One-Night Stands

Repertory film listings for September 4-10, 2008.

Thu., September 4

Audition Czech director Milos Forman’s first feature-length film is a two-parter. The first half looks at young women auditioning to perform cabaret in a theater and the second catches older brass bands rehearsing for a festival competition (79 min., 1963). (PFA, 6:30)

Black Peter A Czech coming-of-age film by Milos Forman. A youth lands his first job in a supermarket and gets a taste of the corruption that rules under the name of Stalinism. But at least the Twist is sweeping Easter Europe too. With Ladislav Jakim, Pavla Martinkova, Pavel Sedlacek (85 min., 1964). (PFA, 8:15)

Rob Nilsson’s 9 @ Nite Series Presents Scheme 6 Using the same nonactor cast as Stroke, director Rob Nilsson’s second film with SF’s Tenderloin yGroup is a Cassavetes-style slice of low life by the bay. Starring Monica Cortes, Cory Duval, and David Fine (94 min., 2001). (EC, 9:15)

The Wiz Turgid remake of Frank Baum’s American classic of a Kansas girl sailing “Over the Rainbow” to the land of Oz. Purported — in its day — to be the most expensive musical ever made, this 1978 modern black variation, from the Broadway show by William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls, bombed at the box office. And well it should: Diana Ross is horribly miscast as an adult Dorothy; Richard Pryor is wasted as a whining Wizard, and Sidney Lumet’s socially relevant direction is simply dumb. Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow, Ted Ross as the Cowardly Lion, and Nipsey Russell, in particular, as the Tin Man, are uniformly fine, however (134 min.). — D.D. (PW, 9:15)

Fri., September 5

Band of Outsiders Three young Parisians (Anna Karina, Sami Frey, Claude Brasseur) commit a stupid robbery because it seems like the thing to do at the time and besides, they’ve all seen too many movies. They live in a dream world. Later, the director finds temporary surcease in Marxism. Director Jean-Luc Godard uses distant voice-over to tell us, from time to time, what the characters feel, distancing us yet further from the action on the screen. But his typically cool and alienated style conceals a yearning for romanticism: Godard, more than anyone, has created the cool gray Paris of our mind’s eye, its suburban boulevards lined by treacherous rows of poplars, its cafes ready to revert into dancehalls. After the band of outsiders sets a new speed record for doing the Louvre, that ponderous edifice loses all its weight of culture and becomes, forever, a hapless running-track (97 min., 1964). — N.W. (PFA, 6:30)

Contempt Superior and typical mid-period Jean-Luc Godard, setting Greek myth against modern edginess in a film about filmmaking. Eccentrically personal, visually adventurous, and as lean and tough as any US B-movie, it has Michel Piccoli playing a screenwriter who wears his hat in the bathtub in homage to Dean Martin. Jack Palance has always been a marvel, but Godard may have been the first to recognize it, casting him as a crass American producer; Brigitte Bardot plays a Godardian femme fatale, and legendary director Fritz Lang plays himself, as the knowing still point at the center of the action. This was Godard’s second film in color (after A Woman is a Woman) and his enjoyment of the new medium is evident in every shot (103 min., 1963) — N.W. (PFA, 8:30)

Runners High Teenagers from a rough neighborhood in East Oakland sign up to spend a season training for a marathon, and in the process find inner strength and learn important life lessons (2006). (Oakland Museum of California, 7:30)

Sat., September 6

Loves of a Blonde Milos Forman’s comedy of young love is winsome without being soft, and keenly observed without malice. Hana Brejchova spends the night with a drifting piano player and then follows him to the next town, much to his surprise. Loves of a Blonde is the first comic masterwork by the Lubitsch of our generation (88 min., 1965). (PFA, 6:30)

Band of Outsiders See Friday. (PFA, 8:30)

Sun., September 7

Day of Despair A look at the last years of the nineteenth-century Portuguese novelist Camilo Castelo Branco, called the Portuguese Balzac, as he scandalizes his country by carrying on an affair with his mistress. With Theresa Madruga, Mario Barroso, Luis Miguel Cintra. Written and directed by Manoel de Oliveira (75 min., 1992). (PFA, 4:00)

The Firemen’s Ball An utter failure of organization unfolds at this satirical view of a doomed ball put on by a Czech fire department (75 min., 1967). (PFA, 5:45)

Rob Nilsson’s 9 @ Nite Series Presents Stroke An aging beatnik poet living on the seamy side of San Francisco suffers a stroke, and director Rob Nilsson tells his story in this narrative feature, improvised by the cast of non-actors from an outline by Nilsson. Edwin Johnson and Teddy Weiler star (97 min., 2000) (PW, 5:00)

Rob Nilsson’s 9 @ Nite Series Presents Go Together Local filmmaker Rob Nilsson’s Go Together was filmed at the Parkway theater, stars Robert Viharo, and features cameos by Will the Thrill, Monica “Tiki Goddess” Cortes Viharo, Parkway owners Kyle and Catherine Fischer, the Devil-Ettes, and many more. The storyline is about none other than an independent theater struggling to survive in an environment dominated by hostile commercial theaters. (PW, 8:00)

Mon., September 8

Happy Gilmore Adam Sandler tees off on a character worthy of his … uh, talents, as a yobbo would-be hockey player who accidentally becomes a pro golfer because of his amazing slap-shot drives. He also likes to fight on the course. Highlight of the movie occurs when game show host Bob Barker uses Happy as a speed bag at a celebrity pro-am tournament. Sandler’s prep jock humor isn’t as inspired as the antics of Jim Carrey, but he may have carved out a niche for himself this time. Directed routinely by Dennis Dugan (Problem Child) from a screenplay by Sandler and his regular gagwriter Tim Herlihy (92 min., 1996). — K.V. (Wente Vineyards, Livermore, twilight)

Tue., September 9

History Stutters: Found Footage Films A collection of films assembled from found footage, including Bruce Conner’s Report, John Baldessari’s The Meaning of Various Newsphotos to Ed Henderson, Ken Jacobs’ Perfect Film, and more. Filmmaker Sylvia Schedelbauer in person (total running time 99 min., 1965-2008). (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., September 10

Non, or the Vain Glory of Command A treatise on history and nationalism from Manoel de Oliveira in which Portuguese soldiers stationed in an Angolan jungle pass the time philosophically while waiting for battle to begin (111 min., 1990). (PFA, 7:00)

Be the Change Canadian activist and filmmaker produced this documentary about people in the Ottawa region of Canada who have striven to reduce their impact on the earth. (Humanist Hall, Oakland, 7:30)

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