Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu's 1953 Tokyo Story appears faithfully on critics' "10 Best Movies Ever" lists, but just try to find someone who remembers a scene from it -- or any other Ozu film. Given the director's reputation as a "quiet" and "slow" filmmaker, even mavens seem content to leave his work on those lists without actively viewing it.
That wrongheaded inclination seems even more ridiculous thanks to "Spring Turns to Autumn: The Post-War Films of Yasujiro Ozu," a retrospective at the Castro concentrating on the period from 1959 to 1962 (Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive screens his prewar works later this month). Whereas Ozu's earlier pictures swarmed with camera movement and playful Hollywood references, his post-1945 movies throb with an elegantly elegiac sadness, despite his typically austere story lines. But it's in the details -- the curt exchanges between a disgruntled husband and wife, the extra beat in the shot of a widowed father who's just successfully married off his beloved daughter -- that audiences see the seasons change in Ozu's world. His Late Spring opens the series, which runs through Nov. 20, at noon today at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro (near Market), S.F. Admission is $5-8; call 621-6120 or visit www.castrotheatre.com.
-- Frako Loden
Hip hop's old-school documentarian
Three decades ago, when hip hop was a modest urban street phenomenon, a punk kid named Ernie Paniccioli became fascinated with New York's graffiti art scene. Packing a camera, he set out to document the artwork that blossomed beneath bridges and in subway tunnels, but ended up capturing the arc of hip hop's evolution instead. His work holds kitschy nostalgia value, to be sure -- look, there's Grandmaster Flash at Manhattan's Roxy club, and a chubby young Mary J. Blige! -- but more important, his snaps provide a pictorial history of a genuine youth movement.
"Who Shot Ya," an exhibition that brings together images culled from Paniccioli's 2002 book of the same name, opens today with a reception featuring live music and DJs spinning -- what else? -- classic and new hip hop. The party starts at 8 p.m. (the exhibit remains up until Dec. 4) at Punch Gallery, 155 10th St. (at Howard), S.F. Admission is free; call 760-7513 or visit www.exact-science.com.
-- Joyce Slaton
Change Your Clothes
Sewing the seeds of change
As millions of us troop to gyms and run like hamsters so that we can, as the girlie mags say, "wear cute clothes," some people question this pursuit.Artist Jenny Zhang responds to Americans' often extreme body-image problems with "Gauze," a series of hand-sewing workshops with the mission to "make clothes fit bodies, not bodies fit clothes." Concerned with the mass production of garments from sweatshops, Zhang wants participants to bring one piece of clothing that fits perfectly, one that doesn't fit, and a willingness to become part of her larger video project of the same name. The next workshop begins at 2 p.m. at Independent Design Collection, 52 Mason (at Market), S.F. Admission is free; visit www.jennyzhang.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Roll Out the Barrel
Where can you go to don a cardboard hat and indulge in European country cooking? Why, the Pinkelwurst Festival, a traditional celebration of German harvest sausage. There you'll be serenaded by the waltzes and polkas of Big Lou's Polka Casserole and dazzled by the fancy Bavarian footwork of the Almenrausch Schuhplattler, all starting at 6 p.m. at Schroeder's Restaurant, 240 Front (at California), S.F. Admission is free; call 421-4778.
-- Sunny Andersen