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The Black Scorpion The Jet City Improv comedy troupe will ad-lib live dialogue to this 1957 monster movie. In it, rather like the classic Them! (made by the same studio three years prior), giant scorpions besiege Mexico City. Created by stop-motion master Willis O'Brien (King Kong), these huge beasts are reputed to be pretty scary. (They're also let loose by volcanoes, so take note of our own dormant Northwest cones—what big bugs might lie beneath?) An American geologist (Richard Denning) must battle the oversize insects, and of course there's also a cute Mexican love interest for him—naturally played by an American actress. (NR) Fremont Outdoor Movies, N. 35th St. and Phinney Ave. N., 206-781-4230. $5. 7:30 p.m. (doors open); show at dusk. Sat. July 8.
Comedy Video Festival A collection of shorts, sketches, and even a few TV pilots will be screened. If you haven't already streamed one of these viral videos to your desktop, there could be something new and yuk-worthy to see. 21 and over. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. $5. 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Tues. July 11.
The 48 Hour Film Project Local film crews begin their projects Friday, July 7, and must complete their writing, filming, and editing within two days. Then you get to see the seven-minute finished products, which will later be entered in a national competition of the same name. About two dozen teams are expected to enter and screen their works. See Web site for further details. (NR) Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy St., 206-781-5755, www.48hourfilm.com. $10. 7 and 9 p.m. Tues. July 11 and Thurs. July 13.
The Gang's All Here Hollywood choreographer and director Busby Berkley is the focus of three programs this month at NWFF. First is his 1943 musical spectacular starring Carmen Miranda and lots of fruit, filmed in Technicolor, as it deserves. She sings "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat" (as perhaps heard and seen by a young Little Richard at the time), and Benny Goodman also leads his orchestra through several numbers. Alice Faye plays the showgirl who tempts a GI away from his sweetheart; she also gets a chance to deliver the ballad "A Journey to a Star." Edward Everett Horton also turns up in comic relief. But it's all Miranda's show; bring your own bananas in tribute. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. Fri. July 7-Thurs. July 13.
Audrey Hepburn Fest SAM beings its six-title salute (through August) to the movie legend (1929-1993) who lit up so many screens and hearts. First up is the 1953 romance Roman Holiday, for which she earned an Oscar playing a princess who dumps her station to cavort with a reporter (Gregory Peck). The two of them tooling around on his scooter through Italian streets has become an icon of love, and of Rome, although William Wyler's movie doesn't stand among her best work or his. It's more a charmer than a classic, and the source story by blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo seems to look back to a prewar time of innocence. Peck hardly makes for a bohemian journalist, though Eddie Albert scores some laughs as a proto-beatnik. Mainly it's a chance to enjoy Hepburn's radiance—in effect, she's a princess playing a princess. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $35-$39 (series), $6-$8 (individual). 7:30 p.m. Thurs. July 6.
The Legend of Rita You'd be a terrorist, too, for the fun of cavorting around '70s and '80s Europe with Bibiana Beglau. The vivacious actress earned a 2001 Berlin Film Festival prize for her portrayal of the eponymous Rita, a West German radical based on actual figures of the era. Volker Schlöndorf (The Tin Drum) treats her gang like Bonnie and Clyde, but we know such innocent bank robbing will eventually turn bloody. When it does, Rita flees to East Germany, then takes up a succession of new identities. As the Cold War draws to an end, her Stasi protectors rethink her political usefulness. The problem, even as we guess her inexorable fate, is that she's so damn likable—which doesn't compensate for Rita's fundamentally dull, episodic nature. Naturally her idealism collides with the drab, stultifying reality of the GDR, but her ultimate regrets—and resignation—will only matter to those who lived through the times and speak the language. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Wed. July 5-Sun. July 9.
Let's Rock Again! Joe Strummer lives! Well, at least director Dick Rude will be here in person for a Q&A following his one-hour tour documentary about the late, great co-founder of the Clash. This film follows Strummer with his band the Mescaleros during the 18 months or so prior to his untimely 2002 death. (NR) Experience Music Project (JBL Theater), 325 Fifth Ave. N., 206-367-5483. Free. 7:30 p.m. Wed. July 5.
Outdoor Movies at Linda's Surprise night promises a secret program of cinematic oddities. 21 and over. (NR) Linda's Tavern, 707 E. Pine St., 206-325-1220. Free. Dusk. Wed. July 5. Then it's a compendium of cheesy old trailers and TV ads from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. Dusk. Wed. July 12.
Sixteen Candles Show me a woman between the ages of 28 and 35 who didn't have a crush on Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), the superfox dreamboat of John Hughes' classic 1984 teen wish-fulfillment fantasy, and I'll show you, well, a lesbian. Hughes, the man who would go on to make The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, and just about every other great '80s movie never remotely eligible for an Oscar, found his first and best muse in Molly Ringwald, the ordinary/extraordinary everygirl. Her pouty lips, gawky body, and frequent eyeball rolls—not the flawless, über-confident sexpot represented by Jake's bitchy queen-bee girlfriend—truly captures the agony and ecstasy of being a teenager. The role of Samantha was a breakout for Ringwald, but Anthony Michael Hall, as the jittery, froggy-voiced captain of the geek squad, and John and Joan Cusack in two of their earliest roles, are just as much fun to watch. (PG) LEAH GREENBLATT Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-9. Midnight. Fri. July 7-Sat. July 8.
Tour de France Movies Doping scandal or no doping scandal, the Tour de France is underway, and these three titles celebrate both that race in particular and cycling in general. From 1976, A Sunday in Hell documents the classic one-day Paris-Roubaix race, famed for its brutal cobblestone surface—which reduces legs to jelly and hardened athletes to tears. The great Eddie Merckx is among the riders, but no spoilers: You'll have to see it for yourself. Höllentour follows the 2003 Tour de France, which was—no drama here—the fifth consecutive event won by Lance Armstrong. But the German documentary focuses more on the T-Mobile team and its stars, including sprinter Erik Zabel, rising talent Andreas Klöden, and cagy veteran Alexandre Vinokurov. (Jan Ulrich was on the comeback trail that year, riding for Bianchi.) Lastly, though it nominally centers on New York's 2005 Cycle Messenger World Championships, Peter Sutherland's hour-long Pedal (Friday and Saturday only) is more about messenger culture and style. PBR, not EPO, is the favorite chemical enhancer here. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. Free (or pay by donation). Fri. July 7-Thurs. July 13.
Walking to Werner Benefit Screened to some acclaim at SIFF, Linas Phillips' mostly self-shot and handheld road documentary chronicles his 1,200 mile odyssey by foot from Seattle to Los Angeles to meet his hero of cinema, Werner Herzog. Now he'll add to his completion funding via a 24-hour walkathon. You can pledge your support from 25 cents (and up) per hour, and come to offer cheers of encouragement, which cost nothing. There will be live music during the event, which concludes at 11 a.m. Saturday morning with pancakes. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5 plus individual pledge. Noon. Fri. July 7 through noon, Sat. July 8.