One-Night Stands

Repertory film listings for July 31 through August 6, 2008.

Thu., July 31

Days of Autumn Naive country girl Luisa (Pina Pellicer) finds work in Mexico City and becomes romantically involved with a married man who exploits her and leads her to develop an alternate reality. Directed by Roberto Gavaldón (95 min., 1962). (PFA, 6:30)

Macario On the Day of the Dead in Mexico, the eponymous poor woodcutter takes on a saintly glow. Filmmaker Roberto Galvadón shows how and why. Starring Ignacio López Tarso and Pina Pellicer (90 min., 1958). (PFA, 8:30)

Fri., August 1

Dark Passage Pretty dumb, if properly moody and atmospheric, late-’40s thriller, with escaped convict Humphrey Bogart undergoing a ridiculous brand of plastic surgery and recuperating in Lauren Bacall’s San Francisco apartment until he can prove himself innocent of murdering his wife. Delmer Daves directs (1947) with an overabundance of film noir zeal — given the absurdities of the plot. Better than camp, but less than convincing (106 min.). — D.D. (PFA, 7:00)

The Unfaithful A wartime marriage drama written by David Goodis and directed by Vincent Sherman. Starring Ann Sheridan and Zachary Scott as husband and wife (109 min., 1947). (PFA, 9:15)

Sat., August 2

Shoot the Piano Player A hoodlum says, in effect, “If I’m lying, may my mother drop dead right now.” Iris shot: an old lady dropping dead. One of François Truffaut’s best works, and decidedly his least conventional, with camera and editing of unexpected friskiness and a delirious mix of genres in a tragicomic mood. Charles Aznavour is a concert pianist turned obscure and melancholy as a cafe piano-player after his wife’s death; Marie Dubois is the radiant young woman who tries to revitalize him. They’re shot very beautifully in black-and-white, memorable images. (92 min., 1960). — N.W. (PFA, 6:30)

Pierrot le Fou Jean-Paul Belmondo sings punnishly with Anna Karina about her lifeline/washline/panty line; after a while, she leaves him and he paints himself blue and grows destructive. They’ve run off to a desert island, fleeing the law, only to face the real, interior problems they’ve carried with them from the real world; after the “happy ending” of the mainstream film, this is what happens. Not an easy movie, but there’s gaiety and color, Raoul Coutard’s brilliant photography, and director Jean-Luc Godard’s underlying logic, for poetry that’s everlastingly new (120 min., 1939). — N.W. (PFA, 8:45)

Sun., August 3

Broken Blossoms In D.W. Griffith’s most poetic work, Lillian Gish is a battered child of the London slums, abused by a brutal father and by the ugliness of her surroundings. Richard Barthelmess is a gentle young Chinese immigrant, whose pure love for her brings tragic consequences. A delicate, lyrical silent, generally considered to be among Griffith’s best works, although atypical in its subtlety (75 min., 1919). — N.W. (PFA, 5:00)

The Night of the Hunter “American Gothic” is the most concise way, Grant Wood notwithstanding, to describe Charles Laughton’s masterpiece of bedtime-story horror. The 1955 melodrama is overgrown with eccentric talent: screenplay by James Agee from the novel by Davis Grubb, camera and lighting by the great Stanley Cortez, with Robert Mitchum as the loathsome, predatory jackleg preacher with “Love” and “Hate” tattooed on his knuckles, and a young, ripe Shelley Winters as his uncomprehending bride. Most of all, though, this is the sort of tale children whisper to each other after the lights go out, of a young brother and sister tossed about in director Laughton’s primitive and expressionistic vision. The Night of the Hunter is a unique experience, absolutely not to be missed under any circumstances. (93 min.). — K.V. (PFA, 6:45)

Watch Horror Movies – Keep America Strong! Documentary on KTVU’s popular Creature Features program starring hosts Bob Wilkins and John Stanley. (90 min., 2008). Stanley, this film’s producer Tom Wyrsch, and filmmaker Ernie Fosselius in person. Preceded by Fosselius’ classic short Hardware Wars. (EC, 2:00, 5:00)

Le Malentendu Colonial (The Colonial Misunderstanding) Jean-Marie Teno’s skeptical documentary traces the work of German missionaries in Africa and their tendency to become the leading edge of colonialism (78 min., 2004). (PW, 2:00)

Tue., August 5

Shoot the Piano Player See Saturday. (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., August 6

Victims of Sin A cabaret dancer trying to raise her child is forced into prostitution in this 1950 rumbera by Mexican director Emilio “El Indio” Fernández. Ninón Sevilla stars, with Tito Junco, Rodolfo Acosta, Rita Montaner, and the music of Pérez Prado (81 min.). (PFA, 6:30)

The Fugitive Director John Ford’s 1947 adaptation of Graham Greene’s Mexican revolutionary adventure stars Henry Fonda as a man hunted by the federales and protected by the campesinos, and Dolores Del Rio as his love interest. Shot by famed cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa, who gives it a mythic look (104 min.). (PFA, 8:10)

The Power of Nightmares: Baby It’s Cold Outside Part one of a three-part documentary produced by Adam Curtis for BBC-TV. His challenging video essay draws parallels between 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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