Old razzle-dazzle at the Roxie
If the bewitching "Art Deco, 1910-1939" exhibit at the Legion of Honor has you craving some true retro glamour, you're not alone: Even the Roxie pays tribute to the period style with its Deco-Dent Cinema film festival, a delightful seven-day lineup of classic flicks oozing with the era's fashions, stars, and sensibilities. The best of a prime bunch is the Busby Berkeley blowout Gold Diggers of 1933, a wonderful example of the luxe, bubble-headed comic musicals that proved so popular during the depths of the Depression. Gold Diggers' bouncy plot follows the adventures of three singing-and-dancing showgirls (including Ruby Keeler and a saucy Ginger Rogers), who use their small-potatoes fame and good looks to attract rich men. A chance to see Keeler and Rogers in action is always a draw, of course, and the alluring costumes, stellar songs (including "We're in the Money"), and pull-out-all-the-stops dance numbers are positively choice.
Joan Crawford fans should plan to hit the screening of Our Dancing Daughters for a look at the nascent star in her first big role. If you've only seen Joan in her '50s and '60s scary-big-eyebrows phase, her turn as the fresh-faced heroine in this 1928 silent feature is a revelation. Ditto the several Garbo films in the fest: Watching the actress transform herself from the high-spirited ingénue in A Woman of Affairs to the polished star of Grand Hotel is a potent kick for cinephiles.
Deco-Dent Cinema begins with 42nd Street, which screens at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. on Friday (the festival runs through next Thursday), at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $4-8; call 863-1087 or visit www.roxie.com.
BY JOYCE SLATON
Meet Your Makers
The question on everyone's mind at the opening reception for "Queer Art(ists)"won't be, "What is the meaning of queer art?" Instead, we're guessing that every attendee will be forced to confront the query, "What is a fabulous party?" It should go without saying that the show itself explodes narrow definitions of queer art: You can tell that from the title. But as the City Art Cooperative Gallery modestly claims in its announcement, "Our openings are becoming legendary." Dress to expand other people's understanding of how cool you are, starting at 7 p.m. at 828 Valencia (at 19th Street), S.F. "Queer Art(ists)" continues through June 27. Admission is free; call 970-9900 or visit www.cityartgallery.org.
By Hiya Swanhuyser
On the Catwalk
We love vintage clothing, but these days the pickings are a little thin. Hot numbers from bygone days won't last forever, you know. Fabric rots, stitching falls apart, and even couture frocks eventually collapse into piles of rags. That's why the growing number of designers specializing in vintage-inspired duds is something to get excited about. See revamped versions of historic designs -- plus some foxy new-school finery -- at "Paradiso di Moda," a fashion show featuring accouterments from Manifesto Clothing, Sweet Jane, AB Fits, Mezzanine, and other local outfits, starting at 9 p.m. at Terra, 411 Harrison (at First Street), S.F. Admission is $25; visit www.paradisodimoda.com.
By Joyce Slaton
You don't have to attend a Stomp!performance to understand that the rhythms of musicality punctuate everyday life: You just have to pay attention to hear the tune. The five-part film and performance series "The Key of Z" explores the outer fringes of musical structure with events like June 2's showcase for the New Zealand band From Scratch, June 9's look at the instruments made by sound sculptors and engineers, and June 23's focus on Francis Dhomont's collages of naturally occurring noises. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. (Wednesdays through June 30) at the Pacific Film Archive, 2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley. Admission is $4-8; call (510) 642-5249 or visit www.bampfa.berkeley.edu.
By Tim Pratt