The 1998 Austrian-Swiss documentary Megacities: 12 Stories of Survival, directed by Michael Glawogger, chronicles in 12 chapters life in the slums of Moscow, Mexico City, Bombay and New York. The film has been compared to the 1961 cult classic Mondo Cane, but with half of the worlds people living in densely populated urban areas, Megacitiesis a much truer portrayal of humanity than the 48-year-old anthropological sideshow ever was. Audiences will wade in the fetid currents of a river with residents of Mumbai, witness a Mexican stripper groped by patrons and share in the dreary existence of a female worker in a Russian factory. The subject matter may seem distant to many Americans, but if aliens landed on Earth tomorrow and asked to see the film that most accurately showcases civilization today, Megacitieswould be as good a candidate as any. (Though for levitys sake, Fletchwouldnt be a bad choice, either.) 7 p.m. Rice University, 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-4853 or visit www.ricecinema.rice.edu. Free.
Mon., Feb. 2, 7 p.m., 2009