Think outside the multiplex

One weekend. Nine local movie to-dos. Countless bullet points.

<i>The Shadow Asset.</i>

The Shadow Asset.



When: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1

Where: 600 Fourth Street, West Sac

How Much: None

Why: It’s an essayistic examination of how rich, greedy, powerful people are conspiring to control the rest of us through, among other things, religious weirdness, crypto-terrorism, covert military ops, various meddlings with financial markets and possibly even skepto-lazo alternative-weekly newspaper commentary. It’s also a 2007 winner of the Best Feature Documentary award from the Artivist Film Festival—yes, that’s “artivist,” as in “merging art and activism for global consciousness,” which of course sounds like trendy groupthink jargon itself, but whatevs.

Who: Presented here by an organization called WUA, reportedly “a group of individuals committed to conscious living and waking up our society. The resignation and ignorance in the world is a result of our society’s unwillingness to share the truth. We at WUA are dedicated to truth telling and difference making and out of our commitment we have come together to create a forum for people in our community to begin to wake up!” But who knows if that’s even true?

<i>Has Been</i>

Has Been

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1

Where: Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Boulevard

How Much: $5

Why: The fictional plot of this Sac-shot feature involves ex-celebrities (a porn star, a sports hero, a minister, a politico, a rock star, a journalist) convening somewhere in the wilds of Montana for some sorta contest of cultural depravation.

Who: Jon Russell Cring, director and co-founder of the Extra/Ordinary Film Project, whose goal for 2007 was to make 12 feature-length films in 12 months, but fell short and only completed eight. Yeah, but how many features did you make last year, champ?

WTF:Has Been was the second project of ours on this five-city tour across the U.S.,” Cring explains, “and we chose this town because San Francisco is too expensive and Los Angeles is too … well, hell, just fill in the blank. We thought it would be fun to come to a place that refers to itself as ‘cow town’ and see if we were able to ‘herd’ any business. The good part of Sacramento was that the acting community was pretty tight-knit, pretty close. The bad part of Sacramento is that Californians have deemed themselves the center of the universe and have a flash burn of about 20 minutes, followed by an inability to return e-mails or manifest excitement for any extended period of time.” Eh. Moving on …

Tower of Youth’s TDR Showcase.

Tower of Youth’s 12th Annual Teen Digital Reel Showcase

When: Friday, May 2; doors open at 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. for shows at 5 and 7 p.m.

Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street

How Much: $15 for adults; $10 for students

Why: Talented young people becoming digital-media literate by making short motion pictures of all sorts and showing them to you.

Who: Kids with vids. Like Franklin High School’s Megan Stacey and Stephanie Duran, who were inspired by legendary Czech surrealist stop-motion animator Jan ŠŠSvankmajer to make their own live-action animated short, called Food Fight. And plenty more: The showcase’s 94 entries come from 17 high schools throughout the region.

The Shadow Asset

When: Right now

Where: On DVD

How Much: $9.99 at

Why: Glaring women with big guns and small outfits. Think Alias meets The Bourne Identity, instead of meeting with a script doctor or an acting coach.

Who: A character named Angelina Valentino, played by an actress named Brandy McLayne; local writer-director-cinematographer-producer Wes Young, who works days in auto parts, got his not-bad-for-what-it-is movie made for 2,500 bucks, and tells SN&R, “I always like to see girls in powerful, kick-ass positions.”

How long it takes for naked breasts to appear: Two minutes, 43 seconds.

WTF: “No one can know exactly what it is that I do; I’ll give you one hint,” Ms. Valentino says in the movie’s trailer, just prior to a brief montage of guns being cocked and stuffed into tight pants. “It involves guns.” One’s an Uzi with a silencer. But what’s the point of a silencer when you have an Uzi? Discretion?


When: 7 p.m. Friday, May 2

Where: 600 Fourth Street, West Sac

How much: $5

Why: Stopping in West Sac for a sneak peek just before its Cannes premiere a few days later, this doc features lots of people talking about the most utterly riveting subject in the world: pot. More specifically, its legalization for medical purposes in the state of California and, uh, how that’s working out for us. And how it’s working out for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Who: Director Dan Frank, who’ll be in attendance for a Q-and-A, says, “We are going to show you interviews and footage from both sides. I believe the medicinal clinics have their reasons that are valid, and I believe the DEA has its reasons for doing what they are doing.”

<i>Monster from Bikini Beach.</i>

Monster From Bikini Beach

When: Friday, May 2 (with raffle co-sponsored by; Saturday May 3 (with filmmaker Q-and-A); Friday, May 9 (with the short film Cheerleaders from Hell); Saturday, May 10 (with “cast and crew appreciation night,” whatever that means—probably something quite perverted); all shows 10:30 p.m.

Where: Crest Theatre, 1013 K Street

How Much: $8.50

Why: A ginormous, carnally presumptuous, carnivorous catfish mauls bikini-clad women, so you don’t have to.

Who: Those twisted souls responsible for Sacramento’s Trash Film Orgy, who premiered this locally made Sac-sploitation flick at the Crest in January and packed the house.

Nothing is Cool

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3

Where: Colonial Theatre, 3522 Stockton Boulevard

How Much: $5

<i>Nothing is Cool.</i>

Why: Things get boring. Even flatland skimboarding in the muddy shallows of our riverbanks, which has been popular here for decades. When that got boring, the skimboarders started adding ramps and obstacles and freestyle skate tricks. Yeah, still kinda boring. But it’s boring in the way NASCAR is boring: You watch and wait and sort of hope for catastrophe. OK, fine, even without catastrophe, some of these dudes’ moves are pretty kickflippin’ cool.

Who: Blister Productions—skimboarder-videographer Lon Porteous; his buds.

WTF: Says one YouTube hater, “You fools from Sac are a bunch of fagot ass bitches, why dont you guys just go skate … ” to which another responds, “Grow some balls cock shiner skateboarding is gay in the summer lets have fun in a cancrete bowl in the blazing sun yeah … skimmins got hot chicks in bikinis and is way funner than skating and your in the fuckin water so ya dont die of heat stroak.”

Well, there you have it.

<i>Sacramento Railyards.</i>

Sacramento Railyards

When: Throughout the week, on KVIE’s Viewfinder program

Where: Just told you. Channel 6, champ.

How Much: Zero. Pledge drives paid off, eh?

Why: All that other stuff was brain candy; perhaps something more nutritious is in order. “I was surprised how many things are still inside those buildings,” KVIE’s marketing communications manager, Sheryl Brown, tells SN&R. “Corpses. Cinder-block-sized cubes of crack cocaine. Bikini-clad 19-year-olds jumping rope and cocking Uzis. A ginormous, carnivorous catfish.” (Note: Some portions of this quotation are fictional.)

Who: Trains; gentle public-television professionals.

Your Movie Here

When: Next weekend

Where: Your homie’s living room, or maybe your mom’s.

How Much: Your credit limit

Why: Now, with your mental health emboldened by a little of that strictly medicinal herb, maybe it’s time to conceptualize that script you were going to write and shoot for a mere couple grand, in which the monster from Bikini Beach comes inland to shred flesh and riverbank quarter-pipes, turns out to be blowback from some CIA anti-terrorism/social-control experiment (woefully underfunded, of course, because resources were, like, wasted in the war on drugs, man) and gets cornered into a climactic showdown in that secret, subterranean drug lab at the Sac rail yards by some leggy rogue ex-porn-star assassin in a tank top with a silenced Uzi.

Who: It’s all you.

Why the hell not?