Night+Day

wednesday
january 10
Skin Flick Film targets the eyes. Horror targets the body. Georges Franju's 1959 horror film The Eyes Without a Face combines these attacks with its tale of a surgeon who literally lifts the skin off the face of a woman, grafting it onto his disfigured daughter. Eyes was trashed upon release; the static shots of its prolonged, painful surgery scene implicate the viewer, much like Hitchcock's Psycho and Powell's Peeping Tom (equally reviled films from the period, with similar themes and approaches). Today, Eyes offers a remarkably relevant commentary on plastic surgery and the body's troubled relation to identity. And its silent-film atmosphere -- sparse dialogue haunted by endlessly barking dogs and chirping birds, as well as foggy fields spotted with naked winter trees -- lingers in the mind long after the gore disappears. "(Franju) takes us implacably to the end of what your nerves can bear," wrote Jean Cocteau; see for yourself at 2, 7:15, and 9:15 p.m. at the Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight, S.F. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call 668-3994. Eyes continues through Jan. 16.

Renovation Celebration In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake demolished the 79-year-old Geary Theater, home to the American Conservatory Theater. But seven years and $27.5 million later, the site is back from the dead, restored and modernized. "A Galaxy on Geary" celebrates the occasion -- and raises money to pay the final half-million of the whopping bill -- with a party featuring stars galore. The theatrical luminaries include Sada Thompson (TV junkies know her as the mom on Family), Michael Learned (TV junkies know her as the mom on The Waltons), and RenŽ Auberjonois (TV junkies know him as a snot on Benson). Cabaret queen Andrea Marcovicci will be there; so will Academy Award nominees Marsha Mason and Annette Bening. Preceded by cocktail receptions at various locations, the program begins at 9 p.m. at Geary Theater, 415 Geary, S.F. Tickets are $75-10,000 (give till it hurts!); call 834-3349.

Freaky Family Like most Grimms fairy tales, The Juniper Tree is a violent drama about a freaky family. The characters include a woman impregnated by magical berries who dies of joy upon giving birth; her husband, who literally cries his eyes out when he hears of her death; and an evil stepmother who decapitates a boy and turns him into furniture (before he exacts supernatural revenge). Nightletter Theater adds its own special weirdness -- including big masks, small puppets, and live insects -- to a theatrical version of the tale, called The Hungry Tree. The lights dim at 8 p.m. at Intersection for the Arts, 446 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $12-15; call 626-2787. The Hungry Tree continues Thursdays-Sundays through Jan. 27.

The Fire This Time Created in 1990 by Rhodessa Jones, the Medea Project: Theater for Incarcerated Women lets women at S.F. County Jail address personal history and increase self-awareness through theater. Conceived and directed by Jones, the group's latest piece, Buried Fire, mixes original and popular music with movement and text. It opens at 8 p.m. at the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, 620 Sutter, S.F. Tickets are $15-20; call 474-8800. Buried Fire continues through Jan. 21.

Magic Marker Chris Marker's 1962 experimental short La jetee is a staple of introductory film classes; unsurprisingly, its eerie, time-tripping theme has been cannibalized by mainstream works like James Cameron's The Terminator and Terry Gilliam's current 12 Monkeys. Now 73, the reclusive Marker responds to cinema's 100th anniversary with "Silent Movie," an installation that re-creates the allure of early film via video pastiche. Featuring five vertical stacks of monitors enclosed in tall steel constructivist towers, "Silent Movie" is the first video installation by Marker to be presented in the U.S. Mixing text with found and original imagery in random sequences, it addresses -- like much of Marker's work -- time, death, history, and memory. Watch it from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at University Art Museum, 2626 Bancroft, Berkeley. Admission is $4-6; call (510) 642-0808. "Silent Movie" continues through April 14.

thursday
january 11
Rush Limbaugh's Last Stand In between celebrated runs at the Marsh here in S.F., Charlie Varon's one-man show Rush Limbaugh in Night School journeyed to Washington, D.C., and off-Broadway New York. Spoofing media-mad America, Varon doesn't just stick a pin in Limbaugh's hot-air balloon: He portrays 21 other big-mouthed characters as well, including Garrison Keillor, Jackie Mason, and Spalding Gray. Rush's last Bay Area stand begins at 8 p.m. at CenterStage, Osher Marin Jewish Community Center, 200 North San Pedro, San Rafael. Tickets are $16-18; call 479-2000 for other performance dates and times.

friday
january 12
You Can't Do That on Television! Dyke TV is a half-hour magazine-format TV show that airs weekly in over 50 cities across the country, challenging stereotypical lesbian images presented by the mainstream media. The program's producers are based in S.F., and they'll present a one-night retrospective of shows, along with a few other treats -- video clips of the 1995 Dyke March and Folsom Street Fair; music by Dizzy Little Death; a short piece on women in the workplace -- at 8 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5; call 824-3890 for more information.

saturday
january 13
I Pity the Fool Named after the popular star of The A-Team, the Mr. T Experience are TV junkies: Their 1986 debut LP Everyone's Entitled to Their Own Opinion includes a song called "Danny Partridge Got Busted," about Danny Bonaduce's run-ins with the law. (Perhaps now it should be called "Danny Partridge Got Axed," since Bonaduce's syndicated talk show just bit the dust.) Yes, the Mr. T Experience are from Berkeley, and yes, they sing punky pop songs about love, but they've been doing it a lot longer than Green Day and the groups Green Day spawned. Love Is Dead, the new LP by the MTE, is out now on Lookout!, and two older ones (Night Shift at the Thrill Factory and Big Black Bugs Bleed Blue Blood) will be reissued soon. Hear the three fellows at 10 p.m. at Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. Wynona Ryders and Scared of Chaka (more TV references!) open. Tickets are $6; call 621-4455.

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