Fresh air fiends, this is your weekend. The nights will get down to a bracing 31 or 32 above — just the weather for you to take invigorating tramps through the woods or a post-midnight romp along a very deserted beach.
But for the rest of us —
Hit the Flicks: With the Santa Barbara International Film Festival starting Jan. 25, it’s time to get warmed up with a load of a tasty offerings this weekend. Alpha Dog, the movie they didn’t want you to see, is at the Metro 4. Attorneys for Jesse James Hollywood, the man accused of orchestrating the murder of Nicholas Markowitz, tried to suppress the film on grounds that it might influence jurors. “Inspired by true events,” the ads proclaim. So anyone who thinks he or she might be a juror and be influenced, think twice about going. Or, perish the thought, if anyone wants to try to avoid serving on the jury by exposing themselves to Alpha Dog, it’s playing all weekend. Then there’s the eagerly-awaited Curse of the Golden Flower at the Riviera, reuniting famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou and ex-girlfriend-muse Gong Li. Notes on a Scandal unites Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett and deals with “inappropriate sex across obvious age barriers,” in the words of Independent reviewer D.J. Palladino.
There’s much more out there on local screens, including the intriguing Children of Men, a “gripping film” by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, according to Indy reviewer Josef Woodward. The hot movie, of course, is Dreamgirls, at the Arlington and Camino Real. The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, who’ll be at the Film Fest, continues at Paseo Nuevo. For student types not willing to venture far into the cold night, there’s the Sundance grand jury prize winner Quinceanera, at Campbell Hall Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., which concerns a young girl coming of age.
Music Men (and Women): SohO, always a great venue for music, will have Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks Saturday at 7:30 p.m. On the serious side, Adrian Vance will lead the Camarata Pacifica Friday at 8 p.m. at Lotte Lehmann Hall at the Music Academy of the West at 8 p.m. An accordion can make you cry or get up and dance. Rob Curto and his band will bring their Brazilian beat to UCSB’s Multicultural Center Friday at 8 p.m.
It’s a bit of a reach for a weekend column, but I have to offer a heads-up for Wednesday’s CAMA concert at the Arlington, featuring violinist Hilary Hahn in recital. She’s young, she’s good. Then there’s the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra Chamber Players Tuesday at the Museum of Natural History’s Fleischmann Auditorium.
Wildlife: Do the earth a favor. Become a volunteer to educate beach users around threatened habitat of the snowy plover, which I have never seen but am assured that they exist. Meet at Coal Oil Point every Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Info at 880-1195.
Gena’s in Town: The Notebook is one of Sue’s favorite movies. Gena Rowlands, who stars with James Garner, will be present at a 5 p.m. reception Sunday at the Lobero, with a 6:30 screening. After the movie Rowlands will take the stage for questions. The Alzheimer’s Association will benefit. Info at 963-0761.