Cinequest: Feb 26

First, let us apologize to Blanchard Ryan, whom I incorrectly accused of bailing on an appearance in the 20-year history of Cinequest we published last week.  A reader writes in and notes that she was not only was Ryan there, she discussed the importance of keeping dreams alive. All apologies.

So: today is when some damned serious decisions have to be made. One of these is not whether or not to see Camembert Rose.

Cheese (as in cheesecake) is available instead through Gabi on the Roof in July (7:30, C

amera 12) which promises comedy about postgrad angst and promiscuity, lots of nudity and a whipped cream scene honoring the famous photo of Dolores Erickson. In real life, I have found this process to be relentlessly sticky, so I was happy to hear that the material in question was shaving cream. (Hello, Benny Bell fans.)

Directors Lawrence Michael Levine and Sophia Takai’s film includes a cast that’s been in shared Venn Diagrams with Joe Swanberg. I’m not saying it’s mumblecore, but you might want to bring an ear trumpet. The debut of the pretty funny Montrealaise peeping-tom comedy Peepers, shortly afterward at 9:30, should ensure you get an evening’s worth of scopophilia.

There was a time before nude scenes, you know, when the very sight of Mae Marsh in a loose nightgown was enough to make nostrils flare, and the one-time-only screening of The Merry Widow (7pm, California Theatre) might be worth attending instead, especially since Dennis James will be rattling the walls with the Wurlitzer. Erich von Stroheim’s story of middle-European decadence, prostitution and foot fetishes epitomizing an era when the cinema was something you could take the whole family to see. This one is hard, perhaps impossible, to track down on DVD, and the grand theater itself is part of the experience.
And just to complicate matters: Alejandro Adams’ Babnik, a sex and violence free experimental film about the skin trade also debuts at 7pm at the Rep.
Also recommended today: The Tijuana Project (7:15pm, Camera 12), the sheep movie (2:15pm, Camera 12), and, mostly for gorehounds, the intelligent shocker 7 Days at 11:45 (Cam 12).

Just to mention an outside-the-walls screening coming up, Arusi: Persian Wedding is a documentary about cross-cultural differences that break out when a young Iranian-American couple get married. If you think you might have heard about the film, it’s becaue it was screened on PBS in ’09. Director Marjan Tehrani is going to be on hand: Wed, Mar 3 at 7pm at San Jose State’s Engineering Auditorium, Room 189. Free.

And meanwhile, just to make matters more complex, the Stanford Theatre‘s excellent Akira Kurosawa retrospective continues apace 20 miles north of Cinequest central.

Not enough time to see everything? Welcome to my world.

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