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
20 Yerba Buena Lane, 415-744-5000
San Francisco is the gateway to California wine country and for those who can’t seem to find a designated driver to schlep them up for a round of tastings, the luxurious Press Club converts a day trip to Napa or Sonoma into an evening of liquid bliss.
Mondays get a bad rap. It's a day often associated with depression, anxiety, and melancholy in pop culture. Think of "Monday, Monday" by the Mamas & the Papas, "Manic Monday" by the Bangles, and of course the memetastic "Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays" phrase popularized by work-satirizing '90s movie Office Space. Thankfully, we now have a reason to chase away those Monday-induced feelings of despair (or chase them down with a beer at the very least). Now in its fourth year, Comedy Returns to El Rio! takes place on the second Monday of the month on an intimate stage in the south Mission dive bar. Hosted by Bay Area comedy fixture Lisa Geduldig (Kung Pao Kosher Comedy, Funny Girlz), who began her comedy career at El Rio 23 years ago with the irreverent Jewish comedy show on Christmas at a Chinese restaurant. Tonight's lineup includes lots of stand-up veterans with storytelling street cred, like Joe Klocek (Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, NBC's Last Comic Standing), Shanti Charan (who placed 7th in the 2011 SF International Comedy Competition), lesbian stay-at-home mom Regina Stoops, and Josh Healey, who has shared stages and picket lines with the likes of Naomi Klein and Flavor Flav.
Mon., July 9, 8 p.m., 2012