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[whitespace] By Richard von Busack

Another Day in Paradise
Plays at selected theaters.

A quartet of junkies go on a medium-level crime spree sometime in the 1970s; the twist is that they're a sharing, caring bunch. Mel (James Woods), seeing potential in a young, battered thief, Bobbie (Vincent Kartheiser, beautiful but blank), picks him up. The boy's girlfriend, Rosie (Natasha Wagner), rides along. The quartet, completed by Mel's moll, Sid (Melanie Griffith), hits the road to steal some drugs and buy some guns. Directed coolly and bloodily by Larry Clark (Kids), the film doesn't aspire to the no-Christmas-for-junkies heartbreak; there isn't even a cold-turkey sequence. Of the four, Woods steals the scenes and kicks every other actor's butt around the block. You could call it over-the-top acting, but where, pray, is Woods' top? His ambition: to be the most rabid, silver-tongued devil of an actor in the world! It's more ambition than anyone else in Another Day in Paradise shows, before or behind the camera.

Une Air de Famille (A Family Resemblance)
Plays Jan. 29-Feb. 4 at the Lumiere Theater.

The new one by Cedric Klapisch, a French director with une air de famille to Ernst Lubitsch. Klapisch's When the Cat's Away (1996) was an underrated story of gentrification tearing apart a neighborhood. The new work is a story of a family's gatherings at the cafe they own, where the previously polite group prepares for a public storm. Co-stars Agnes Jaoui and Jean-Pierre Bacri wrote the script, based on their play.

Strike/Metropolis (1925/1926)
Plays Feb. 5 at the Castro.

Silk-hatted, greasy capitalists shake their jowls. Industrial slaves tend the wheels and gears of a factory. The propagandistic motif of both films is similar, though director Fritz Lang suggests both sides can get along--an inane suggestion, after what we've seen in Metropolis. The show features Sergei Eisenstein's rousing agit-prop film Strike--little seen, but just as compelling and fast-paced as his better known works Ten Days That Shook the World and Potemkin. Also on the bill is Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the most popular of all silent films--a vision of a future in which workers are fed to machines while a leisure class lives like gods in the clouds. The Alloy Orchestra (Terry Donahue, percussion, accordion; Ken Winokur, percussion, clarinet; Roger C. Miller, keyboards) carries on the pioneering work of SF's Club Foot Orchestra in accompanying silent pictures with avant-garde live orchestral scores.

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From the February 1, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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