The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

FRIDAY 3/23

Film: Battle of the Battles

OMG! Have you got your ticket for The Hunger Games? (See review.) Are you just dying to see it? Did you read the books? Didn't you just love the books? Teenagers fighting to the death—what a novel concept, right? Well, this weekend is a good time to trot out the 2000 Battle Royale, directed by the veteran director Kinji Fukasaku, who's kind of like the Sam Peckinpah of Japan. Only here we have ninth-graders, not cowboys, battling to the death on a remote island—yes, something like Lord of the Flies. The film's nutty premise has these sweet-faced, uniformed schoolkids try to slay one another until only one winner remains. But unlike Hunger Games (or Rollerball or Gladiator, for that matter), entertainment isn't the point of this carnage-ridden spectacular. There are no cameras to relay the allegiances, betrayals, and gore to a viewing audience. Instead, the blood sport is meant as a cautionary, punitive example against disobedient youngsters. On hand as a gruff teacher is Takeshi Kitano, who jeers, "So today's lesson is—you kill each other off!" Even if it lacks a coherent ending, the black-comedic Battle brilliantly escalates the hair-trigger volatility of adolescent emotions. (Because Columbine was so fresh, the movie never had a U.S. release.) And by curious coincidence, BR is also playing tonight at Northwest Film Forum at 11 p.m. Egyptian, 805 E. Pine St., 781-5755, landmarktheatres.com. $8.25. Midnight. (Repeats Sat.) BRIAN MILLER

Avant-Classical: Music From a Tuesday Morning

With its intense and concentrated emotional impact, it's right that Steve Reich's self- explanatorily titled WTC 9/11 turned out only 16 minutes long; it would be too draining to endure anything longer. Written for three string quartets and prerecorded voices, the 2011 piece reuses a technique from Reich's Holocaust memorial Different Trains: Melodic licks echo the rhythm and pitch contour of spoken fragments—not merely setting words, but turning them directly into tunes. But WTC 9/11 is even more a sonic documentary than the bittersweet Trains. In the first movement, which opens with a high, shrill pulsing like a busy signal or an alarm, the voices come from NORAD and FDNY radio dispatches on that fateful morning; the second and third incorporate clips from after-the-fact interviews: "Everyone was running . . . then the second plane hit . . . it was not an accident . . . " The third also layers in wisps of what sound like liturgical songs or laments. The Kronos Quartet, which has never relinquished its position as America's foremost new-music ensemble since its foun­ding in 1973 (in Seattle), commissioned, premiered, and recorded the piece, multitracking themselves. They'll play it again tonight alongside works by Michael Gordon, Laurie Anderson, and many others. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $50. 8 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT

Stage: G-Strings and Raincoats

Our soggy March is the appropriate season for the annual Moisture Festival, which offers a deluge of events and attractions. For some, that means clowns and family matinees. For others, the appeal lies in skimpy costumes, cheap innuendo, boobs, and pasties. Appropriately, for those 18 and older, the fest is tonight opening a "Libertease Burlesque" stand at the Broadway Performance Hall, running Fri.–Sat. through March 31. (Shows also continue at Hale's Palladium through April 8 and will arrive at the Georgetown Ballroom March 30–April 1.) Among the familiar local titillation artists, including Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon, and Shanghai Pearl, is the visiting Baltimore duo of Trixie Little & the Evil Hate Monkey. They promise an acrobatic brand of burlesque, with plenty of hip thrusts and naughty gyrations. Also, they've performed with John Waters and the Flaming Lips, which is endorsement enough for us. The house band for the burlesque performances will be the Zebra Kings, with the scantily clad Madame X as emcee. Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, moisturefestival.org. $10–$25. 7:30 & 10:30 p.m. T. BOND

SUNDAY 3/25

Dance: Factory Daze

Velocity Dance Center pays tribute to Andy's world for its annual fundraiser bash, this year themed as Andy Warhol's Silver Factory, where you can channel Candy Darling or Lou Reed while you party for a good cause. The guest of honor is choreographer Wade Madsen, who is an Exploding Plastic Inevitable all on his own. There will be performances by Rajah Kelly and Zoe | Juniper (just off their A Crack in Everything tour), "boylesque" personality Waxie Moon, and Animate Objects Physical Theater. They've got food by Skillet, specialty drinks by Turquoise and Mustard, and live music by EMP Sound-Off winners Tomten. Nancy Guppy hosts the evening, and the ever-droll auctioneer Matt Smith will be happy to separate you from some money. So as Lou suggested, come take a walk on the wild side. Mount Baker Community Club, 2811 Mt. Rainier Dr. S., 325-8773, velocitydancecenter.org. $40–$85. 5:30 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

 
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