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Film Picks

[whitespace] By Richard von Busack (RvB) and Michelle Goldberg (MG)

Storefront Hitchcock (1998)
May 5-9 at the Red Victorian

If you were lucky, you could see the subject of this film playing acoustic guitar in the doorways of Haight Street a few years back. In this bare-bones concert film, recorded by Jonathan Demme (Stop Making Sense) in a vacant New York storefront, Robyn Hitchcock plays solo unplugged guitar and word jazz--in between songs, riffs up mad, calm monologues about punishment by minotaurs and churches made out of carcasses. Like his cinematic namesake, Hitchcock manages to make mortality look cheerful. Robyn's heart-wrenching cover of Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" has a bluesy acceptance of the inevitable. "The Yip Song" (all about an elderly ex-RAF captain dying on the operating table) conjures up the thrill of a last great plunge into the unknown. (RvB)

San Francisco Sex Workers Film and Video Festival
Plays May 7-9 at the Roxie and ATA

In A Gun From Jennifer, Allison (producer/ co-writer Deborah Twiss) is a battered housewife who kills her husband and flees to Manhattan. There, she takes the name Jennifer and is recruited by a group of vigilante women who kill rapists. Also scheduled is the documentary Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes by Cass Paley and Chris Rowland, all about Holmes, the preposterously well-endowed porn star. Angela Davis narrates the documentary Blind Eye to Justice, about HIV-positive women in prison. But many of the short films on display are less heavy. Veteran '70s performers such as Veronica Monet, Sharon Mitchell and Juliet Anderson have films in the fest, and the event is marked with parties. For more details, go to www.bayswan.org/swfest.html or call 415/751-1659. (RvB)

SLC Punk! (1998)
Plays at selected theaters.

Anyone who escaped to San Francisco from an inbred backwater or teensy Republican mini-city will find tons to relate to in James Merendino's hysterical SLC Punk! Charging ahead with the pace of a Ramones song, the movie follows two spastically nihilistic Salt Lake City punk rockers and their ill-fated attempts to live as if they have no future. Heroes Stevo (Matthew Lillard) and Heroin Bob (Michael Goorjian), who's never tried drugs, are middle-class kids playing at anarchy with all their heart, and the film genuinely celebrates the joys of being a teenage poseur. The Gumby-like Lillard, most famous for his roles in Scream and She's All That, glows with goofy charisma as he parties, fights with mods, skinheads and rednecks, and expounds on the myriad micro-cliqués and complex social structures of underground Utah. (MG)

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From the April 26, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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