What’s Screening: August 24 – 30

Enter the Dragon. Enter Godzilla. Enter Ingmar Bergman. Andrei Tarkovsky considers nuclear oblivion while Richard Linklater examines rock ‘n’ roll. And never trust an actress with a name like Eve.

But no film festivals until September.

Promising events

Godzilla Night 7: A Monstrous Weekend, Balboa, Saturday & Sunday

The Balboa is presenting three Japanese monster movies over the weekend: Shin Godzilla, Mothra, and the international mashup of all time, King Kong vs. Godzilla. I’ve seen the last two, a long time ago, and probably while in an altered state. Check the website to see what movies are shown at what time each day.

Enter the Dragon, Balboa,Tuesday, 7:00

I haven’t seen this movie in years, and while I liked it when I saw it, I was never a big fan. This is the flick that brought the martial arts genre to America, and made Bruce Lee famous on this side of the Pacific, even if he didn’t live to enjoy the fame. Look closely to catch Jackie Chan as a nameless fighter unlucky to go up against Lee. On a Kung Fu double bill with The 36th Chamber of Shoalin.

Recommended revivals

A All About Eve, Stanford, Friday through Sunday

Here’s your chance to explore the sordid ambition behind Broadway’s (and by implication, Hollywood’s) glamour. Anne Baxter plays the title character, an apparently sweet and innocent actress whom aging diva Bette Davis takes under her wing. But Eve isn’t anywhere near as innocent as she appears. Fasten your seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy ride. On a double bill with The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.

A- The Sacrifice, BAMPFA (formerly Pacific Film Archive), Thursday, 7:00

Andrei Tarkovsky’s quiet, low-key, final film seems to be about nuclear war, or a nuclear accident (it was made soon after Chernobyl), seen from a very spiritual, Christian point of view. The film puts you under a very strong, foreboding spell, as if the entire world is falling apart. And yet, it sticks to a handful of people in and around a very nice house far out in the country. With cinematographer Sven Nykvist creating muted colors and careful shades, you can’t help feeling a strong Bergman influence here. Read my full report. 4K restoration. Part of the series Andrei Tarkovsky: Sculpting in Time.

B School of Rock, Balboa, Tuesday, 7:00

When Richard Linklater decided to make a commercial, conventional comedy, it came out pretty darn good. Jack Black plays a struggling rock musician who steals his roommate’s identity to take a temporary position in a very staid and proper private school. Impressed by the kids’ strictly classical music skills, he turns the class into a rock band that he hopes will win an upcoming contest. Of course the story is silly and predictable, and it bows too much to star power (Black really should have stayed off-stage at the climax), but it’s fun and catches the rebellious spirit of all good rock. On a Jack Black double bill with Nacho Libre.

B Summer Interlude, BAMPFA, Wednesday, 3:10

Ingmar Bergman set this early (1951) love story on a beautiful island in the summer, told in flashback from the view of the ballerina ingénue. It’s not what you think of as a Bergman film, but it’s enjoyable, and yet very sad. One major plot twist felt false to me. Lecture by Linda H. Rugg. Part of the series In Focus: Ingmar Bergman.

Continuing engagements

Frequently-revived classics