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
Some stereotypes about surfers are true: They forget to attend college, dont talk when they eat nachos, quit Pizza Hut when a swell hits, and practice a bullshit spirituality, one tenet of which is punching strangers in the ocean. Of course, this only applies to certain SoCal surfers, a select breed that is captured ably in Point Break, the movie. Although Swayze and Co. put their own bleached stamp on the subculture, theyre cousins to the real knuckleheads wandering shirtless around minimarts, looking for Bubble Yum, stoned from here to El Segundo. Even better than the movie, though, is Point Break Live!, the high-energy, interactive play that has washed over delighted audiences in Seattle, New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, and, last year, S.F. (a most excellent theatrical spoof, wrote SF Weekly theater critic Chloe Veltman at the time). Created by Jaime Keeling in 2003 and now returned to the city, the play is loaded with innovative bits animation, sports bras, skydiving, and stealing from the audience but the master stroke is how it casts Johnny Utah, the role played by Keanu Reeves. To find someone as wooden as the actor, the cast pulls someone from the audience, every night, to play the lead role; he (or, weirdly, she) gets his lines via cue cards, just like the master himself.
May 1-June 30, 9 p.m., 2009