Rebel Rousers 

Sleazy, but not cheesy.


The '60s -- or more precisely in Hollywood years, 1968 to 1972 -- were a heady time for filmmakers and moviegoers. The major studios, bewildered and clueless in the face of the youth and drug countercultures, increasing opposition to the Vietnam War, and general hostility to authority figures, threw up their hands and bankrolled delirious productions. Some of these, seen almost forty years later, reflect the times more accurately than our smirking at their cheesiness would warrant. J. Hoberman, longtime film critic for the Village Voice and author of The Dream Life: Movies, Media, and the Mythology of the Sixties (newly out in paperback), uses a few of the more outrageous fruits of the era as the basis for American Outlaws, a five-film series at the Pacific Film Archive. Hoberman will introduce each film and give a lecture as well as sign copies of his book at Friday's screening of Wild in the Streets.

Each film vigorously and hysterically breaks down barriers. In Joe, class differences between the blue-collar title character (played by the liberal Peter Boyle) and an ad executive are erased by a shared vigilante hatred for hedonistic, drug-consuming youth, after the ad exec kills the dealer boyfriend of his strung-out daughter (a waiflike Susan Sarandon). Joe became an icon for those who thought Easy Rider had a happy ending, Hoberman says. By all reports, Myra Breckinridge was a nightmare on the set. Rex Reed, who plays the precastration Myron, says it was made "by people locked in their dressing rooms waiting for their lawyers to arrive." Yet despite its incoherence and frequent embarrassments, it's an unpredictably delightful sex farce, with Raquel Welch and Mae West crusading for "sexual realignment." Shelley Winters plays the archetypal Bad Mother in two films: Roger Corman's Bloody Mama, in which her Ma Barker piously rules over a psychotic brood of robbers, and Wild in the Streets, a satirical allegory of youth revolution gone terribly wrong, as Winters' son is elected president on a platform reducing the voting age to fifteen. Dirty Little Billy, starring Bonnie and Clyde's deceptively hapless Michael J. Pollard, marks the death of the Western hero in a quagmire-like stand-in for Vietnam. For more info: -- Frako Loden


Lit Happens

Village People

They say Dylan wouldn't be Dylan if he hadn't met Dave Van Ronk, the influential Greenwich Village folkie who had begun writing a memoir before dying in 2002. Award-winning author and guitarist Elijah Wald, who finished it for him, reads from The Mayor of MacDougal Street at Black Oak (Wed., 7:30 p.m.). ... She'll tell you where to go: Local-travel expert Carole Terwilliger Meyers discusses her book Weekend Adventures in San Francisco & Northern California at the new Books Inc. in Alameda (1344 Park St.) (Wed., 7:30 p.m.). ... The heroine of her new novel The Night Garden is a single mom who works in the pest-control field. Ask Pamela Holm what to do about aphids at Orinda Books (Thu., 4 p.m.). ... Then again, sometimes gardens make poets think of death. At Mrs. Dalloway's, translator/editors Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows read from In Praise of Mortality: Selections from Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus (Thu., 7 p.m.). ... In her novel Maya Running, an Indian-born middle-schooler dreams of making igloos in her new home, Manitoba. At the El Sobrante Library, Anjali Banerjee leads a writing workshop for teens and adults, with a special focus on imagery and detail (Fri., 4 p.m.). ... Got a broken heart but nobody at home wants to hear those poems you wrote about it? These are welcome at a women's open mic, hosted by Karen Broder at Change Makers. To preregister, call 510-482-1315 (Fri., 7 p.m.). ... If the story's trapped inside you, JFK University's Suzanne West can show you how to let it out. She leads a "Writing from the Soul" workshop at the Oakland Library's Rockridge branch (Sat., 2 p.m.). ... Minimalistic in style but big in flavor -- that's the philosophy of chef Eric Gower, based on fifteen years spent cooking in Japan. He reads from The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen at Spellbinding Tales (Sat., 7 p.m.). ... He has published more than sixty chapbooks and she wants to further explore the connections between poetry and the new field of energy medicine. Joel Kuszai and Eleni Stecopoulos read at Moe's (Mon., 7:30 p.m.). -- Anneli Rufus

THU 6/9

Over the Wall

When completed, the wall the Israeli government is constructing will annex approximately 47 percent of the West Bank; that's a lot of wall to be up against, but Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall is ready. Especially prepared is Dalit Baum, a young Israeli activist who has been agitating and organizing for nearly a decade. Baum helped start both the Women in Black vigil in Tel Aviv and the Community School for Women, worked with the Coalition of Women for a Just Peace from its start, and began Black Laundry, a community of lesbians, gay men, and transgendered peoples against the occupation and for social justice. She'll appear along with the East Bay's anarchist hip-hop/"no-field electronica" music group Entartete Kunst, and Refractors, featuring members from Deerhoof and Good for Cows, at a benefit for Israeli Anarchists Against the Wall, Thursday night at 21 Grand (416 25th St., Oakland). Start time 8 p.m., $5-$10 sliding scale., 510-444-7263. -- Stefanie Kalem

SAT 6/11

Honor Dance

Remember Louise at the Plough

Though its name may fool you into thinking it's a jam band, San Francisco quintet Farma actually presents a bargain-priced alternative to the Wilco show at the Greek tonight. Those tickets cost $37.50, while admission to the Louise Taft Memorial Dance Concert at the Starry Plough costs a favorable $6 at the door. Farma is the kind of band you sway to, nodding your head in agreement with the thoughtful lyrics sung in three-part harmony, occasionally looking up to see what pedals and devices the band has got going just then. But you can dance if you want to -- Louise Taft sure did. Last seen at the Plough dancing on the bar at her eightieth birthday party, the late Louise was a loyal fan and friend to the Natives, who called the Plough home during their '80s heyday, and who take a reunion stance in her honor tonight, headlining (and playing second) as George Pederson and the Natives. Fun with Finnoula opens the bill at 9 p.m. 3101 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley., 510-841-2082. -- Stefanie Kalem



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