Week of September 25, 2002

Ann Arbor Film Festival. Each year the world-renowned Ann Arbor Film Festival honors the best experimental, avant-garde and non-narrative films, then packages them as a traveling festival. This year's festival features sixteen films from around the world, which will be screened over two nights at Webster University. At 8 p.m. September 27, programs one and two will be screened; and at 8 p.m. September 28, programs three and four will be screened. NR

Cinema in the City. Webster University sponsors once-a-month Wednesday screenings in Beatnik Bob's Cafe. This month features Plague of the Zombies (1966). John Gilling's classic B-movie involves medicine, voodoo and zombies. What more do you need? Plays at 7:30 p.m. October 2 at Beatnik Bob's at the City Museum. NR

Cinema of Neglect: the 1970s. Fontbonne University presents a series dedicated to highlighting underappreciated films of the '70s. This week features Paul Bartel's Private Parts (1972). A film so offensive to its parent studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer that they released it under a corporate alias, Paul Bartel's debut feature (not to be confused with the Howard Stern biography) is refreshingly open about its sleaziness. Set in a decaying LA hotel filled with the usual assortment of transvestites, tortured artists and serial killers, the heroine, a young runaway with a penchant for voyeurism and petty theft, finds herself not-too-discreetly excited by the whole scene, especially when the resident peeping Tom, a brooding photographer, starts leaving lingerie, erotic stories and thank-you notes in her room. Bartel, whose career lad him into the campier realm of Death Race 2000 and Eating Raoul, handles things with the kind of neo-Hitchcockian abandon that Brian DePalma would soon claim as his own, and even though it doesn't add up to much, the film is an interesting footnote to a brief period just after the MPAA ratings began, when film studios clumsily tried to open the Pandora's box of cinematic license. Plays at 7:30 p.m. October 1 at the Fontbonne University Library. (RH)

Ford Free Fridays. The St. Louis Art Museums offers Friday-night features as part of its Ford Free Fridays program. This week features Ousmane Sembene's Faat-Kine (2000) Called the father of contemporary African cinema for his dynamic work stretching back to 1965, septuagenarian Senegalese writer/director Ousmane Sembene continues to captivate the eye and the heart with Faat-Kine. As Kine, Venus Seye brings a vitality and warmth to her job as a no-nonsense manager of a busy Dakar gas station. Twice an unwed mother, Kine's pride in her son's and her daughter's success on their baccalaureate exams is tempered by the reappearance of their irresponsible fathers. At its own measured, pleasant pace, Kine's life unfolds with delicious complexity -- the joy shared with friends, the struggle for respect and independence in a patriarchal culture, the effortless dominance of Kine's mother and the sly schemes of Kine's children. Cinematographer Dominique Gentil captures Kine's wonderfully rich world with a palette of vibrant colors and compositions as elegant as the title character. In Wolof and French with subtitles. Plays at 4 and 7 p.m. September 27 at the St. Louis Art Museum. (DC)

Reel Late Midnight Movie Series. The Tivoli Theatre presents a series of classic and destined to be classic films. This week features Yoshiaki Kawajiri's Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (see "Openings" above). Also playing is Blue Velvet. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust plays at midnight September 27, noon and midnight September 28 and noon September 29. Blue Velvet plays at midnight September 27-28. (JO)

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