The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

FRIDAY 11/4

Film: Woman in Green

Eric Rohmer's 1986 masterpiece Le Rayon Vert (aka The Green Ray) delivers an absorbing, empathic portrait of a complex woman caught between her own obstinacy and melancholy. That single woman is Delphine, a Paris secretary played by Marie Rivière. (She also stars in Rohmer's 1987 Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle, also screening through Thursday.) Her wavering summer vacation plans take her from Cherbourg to the Alps to Biarritz. "I'm not stubborn. Life is stubborn toward me," says headstrong Delphine, but she's much more self-aware and vulnerable than she lets on. She is lonely and sad, but not self-pitying. Though her defenses are up, she isn't immune to the power of magic. Objects or events with talismanic significance occur throughout the film—most importantly, overheard conversations. On her second day in Biarritz, she eavesdrops on a group of gray hairs discussing the 1882 Jules Verne novel that gives the film its name, itself a reference to the optical phenomenon that occurs right after sunset. "When you see the green ray, you can read your own feelings and those of the people you're with," one elder says. Something seems to shift or loosen in Delphine after she hears this. She begins to open up to the possibility of getting lost in adventure—of taking, perhaps, a vacation from herself. Call for showtimes. SIFF Film Center, 305 Harrison St. (Seattle Center), 324-9996, siff.net. $5–$10. MELISSA ANDERSON

Dance: Five From the Heart

The original choreography for Debussy's Afternoon of a Faun was a major scandal when it premiered in 1912. Vaslav Nijinsky's intensely sensual solo at the end of the work feigned masturbation and orgasm, and sent the audience into a paroxysm. Presented among the five dances in Pacific Northwest Ballet's Love Stories program, Jerome Robbins' 1953 Faun is much more subtle. Framed as a duet in a ballet studio, its two dancers prowl around each other with the same febrile qualities, but only look at each other through their reflections in the mirror. But when the young man actually kisses his partner, he creates the same frisson as the Nijinsky version. Other excerpts in this eclectic collection of romantic works include dances from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and Roméo et Juliette. (Through Nov. 13.) McCaw Hall, 301 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 441-2424, pnb.org. $28–$168. 7:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

Comedy: Life on the K List

If there's a holy trinity of gay icons, it would be Liz, Judy, and Liza. But somewhere in glittery apostledom, featured in the most airbrushed Last Supper portrait in existence, seated under perfect lighting at the right hand of Cher, you'll find Kathy Griffin. With a mouth that's gotten her banned from The View and CNN, she's the patron saint of talking trash. And her targets are those who really deserve it: the rich, the hypocritical, and the famous. However, Our Lady of Perpetual Red Hair Dye tempers her bitchiness by being equally hard on herself. (And she invites others to ridicule her—provided they have the chops to hit back.) She's worked hard for her success, earning two Emmy Awards for her Bravo-licious My Life on the D-List and visiting Broadway with this year's show Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony. But stand-up is still this dame's bread and butter—the forum where she truly shines, working uncensored and without a net. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $42.50–$72.50. 8 p.m. (Repeats Sat.) MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Food/Books: Cerebral Cuisine

There's an implicit sneer in Top Chef hostess Padma Lakshmi's back-cover blurb for New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik's latest book, The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food (Knopf, $25.95). It's the "perfect book for any intellectual foodie," she says, mustering the enthusiasm of a cheerleader at a cum laude ceremony. But Lakshmi has a point: Gopnik's roughing-up of Rousseau and critiques of Brillat-Savarin probably won't magnetize the Rachael Ray crowd. He jumps headlong from economic theory to Fergus Henderson to Jell-O, applying his signature mix of precise reasoning and everyday observation to topics that will rivet eaters who "have enough intellectual detachment from tastes to see their absurdity, while taking enough emotional fulfillment from them to grasp their necessity." Doesn't that sound better than foodie? Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 652-4255, townhallseattle.org. $5. 7:30 p.m. HANNA RASKIN

SATURDAY 11/5

Music: Paisley Renaissance

One of the most successful groups of the 1980s, the Bangles are largely remembered for their big hair and colorful pop hits ("Manic Monday," "Walk Like an Egyptian," etc.). Among music nerds, however, the pop-star Bangles were a travesty. Because before they were huge, they were one of the more respected groups in L.A.'s "paisley underground" scene, in which groups like The Dream Syndicate and The Three O'Clock mixed jangle-pop and punk with '60s West Coast pop and rock. In an unexpected reunion twist, the newly reformed Bangles aren't cashing in by playing their hits to casino crowds, but instead revisiting the L.A. garage sound of their 1984 debut All Over the Place. Teaming with producer Matthew Sweet, the group embraced a raw, live energy for its latest release, Sweetheart of the Sun. They sound surprisingly ageless, their layered harmonies and tough, catchy guitar hooks making them almost the female answer to Big Star—as some originally hoped they would be. To that small group of music nerds, Sweetheart of the Sun is the record they've been waiting 27 years for. (With A Fragile Tomorrow.) Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151, showboxonline.com. $25–$30. 7 p.m. BRIAN J. BARR

TUESDAY 11/8

Comedy: No Threat to Mike

Hari Kondabolu's jokes tend to skew left. And on YouTube, he's developed a riff on the difference between Mike Bloomberg, the very unpopular mayor of New York (where Kondabolu now lives), and our own embattled Mike McGinn. Kondabolu previously lived here in Seattle, where his brother Ashok, of the band Das Racist, happened to meet McGinn backstage after a show. "That would never happen in New York!" says Kondabolu. "You'd never meet Mayor Bloomberg. He wouldn't just walk around, because someone would kill him. None of you have the intense desire to kill the mayor of Seattle!" Ashok chimes in about McGinn: "He seemed like a normal human being. But Bloomberg couldn't even pretend to be a normal human being. When he's even eating a hot dog—it's like, Get out. Nice try." There you have it: No fancy billionaire, our rumpled bike-riding mayor can convincingly eat a hot dog—just like the rest of us! And though Kondabolu likely won't be offering any political endorsements for the 2013 election, maybe he's already written McGinn's campaign slogan for him: "Vote for Mike: Nobody wants to kill him." Odd Duck Studio, 1214 10th Ave., 375-8945. $6–$8. 7 and 9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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