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Reed Magazine Presents Poetry Films and Performances
Tis year marks the 150th birthday of San Jose State University's literary magazine, published under many names over the years. The magazine is celebrating—as part of Cinequest—with short films based on works by local poets. One is Metro's own Gary Singh, currently a Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing and the source author of the short film "Green Tea Ice Cream Stockings." The roster includes: Lita Kurth, Mark Heinlein, ASHA, Lorenz Mazon Dumuk, president of San Jose Poetry Center Robert Pesich, Kimy Martinez, Myles Forman of the band Melted State, Eli Hansen, the unstoppable 'Mighty' Mike McGee and Santa Clara County poet laureate and American Book Award winner Arlene Biala. Nationally known versifier Kim Addonizio—observer of the glories and despair of nightlife, limner of the addicted and the exalted—will be on hand with two made-in-Minneapolis short films based on her work, "Cigar Box Banjo" and "Creased Map of the Underworld." (Mar 3 at 7:30 at SJSU's Yoshihiro Uchida Hall) (RvB)

Flesh and the Devil
(1926) Leo von Harden (John Gilbert), a young Austrian soldier from before the First World War, has a fatal attraction for a married woman rejoicing in the name Felicitas von Rhaden (Greta Garbo). Caught in flagrante by the lady's husband, Leo fights a duel and kills the husband...the upshot is that he's stationed in Africa for five years until the scandal clears. Watching the bereaved lady, adjusting her widow's veil in the mirror for maximum prettiness, tells us she'll be disinclined to pass the years in solitude. Quite old-fashioned, this movie, but it was the first teaming of Gilbert and Garbo, which became a fatal attraction in its own right. And when director Clarence Brown rounds up the couple in a clinch, the nine decades since this was made cease to exist. In an interview with historian Kenneth Brownlow, Brown said, "Tempo is one of the most elusive things, but when you get it right there's nothing better." Brown takes his time with the lovers meeting ("Who...are...you?" "Does it matter?"), lingering as they share the flare of a matchstick. When the smoke clears they're lolling on a day bed, exalted by William Daniels' photography. As for the mystery of his female star—so impertinent yet so remote—Brown commented, "There was something behind her eyes you couldn't see until you photographed it in close-up...she starts where they all leave off." (Plays Mar 10 at 7pm at the California Theatre.)

Levinsky Park
Beth Toni Kruvant (Heart of Stone) observes the situation of some 50,000 to 60,000 refugees who have sought safety in the south Tel Aviv district of Hatikva; new arrivals congregate in the neighborhood's Levinsky Park. Mostly Christians from Eritrea, they cross the Sinai escaping lifetime conscription in their nation's army. The new arrivals are referred to as "infiltrators" by bigots; a mob screaming "back to Africa" carries out a sort of Kristallnacht of broken windows on the Africans' internet cafes and shops. The trouble is egged on by reactionary Knesset MPs such as Miri Regev, who refers to the refugees as "a cancer in our body"—one other old parliamentary rumbler is also seen here describing them as granny-rapers. In one case, deportation fed three asylum seekers straight to ISIS, who executed them. Interviewees include the activist Mutasim Ali, who was interned by the Israeli government, sympathizers who march in the snow in Jerusalem, and old neighborhood people who have mixed feelings about the new arrivals. Footage of barbed wire-topped fences and settlement camps walled like prisons have all too obvious relevance to an America considering sterner measures against the poor, the stateless, and the hunted. Billed with the short "Shame" directed by Paul Hunter and produced by Denzel Washington. (Mar 2 at 7pm, Mar 4 at 1:20, Mar 6 at 4pm, Mar 11 at 10:35am, Century 20 Redwood City.) (RvB)

The Teacher (Ucitelka)
Remember those fabulous 1980s? If you were the characters in this Slovakian export, you'd rather forget. January 1983: at a public school in communist Czechoslovakia, in an affluent suburb of Bratislava, we're shown before and afters of a classroom session where the kids are being asked what their parents do for a living. Director Jan Hrebejk flashes to the aftermath, where administrators meet with parents. All present having the air of the mice in the story who gather to decide who will bell the cat. In corduroy and dung-colored pleather coats, these angry parents discuss causes leading to the removal of the teacher Mrs. Drazdechova (Zuzanna Maurery), a politically connected widow who extorts favors from her students and their parents. (Plays Mar 1 at 9:45 pm at the California Theatre, Mar 2 at 6pm in the CineArts at Santana Row, and Mar 12 at 3:45pm at the Century 20 Redwood City.) (RvB)