The Top 5 Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Max and the Junkmen, "The Age of Impressionism," Santa and More

Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider in Max and the Junkmen
Michel Piccoli and Romy Schneider in Max and the Junkmen

Claude Sautet's 1971 crime drama Max and the Junkmen ("Max et les ferrailleurs") never hit American theaters, but fans have a chance to see it on Friday: A 35mm restored print is being screened as part of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Revival film series. The story follows Max (Michel Piccoli), a wealthy Paris detective who's passionately devoted to stopping crime. Having lost his faith in the justice system after seeing a guilty criminal go free in court, Max contrives a convoluted plan to entrap a gang of local scrap thieves. While undercover, he convinces them to rob a small bank. All the while he's planning to foil the crime and hand them over to the police, becoming a hero. Things get complicated when he falls for Lily (Romy Schneider), a young German prostitute who happens to be the gangleader's girlfriend. Max and the Junkmen is a gripping film that spends long, wonderful moments building up its players before unleashing them on the ill-fated heist with shocking consequences. Piccoli plays Max with crazy urgency, and his performance is bolstered by Schneider's angelic performance.

7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1001 Bissonnet. For information, call 713-639-7515 or visit $9.

The Texas Repertory Theatre Company gives fans a different sort of holiday comedy with Greetings! , one of our choices for Saturday. Andy Gorski brings his fiancée home to meet his family on Christmas Eve. His fiancée's both Jewish and an atheist; his family's very Catholic, so things seem to be on a collision course until a miracle convinces everyone that they have more in common that they thought. Texas Rep Artistic Director Steven Fenley directs. The cast includes company members Alan Hall and Marylin Ocker; Greg Cote, Claire Anderson and Cameron Cooper make their Texas Rep debuts.

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Texas Repertory Theatre Company, 14243 Stuebner Airline. For information, call 281-583-7573 or visit $35.

Upcoming Events

A host of guest artists, including conductor Nicholas McGegan and singers Dominique Labelle, Christopher Ainsile, Douglas Williams and Thomas Cooley join the Houston Symphony for the orchestra's annual production of Handel's Messiah, another choice for Saturday. The Houston Symphony Chorus, led by director Charles Hausmann, also performs. The program includes the "Hallelujah" chorus, "Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted" and "Rejoice Greatly."

8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jones Hall for the Performing Arts, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit $29 to $117.

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