One Night Stands for the week of June 20-27, 2007

In this week's rep picks: Around the world in a bag of popcorn.

AC = Act 1 & 2, AL= Albany, BA = Bal, BH = Blackhawk, BC = Brenden Concord 14, BP = Brenden Pittsburg 16, BS = AMC Bay Street, CA = California, CAPH = CinéArts Pleasant Hill, CB = Century Bayfair, CE = Central Cinema Alameda, CCC = CoCo Cinemas, CEPH = Century Pleasant Hill 16, CH = Century Hilltop, CN = Cinedome Newark, CRC = Crow Canyon, CS = Century Solano Drive-In, CSC = Chabot Space and Science Center, CUC = Century Union City 25, CWC = Century Walnut Creek, CF = Cinedome Fremont, E = Elmwood, EC = El Cerrito Speakeasy, GL = Grand Lake, JL = Jack London, N8 = Naz 8, OA = Oaks, OR = Orinda, P = Park, PM = Piedmont, PW = Parkway, RA = Regal Antioch, RH = Regal Hacienda, S = Shattuck,UAB = UA Berkeley, UAEB = UA Emery Bay, VL = Vine Livermore.

Reviewed by Michael Covino, Kelly Vance, and Naomi Wise
Thu., June 21

Frameline31 – For today’s festival programs at the Parkway, visit (PW, 6:30, 9:15)

Ripe for Change – The politics of agriculture in California, courtesy documentary makers Emiko Omori and Jed Riffe, who appear in person for a discussion (running time unknown). (Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., Berkeley, 7:30)

The River – First love in a Czech village, this naturalistic melodrama was directed by Josef Rovensky (88 min., 1933). (PFA, 7:00)

Saturday Night Fever – A coming-of-age pic collides with a pop culture phenomenon called disco and two stars are born: actor John Travolta and director John Badham. As it happened, both stars burned themselves out in time, but the story of an Italian-American teenager trying to dance his way out of Brooklyn is still valid, and the music still has the power to thrill, especially for those with no firsthand knowledge of platform shoes or Nik-Nik shirts. Costarring Karen Lynn Gorney as Travolta’s dancing partner. The screenplay by Norman Wexler (adapted from Nik Cohn’s article in Esquire magazine) is chock-full of bright, relevant dialogue (113 min., 1977). – K.V. (Cerrito, 9:15)

The Strike – A coal miners’ strike provides the focus point for director Karel Stekl?’s 1947 Czech social satire. With Josef Bek and Ladislav Bohác (83 min.). (PFA, 8:45)

Fri., June 22

Black Rain – Although it’s set in a quiet rural village, Shohei Imamura’s story of Hiroshima survivors has a dramatic and emotional grandeur that is indelible. The main character is a young woman (played heartbreakingly by Yoshiko Tanaka), tainted by radioactive rain, who has trouble finding a husband. With her aunt and uncle, she’s part of a “community bound by the bomb,” a group of people uneasily awaiting sickness and death. One or two rough comic touches in the Imamura manner relieve the solemnity, but this film’s power is in its immense sadness, which permeates every frame (123 min., 1989). – K.V. (PFA, 8:45)

The Blues Brothers – John Landis, who directed the high-spirited Animal House, this time only seems to be directing traffic as John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd reassemble the Blues Brothers Band and drive all over Chicago and environs, arranging gigs and evading the cops while trying to raise the funds necessary to save an orphanage. With cameo appearances by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, and Cab Calloway (135 min., 1980). – M.C. (Cine Lux Chabot, midnight)

Elevator to the Gallows (L’ascenseur pour l’echafaud) – Louis Malle’s 1958 entry in the Melville-Nouvelle-Vague-Paris-lowlife-on-the-lam film category is solid suspense, as Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet trip over the details of their murder plot and the whole world rushes in. Add a musical score by Miles Davis and claustrophobic photography by Henri Decae, and you have the very definition of nutty Gallic cool (88 min.). – K.V. (PFA, 7:00)

Sat., June 23

Elevator to the Gallows – See Fri. (PFA, 9:10)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show – The original 1975 British rock music horror spoof, starring Tim Curry as the androgynous Dr. Frank N. Furter, with Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick. Directed by Jim Sharman (95 min.). (PW, midnight)

The Sound of Music – Pauline Kael called this cornball Rodgers-Hammerstein musical based on the life of the Von Trapp family “the sound of money.” But plenty of others enjoyed the good music and the Austrian scenery. With Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, and Peggy Wood. Directed by Robert Wise (174 min., 1965). (Cerrito, 5:00)

Vengeance Is Mine – Psychological perceptiveness, bits of grim humor, and erotic scenes of great power inform Shohei Imamura’s deeply serious biography of a mad-dog killer on the lam, which opens like one of Sam Fuller’s hard-hitting action flicks, but settles into a slow-moving, highly detailed study of personal and societal pathology (140 min., 1979). – N.W. (PFA, 6:30)

Sun., June 24

Crisis – The growing Nazi threat was documented as a political crisis unfolded in Czechoslovakia in this prescient prewar film. Directed by Herbert Kline (71 min., 1938). (PFA, 3:00)

Distant Journey – This 1949 Czech film, one of the first to look at the Holocaust, employs an Expressionist formalism to nightmarishly portray the Jewish experience in the Terezin ghetto and camps. Directed by Alfred Radok. With Blanka Waleska and Viktor Ocasek (103 min.). (PFA, 4:30)
The Sound of Music – See Sat. (Cerrito, 4:00)

Mon., June 25

Around the World in Eighty Days – Complete with bargain-bin cameos (Rob Schneider, Owen and Luke Wilson as the Wright Brothers), this is barely an adaptation of the Jules Verne novel, just a Jackie Chan vehicle shoehorned into hoary material that steals its central plot from, of all things, Shanghai Knights. Chan plays the role of Passepartout, valet to inventor Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan), and it’s one more mediocre Hollywood film in which Chan engages in a few elaborately and amusingly staged fight sequences while playing sidekick to someone for whom English is not a second language (120 min., 2004. – R.W. (Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., 6:15)

Latin Jazz and Jazz as an International Music – The sixth and final installment of Dr. Dee Spencer’s “Jazz on a Monday Afternoon” film discussion series (total running time unknown). (Berkeley Public Library, 2090 Kittredge St., 2:00)

Tue., June 26

The Gang of Four – A clique of serious young women drama students have more on their minds than acting classes in New Wave director Jacques Rivette’s 1988 film. There’s their girlfriend, who’s involved with criminals; then there’s the deceitful man who comes on to them one at a time. And, of course, the ghost that inhabits the house they all share. Very strong ensemble playing by Laurence Côte, Bernadette Giraud, Inés de Madeiros-D’Almeida, and Fejria Deliba as the gang, with Bulle Ogier as their haunted teacher and Benoît Régent as the boyfriend (160 min.). – K.V. (PFA, 7:00)

Wed., June 27

The Global Gardener – Australian naturalist Bill Mollison’s documentary shows how the “permaculture” of sustainable agriculture combined with permanent culture pertains to four bioregions: tropics, drylands, temperate regions, and urban zones (running time unknown). (Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, 7:30)

Oh My God! It’s Harrod Blank! – A documentary on the East Bay art-car creator Blank, by David Silberberg (running time unknown). (Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar St., Berkeley, 7:30)
Streets of Fire – Slam-bang razzle-dazzle hardcore MTV sex and violence editing – no question about it, director Walter Hill knows how to edit. The question is: Does he know how to direct? Michael Pare’s ex, rock singer Diane Lane, is kidnapped by a motorcycle gang, so soldier of fortune Pare goes after them with sidekick Amy Madigan … who he should’ve just gone off with, since she has a hundred times more character in her face than Lane. The tough guy/comicbook dialogue, meant to seem hip and ironic, comes off as merely stupid, and sound effects are on the order of pow! and bang! Score by Ry Cooder. With Rick Moranis and Willem Dafoe (94 min., 1984). – M.C. (PFA, 7:30)

Un Franco, 14 Pesetas – In the Franco era, two Spanish mechanics decide to move to Switzerland, but they don’t quite fit in. Directed by Carlos Iglesias (105 min., 2006). (LP, 7:00)

Support the East Bay Express, local news, donate

Newsletter sign-up

eLert sign-up

clear sky
46.9 ° F
49 °
44 °
81 %
1 %
64 °
63 °
61 °
66 °
60 °