What’s Screening: February 24–March 1

A short newsletter this week. Should that win an Oscar?

Festival fans will have to drive down south in mid-week. Cinequest opens Tuesday in San Jose.

Oscar Ceremony, Sunday, various theaters. Why be alone when you discover which tribute to silent films wins the bald guy. If you want to see the big show on the big screen with a big audience, click these theater links for times, prices, and other details:

A Fantasia, Castro, Friday through Sunday. I have a sneaking feeling that I don’t really have to tell you about this movie, aside from the fact that, as far as I know, this is its first theatrical presentation in San Francisco in over 20 years. Let’s just say that this collaboration between Walt Disney, Leopold Stokowski, and countless other artists still stands out as a great achievement and an entertaining two hours.

A His Girl Friday, Pacific Film Archive, Tuesday, 7:00. Director Howard Hawks turned Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s hit play The Front Page into a love triangle by making ace reporter Hildy Johnson a woman (Rosalind Russell), and scheming editor Walter Burns (Cary Grant) her ex-husband. And thus was born one of the funniest screwball comedies of them all–with a bit of serious drama thrown in about an impending execution.

B Tarzan and His Mate, Stanford, Tuesday through Thursday. The second and the best of the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies, while still juvenile–and, let’s face it, racist–entertainment, feels very different from the dumb sequels that followed. At this stage in their lives, Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan made a very sexy Tarzan and Jane, and since the movie was pre-code, the sexuality didn’t have to be hidden. (Okay, the nude swimming scene was cut soon after the film’s release, but it has since been restored.) The stars’ chemistry and the story’s general outlandishness makes for an entertaining evening.

Harold and Maude, United Artists Berkeley, Thursday, 8:00. After Woodstock, this comedy about a young man and a much older woman is the ultimate statement of the hippie generation. I loved it passionately in the 1970′s. But I haven’t seen it in a long time and I’m not sure how well it’s aged.

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