If your idea of a good time at the movies requires a three-act narrative consisting of the hook, the conflict, and the climax, followed by a quick resolution, then Amateurs of the Impossible is not for you. Filmmakers Margaret Rorison and Zach Iannnazzi are like painters — or, as Orson Welles suggested, poets with camera lenses for eyes. They reach beyond the presentational to build film-loop elegies, plein air panoplies, and celluloid sonatas that whip up dreams, memories, emotions, and musings. Rorison, co-founder of Baltimore's much-loved roaming experimental film series Sight Unseen, contributes six shorts, including a handmade study of Danish wind power, a collaboration with the Effervescent Dance Collective, a landscape portrait of Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal, and a 16-mm tribute to her grandfather that is saturated by field recordings of oil rigs and fishing lines on the Louisiana bayou. Iannazzi offers three shorts, including a found-footage scrapbook of fading Northern California and a superimposed diptych of home movies that explores "mid-century male bonding and the hubris of hunting culture."
"Amateurs of the Impossible" begins at 7:30 p.m. at Artists Television Access, 992 Valencia St., S.F. $10; 415-824-3890 or sfcinematheque.org. More
Scientists used to consider it balderdash, but the belief that humans can cause earthquakes has recently been validated by a significant increase in tremors occurring in the Central United States. Nearly twice as many quakes, magnitude 3 and up, have happened there in the last six years than in the previous 36 years; in 2014, more strong earthquakes jolted Oklahoma than California. Justin Rubinstein, a U.S. Geological Survey research geophysicist, believes oil and gas extraction is responsible for this. Hydraulic fracturing is part of the problem, but Rubinstein says the top culprit is the injection of wastewater from oil and gas operations into permanent storage areas underground. He believes that human activity of this sort could trigger a magnitude 7 shaker. All agree that San Francisco's expected Big One will be an act of nature, not industry, but anyone earthquake-curious should find Rubinstein's talk ("Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes") of interest. The event is part of a USGS series of free lectures for non-experts.
Justin Rubinstein’s lecture, “Yes, Humans Really Are Causing Earthquakes,” is set for 7 p.m. at USGS, Building 3, Rambo Auditorium, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park. Free; online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar.More
On May 27, the Golden Gate Bridge turns 75. If you were one of the 300,000 who walked across the bridge when it turned 50, you remember the unsettling sway, and the later reports that the convex profile of the bridge had been flattened by our collective weight. And you remember that it didn’t matter. Euphoria was high. Dianne Feinstein tossed Willie Brown’s $800 fedora into the sea like a Frisbee. Half a million people pushed together on the waterfront to see the bridge turned into a golden waterfall; even with advances in pyrotechnics, few fireworks displays have been as lovely. Why? Because the bridge is gorgeous. That’s the only reason an art exhibit titled “Artistic Visions of the Golden Gate Bridge” avoids becoming cheesy crafts-fair death. As one of 75 tributes to the span’s 75th anniversary, this exhibit draws on artists in multiple media. The steely rigor of the sea and soft nuzzle of fog are captured by photographers such as JoSon and Nicholas Pavloff. Geometry, color, and light are celebrated by Lynette Cook, Robert E. David, and Joan Brown. Builders are immortalized and memorialized by Owen Smith, Guy Diehl, and Don Farnsworth. Regardless of the lens, the bridge remains one of the modern Wonders of the World.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. Starts: May 3. Continues through June 9, 2012