One-Night Stands

Repertory film listings for January 17-23

Reviews by Naomi Wise, Don Druker, and Kelly Vance

Thu., Jan. 17

Lola Montez: Max Ophuls’ 1955 masterpiece is the quintessential director’s film, a feast of visual delights presented as the circus of a woman’s life. The star of the show is a dancer, courtesan, and free spirit Lola (languidly played by Martine Carol), whose celebrated affairs with Franz Liszt and King Ludwig of Bavaria didn’t quite prepare her to become a sideshow attraction. Ophuls piles irony upon irony as the camera wheels and gavottes around the ringmaster (Peter Ustinov), clowns, and lavishly mounted flashbacks of Lola’s life and times. Preceded by an illustrated lecture by Stefan Drössler on the restoration of the film’s original print (116 min., 1955). — K.V. (PFA, 7:00)

Fri., Jan. 18

The 400 Blows: The first feature by François Truffaut blasted everybody’s mind upon release, with the combination of Renoir-style lyricism and Nouvelle Vague “modernism.” A very young and unself-conscious Jean-Pierre Léaud is the preteen hero, reading Balzac by flashlight and running in all directions at once to escape the heartless bourgeois sophistication of modern Paris, embodied by his mother (101 min., 1959). — N.W. (PFA, 7:00)

La Chinoise: A chinoise is a fine-mesh food strainer made from the hair of Chinese women, a favored tool in French haute cuisine. Here, Jean-Luc Godard views the revolutionary process as a fine-mesh strainer of political ideas and human relationships, in a Maoist commune consisting of Anne Wiazemsky, Juliet Berto, Jean-Pierre Leaud, and Michel Semeniako. Godard’s half-comic, half-pathetic portrait of young leftists proceeding uncertainly and sometimes foolishly into militant action was proven as prophecy a year later, in the “events” of May 1968 — after which, Godard more or less disowned this work for its political ambivalence. Like all late-’60s Godards, however, it’s hardly episodic and eternally fresh (99 min., 1967). — N.W. (PFA, 9:10)

Sat., Jan. 19

The Magic of Georges Méliès: A program of seven short films dating from 1902 to 1907. With Judith Rosenberg on piano (total running time 50 min.) (PFA, 3:00)

Stolen Kisses: The third installment of François Truffaut’s saga of Antoine Doinel (The 400 Blows and Truffaut’s segment of Love at Twenty took him through childhood and early adolescence) find Antoine hard at work in a series of absurd jobs: private detective, hotel desk clerk, shoe-store assistant — trying to cope with maturity, desperate to fit into bourgeois society, and in love (with Claude Jade). Lyrical and resonant in a way that the later Bed and Board would not be. With Jean-Pierre Léaud and dynamite support from Delphine Seyrig (91 min., 1968). — D.D. (PFA, 6:30)

The Man with the Golden Arm: Frank Sinatra stars as a junkie (that’s right) who’s trying to kick the habit and come to terms with his family and his lowlife acquaintances. Costars Kim Novak. Directed by Otto Preminger. Based on Nelson Algren’s novel (119 min., 1955). (PFA, 8:40)

The Neverending Story: Wolfgang Petersen’s 1984 original, where a troubled young boy enters a magical fantasy world through the pages of a book (102 min.). (EC, 3:00)

Sun., Jan. 20

The Nibelungen, Part 1: Siegfried’s Death: The first half of Fritz Lang’s silent 13th-century Nordic saga. With Judith Rosenberg on piano (140 min., 1924). (PFA, 1:00)

The Nibelungen, Part II: Kriemhild’s Revenge: The second half of Fritz Lang’s silent thirteenth-century Nordic saga. With Bruce Loeb on piano (147 min., 1924). (PFA, 4:00)

The Gene Krupa Story: Biopic of the acclaimed jazz drummer, produced while he was still an active performer. Live music by Gene Krupa, Red Nichols, Bobby Troupe, Anita O’Day, Shelly Manne, and Buddy Lester (101 min., 1959). (PFA, 7:00)

The Neverending Story: See Saturday. (EC, 2:30)

Crossing the Line: Multiracial Comedians: Documentary exploring the boundaries of identity and expression through comedy. Producer Darby Li Po Price in person (86 min., 2007). (LP, 7:30)

Tue., Jan. 22

Milk in the Land: Ballad of an American Drink: An examination of the place of milk in modern society: wonder food or overproduced, industrialized commodity (90 min., 2007). (PFA, 7:30)

Wed., Jan. 23

La Chinoise: See Friday. (PFA, 6:30)

Bed and Board: Filmmaker François Truffaut’s alter ego/protagonist Antoine Doinel finds married life not entirely to his liking, so he has an affair with a Japanese woman. Truffaut’s concept of humdrum bourgeois life triumphing over restless rebellion in the hero of The 400 Blows is more than just a sitcom; taken in the context of the earlier film, it’s a heartbreaking capitulation. Once again, Jean-Pierre Léaud stars as Antoine, with Claude Jade as his wife and Hiroko Berghauer as the other woman (97 min., 1970). — K.V. (PFA, 8:30)

Linda, Linda, Linda: Three Japanese girls struggle to put together a band in time for their school festival, and end up enlisting a Korean foreign exchange student to sing (114 min., 2005). (University Theatre, CSU East Bay, 6:30)

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