Wednesday, April 6, 2005
As big fans of the "ephemera films" in the online Prelinger Archives (and S.F.'s Prelinger Library), we adore the odd, stilted cadence of how-to shorts, the laughable moralizing of the movies made for public-school audiences (in which children were encouraged to fear homosexuals, beatniks, and marijuana users, for example), and above all the beauty of celluloid itself. "Lost Films From the Academic Film Archive" -- a screening of movies created for use in classrooms -- sounds similar to the Prelinger collection in spirit, but includes gems like a 1950 work that shows Pablo Picasso at home and an anthropological film that supposedly inspired a young Werner Herzog to embark on a career as a director. Academic Film Archive of North America Director Geoff Alexander introduces the program at 7:30 p.m. at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission (at Third Street), S.F. Admission is $5-8; call 978-2787 or visit www.ybca.org.
Thursday, April 7, 2005
For anyone who has secretly harbored soft-porn fantasies about roller derby women -- and we suspect there are a lot of you out there -- a crew of punk bruiser chicks with very short tempers is about to make your day. (Or your life, depending on how often you visit the SuicideGirls' Web site.) Santa Cruz rockabilly favorites the Chop Tops and intimidating locals Thee Merry Widows headline a "B.A.D. Ass Benefit" to warn the world about the Bay Area Derby Girls, billed on their Web site as "a league of badass chicks who love to skate." Sandra Dee Molish, Tex Hit'er, Hotwheels Houlihan, and the other scabby scrappers are ready to skate around, get on both ends of a spanking booth, and recruit new members in between musical sets. The Formaldebrides and the Nuts and Bolts open at 8 p.m. at Studio Z, 314 11th St. (at Folsom), S.F. Admission is $10-12; call 252-7666 or visit www.studioz.tv.
Friday, April 8, 2005
A little-studied and vastly underappreciated subset of the workforce, career waitresses get a thorough going-over at photographer Candacy Taylor's exhibit "Making Connections: Career Waitresses of San Francisco." The artist has photographed and interviewed a number of long-haul servers, and the exhibition includes listening stations at which you can hear the women's own voices, plus video screens showing interview clips. The featured waitresses -- bouffant hairdos, purple fingernails, and all -- have been encouraged to invite their regulars to the opening reception, so the crowd should be extra interesting; Taylor has also put together a CD of diner noises to create atmosphere. The show's intentions are laudably altruistic, not patronizing -- the press materials emphasize that Taylor's work aims to show how much her subjects actually do. It's much more than just getting your food to the table. The reception begins at 7 p.m. (and the show continues through July 22 in City Hall) at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, 401 Van Ness (at McAllister), S.F. Admission is free; call 554-6080 or visit www.sfacgallery.org.
Saturday, April 9, 2005
In fusing traditional Argentine tango and experimental modern dance, Navarrete x Kajiyama Dance Theater and Nora Dinzelbacher tip their hats to renegade musician Astor Piazzolla. The group has set its work to the tango infidel's music, which was inspired by masters like Duke Ellington. Because Piazzolla is credited with bringing tango music, anchored by the signature sound of the accordionlike bandoneon, into the modern world, it makes perfect sense for these dancers to tangle with him at Tangamente! We hope they don't meet with the same screams of protest from purists that he did back in the 1950s; contemporary San Francisco dance fans seem a more forgiving group than early New York tango aficionados. The tribute begins at 8 p.m. (and repeats tomorrow at 2 p.m.) at ODC Theater, 3153 17th St. (at Shotwell), S.F. Admission is $20-27; call 863-9834 or visit www.odctheater.org.
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Everyone enjoys talking back to the silver screen once in a while, but this talent isn't often condoned by the moviegoing public. Luckily there's "Bad Movie Night," at which you're encouraged to throw popcorn at the protagonist and yell inappropriate commentary at your slightest whim. Guaranteed, as the Web site says, to take "all the guess work out of the age old question, Will this movie suck?'" This week's flop is The Apple, a 1980 film set in the future (in this case, 1994) that chronicles the struggles of Alphie and Bibi at the Worldvision Song Festival. Hosts Jim Fourniadis and Jeremy W. help get the obnoxious comments rolling; the skewering begins at 8 p.m. at the Dark Room Theater, 2263 Mission (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is $5; call 401-7987 or go to www.darkroomsf.com.
Monday, April 11, 2005
That frizzy hair, those puppy-dog eyes, that voice that wobbles in all the right places: The hallmarks of one of our favorite actors are on display at screenings of Young Frankenstein and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The opportunity to see these classics on the big screen is great, but even better is the chance to see Gene Wilderin person. The goofball megastar of Blazing Saddles and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), among many other movies, signs copies of his book, Kiss Me Like a Stranger: My Search for Love and Art, this evening. (Remember that he's also the man comedienne Gilda Radner loved, so shake his hand.) Screenings begin at 1:45, and Wilder appears in the lobby from 5:30 to 7, at the Balboa Theater, 3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), S.F. Admission to the screenings is $6-8.50; call 221-8184 or visit www.thebalboatheater.com.