesey Community Room, Richmond Main Library, 6:30)

The Power of Nightmares Part III: The Shadows in the Cave Part three of a three-part documentary miniseries produced by Adam Curtis (Century of the Self) for BBC-TV. His challenging video essay draws disturbing parallels between the agendas of US neo-conservatives and Middle East Islamists, whom Curtis claims both benefited from the 9/11 terrorist attacks (2004). (Humanist Hall, Oakland, 7:30)


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