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Wednesday, Mar 13 1996
march 13
Evil Eye Though not as famous as Citizen Kane, the vision of American corruption in Orson Welles' Touch of Evil is just as timely -- and more entertaining. The film's lengthy single-shot opening bomb sequence is just one of many perverse pleasures. Others include: white-bread Charlton Heston as a Mexican; Marlene Dietrich as a prostitute; Janet Leigh's second-worst cinematic motel visit; and Mercedes McCambridge as a butch gang member who slobbers ("I want to watch") over Leigh's torture. The classic noir screens at 3:30 and 7 p.m. at UC Theatre, 2036 University, Berkeley. Tickets are $4-6.50; call (510) 843-6267.

The Windmills of Your Mind Dr. Oliver Sacks' strange neurological case studies always fascinate, but with An Anthropologist on Mars, his narration has greater emotion. Sacks allows more human detail into profiles of a surgeon with Tourette's syndrome and a painter who executes photo-perfect images of his childhood home. The book's final, title piece -- on Temple Grandin, an autistic animal scientist who has designed humane slaughterhouses and a "squeeze machine" that allows her to experience otherwise-painful touch -- is especially moving; it's also a good intro to Grandin's amazing autobiography, Thinking in Pictures. Sacks discusses his books at 8 p.m. at Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 392-4400.

march 14
Listen to the Wind PHFFFT is the onomatopoeic title of a sound sculpture that activates nearly 200 wind instruments by computer. Accompanied by Beth Custer, Seattle noise artist Trimpin demonstrates his odd creation at an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. (the exhibit continues through April 27) at New Langton Arts, 1246 Folsom, S.F. Free; call 626-5416.

Pink Narcissus From early funding woes to scriptwriter Armistead Maupin's recent vehement criticisms of narrator Lily Tomlin, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman's film version of Vito Russo's The Celluloid Closet has attracted controversy (see review in Film, Page 59). After a recent HBO showing, the historical study of gay images in the movies makes its theatrical premiere with in-person appearances by Tomlin and Lypsinka. Preceded by a champagne reception and followed by a dinner with Tomlin, the benefit screening (for Frameline) starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Tickets are $20-250; call 703-8656.

Art Attack In "The Urge to Be Transported," sculptor/painter Fred Tomaselli examines how drugs -- his subject matter and material -- transform perception. In "Parabolica," Oakland artist Ed Osborn uses a model train set to broadcast a loop of "social" and "natural" sounds. In "Fibra," Celia Mu–oz studies the different meanings evoked by texture. In "Community Photo," a handful of American photographers investigate their national and global roots. All four exhibitions are on view from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (through June 2) at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Admission is $2-4; call 978-2787.

Dancing Dolls Dancers and singers gradually transform the skeleton of a boat into the interior of a church in How Is a Church Like the Sea ..., the latest work by choreographer Cid Pearlman and her seven-member company, Nesting Dolls. The piece -- which includes a string score by Jonathan Segel (who played with Camper Van Beethoven and studied under Norman O. Brown) and vocal arrangements by Laurie Amat -- starts at 8 p.m. (continuing through Sunday) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $12.50-14.50; call 621-7797.

Laughing With Lea Proof that gay men and lesbians have (at best) the cuddly social status of household pets on TV: Lea DeLaria is allowed to play an ambiguous prime-time character, but as herself -- an unapologetic dyke comic -- she still isn't invited on Late Night or The Tonight Show. (Comparing her to Sam Kinison, a Late Night producer claims it's DeLaria's "style" that limits her exposure.) TV or no TV, DeLaria still takes her routine to the road; she performs at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Tickets are $15; call 885-0750.

march 15
Animal Antics A hysterical hippo diva, a womanizing walrus director, and a rat who makes pornos are just some of the Muppets-gone-bad in Meet the Feebles, a twisted early effort by Heavenly Creatures director Peter Jackson. The movie-industry satire -- complete with musical numbers and a romance between a wombat and a poodle chorus girl -- gets a special midnight screening at UC Theatre, 2036 University, Berkeley. Tickets are $4-6.50; call (510) 843-6267.

Home Is Where the Art Is The meanings and feeling evoked by home are investigated in "Cozy: Notions of Domesticity and Safety," a new group show featuring a dozen artists. Curated by Thet Shein Win, "Cozy" includes shoe sculptures, steel hairbrushes, eight-armed stuffed bears, and crocheted rifle panels. (Mark Housley offers a cute minibed with hand-stitched pillows and a children's book called The Littlest Hustler.) An opening reception for the show (which continues through April 13) lasts 6 to 8 p.m. at Southern Exposure, 401 Alabama, S.F. Admission is free; call 863-2141.

Divine Child Two of the Grimm brothers' favorite icons -- the beautiful cherub and the grotesque hag -- cross over from fairy tale to film in Peter Greenaway's The Baby of Macon. Current Hollywood "It Girl" Julia Ormond plays a devious virgin in the 1993 flick, which contains all of Greenaway's trademarks: crazy wigs, lavish sets, and surreal hyperbole. The Baby of Macon's West Coast theatrical premiere begins at 7 and 9:40 p.m. (continuing through Sunday) at the Roxie, 3117 16th St., S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 863-1087.

Texas Twang Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown began his career in the late '40s, when his first stage performance generated $600 in tips in 15 minutes; his original big-horn-section blues hits for the Duke and Peacock labels bankrolled '50s recordings by artists like Big Mama Thornton. A traveling man, Brown moved from Texas to Nashville (in the '60s) to New Mexico (in the '70s) to Europe (in the '80s), recording songs about love, drugs, and alligator-eating dogs. He plays at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Tickets are $12; call 885-0750.

Green Ink and Hams St. Patrick's Day arrives a few days early with "Club Paddy a Go-Go," featuring Delta O'Hare, Bern, Eoin Murphy, and others. The celebration -- complete with torch songs, soliloquies, spoken word, and other subdued forms of madness -- begins at 8 p.m. at New College Multicultural Center, 766 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 626-0884. The Irish writers weekend continues with a second program, "The Importance of Being Elsewhere," on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

Bearded Baby Nahum B. Zenil's self-portraits aren't traditional: In 1988's Mam‡ Nina, for example, a baby-size version of Zenil's grown-up self (beard and all) is cradled by his grandmother. Zenil's self-portraits comment on family and gay male identity; his other paintings and drawings use icons like the Mexican flag to tweak nationalism. An opening reception for "Nahum B. Zenil: Witness to the Self/Testigo del Ser" (which opens tomorrow and continues through Sept. 1) lasts 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mexican Museum, Fort Mason Center, Bldg. D, S.F. Admission is $2-3; call 441-0404.

march 16
Through a Lens Darkly Manthia Diawara's new documentary, Rouch in Reverse, is an example of "reverse anthropology," where former subjects of investigation turn the cameras on their investigators. The 51-minute film examines the renowned French ethnographic filmmaker (and father of cinŽma vŽritŽ) Jean Rouch. "Rouch has played a key role in the representation of Africans on film," states Diawara in a press release. "I wanted to pass through Rouch in order to render visible new African voices and images: the ones that defy stereotype and primitivism." Rouch in Reverse screens -- along with two works by Rouch -- at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-3890.

Social Motion "Hip Hop to Cuba" is a cultural exchange fund-raiser to bring hip-hop dance to the Cuban dance companies Ache-Iya and Raices Profundas. Featuring performances by Jose Francisco Barroso, Aluadomar, and others, the program lasts 8 p.m. to midnight at Rhythm & Motion Studio, 1133 Mission, S.F. Admission is $8-15; call 621-0643. "Dancing for Women's Needs" benefits the Women's Needs Center, a free health care and support service. Choreographers Mae Chesney, Kimiko Guthrie, Marti Johnston, Emily Keeler, Kristin Lemberg, Rebecca Salzer, and Tracy Vogel will perform at the event; it begins at 8 p.m. at New College, 777 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5-25; call 626-4479.

march 17
Alcoholiday Following the 144th St. Patrick's Day Parade, the Embarcadero Center hosts a humongous "family-oriented" outdoor shindig. The party -- which includes traditional Irish music and dance, food and refreshment (i.e., lager and stout) booths, and a World Internet Center -- spans 2 to 5 p.m. at 2, 3, and 4 Embarcadero Center, S.F. Free; call (800) 733-6318.

Neighborhood Narrated by local performer/author Charlie Chin, Chinatown traces the 150-year history of the oft-mythologized, oft-misunderstood S.F. neighborhood. Archival photos, home movies, firsthand recollections, and poetry (by Genny Lim) are all part of the locally produced documentary; it shows at 4:30 p.m. on KQED, Channel 9.

Romantic Contract Adultery, betrayal, and revenge are the happy-go-lucky themes of Ripples Across Stagnant Water, a 1992 feature that opens the Red Vic Movie House's three-day Chinese Film Festival. In Ripples (directed by Ling Zifeng), a woman marries a man she despises under the condition that she can see former lovers whenever she likes. Sounds reasonable. The drama screens at 2, 4, 7:15, and 9:15 p.m. at 1727 Haight, S.F. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call 668-8999.

march 18
Patti Rocks Due sometime this summer, Patti Smith's next album features a cameo appearance by a younger romantic -- Jeff Buckley. Smith fans can see and hear the legend's first Bay Area performance with a band in 10 years at 8 p.m. (also Tuesday) at the Warfield, 962 Market, S.F. Tickets are $25; call 775-7722.

Criminal Conduct The first feature by director Lars von Trier (Zentropa, The Kingdom), Element of Crime is based around modern cinema's favorite type of criminal: the serial killer. Strange colors and stranger plot twists are part of the 35mm whodunit, which gets its San Francisco premiere at 7 and 9:15 p.m. (through Wednesday) at the Roxie, 3117 16th St., S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 863-1087.

Rainy Days and Mondays Since Galaxie 500's 1991 breakup, the group's rhythm section has continued to record slow songs for sad lovers -- under their first names, Damon and Naomi. Unlike Galaxie 500 lead singer Dean Wareham, though, they've avoided working with major labels. Damon and Naomi's second LP is just out; the duo also has a small publishing house, which recently revived Denton Welch's fab, hilarious novel In Youth Is Pleasure. They play -- along with Angel'in Heavy Syrup and Pluto -- at 9:30 p.m. at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-4455.

march 19
Cut and Splice New York-based animator Lewis Klahr has been making collages for over 20 years; in works like Downs Are Feminine, he places vintage male physique models in colorful settings. The Pharaoh's Belt is Klahr's longest work (43 minutes) to date: It juxtaposes sleeping and blindfolded boys, huge cakes, and product-cluttered suburban homes. Is it a comment on consumer society? Maybe, but regardless, it's fun to look at. Pharaoh screens along with two other Klahr shorts -- Altair and Whirligigs in the Late Afternoon -- at 7:30 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $3-6; call (510) 642-1124.

The Gong Show If today's "post-rock" is just prog rock in trendy new clothes, then Gong is due for a reappraisal. Since 1969, the science-fiction hippie group has gone through numerous lineup changes, but the themes and images in its lyrics -- flying teapots, robot women, space whispers, crystal machines, and such -- have always been trippy. Daevid Allen and a few other early/original Gong-ers play (along with Angel'in Heavy Syrup) at 8 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell, S.F. Tickets are $16.50; call 885-0750.

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Johnny Ray Huston


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