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
99 Marx Meadow Drive,
Golden Gate Park, sfdiscgolf.org
Whether you’re an avid disc golfer or casual Frisbee tosser, the easy access to the Golden Gate Park Disc Golf Course presents a good-clean-fun outdoor experience for everyone.
Anyone near children should get a copy of DAulaire's Book of Greek Myths. Its weird artwork and simple, but not stupid, tellings of the old stories will engross nerdy youngsters, and cause them to do way better on their SATs. It may also cause them to be obsessed with the ancient Greek gods for the rest of their lives. Were not sure if this is exactly what happened to the organizers of the San Francisco Olympians Festival, the No Nude Men Productions theater company, but the obsession is definitely there. The festival features 12 plays, one for each of the severe egotists who occupy Mount Olympus, each written by a local playwright, and given a rehearsed staged reading by local actors. The fun thing to do with Greek myths is to monkey around, stretching them as far out of shape as you can without distorting their meaning. Tonight, the most maligned of the gods, Hera, takes her turn. Everyone, even the DAulaires', makes her out to be a giant bitch, just because she gets mad when her husband cheats on her. Veteran writer for the stage Stuart Bousel shows her as a domestic goddess, like a Real Housewife of Victorian England (see, stretching). Tomorrow, Evelyn Jean Pine gives us the mighty blacksmith, Hephaestus, onstage with his two golden robots, who as far as we know are the first mention of artificial intelligence ever. No way that could go wrong! Other mythologically themed goodies are also on hand: original visual art, chances to win stuff, and more. Afterward, youll do better on your SATs.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: July 8. Continues through July 31, 2010