One-Night Stands 

Repertory film listings for September 25 through October 1, 2008.

Thu., September 25

In Which We Serve Noel Coward's classic wartime tribute to the British Navy takes places on the destroyer ship Torrin, and in the minds of the men aboard as they think of their families and country back home (115 min., 1942). (PFA, 6:30)

Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul In their compelling and beautiful documentary, writer-director Fatih Akin (Head-On) and musician Alexander Hacke (of the German avant-garde band Einstürzende Neubauten) visit the salons, clubs, and back alleys of Istanbul, the great, oft-troubled metropolis at the mouth of the Bosporus. There, they discover a boiling stew of musical and cultural history that makes New Orleans seem as bland as Salt Lake City. From the self-acknowledged conflicts of a neo-psychedelic band called Baba Zula to the keening Arab ballads of an 86-year-old singer named Muzeyyen Senar, the filmmakers seek to unlock the secrets of a city that's been the nexus of East and West for three millennia. "I only managed to scratch the surface," Hacke laments at the end. Maybe so, but what a glorious surface to behold, and the receptivity of the filmmakers to music of all kinds is extraordinary (90 min., 2005). — B.G. (PFA, 8:45)

Pursuit of Equality Documentary on the marriage rights of same-sex couples, centering on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's historic decision to marry hundreds of gay and lesbian couples in City Hall (80 min., 2007). (RCE, 7:15)

Fri., September 26

Useless The second film in Chinese director Jia Zhangke's "Trilogy of Artists" revolves around the fashion industry and its ties to China's rapid development and depletion of natural resources (80 min., 2007). (PFA, 6:30)

U-Carmen eKhayelitsha A reimagining of Carmen in South African townships, directed by Mark Dornford-May (120 min., 2005). (PFA, 8:10)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut Los Angeles plays host to the nightmare city of the future (which owes something in urban design to Fritz Lang's expressionist Metropolis) in this sci-fi policier whose hyper-busy visuals bury the story in an avalanche of art direction clutter. The screenplay, loosely adapted from a Philip K. Dick story, has Harrison Ford as a cop whose specialty is tracking down runaway replicants — artful human machines (among them Rutger Hauer and Daryl Hannah). With Sean Young and Edward James Olmos (117 min., 2007). — M.C. (PM, midnight)

Sat., September 27

Hobson's Choice Early David Lean film stars Charles Laughton as a boozing bootshop owner in Victorian England determined to marry his daughters into a higher station. With John Mills, Brenda de Banzie, Daphne Anderson, and Prunella Scales (107 min., 1954). (PFA, 6:30)

Two or Three Things I Know About Her One of Jean-Luc Godard's favorite subjects (the workaday world) dovetails into another (the change in people and places brought on by "progress") in his story of the peregrinations of a prostitute. The semi-documentary study of the replanning of Paris (the "her" of the title) closes in on the efforts of a housing project dweller to plan her life. Highly political filmmaking, with the emphasis on the "how" rather than the "what." With Marina Vlady and Roger Montsoret; narrated by Godard (95 min., 1966). — K.V. (PFA, 8:45)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre It is always a relief to see John Huston's masterful study of greed after too many viewings of Casablanca and The Big Sleep. For in this movie Humphrey Bogart, the mad gold prospector ("They can't put anything over on Fred C. Dobbs"), hones his role — his one real role — down to the wire, passing beyond sarcasm and cynicism into a monumental paranoia that graduates finally into full-blown madness. With Walter Huston as the old prospector who gets a big laugh out of the fact that their prospecting group is falling to pieces under the blazing skies of Mexico. Adapted from B. Traven's novel (126 min., 1948). — M.C. (EC, 6:00)

Blade Runner: The Final Cut See Friday. (PM, midnight)

Sun., September 28

Abraham's Valley Manoel de Oliveira re-imagines Agustina Bessa-Luís' novel Madame Bovary, about a woman who marries without love (203 min., 1993). (PFA, 3:30)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre See Saturday. (EC, 5:00)

Automorphosis El Cerrito native Harrod Blank takes a look at the characters and culture of the art-car community, where automobiles become rolling works of art (77 min., 2008). (EC, 8:00)

East Bay Video and Film Festival A day-long celebration of independent filmmaking and underground cinema, featuring a full program of juried original works. (S, noon)

Iran (is not the problem) This feature-length film disputes the notion that Iran is at fault for the US government's (and public's) increasing hostility toward the Middle Eastern country (79 min., 2008). (Revolution Books, Berkeley, 6:30)

Tue., September 30

Invisible Adversaries A 1976 psychological science fiction film directed by Valie Export, a member of the Australian Filmmakers' Cooperative in Vienna. Screenplay coauthor Peter Weibel and actress-model Susanne Widl star (108 min.). (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., October 1

This Happy Breed The story of a middle-class suburban family in England during the two decades following World War I. David Lean directs the film based on his play (114 min., 1944). PFA, 7:00)


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