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For whatever reason, several repertory films are playing this weekend, which we'll begin with the bestselling author whose novels have been adapted to more recent movies. Nick Hornby has a new novel out, and he wrote the script for An Education, which is already earning good reviews in New York and will open here mid-November.
Which do you love more: your iTunes collection, which will always be there for you, or your boyfriend/girlfriend, who might leave you one day? That's the dilemma--or one of several--for the characters in Juliet, Naked (Riverhead, $25.95), who must weigh the perfectly recorded passions of an obscure, revered '80s album against their own disorderly longings. Nick Hornby divides his new novel among three perspectives: the reclusive American rocker who retired, Salinger-like, after his masterpiece; the English über-fan who maintains a Web site devoted to the mysterious singer; and the fan's long-suffering girlfriend, who tries to share his enthusiasm but would rather have a baby.
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Though the latter two have spent 15 years together, a rift is revealed with the demo tapes for Juliet are released as Juliet, Naked, and they write radically different blogs on the new-old album. Apart from being a typical Hornby novel about guys' obsessive interest in music (and the inability of guys to relate to women, as in High Fidelity), this new tale is about human connection--something like the suicide club that forms among strangers in A Long Way Down. Filled with fake Wikipedia pages and email correspondence, Juliet, Naked is set in a world that rewards and enables our narrowest fixations. You can love one thing to the exclusion of almost everything else. But, Hornby reminds us, albums can be reassessed. And so, too, can people. Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., 624-6600, elliottbaybook.com. Free. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER
The Creation of the World and Other Business
How often would you say you've laughed during an Arthur Miller production? If you're thinking along the lines of The Crucible or Death of a Salesman, then probably not as often as you'd like. Try one of his more comic satires based on the Book of Genesis. In anticipation of a planned citywide Miller festival this fall that never came to fruition, Theater Schmeater has created a reworking of Miller's 1972 Biblical tale that keeps you laughing and pensive at the same time. Schmee director J.D. Lloyd's Eden and early Earth are a playground for the creative God (James Weidman) and the overly-analytic Lucifer (Alexander Samuels); neither one seems truly to know the purpose of humans Adam and Eve (in their birthday suits). Through the first family and their interaction with God and Lucifer, we see Miller explore remnants of his familiar ideals: guilt, sin, and isolation, among others. Theater Schmeater, 1500 Summit Ave.,800-838-3006, schmeater.org. $15-$18 8 p.m. (Ends Sat.) IRFAN SHARIFF
"We're especially drawn to ordinary people," says Albert Maysles, who cites the classic 1968 documentary Salesman, which follows four Bible peddlers on their door-to-door rounds, as the brothers' most "characteristic" work. (It was co-directed with his late brother, David.) "I mean, you say that you can describe them as hustlers, but at the same time, the film is as close as you can get to a real cross section of America in that it's as much about women as it is about men. It's called Salesman, [but] it's really about the customers as well, and all the customers are women." Still, watching the Bible-hawkers build "trust" with their customers while working their way into women's homes suggests certain parallels to the documentarians' own process. And might Maysles be referring to the plight of the independent filmmaker when he describes Paul Brennan's difficulty selling the Good Book? "The more poetry one has," Maysles says, "[and] the more life-giving someone is in that business, the less successful he is." (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, nwfilmforum.org, $6. Oct. 9-15 8 p.m (Through Thurs.) LESLIE DUNLAP
Trained at the UW and today based in New York, Tim Roda incorporates himself, his wife, and his kids in most of the black-and-white photographs on display here. They're mostly tableaux, ad-hoc stagings or recreations of what appear to be classical themes. His older son, about 10, stares back at the camera uncertainly. Is this how you want me to do it, dad? These scenes are like an amateur theatrical productions with plywood sets and cardboard swords. Costumes and props are tied or taped together; disarray spills out of the frame. The images suggest both mad scientist's workshop and a family game of charades. There's a cheerful striving toward some sort of form that's been lost in the process; and the results are both highly mannered and engagingly unkempt--fine art that makes you giggle. Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave. S., 624-0770, gregkucera.com. Free. 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. (Through Nov. 14.) BRIAN MILLER
Army of Darkness/Evil Dead II
Dare we call Army of Darkness the high-water mark among the collaborations of Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell? In their 1993 trilogy ender, Ash (Campbell) is transported back from his hardware-store present to the middle ages, where he gets caught up in medieval politics and warfare. And must also master the secret of the Necronomicon, which he foolishly opens to unleash the army of the dead. Embeth Davidtz (Junebug) plays the swain to Campbell's hero. But if there was ever a wisecracking, shotgun- and chainsaw-wielding master of the B-list, it's Campbell, the closest thing we got in the '90s to Indiana Jones in the '80s. The double-feature begins with Evil Dead II, weakest of the trilogy and basically a remake of The Evil Dead, but still enjoyable in its own right. (R) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, grandillusioncinema.org, $5-$8. 3, 5, 7 & 9 p.m. (Through Thurs.) BRIAN MILLER
Based on Elizabeth von Arnim's novel, Mathew Barber's play focuses on the newfound independence of four women in a post-World War I society. Two English women (Charity Parenzini and Nikki Visel) conspire to leave their husbands behind and go on holiday in a rented castle in Italy. In order to afford the vacation, they share the castle with an elderly traditionalist (Kim Morris) and a modernist socialite (Anne Kennedy). The women all deliver thoroughly enjoyable performances; it's difficult not to smile watching Parenzini as she surprises even herself with her own effervescence, and Visel is perfect as her droll and reluctant cohort. For all the dialogue surrounding the women's happiness, the play functions neither as an endorsement of down-with-men feminism nor as approval for traditional gender roles. Enchanted April was made into a film 70 years after the book was published, and the play made it to Broadway 10 years after that; the story's long-lasting appeal is surely due in part to von Arnim's emphasis on finding personal happiness rather than ascribing to any particular political ideology. (Of course, I imagine it's easy to be content when you can take a month off and lounge in an Italian villa.) Taproot Theatre, 204 N. 85th St., 781-9708, taproottheatre.org, $10-$33. 2 & 8 p.m. (Through Oct. 24.) BRENT ARONOWITZ
Strangers on a Train
During this weekend package of Alfred Hitchcock double-features, you can see today's Dial M for Murder on either side of the superior 1951 Strangers on a Train (at 5 p.m.), which you don't want to miss. Tennis player Farley Granger and rich creep Robert Walker meet at random and agree, sort of, to exchange ("criss-cross") murders in this bowstring-taut adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel. Walker's an out-and-out psycho, but a seductive psycho, as the soft jock Granger discovers. The gay subtext just about subsumes the murder story as one man insinuates himself into the life and conscience of another. As is generally the case with Hitchcock, the sexual and the criminal are bound together with guilt--so you can almost imagine them as lovers before prissy Granger, in a panic, tries to end their sordid affair. (Friday's pairing is the great Rear Window and Vertigo; Monday brings The 39 Steps, presently a play at Seattle Rep, and Shadow of a Doubt.) SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St. (McCaw Hall), 448-2186, siff.net. $8-$10. 3, 5, and 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER
The Coney Island Amateur Psychoanalytic Society: Dream Films 1926-1972
New York artist and curator Zoe Beloff will introduce this traveling film program extracted from her ongoing exhibit at the Coney Island Museum. She'll screen a Fatty Arbuckle short, in which the rotund, libidinous comic visits Coney Island, and explain the CIAPS, a real organization that was founded 1926 to recreate and discuss members' dreams. Selections from these films will also be screened. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, nwfilmforum.org, $6-$9. 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLER