Yet another festival, I Wake Up Dreaming: the Haunted World of the B Film Noir, opens Friday at the Roxie and runs through the 28th.
Wings, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Saturday. Primarily remembered as winner of the first Best Picture Oscar (except that the award wasn’t called Best Picture at the time), Wings was also the only silent film so honored. They’ll screen it twice, each time with a different pianist and score. But each screening will also feature sound effects performed live by Ben Burtt, the man who crafted the sound for Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Wall-e. (Read my report on another Burtt personal appearance.) A symposium between the two screenings will feature Burtt and William Wellman, Jr., the son of Wings’ director. But this is an expensive fundraiser; $50 if you want both the movie and the symposium.
Star Trek Special Effects Personal Appearance, Balboa, Sunday. ILM special effects wizard Roger Guyett, the visual effects supervisor for the current Star Trek movie, will be on hand to discuss his work after the 4:00 show and before the 7:00 screening.
Slapstick Follies (And Other Fine Messes), Oddball Film + Video, San Francisco, Friday, 8:30. RSVP requested at firstname.lastname@example.org. A collection of seldom-seen, unusual comic shorts from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.
Adoration, Elmwood, Embarcadero, opens Friday. Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan outdoes himself in this story of a teenage boy of half Anglo, half Arabic decent who creates a fiction of his late father as a terrorist, and posts it on the Internet. Yet Adoration is not about a scandal on the Internet. Egoyan has a more intriguing and touching story to tell. It’s about the people left behind after a couple suddenly die, and how they react to and avoid each others’ grief, even years after the event. Not to be missed. Read my full review.
Double Bill: Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown & Johnny Guitar, Castro, Wednesday. Men are jerks and women are crazy in Pedro Almodóvar’s comedy of infidelity, Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. The picture starts like a reasonably serious comedy, sprinkling a few laughs in with the character study. But it keeps suggesting something broader, and by the half-way point, the movie is as wacky as classic American screwball comedy–and considerably bawdier. Carmen Maura stars as the woman wronged (well, the main woman wronged), with a very young Antonio Banderas playing the son of the man who wronged her. Johnny Guitar is a rare 50s western where the strong and honest business owner and the evil capitalist are both women. Men seem to exist just to pull the triggers. Part of the Castro’s Women On the Verge series. http://www.bayflicks.net/womannervousbreakdown.jpg
Black Narcissus, Castro, Sunday. Not much more than a well-done but silly melodrama, Black Narcissus is nevertheless a must if you love old-fashioned three-strip Technicolor. No one could work emotional magic with that clumsy but beautiful system like cinematographer Jack Cardiff, and this is his best work. On a double bill with Suddenly, Last Summer as part of the Castro’s Women On the Verge series.