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Film Picks

[whitespace] By Richard von Busack

Cannibal! The Musical (1994)
Nov 13-19 at the Lumiere Theater
1572 California St; 415/352-0810.

The all-singing, all-dancing story of Alferd (sic) Packer, the Colorado cannibal who devoured five miners in the 1870s. In this version, Packer is a nice, misunderstood kid driven to desperation by the theft of his pony. Cannibal! is the surprisingly well-photographed and well-written student prank of Trey Parker and Matt Stone (authors of TV's South Park) in collaboration with Jason McHugh, producer of their upcoming film Orgazmo! There are actual historic locations, handsome Rocky Mountain scenery and a selection of charming tunes, including "When I Was on Top of You" (Packer's ode to his lost horse), the chorus "Hang the Bastard!" and "Let's Build a Snowman." A cult film in crying need of a cult.

Contempt (1963)
Nov 4, at the Roxie
3117 16th St; 415/863-1087.

This experiment turns the whole idea of movies inside out, especially the unkillable myth of love at first sight. Contempt suggests that there might be such a thing as hate at first sight, that one casual, unthinking gesture could destroy a marriage. And director Jean-Luc Godard swivels around the camera viewfinder to the audience, to give them a look at a degrading commercial enterprise that befouls what its touches. (Godard: "I am a whore fighting the pimps of cinema.") The story: Paul (Michel Piccoli), a kind, happily married screenwriter, is in the process of whoring himself out to a vulgarian movie producer named Prokosch (Jack Palance) who wants to make a t&a movie version of The Odyssey. Paul's wife, Camille (the tawny Brigitte Bardot, sulking like a pet tiger), believes her body to be part of Paul's contract. The famous Big Snit sequence between Paul and Camille is a marital argument of almost unwatchable intensity, in which every tentative complaint, every conciliatory phrase, has to be withdrawn, examined, re-examined and apologized for. The new print brings out the vividness of Godard's palette--the hot, sharp blue of the Mediterranean, the gold of Bardot's pelt.

Film Arts Festival
Nov 4-8, at various locations, including the Roxie and the Castro theaters, the Asian Art Museum and the SF Library. For more information call 415/552-FILM or check www.filmarts.org.

Local independent filmmakers exhibit their work in this annual festival of short films, hosted by the filmmaker's co-op. Highlights include two views of the crime-plagued East Bay: Drylongso (Ordinary), Cauleen Smith's story about a young woman named Pica who records her impressions of her Oakland neighborhood with a Polaroid camera, and El Corrido de Cecilia Rios, a documentary by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan about the murder of a young Richmond girl. Dozens of shorts by local filmmakers are also scheduled.

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From the November 2-15, 1998 issue of the Metropolitan.

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