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
People love to compare The Golden Girls to Sex and the City. Rue McClanahans libidinous Southern belle, Blanche Devereaux, is always equated with Kim Cattralls monogamy-eschewing Samantha Jones. The comparison is tempting, but theres a glaring difference. The Golden Girls never needed men to be happy. Blanche may have been with a different suitor every night, but in the end, all she needed to get through the day was a slice of cheesecake and a bitch session with her three close friends. In the SATC world, the womens commitment to each other was like the green room before the big show: marriage and kids. McClanahan died recently, joining fellow stars Bea Arthur and Estelle Getty in that big pastel-colored Floridian dreamhouse in the sky. But the legacy she left for women lives on: You can be old and sexually active, and you dont need a man in your life to be happy. Pay homage to McClanahan with drag queens Heklina, Cookie Dough, Matthew Martin, and Pollo Del Mar, who have been paying homage to the girls for years with their hilarious (and affectionate) send-up of the series, "The Golden Girls: The Pride Episodes." This month's installment includes two all-new episodes. Matthew Martin as Blanche is an uproarious highlight: We think he may have reinvented the wink.
June 18-25, 7 & 9 p.m., 2010