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.
Science fiction author David Brin’s greatest claim to fame (or infamy) may be his book The Postman, which inspired the notorious Kevin Costner flop of the same name. But don’t hold that against Brin; like many a seer, he can’t be held accountable for the wayward members of his flock. Despite Costner’s ponderous direction and guileless performance, the basic premise of The Postman distills Brin’s core thematic concerns: a dystopian future can only be forestalled by embracing community and egalitarianism. Which isn’t to say that Brin is a technophobe obscuring regressive messages in sci-fi garb. He’s an avowed futurist with an ultimately optimistic vision of how technology and democracy can bring about, if not utopia, then a better tomorrow. Brin doesn’t balk at investigating the big questions about humanity and its future, which is evident with his latest novel, the grandly-named Existence. The premise recalls Arthur C. Clarke by way of Douglas Adams -- a space-faring garbage man discovers an alien artifact containing both wonder and peril to all of mankind. From this familiar yet effective seed, Brin explores the breadth of the human experience, from generosity to avarice, and examines the threadbare strings that precariously bind civilization.
Sat., June 23, 1 p.m., 2012