Weerasethakul Short Work
(Shown on film and Beta SP): Ten of Weerasethakul's shorts unspool over two nights, with Friday's show commencing with 2006's The Anthem--his proposed contribution to a tradition in Thai moviewatching that every film or ceremony should be preceded with a blessing. Anthem boils the director's shtick down to five minutes, with a peaceful pastoral setting paired with a raucous gymnasium. The rest of the night hurtles back into his early work, like the 1995 quasi-doc Like the Relentless Fury of Pounding Waves and 1999's Windows, wherein the director plays with the technical limitations of his video camera lens. Saturday turns up his more recent wares, among them the playful My Mother's Garden and Luminous People, with a "story" built out of footage of people on a boat. The biggie is the 40-minute Worldly Desires, whose mix of multiple elements--including a music video, a film set and more time in the jungle--are bewitching.
Fri., March 21 and Sat., March 22, 7pm.
(2004/1982/1963) (Shown on video): We love us some Agn�s Varda, the major female voice of the French New Wave, so excuse us while we wait till next week to speak up about this trio of her short documentaries spanning the entirety of her career.
B+ Wed., March 26, 7pm.
$5. 7141 Germantown Ave. 215.247.3020. www.mtairyvideolibrary.com
(2002) (Shown on DVD): Follow up the Art Museum's Frida Kahlo exhibit with this distressingly standard biopic--not distressing only because it's about Kahlo but because you'd expect some phantasmagoria from director Julie Taymor (Titus, Across the Universe). Sheesh.
Fri., March 21-Sat., March 22, 8pm; and Sun., March 23, 7pm.
$7. Moore College of Art and Design, 20th and Race Sts. 215.965.4099. www.thesecretcinema.com
(Shown on film): March is Women's History Month, and Secret Cinema celebrates by digging into their vaults for films for, about or by women. A portrait of very different times, "Girl Films" unearths such sights as a 1930s musical short Mother Melodies, featuring maudlin ode after maudlin ode to materfamilias; 1943's She Serves Abroad, about the women who helped out in WWII; Arranging the Buffet Supper, a 1946 primer for the common house wife; and Love Carefully, a 1970s instructional film about various birth control options. Also expect women's wrestling films from the '50s and even a 1977 film about the art of belly dancing.
Fri., March 21, 8pm.
(1998) (Shown on DVD): Maybe if we all cross our fingers Johnny Depp's promise to return to Hunter S. Thompson with the in-development-hell Rum Diary may actually happen.
B Mon., March 24, 7:30pm.
WHYY Civic Space
Free. 150 N. Sixth St. 215.351.0511. www.whyy.org
(2007) (Shown on video): Soon to be aired as part of PBS' Independent Lens series, Aaron Woolf's doc looks to the surprisingly troublesome corn industry--namely the overproduction of the stuff and its major role in the fast food industry. An agriculture-related panel discussion follows.
(Not reviewed.) Wed., March 19, 6:30pm.
Wooden Shoe Books
Free. 508 S. Fifth St. 215.413.0999. www.woodenshoebooks.com
(2006) (Shown on DVD): Gay love between an Israeli and a Palestinian may not be the most subtle of storylines, but Eytan Fox (Walk on Water) makes it interesting, if only by tackling it onto a portrait of progressive youths in Tel Aviv.
B- Sat., March 22, 7:30pm.
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