Commuting is hell in this documentary.

Bus Stop 

Commuting is hell in this documentary.

7/8-7/11
Brazilian director Jose Pahilda's tense 2003 documentary Bus 174 has been screened locally only once, at last year's FilmFest Kansas City. Its appearance this week at the Screenland Theatre in the Crossroads District backs up Screenland owner Butch Rigby's promise to show films that, he says, "will not otherwise see theatrical exhibition in Kansas City." The film chronicles a June 2000 bus hijacking in Rio de Janeiro that became a kind of tragic street theater. While the hijacker held the occupants hostage, news crews and police officers swarmed the idle bus, providing compelling, arms-length footage of the standoff and confirming the locals' reasons for mistrusting the cops (who fumble several opportunities to subdue -- or kill -- the hijacker).

Pahilda mixes interviews with hostages, talks with street kids who knew the hijacker and, perhaps unexpectedly, a biography of the hijacker himself, whose past reads like a case study in child abuse. Bus 174 runs July 8-11 at Screenland Theatre, 1656 Washington. Call 816-421-2200 for more information.-- Steve Walker

Night of the Living Dead

FRI 7/9
Zombies are hot right now. On the heels of the Paragraph's last show comes another artistic tribute to the creepy resurrections glorified in horror flicks, James Buehler's B Is for Brains, Because I Like to Eat Them! Buehler, who sometimes signs himself "Chico," brings back old paintings he's had in storage, seen only by the rats in his attic, and projects onto them themes from what his artist's statement describes as an "extensive collection of cheesy, B-rated American, Italian, Spanish and German horror films." We think that means he's creating a zombie out of a zombie. Buehler says he's just making use of old materials and reviving that which should have been. The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the MoMO Gallery (1840 Locust, 816-474-4814). -- Annie Fischer

Tide Is High
Kent Haruf harvests the success of Plainsong.

MON 7/12
We like Kent Haruf. We like how unaffected and down-to-earth he is, even though his 1999 novel Plainsong was nominated for a National Book Award and has almost a million copies in print. And when we found out how much he hated the Hallmark Hall of Fame production of his book, we liked him even more. Now he's written a continuation -- not to be confused with a sequel -- titled Eventide, which he discusses at 7 p.m. Monday at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street). The story picks up where Plainsong left off in the fictional town of Holt and includes many of the same characters, but Haruf emphasizes that the tone of Eventide is very different, with a darker and more tragic ending. And we definitely like that. Call 913-384-3126 for details. -- Fischer

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