Pain Revisited Pierced and tattooed people can get even more piercings and tattoos at the return of "Terminator," the industrial, mod-prim nightspot. The Seemen will entertain with strange machines, a "sonic bazooka" will do whatever a sonic bazooka does, a robot named Stretch will spit fire at the dance floor, and nine artists will be on hand to work on human canvases. The fun starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Trocadero, 520 Fourth St., S.F. Tickets are $8-10 (you and a guest can get in free if you bring a working TV); call 495-6620.

Coffin Car No other film has captured the look, the smell, and the sexual and racial tension of nighttime New York like Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver. The scenes of Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) and his coffin cab gliding down grimy, wet streets disorient the viewer. The performances -- De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Albert Brooks, Cybill Shepherd, and Jodie Foster -- are uniformly excellent. Like 1983's The King of Comedy, Taxi Driver cops out with an illogical, cynical ending, but until then, it's brilliant. (It also provides fine advice on where not to take someone on a first date.) In honor of Taxi Driver's 20th birthday, the film has been restored from the original negative and its soundtrack remixed in stereo; see it at 7 and 9:30 p.m. (continuing through Feb. 29) at the Castro Theatre, Castro & Market, S.F. Tickets are $6; call 621-6120.

Art and Commerce News flash: Independent and Hollywood feature films are hard to tell apart these days. Detailing the interaction between creativity and money at schmoozefests like the Sundance Film Festival, John Pierson's Spike, Mike, Slackers, and Dykes gives some insight into this development. Pierson reads from and discusses the book at 7:30 p.m. at A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, 601 Van Ness, S.F. Free; call 441-6670.

february 17
Attack of the Big, Angry Things During the age of the dinosaurs, mammals were small, inconspicuous, shrewlike creatures (kinda like journalists today). After dinosaurs became extinct, however, mammals grew humongous: Sloths as big as modern elephants, woolly mammoths, and creatures with massive bucktoothed snouts walked the earth. "Creatures of the Ice Age & Other Amazing Mammals" re-creates this long-ago era with robotic animals that move and make noises. Meet them, then run for your life from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through May 5) at California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $1.50-7; call 750-7145.

Seeing Things Depthography is a New York artist group specializing in multidimensional visuals. In "Artists of the Third Dimension," they use a dual-projector technique to present images of the 1939 World's Fair. Four-D lenticular images, 3-D magic lanterns, stereo pinhole photos, and a special cameo appearance by "The Transparent Woman" are also part of the show; it starts at 2 p.m. (also Sunday) at the Exploratorium, 3601 Lyon, S.F. Admission is $2.50-9; call 563-7337.

A Mother's Love Thanks to Faye Dunaway's scenery-chewing, the "real" Joan Crawford is the meanest mommie in movie history. But Crawford the actress' best-known star turn was as a masochistic mother victimized by an ungrateful daughter in Mildred Pierce. Michael Curtiz's 1945 melodrama is a quintessential "women's film," complete with family ties that strangle. See it and weep at 7 p.m. at Pacific Film Archive, 2625 Durant, Berkeley. Tickets are $3.50-5.50; call (510) 642-1124.

february 18
Happy New Year, Again In Tibet, the lunar new year is called Losar. Since excessive drinking isn't a prerequisite, celebrations traditionally last one to two weeks. Chaksam-Pa Tibetan Dance and Opera Company -- a local group formed in 1989 to preserve and foster traditional Tibetan art -- will perform at a "Tibetan New Year's Celebration." The festivities commence at 2 p.m. at the Asian Art Museum, Adrian Gruhn Court, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is $3-6; call 668-7855.

The Medium Is the Message Nam June Paik was part of the '60s Japanese Fluxus movement, but his techno-art fusions are markedly different from Yoko Ono's body-mind fixations. "Electronic Super Highway: Nam June Paik in the '90s" traces Paik's pioneering video creativity from past works like Sonatine for Goldfish to his latest installation, which uses 500 TVs to mimic an entire city community. Tune in from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (through May 5) at San Jose Museum of Art, 110 S. Market, San Jose. Admission is $3-6; call (408) 271-6840.

Queen of the House Loleatta Holloway began her career singing gospel with Albertina Walker and the Caravans, but she achieved pop notoriety in 1991, when an Italian disco duo -- Black Box -- spliced her ecstatic wails together (without her permission) and pretended they were sung by a leggy model on the huge Euro hit "Ride on Time." Five years later, disembodied diva shrieks are a house music trademark (some might say defect), but at least Loleatta is making her own records. She sings at Pleasuredome's "Presidents' Day Celebration"; the dancing endures from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. at 177 Townsend, S.F. Tickets are $7 (two-for-one); call 985-5256.

february 19
Poor, Pitiful Me He calls himself the clown prince of self-pity. His name is Johnny Lonely. He's the creation of writer/performer Brian Lohmann, and he's taking a break from sites like Seattle's Velvet Elvis to bring his retro-lounge stand-up routine to S.F. The audience acts as understudy, therapist, and pep squad at Johnny Lonely's Unhappy Hour; a benefit for Rough and Tumble's upcoming production of Tom Jones, the show starts at 7 p.m. at 450 Geary Studio Theatre, 450 Geary (duh), S.F. Tickets are $20; call 789-8532.

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