Week of September 4, 2002

Cinema in the City. Webster University sponsors once-a-month Wednesday screenings in Beatnik Bob's Cafe. This month features Midnight Cowboy, John Schlesinger's 1969 film about alienation, loneliness and liberation. The film stars then-young guns Dustin Hoffman and John Voight as vermin and a cowboy gigolo, respectively, and won the 1969 Best Picture Oscar, despite its scandalous (at least by '60s standards) subject matter and X rating. Plays at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at Beatnik Bob's at the City Museum. NR

Reel Late Midnight Movie Series. The Tivoli Theatre presents a summer series of classic and destined to be classic films. This week features Michael Benveniste and Howard Ziehm's Flesh Gordon (1972). You know you want it, so here you go. A tale of timeless wonder, a hero called to his destiny, a battle beyond the imagination ... plus a herd of feral penisauri. This parody abounds with cheap and cheesy gags, but it's also affectionate toward its shamelessly plundered source material, which is why it holds up as a high point of lowbrow cinema after three decades. Written by Benveniste, who co-directed with Ziehm, this boner epic pits its titular hero (Jason Williams) against the evil Emperor Wang the Perverted (William Dennis Hunt) of the planet Porno, who's bombarding the earth with sex rays. Not sure why that's a problem, but it is, so Flesh and his mentor, Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins), must save the delicate Dale Ardor (Cindy Hopkins) from certain pleasure. En route, you'll get all manner of soft-core sci-fi silliness, including the sweetest lesbo tease action since ... well, Sappho, probably. Alas, no Queen soundtrack, but feel free to bring your favorite queen to this bravura picture. Also playing is The Goonies. Flesh Gordon plays at midnight September 6, noon and midnight September 7 and noon September 8. The Goonies plays at midnight September 6-7. (GW)

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