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Martin Scorsese Classic Turns 35

The Roxie’s 35th anniversary screening of the Martin Scorsese classic biopic Raging Bull is just one reason to check out alternative screenings this week. Another is an introduction to the weird animated short films of the Brothers Quay courtesy of Christopher Nolan.

For those whose cinematic tastes run a whole lot wilder than a Martin Scorsese film, there are other options. Peaches Christ hosts a 40th anniversary screening of a cult underground classic starring George Kuchar. John Waters’ classic tale of the misadventures of Dawn Davenport is made more tasty with a post-film Q&A moderated by Cheryl Dunye. Finally, the Roxie kicks off a program of locally made short films whose subjects include tech gentrification and Heklina.

Female Trouble

The Bechdel Test film series’ newest screening is this John Waters classic starring Divine. In it, Divine plays spoiled schoolgirl Dawn Davenport. Her misadventures after running away from home include getting pregnant and becoming a fashion model for a pair of beauticians who like to photograph women committing crimes. Acclaimed filmmaker Cheryl Dunye conducts the post-film Q&A.

Screens December 13 at the New Parkway Theater

Industrial Soundtrack For The Urban Decay

Amelie Ravalec and Travis Collins’ documentary traces the history of industrial music and noise. A music genre that began in Europe’s crumbling industrial cities soon becomes a staple of American avant-garde music. Interviewees include Cabaret Voltaire, Throbbing Gristle, and Re/Search’s V. Vale.

Preceding the screening will be the bleak Weimar-era German silent film Accident.

Screens December 13 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

In The Red

This feature-length local documentary follows a trio of young poor black men who are given a second chance at life thanks to a unique Oakland diversion program. This 18-week program trains these young men to become firefighters. Over the two year period covered by the film, not all of the film’s subjects will succeed as first responders. But those who do will have their lives forever changed.

In The Red

Screens December 15 at the New Parkway Theater. Post-film Q&A features subjects Sean Gascie, Dexter Harris, Wellington Jackson, and Superior Court Judge Trina Thompson.

Mystery Mystery Science Theater 3000

The New Parkway’s resident MST3K fan Oliver Beckwith will host a screening of an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K to noobs). The episode in question has not been announced, but it’s safe to say this will be an occasion for tons of snark and laughter from the audience. Pre-show festivities include a trivia contest with prizes.

Screens December 11 at the New Parkway Theater

Night Of The Comet

In this 1984 science fiction comedy, nearly all life on Earth gets wiped out by a passing comet’s radiation. However, even the end of the world won’t stop such teenage girls as those played by Catherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney from dancing through the apocalypse.

Screens December 12 at the Castro Theatre on a double bill with “Ghostbusters.”

Noir City Xmas

This double bill of noir films both livens up the holidays and offers to Bay Area cinephiles a cinematic appetizer before Noir City 14 comes to the Castro Theatre in January. Featured in this program are The Reckless Moment and Kiss Of Death. Max Ophuls, who directed The Reckless Moment, tells the tale of a housewife (Joan Bennett) whose efforts to free her daughter from a corrupt boyfriend leads to an accidental murder. The housewife’s efforts at covering up the crime gets compromised by a mysterious stranger (James Mason) with incriminating evidence on the housewife. Ophuls’ film was later re-made as the Tilda Swinton vehicle The Deep End. Kiss Of Death stars Victor Mature as a reluctant informer who fingers psycho Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) for an unsolved crime. But a bungled trial results in Udo’s going free. Now the informer knows the psycho will want revenge. The only question is When.

Screens December 16 at the Castro Theatre

Raging Bull: 35th Anniversary On 35 MM

This year marks the 35th anniversary of this Martin Scorsese classic. Robert De Niro stars in this biopic of boxing legend Jake La Motta. According to the Roxie’s notes, this movie was a passion project for De Niro, who had previously tried to interest Martin Scorsese in directing the film. It took being stuck in a very bad career patch for the director to identify with the pain beneath the boxer’s brutishness and take on the project. The result is one of the seminal films in the canon of Martin Scorsese.

Screens December 11, 12, and 16 at the Roxie Theater

Roxie Mixtape #1

This inaugural program of short films made by Bay Area residents encompasses such genres as documentary, music video, and experimental film. Among the offerings on this program are a portrait of legendary drag performer Heklina, a music video from S.F. hardcore punk band Vulgar Trade, and a political cabaret short about S.F.’s tech gentrification.

Screens December 17 at the Roxie Theater

Snervous: Tyler Oakley In Person

Meet inspirational pro-LGBTQ Youtube celebrity Tyler Oakley in person at this one day only event. The program begins with a screening of Snervous, a new documentary about Oakley. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with Oakley.

Screens December 13 at the Roxie Theater. Advance online tickets are no longer available to this event. Interested viewers are urged to get into the Rush Line for this event to have a chance to score a ticket.

Station To Station

Take one train traveling 4,000 miles from the Atlantic to the Pacific over the course of 24 days. Toss in an ever shifting roster of artists such as Beck, Ed Ruscha, and Olafur Eliasson. Mount happenings featuring these artists at various station stops. The result is 62 one-minute films which reflect the creation of unexpected artistic moments transcending individual artists’ abilities.

Screens December 17 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Thundercrack!

The Castro hosts the 40th anniversary screening of the legendary underground kinky arty horror film in its 160-minute Directors Cut version. Curt Mc Dowell and George Kuchar’s film may start with a typical gothic horror set-up. But it soon devolves into an entertaining mix of raunchy sex, utter horror, and really tasteless jokes. The evening screening of the film will have a pre-show presented by the legendary Peaches Christ.

Screens December 11 at the Castro Theatre

Time To Love

This week’s entry in the Roxie’s Iranian Movie Nights is this box office hit. The unraveling of the relationship between a divorce lawyer and her husband leads to the unwelcome discovery of their complex web of lovers and ex-lovers.

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Screens December 12 at the Roxie Theater

Y/our Music

This documentary immerses the viewer in the world of Thai music, showcasing not only the music but the environments that inspire these works. The viewer will be treated to labor songs hummed while grain awaits harvest as well as indie music born out of concrete basements.

Screens December 12 and 13 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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