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10.24.07

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This Week's Revivals

By Richard von Busack


Movie Times The Cat and Canary
(1926) Paul Leni's inspired sardonic horror film, much imitated over the decades. A sickly peevish miser dies; his relatives—represented expressionistically as prowling cats seeking what they might devour—gather for the reading of the will. And then it turns out that a nearby maniac is loose. Silent, with music by David Giovachinni and his Tricks of Light on Oct. 26 and Judy Rosenberg on Oct. 27. (Plays Oct 26 at 8pm and Oct 27 at 7:30pm at the Niles Essanay Film Museum, 37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont; www.nilesfilmmuseum.org) (RvB)

Movie Times The Lost Boys
(1987) A missed opportunity, mostly notable as the point where director Joel Schumacher really began to betray his earlier promise as a director, leading to the wretched excesses of the last two Batman pictures. Shot in Santa Cruz, it's the story of a tribe of Goth vampires led by Kiefer Sutherland. The tone wobbles from horror—Santa Cruz can be very Transylvanian when the fog hits it—to sappy, tiresome comedy. Cute on a Goonies level, but a classic example of the gutlessness of '80s studio moviemaking. (RvB) (Plays Oct 26–27 at midnight at the Aquarius in Palo Alto.) (RvB)

Movie Times The Milpitas Monster
(1976) "SEE 50 tons of living trash! SEE explosive action! SEE awesome destruction! Thank God, it's only a movie!" Twenty-one years later, The Milpitas Monster remains Milpitas' most enduring claim to cultural fame. A garbage dump starts to misbehave in this ecological parable; though the authorities denied it, they supplied it! The monster—a sort of bat-winged lizard apeosaurus—is battled by a coalition of the local wino and some cheerfully stoned high school students. (This movie was made in the days before we knew marijuana would make you blind and insane and then your dog will tell you how disappointed he is in you, etc.) Magic throughout, but the picture of a still-rural Milpitas Boulevard untangled with urban sprawl got the hugest round of applause when I saw this sucker at the late lamented Serra Theater a few years ago. Director Robert Burrill will be on hand. Discussion at 2pm, film at 4pm. A benefit for the Niles Essanay Film Museum. (Plays Oct 28 at 4pm at the Niles Essanay Film Museum, 37417 Niles Blvd, Fremont; www.nilesfilmmuseum.org.) (RvB)

Movie Times Oh ... Rosalinda!!/The King and I
(1955/1956) Not counting excerpts of the film appearing on Classic Arts Showcase on our few remaining public TV channels, this screening is very likely the Bay Area debut of the Archers' version of Strauss' operetta Die Fledermaus. The operetta, directed and written by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, has been cozily transplanted to occupied Vienna, where the four Allied powers represent the courtiers after one insouciant girl (Ludmilla Tchérina). The suave Anton Walbrook, as a Viennese doctor, seems the most assured to get her. CinemaScope. BILLED WITH The King and I. Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical—never a favorite in Thailand—about the governess to the children of King Mongkut of Siam, played by the late Deborah Kerr; she matches wits with the proud and bald potentate, the ex-acrobat Yul Brynner, who played this role until they buried him. Includes "Getting to Know You," "Shall We Dance" and the instrumental "The March of the Siamese Children." (Plays Oct 26–30 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)

Movie Times The Nightmare Before Christmas
(1993) Tim Burton's charming stop-action musical about Jack Skellington and friends is now in 3-D. (Plays valleywide.)

Movie Times Scare-A-Thon
To get ready for Halloween, a screening of six classics: Rocky Horror Picture Show, Frankenstein, Psycho, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead and The Blair Witch Project. Come in costumes; there are prizes to be won. Sponsored by the Saratoga Rotary Guatemala Rotaplast Project. (Plays Oct 28, starting at 3pm, at the Los Gatos Theater; tickets are $35; call 408.913.7712 for details.)

Movie Times Skinner's Dress Suit
(1926) Comic actor Reginald Denny stars as a self-confident businessman who doesn't get the promotion he expected—but he can't bear to tell his wife about it. Silent. With Jim Riggs at the Wurlitzer. (Plays Oct 27 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)


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