One Night Stands for the week of October 10

Repertory film listings

Reviews by Michael Covino, Michelle Levine, and Kelly Vance

Thu., Oct.11

Can You Hear Me? Israeli and Palestinian Women Fight for Peace: Documentary about women peace activists in the Middle East. (JCC of the East Bay, 7:30)

Les Destinèes: Olivier Assayas’ epic costume drama spanning the first three decades of the 20th century features his usual focus on relationships, emotional nuance, and the gulf between idealism and maturity. With Isabelle Huppert. (PFA, 7:30)

Our Daily Bread and We Feed the World: Two films about food. The first is King Vidor’s classic Depression-era drama about a group of migrant workers attempting to make a communal farm support itself. The finale of the commune members working together to dig an irrigation ditch and ward off drought is regarded as one of the most memorable sequences ever put on film. (1934) With appearance by Bay Area breadmakers Steve Sullivan of Acme Breads, Liz Prueitt and Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery, and Zenobia Barlow of the Center for EcoLiteracy. Moderated by Renato Sardo of Slow Food International. (Hillside Club, 2286 Cedar in Berkeley, 7:00).

Thrillville’s Zombie-Rama: Featuring Creature with the Atom Brain (undead underwater corpses wreak havoc upon those who plundered their treasure) and Zombies of Mora Tau (starring Allison “50 Foot Woman” Hayes.) (PW, 7:30)

Fri., Oct. 12

A Fistful of Dollars: Sergio Leone’s first Italian Western, a reworking of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo, Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest, and Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, introduces Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name, a gun-for-hire who plays two corrupt warring clans against each other until the whole town is littered with corpses and Eastwood’s pockets are stuffed with gold. Despite the low budget — $200,000 — Leone is pretty good playing off the cool, formalistic elements of the camerawork and the editing against the hot violence and black humor of the story to achieve a fresh, almost surreal effect. Eastwood was paid $15,000. With Gian Maria Volontè as the heavy, and the first of Ennio Morricone’s beautiful, haunting scores (96 min., 1964). M.C. (PFA, 7:00)

Lights in the Dusk: This Finnish film noir is the third installment of director Aki Kaurismäki’s “loser trilogy.” The mean streets of Helsinki are lit up like an Edward Hopper painting. (2006, 78. mins.) (PFA, 9:00)

Scarface: Brian De Palma’s best film updates Howard Hawks’ 1932 production by changing the original Chicago locale to contemporary Miami, and the gangsters from bootlegging Italians to cocaine-slinging Cubans. If Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone was a model of cool restraint, and emotional and intellectual ambiguity, his Tony Montana is a monster of such epic psychopathic proportions that his own mother hates him. This is a funny, ferocious, and hugely entertaining movie, a rags-to-riches story like none other. With Stephen Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, and F. Murray Abraham (170 min., 1983). (Piedmont, midnight)

Second Annual Good Vibrations Amateur Erotic Film Festival: Amateur submissions with an erotic theme. A percentage of the proceeds will benefit the Center for Sex and Culture. (PW, 6:30, 9:15)

Sat., Oct. 13

Compound Eye: World premier of a John Balquist’s documentary about cartoonist Jesse Reklaw, creator of the cartoon Slow Wave and a former Berkeley resident who contributed for years to the Express. Part of the Mill Valley Film Festival. (Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, 2:45.)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: More elaborate than the first two films of the Man with No Name trilogy, this movie uses the Civil War as a rather expensive backdrop for the antics of Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef, who are all trying to kill each other. As the original posters said, “For these three men the Civil War wasn’t hell. It was practice.” Contains what are probably Ennio Morricone’s finest compositions: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” with its hoofbeat drums and comic trills, “The Ecstasy of Gold,” which dovetails so beautifully with the 360-degree zip pans of Tuco running around the graveyard, and “The Trio,” which enables director Sergio Leone to build the tension for an incredible five or so minutes through formalistic cross-cutting during the final showdown in the circular cemetery (161 min., 1966). M.C. (PFA, 8:15)

Lights in the Dusk: See Friday. (PFA, 6:30)

Scarface: See Friday. (Piedmont, midnight)

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: The first feature-length film starring Aardman Animations’ signature characters. In a country town obsessed with growing oversized vegetables, Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and Gromit (silent) run Anti-Pesto, a humane pest-control service that catches rabbits rather than killing them. In fact, the bunnies are housed in the dynamic duo’s basement, which becomes a problem, as they tend to multiply. Wallace attempts to brainwash them off vegetables, with disastrous results (see title). Co-writers and directors Nick Park and Steve Box are experts at creating fare that works on multiple levels. Were-Rabbit is replete with jokes that kill in the kiddie demographic; it’s also loaded with puns and pop-culture references that tickle adults. The film refers, at various times, to Frankenstein, King Kong, Harry Potter, and countless horror and action movies, including, of course, the werewolf genre. As Park and Box must know, it’s immense fun to sit in a theater filled with parents and children and to sense the mutual pleasure. Neither party has to sacrifice a thing for the other. M.L. Kiddie matinee. (EC, 3:00)

Sun., Oct. 14

The Magic of Chinese Animation: A selection of Chinese animation classics featuring a variety of animated shorts by various filmmakers. (90 mins.) (PFA, 2:00)

Manufactured Landscapes: The camera tracks through a vast Chinese factory, past aisle after aisle of workers busily making electric irons. The shot seems to go on forever. Is this a real place? Yes. Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is famous for his large-scale photos of large-scale locations, and in this documentary by Jennifer Baichwal, he and his crew observe the biggest of the big — Chinese manufacturing plants, entire cities of uniformed workers swarming in and around miles-long buildings. The near-wordless visual essay (slight voiceover) is endlessly fascinating, as well as totally alienating. Just for balance, the filmmakers also follow Burtynsky to a ship-breaking operation in Bangladesh and China’s Three Gorges Dam, as well as to the towering city of Shanghai. Welcome to the future. Now get to work (80 min., 2006) — K.V. (PFA, 4:30)

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: See Saturday. (EC, 2:00)

Mon., Oct. 15

Runnin’ Down a Dream: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary about the rise of the venerable band from sleepy Gainesville, Florida, to global acclaim. Featuring appearances by Stevie Nicks, Eddie Vedder, Dave Grohl, George Harrison, Roger McGuinn and many more. (Rialto Cinemas Elmwood, 8:00)

Tue., Oct. 16

Films by Bruce Conner: Conner defined the use of found footage in film with his rapid-paced montages of newsreels, stock footage, and B-movies. This is a collection of Conner shorts. (62 mins.) (PFA, 7:30)

Labyrinth: (PW: 9:15)

Wed., Oct. 17

HD Program 1: Works by Theo Angell, Toni Dove, Angie Eng, Bradley Eros, Ali Hossaini, Leighton Pierce, Jennifer Reeves, Fred Barney Taylor, and Ellen Zweig from the Voom network of television channels. (73 mins.) (PFA, 7:30)

The Thursday Club: George Paul Csicsery’s moving documentary about a group of retired Oakland cops who battled antiwar protesters and Black Panthers in the 1960s. It’s a deceptive piece of work, in the best sense of the term. We go into it expecting a rough-and-tumble exposé of police brutality against demonstrators and political dissidents, but we come away with something bigger, an intimate portrait of a pivotal time. (60 min., 2005) K.V. (Roxie, 7:00, 9:00)

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