“”The Constant Gardener”” – Available now on DVD

“”The Constant Gardener”” is a stunning love story, political drama and murder mystery — all stylishly told in reverse. The film is director Fernando Meirelles’s follow-up to the pulse-pounding look at the Brazilian underworld,“City of God.” In “Gardener,” Ralph Fiennes gives a spectacular performance as a British diplomat living in Africa who investigates the mysterious death of his activist wife (played gorgeously by Rachel Weisz.) But just as “City of God” delved dizzyingly into the streets of Brazilian ghettos, “Gardener” vividly shows the poverty-stricken African people and how corrupt pharmaceutical companies exploit them. No other director has explored the Third World with so much artistry and emotion as Meirelles — an auteur in the making. (CC)

Dead Machines – Jan 12. at 10 p.m. Che Cafe

What’s in a name? For a lot of bands, not too much. Misleading band names can lead to unfortunate results — think Zwan. But if you were wondering what Dead Machines sound like, well … the only more apt name might be Dying Machines. The band, which has been invited by the UCSD visual arts department to play a free show at the Che Cafe, is composed of a couple with a whole lot of expertise in the noise department. John Olson is one-third of the weirdly wonderful Wolf Eyes, while his wife Tovah O’Rourke hails from the acid-folky outfit Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice. The intense melding of their powers certainly isn’t recommended for technophobes, nor if you like your songs with hooks, choruses or any sort of organization discernable upon first listen. Or second. But if you’ve ever found yourself amazed by the sound of humming machinery or even just some satisfying dissonance, then the eerie duet should tickle your ears — and well. (GF)