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Wild Things 

David Brower's fight to save the west

FRI-WED 9/17-22

S.F. filmmaker Kelly Duane's portrait of David Brower, the rabble-rousing conservationist who became the Sierra Club's first executive director, revels in an element missing from this election year's blizzard of advocacy documentaries -- sensual pleasure. Monumental marries breathtaking 16mm footage of natural vistas shot by Brower decades ago to the seductive sounds of new altcountry bands such as the Fruit Bats and the Beachwood Sparks, invoking the thrill of natural beauty in profound, unexpected ways. But Duane, producer and co-director of the irreverent chronicle of the 1999 Brown-Ammiano race, See How They Run, has more on her mind than pretty pictures: Brower's politically savvy and successful crusade to impel Congress to preserve western landmarks -- which inspired the grass-roots environmentalism of the '60s -- is just as galvanizing in the Bush era. Monumental screens at 6:15, 8, and 9:45 nightly with additional Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday matinees at 2 and 4 p.m. at the Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th St. (at Valencia), S.F. Duane is on hand for a Q&A after the 8 p.m. Friday show. Admission is $4-8; call 863-1087 or visit
-- Michael Fox

Punch-Out Paradise

FRI 9/17

If you hear muffled grunts and thuds emanating from the University of San Francisco this Friday, don't worry; you haven't stumbled upon some hideous fraternity hazing ritual. Instead you're getting a little blowback from the Intercollegiate Hilltop Cup, a one-day series of boxing bouts between powerful pugilists drawn from colleges in California and Nevada. The bruiser who triumphs over the slate of 20 fighters stumbles away with the first-ever Hilltop Cup (and the knowledge that proceeds from the event support scholarships for low-income Latino students). The pummeling gets under way at 7 p.m. at the War Memorial Gymnasium, Golden Gate between Masonic and Parker, on the USF campus. Admission is $10-50; call 422-2873.
-- Joyce Slaton

Good Neighbors
Dancing-in-the-street fair

SUN 9/19

People who live near Valencia Street tend to be boisterously proud of their neighborhood. This is no big whoop in San Francisco: The same can be said for residents of most of our microregions. (Our informants tell us the latest 'hood is SoCha, south of Cesar Chavez up to Cortland.) At the Valencia Street Fair, attendees can drink in the atmosphere -- sunny skies, great food, lots of music -- and enjoy the general mixing of cultures that gives the area its bragging rights. Live bands, including Whysall Lane and La Plebe, play on the main stage, and plenty of local artists and boutiques display their wares. It's just another reason we, er, they are so smug about the place. The fair starts at 10 a.m. along Valencia between 21st and 22nd streets, S.F. Admission is free; call 240-6384 or visit
-- Hiya Swanhuyser


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