december 13
Portrait of Oscar Today they're called soundbites, but once upon a time they were epigrams, and Oscar Wilde had a knack for them. "It is an odd thing," Wilde wrote, "but everyone who disappears is said to be in San Francisco." One century after Wilde's trial and conviction for dallying with "innocent" young Lord Alfred Douglas, TERRAIN Gallery pays tribute to the witty aesthete with a group show, "Oscar Wilde: A Man of Great Importance." Featuring pieces by 31 artists, the exhibition comments on the literary bon vivant's tragicomic life and work. You can see it from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 165 Jessie, S.F. The show continues Tues-Sat through Jan. 6. Free; call 543-0656.

Tuesday on Wednesday The subject of a new biography, cult icon Tuesday Weld plays the perky blonde to perfection in flicks like Lord Love a Duck and Pretty Poison (where she's a matricidal cheerleader). In Thief, a stylish, time-obsessed noir by Michael Mann (Manhunter, Miami Vice), Weld negotiates a love affair with expert safecracker James Caan. See a new 35mm print of the 1980 caper at 7 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft, Berkeley. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call (510) 642-1124.

Rock Over Japan The goofiness factor of songs like "I Wanna Eat Choco Bars" and "Catnip Dream" obscures a simple fact: No group fuses '60s girl pop and '70s punk as effectively as Japan's Shonen Knife. The trio make that Ronettes-meets-Ramones sound at 9 p.m. at Slim's, 333 11th St., S.F. The Mr. T Experience opens. Tickets are $10-12; call 522-0333.

december 14
Dancing Doll A work-in-progress by the celebrated Robert Henry Johnson Dance Company, The Nutmeg Project offers an alternative to countless productions of The Nutcracker. Set in 1995, the piece concerns a young African-American girl who dreams of receiving a black doll for Christmas. Guest artists Will Power, Awana Nzinga, and Midnight Voices join the performance at 7:30 p.m. (continuing through Sunday) at Buriel Clay Memorial Theatre, 762 Fulton, S.F. Tickets are $5; call 824-4782.

Separate But Equal A four-part documentary series on the lesbian/gay rights movement in America, A Question of Equality wisely pinpoints hot topics instead of pretending to present a definitive history. Broadcast this summer, the show generated high ratings (KQED used it to attract the pink dollar); it also spawned a book called -- surprise! -- A Question of Equality. Writer Jewelle Gomez hosts a presentation of the book/series at 7:30 p.m. at A Different Light, 489 Castro, S.F. Free; call 431-0891.

The Duke and the Hunk John Wayne plays a tyrannical cattle baron and Montgomery Clift is his kindhearted, quick-trigger son in 1948's Red River, one of director Howard Hawks' famous manly man psychodramas. (Trivia: The Duke called Clift "an arrogant little bastard," while Clift found the Duke's "machismo thing" to be "forced and unnecessary.") The Oedipal western screens at 7 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2626 Bancroft, Berkeley. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call (510) 642-1124.

Happy Holidays A music-theater performance with traditional and new tunes, "Animal's Positive Christmas 4: A Viral Celebration" aims to unite HIV-positive people with the rest of the gay community and the world at large. Hosted by flutist/vocalist/performance artist/composer "Animal" Joe Smith, the show's first night benefits the AIDS Emergency Fund; it starts at 8 p.m. (continuing Fri-Sat through Dec. 23) at the Lennon Studios, 271 Dore Alley, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 561-1441.

december 15
Songs for Pictures Acclaimed for its sly original scores for silent classics, S.F.'s Club Foot Orchestra also composes and performs music for animated films: Currently, it provides arrangements for The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, a new cartoon on CBS. Felix cartoons precede a return engagement of the orchestra's live soundtrack for G.W. Pabst's Pandora's Box, the film that launched -- thanks to Louise Brooks -- a thousand bob haircuts. Listen and look at 8 p.m. through Sunday at the Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, S.F. Tickets are $10; call 621-6120. (The Club Foot Orchestra also performs a soundtrack to Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr. Sat-Sun at 2 and 4 p.m.)

Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves As its title suggests, "The Gypsy Trail" follows the path of Gypsy culture, through various centuries and countries (including India, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, and Spain). Hosted by S.F.'s 10-piece FatChanceBellyDance troupe, the show includes juggling, shawl dancing, and, of course, abdominal rolling. The movement starts at 8 p.m. (continuing through Sunday) at Theater Artaud, 450 Florida, S.F. Tickets are $12.50-15.50; call 621-7797.

Groovy Movies "The Bay Area Multicultural Film/Video Festival" spreads 30 works over three evenings and six programs; highlights include Jane C. Wagner's award-winning Tom's Flesh and Jacquie Jones' Bay Area female rap doc Freestyle. "Feltch Films" features film/video collages of found imagery from porn flicks and physique mags; highlights include Lewis Klahr's Downs Are Feminine (melancholy '70s nekkid guys floating through an alternate universe), Sikay Tang's My Idols (a tribute to XXX Asian women), Texas Tomboy's Friendly and Hot Blooded, and Nguyen Tan Hoang's Forever Jimmy!. The film/video festival begins at 6 p.m. at Center for the Arts, 701 Mission, S.F. Tickets are $3-6; call 978-2787. The blue movie party starts at 8:30 p.m. at Artists' Television Access, 992 Valencia, S.F. Admission is $5; call 824-3890.

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