I've seen enough of movies in which stuff explodes, the sidekick blurts out one-liners at murder scenes, and the hero gets the girl who has fewer than five lines in the whole film. I want to see more pictures with adults who say things that real people would say and act in the contradictory and confusing ways of garden-variety humans. We Don't Live Here Anymore, the new indie film about a pair of married couples who betray their best friends by screwing those friends' spouses, has several things going for it that make me believe it's what I've been waiting for.
One is the fact that the screenplay was adapted from two short stories by Andre Dubus, one of whose smart, literate tales has already been turned into a beautifully grown-up and moving flick -- In the Bedroom. Another is that director John Curran stocked his film with top-drawer actors: atmospheric Everyguy Mark Ruffalo, Six Feet Under's Peter Krause, fresh-from-21 Grams'-accolades Naomi Watts, and the sadly underused Laura Dern. Cry along with them as the picture opens this Friday at the Embarcadero Center Cinema, Battery & Clay, S.F. Admission is $7-9.25; call 267-4893 or visit www.landmarktheatres.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
For most of us, the thought of an accordion conjures up visions of Lawrence Welk's PBS dance parties, Flaco Jimenez's Tex-Mex jamming, or perhaps even "Weird Al" Yankovic's seminal Polka Party! But in addition to these varied stylings there is the little-documented rise of the Bay Area's punk rock-influenced squeezebox scene.
Most of our local icons walk through the doors of Smythe's Accordion Center in Oakland at one time or another, so owner Kimric Smythe has become the patron saint of this irrepressible tribe. Tonight, as the brains behind the Monsters of Accordion II Northwest Tour, Smythe is bringing a band of extreme players to San Francisco. Punters can expect to hear Duckmandu's Dead Kennedys covers, Daniel Ari's paean to George W. Bush ("Grammarians R Pissed"), and Jason Webley's Tom Waits-esque sea chanteys. Rock out at the Odeon at 9 p.m., 3223 Mission (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $5; call 550-6994.
-- Jane Tunks
Two decades of Run-DMC images
Much the way John Lennon's murder overtook the Beatles' image in the '80s, so did the October 2002 slaying of Run-DMC's Jam Master Jay cast a pall over that band's legend. The group's friends couldn't stand to see it forgotten, and it turns out that the photographic exhibit that marks the act's 20th anniversary is a time capsule of the birth of hip hop. Spot bygone venues and then-young rap artists among the shots from famous chroniclers like Glen E. Friedman, Ernie Paniccioli, and Al Pereira as "It's Like That: 20 Years of Run-DMC-JMJ" continues today (it runs through Aug. 29) at Punch Gallery, 155 10th St. (at Howard), S.F. Admission is free; call 522-5555 or visit www.punchgallery.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Whip It Good
If your ideal date involves floggers instead of flowers, join Mistress Morgana for the class "Got Kink? How to Get a Kinky Date in 4 Essential Steps." Wise up to Bay Area S/M resources and learn the best techniques for sharing your depraved side at 8 p.m. at Good Vibrations, 603 Valencia (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is $25; call 522-5460 or go to www.goodvibes.com.
-- Charyn Pfeuffer