Think Fast What happens when you put a group of well-known improvisers together in a room and let 'em improvise with each other? No one really knows, but the idea of Red Diaper Baby monologuist Josh Kornbluth getting loose with former Margaret Jenkins dancer Nina Wise at the Z Space Festival of Improvisation sounds inviting, as does a battle of wits between Kornbluth and the Serfs, a theatrical music group featuring the S.F. Mime Troupe's Ed Holmes and the Magic Theater's Bob Ernst. Storyteller Joya Cory and violinist Yehudit get in on the action as well. The series features different combinations of performers; it begins at 8 p.m. (and runs through May 15) at Z Space Studio, 1360 Mission (at 10th Street), S.F. Admission is $15; call 437-6775.
Reach Out and Touch Yourself Besides free love and tough love, romantic and brotherly love, there's self-love. The most frequently practiced and ridiculed of all loves gets its due during National Masturbation Month, beginning tonight with "Teaching Masturbation: Local Luminaries of Sex Education," a screening of educational and erotic video clips, with live commentary from Carol Queen and company. Friday's "Masturbate-a-Thon," a fund-raiser for HIV prevention groups, encourages safe solo sex for a good cause; family and friends make pledges and monitor progress if need be. Call (800) 289-8423 for information and sponsorship forms. Additional events include the "One-Handed Reading" reading (May 20 at New College) and a reprise of the clip show May 22 at Oakland's Parkway Theater. "Teaching Masturbation" runs at 7 and 9 p.m. tonight at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $10; call 974-8980. Meanwhile, the three-day San Francisco Sex Worker Film and Video Festival includes House O'Chicks' Masturbation Memoirs (6 p.m. Friday). Other highlights include the 35mm feature A Gun for Jennifer, a film about stripper revenge, created by actual strippers (8 p.m. Friday); the story behind Boogie Nights in Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes (midnight Friday), and a screening of Annie Sprinkle's Herstory of Porn (4 p.m. Saturday), where donations will be collected to help Sprinkle recover from a recent houseboat fire. The festival opens at 2 p.m. Friday with the video compilation Porn'Im'Agery, a benefit for the Tenderloin Self Help Center at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Admission is $7 each show; call 751-1659. A panel discussion and video screening begin at noon Sunday at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia (at 21st Street), S.F. Admission is $10-50; call 751-1659.
Goth Talk In the beginning, before goth's name was by besmirched by trench-coated ghouls, there was Bauhaus and Siouxsie & the Banshees, and it was good. From Bauhaus' seminally spooky "Bela Lugosi's Dead" to Siouxsie's mournful cry in the psychedelia-etched "Israel" and "Cities in Dust," each band's imprint on primitive punk was both eerie and immutable, but there were periodic hints that the good times couldn't last forever (recurring rumors that Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy had OD'd, even during the band's reunion tour last year; Siouxsie playing Lollapalooza, in full makeup, in the daytime), and members of both groups eventually pursued other outlets. Bauhaus' Daniel Ash tinkered with dreamy, druggy pop and seductive club mixes, first in Tones on Tail, then with former Bauhaus bandmate David J in Love and Rockets, who teamed up with KMFDM and deep house duo Deep Dish for remixes of their Resurrection Hex tracks last fall. Some samples in this heavily electronic pastiche echo the old days: Adam Ant's "Kings of the Wild Frontier" and Bauhaus' "Stigmata Martyr." Listen for both when CelloPhane Masses open for Love and Rockets at 8 p.m. at the 7th Note Showclub, 915 Columbus (at Lombard), S.F. Admission is $20; call 522-0333. After the Banshees disbanded in 1995, Siouxsie and husband Budgie hit the road with the Velvet Underground's John Cale, evoking the sinister loveliness of the early albums with concessions to aging rockerdom: pop licks, sitars, VU covers. The Creatures play at 9 p.m. Saturday at the Maritime Hall, 450 Harrison (at First Street), S.F. Admission is $20-22; call 974-0634.
Like a Virgin The last silent film Hollywood ever produced was the 1935 love story Legong: Dance of the Virgins, which director Henri de la Falaise shot on location in Bali with an all-native cast. Bali's beauty, and the rich sound and movement that the film captured there, continues to inspire: The UCLA film archive restored Legong in 1994, and now, Balinese orchestra Gamelan Sekar Jaya and the Club Foot Orchestra have created an eclectic and unprecedented original score to match the film's strong visual appeal. Club Foot has already put new music to silent classics including The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, and Pandora's Box -- many of these old-timey creations debuted at the Castro before playing the rest of the country. The 35-member Gamelan's chiming metallic percussion will be woven with the Club Foot Orchestra's score for winds and strings; both groups will play live, and Balinese dancers will perform onstage after each screening. Legong shows at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. (also Saturday and Sunday) at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro (at Market), S.F. Admission is $12; call 392-4400.