Now Playing! Swank it Up with 'The Swenkas' at MoAD

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Still from 'The Swenkas.' (Courtesy of MoAD)

Not sure where to take your date at the end of the week? Never fear! Look to Now Playing, timely recommendations from our film critic Michael Fox.

Still from 'The Swenkas.'
Still from 'The Swenkas.' (Courtesy of MoAD)

The Swenkas

June 16, 6:30pm
Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco
$5-10 tickets

According to the always-trustworthy internet, Idris Elba is a leading candidate to inherit James Bond’s tux and Beretta from Daniel Craig. If that whets your appetite for graceful Black men stylin’ fabulous clothes, polish your kicks and head to the Museum of the African Diaspora this Thursday, June 16. Danish filmmaker Jeppe Ronde’s one-of-a-kind 2004 documentary The Swenkas insinuates us into the subculture of working-class Zulu men in South Africa who proclaim their self-respect and dignity by modeling flashy, expensive suits and accessories on Saturday nights. A sublimely seductive selection by Cornelius Moore, curator of the Sweet & Dandy film series (which wraps next Thursday), The Swenkas portrays an exclusively male, high-priced “hobby” that is equal parts ritual and competition.


Elsewhere on Bay Area screens, DocFest continues through Thursday at the Roxie; regular programming resumes Friday with Golden Kingdom, a coming-of-age saga set at a Buddhist monastery in Myanmar. (Filmmaker Brian Perkins drops in after the 7pm show on opening night, and greets the crowd at the June 18-19 screenings at the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.)

Another school of Eastern philosophy is saluted at Godzilla Fest 5 at the Bal Theatre in San Leandro, where King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) unspools at 2 and 6pm on Saturday, June 18.

Wisdom and action are the dominant combination at the all-encompassing Frameline festival of LGBTQ films, which kicks off Thursday, June 13 at the Castro (where else?) with the flamboyantly crowd-pleasing, next-generation ballroom dance documentary Kiki.