Commentary by Gregg Rickman (firstname.lastname@example.org). Times compiled from information available Tuesday; it's always advisable to call for confirmation. Price given is standard adult admission; discounts often apply for students, seniors, and members.
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345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video screen as part of a twice-weekly "Cine-Bistro," complete with meal. $30 general, $25 members on Wednesdays; $25 general, $20 members on Saturdays.
SATURDAY (May 18): A jealous husband descends into L'Enfer (Chabrol, 1994) 2 p.m.
ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS
992 Valencia (at 21st Street), 824-3890, www.atasite.org. $5 save as noted. This venue offers all manner of strange and unusual video and film.
SATURDAY (May 18): Prolific Chicago-based independent filmmaker James Fotopoulos is introduced to San Francisco audiences with a dark tale of the Midwest's "lingerie modeling underworld," Back Against the Wall (2000), plus three of his 16mm shorts, Growth, Drowning, and The Sun 8:30 p.m.
429 Castro (at Market), 621-6120, www.thecastrotheatre.com. $7 save as noted. Short-run rep in a spectacular 1922 Greco-Roman-themed palace designed by Timothy L. Pflueger. Evening intermissions feature David Hegarty or Bill McCoy on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143, www.fineartscinema.com. $8; $10 for each show of the Cinemutts Festival (Saturday and Sunday). Berkeley's innovatively programmed art house puts on some of the most conceptually daring double bills in town.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi's "Underground Zero" project, a program of films inspired by Sept. 11 7:15 p.m. Kevin Epps' locally made video Straight Outta Hunters Point (2002), in a new, 75-minute cut. Separate admission 9:15 p.m.
SATURDAY: A two-day Cinemutts Festival screens as a benefit for the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society. A very entertaining Rin Tin Tin feature, Clash of the Wolves (Noel Smith, 1925) shows us why Rinty was one of the silent screen's most popular stars. Live musical accompaniment 7:15 p.m. Roddy McDowell, Elizabeth Taylor, and Lassie star in Fred M. Wilcox's Lassie Come Home (1943; 8:30 p.m.).
SUNDAY: Cinemutts -- Mark Lewis' The Wonderful World of Dogs (Australia, 1990), about a disruptive retriever named Fugly, screens with George Kuchar's funny short Mongreloid (1978) 7:15 p.m. Christopher Guest's amusing film Best in Show (2000) mocks dog shows, dog owners, but not the dogs 8:45 p.m.
MONDAY THROUGH SATURDAY (May 20-25): Two famous documentaries of directors losing it in the jungle, Hearts of Darkness (Fax Bahr, George Hickenlooper, 1991; 7:15 p.m.), with Francis Coppola in the Philippines filming Apocalypse Now, and Les Blank's Burden of Dreams (1982; 9:05 p.m.). Werner Herzog's reputation has never recovered from his Amazonian tirades seen here as he obsesses over Fitzcarraldo.
2534 Mission (between 21st and 22nd streets), 648-7600, www.foreigncinema.com. Free with meal. This restaurant screens foreign films, usually in 35mm, on the back wall of its outdoor patio, with drive-in speakers available for the tables of those who want to watch while they dine. Closed Mondays.
MONDAY: Venue closed.
STARTS TUESDAY: Franco Zeffirelli's film of Verdi's opera La Traviata (Italy, 1982), with tenor Placido Domingo and soprano Teresa Stratas, screens through June 2 8:45, 10:30 p.m.; also Fri & Sat midnight.
530 Bush (at Grant), 263-8760. The place to go for German cultural events. $5.
THURSDAY (May 16): German filmmaker Peter Semple's "post-punk musical" Dandy (1988) 7:30 p.m.
ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI CULTURA
425 Washington (at Battery), Suite 200, 788-7142, www.sfiic.org. A free series of recent Italian films screens without subtitles.
TUESDAY (May 21): Nanni Moretti's La stanza del figlio (The Son's Room, 2001) 6:30 p.m.
1572 California (at Polk), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. This multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater; for the rest of the Lumiere schedule, see our Showtimes page. $7.50.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Denis Villeneuve's Maelström (Canada, 2000) 5, 7:20, 9:40 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (May 17-23): Faith Akin's In July (Canada, 2000). See Opening for review 5:10, 7:40, 10 p.m.; also Fri-Sun 12:15, 2:40 p.m.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 for reservations and information. $5. This cultural asset of long standing offers a spring/summer "CinemaLit" series of projected video of classics, with salon-style discussions after the films.
FRIDAY (May 17): A "Hollywood Private Eyes" series continues with Jack Smight's Harper (1966), perhaps Tinseltown's first attempt, of many, to re-create the classic noirs of the 1940s with color and younger stars -- here, Paul Newman 6:30 p.m.
NEW COLLEGE CULTURAL CENTER
766 Valencia (at 18th Street), 437-3460. $3-5 donation.
THURSDAY (May 16): An "Activism and Social Change" series offers The Barefoot College, a documentary about a nonformal school for Indian doctors, engineers, and others 7:30 p.m.
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu. $7, second show $1.50. The East Bay mecca for film scholars, part of UC's Berkeley Art Museum, thrives at its on-campus location, up the steps on Bancroft between Telegraph Avenue and the Hearst Gym.
WEDNESDAY: A program of video works by Daniel Reeves includes Obsessive Becoming (1995), on the theme of familial child abuse, and his latest film, Shibboleth (2002) 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: A series of restored prints of films by Bengali master Satyajit Ray continues with the excellent compilation film Two Daughters (India, 1961; 7 p.m.), drawn from stories by Rabindranath Tagore. That film's hourlong "lost episode," Monihara (1961) follows -- Two Daughters was initially released in India as Three Daughters, but a daughter got lost for export. Also screening with Monihara is Ray's documentary Rabindranath Tagore (1961), both at 9:15 p.m.
FRIDAY: A three-day series of "trash cinema" screens in conjunction with the UCB academic conference "Born to Be Bad." George Kuchar's spoofs Color Me Shameless (1967) and Corruption of the Damned (1965) screen at 7 p.m., followed by goremeister Herschell Gordon Lewis' Color Me Blood Red (1965) -- a rip-off of Roger Corman's A Bucket of Blood, as somebody must have noticed -- at 9 p.m.
SATURDAY: More trash -- William Rotsler's Agony of Love (1966; 7 p.m.), "a low-rent version of Belle de Jour" about a rich man's wife who moonlights as a prostitute, screens with Stephanie Rothman's The Student Nurses (1970; 9 p.m.), projected on video as no prints of this Roger Corman-produced "nursie film" survive. Director Rothman in person.
SUNDAY: Still more trash -- UCLA film school graduate Jamaa Fanaka's Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975) is about a pimp with a magical penis 5:30 p.m.
MONDAY: Theater closed.
TUESDAY: Gustav Deutsch's compilation of early trick films, Film Ist 7-12 (Austria, 2002), screens with Peggy Ahwesh's video reworking of Lara Croft's adventures as a "proto-feminist saga," She Puppet (2001) 7:30 p.m.
1834 Park (at Lake Merritt), Oakland, (510) 814-2400, www.picturepubpizza.com. $5 save as noted. Pizza, beer, and movies on two screens. Call theater for programs, booked a week in advance. The Parkway also offers occasional scheduled special programs.
THURSDAY (May 16): A benefit for an anti-racist organization, "The Working Group," screens Not in Our Town and Not in Our Town 2. Filmmakers in person. $8 6:30, 9:15 p.m.
MIDNIGHT SHOW (Saturday): The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975), with live performance by Barely Legal. $6.
1118 Fourth St. (at A Street), San Rafael, 454-1222, www.finc.org. $8.50. This three-screen repertory theater is operated by the Film Institute of Northern California. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Bill Weber and David Weissman's The Cockettes (2002) 7, 9:15 p.m. Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher (Austria, 2000) 6:30, 9 p.m. The Sept. 11 compilation "Underground Zero" 6:45 p.m. Italian for Beginners (Denmark, 2000) 8:30 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: In July (Faith Akin, Germany, 2000); see Opening for review. Also, the premiere of John and Louise Riber's musical documentary Shanda (2002), a profile of Zimbabwe musician Oliver Mtukudzi. Call for times and other titles.
SATURDAY: San Rafael's 15th annual May Madness Classic Car Parade and Street Dance is commemorated by the Rafael with a screening of Francis Coppola's Tucker (1988), a misfired dream project about the visionary car designer 2, 7, 9:30 p.m.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $6.50 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
WEDNESDAY: Todd Solondz gets all controversial on us with his Storytelling (2001) 2, 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Astronauts run wild in Cory McAbee's The American Astronaut (2001) 7:15, 9:20 p.m.; also Sat 2, 4:15 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (May 21 & 22): Willie Brown's mayoral re-election in 2000 is charted in Emily Morse and Kelly Duane's See How They Run (2001). Directors in person at evening screenings 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $7 save as noted. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.A.
DAILY: The life of musician Nick Drake is the subject of A Skin Too Few (Jeroen Berkvens, 2000); see Page 165 for more. It screens with Coco Schrijber's short about saxophonist-turned-cabdriver David S. Ware, In Motion (1994) 6, 8, 10 p.m.; also Wed, Sat, & Sun 2, 4 p.m.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.swixo.com/stanford. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection and a courteous staff. A Cary Grant retrospective continues.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: A neglected minor classic, Clifford Odets' None But the Lonely Heart (1944; 7:30 p.m.) stars a cockney Grant as "the tramp of the universe" in a worthy, somber drama. Alexander Hall's Once Upon a Time (1944; 5:50, 9:35 p.m.) is about a promoter who discovers a dancing caterpillar, presented undigitized.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (May 17-23): A famously inaccurate biopic of composer Cole Porter, Night and Day (Michael Curtiz, 1946; 7:30 p.m.; also Sun 2:55 p.m.) is one of the few Grant films that's actually boring. Frank Capra's Arsenic and Old Lace (1944; 5:20, 9:35 p.m.) is, on the other hand, a seriously underrated farce, with Grant's oft-criticized mugging -- as the faithful boy who discovers his sweet old aunts are mass murderers -- perfectly appropriate to the occasion.
SUNDAY: Polygamy as practiced by Israel's "Hebrew Israelites" in Sister Wife (Timna Goldstein and Hadar Kleinman, Israel, 2002) 1 p.m. Teens make films in Chain Camera (Kirby Dick, 2002) 3 p.m. A schizophrenic musician is The Daddy of Rock 'n' Roll (Daniel Bitton, Canada, 2001), plus a profile of S.F. street musician Carlos Guitarlos, With Another True Story of My Miserable Fucked Up Life (Morten Jensen and Carl Theilen, 2002) 5 p.m. A shorts program, "Sex Inc." 7 p.m.
MONDAY: A friend investigates a filmmaker's disappearance in Missing Allen (Christian Bauer, Germany, 2001) 5:45 p.m. Extra! The music industry is commercial! Money for Nothing (Daniel Robin, 2002) and locally made shorts 7:45 p.m. Hippies who dropped out in the late '60s and are still out there, eating squirrels, are asked What Are You Going to Do for Toilet Paper? in Ben Thompson's documentary 9:30 p.m.
TUESDAY: David Fisher seeks a lost sibling in Love Inventory (Israel, 2001) 5:45 p.m. Author tells all in Kinky Friedman: Proud to Be an Asshole From El Paso (Simone de Vries, Netherlands, 2001) 7:45 p.m. Mouth sounds are music in Breath Control: The History of the Human Beatbox (Joey Garfield, 2002) 9:30 p.m.
701 Mission (at Third Street, in Yerba Buena Gardens), 978-2787, www.YerbaBuenaArts.org. $5 save as noted. This venue's Screening Room is a home for film and video programs of all sorts. Closed Mondays.
DAILY: Isaac Julian's Looking for Langston (1989), a film poem about Harlem Renaissance figure Langston Hughes, screens through July 14 at 11 a.m. Daily screenings of three documentaries by artist-in-residence Ellen Bruno on social issues in three Asian countries, Samsara, Satya, and Sacrifice, repeat thrice daily through July 14. Free with gallery admission noon, 2, 4 p.m.
WEDNESDAY (May 15): Philip Rodriguez's Mixed Feelings: San Diego/Tijuana (2001) charts the odd relationship of these two cities, while Alfeu Franca's Ota Benga: A Pygmy in America (2002) uses found footage and animation to look at American attitudes toward indigenous people. Filmmakers in person. $7 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY (May 16): The S.F. Cinematheque screens videos by Daniel Reeves, who presents "observations of animate and inanimate objects as fields for contemplation." Films include Obsessive Becoming, Smothering Dreams, and his latest, One With Everything. Artist in person. $7 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY (May 17): The first two entries in Bill Douglas' highly regarded, autobiographical trilogy about growing up in a Scottish mining village in the 1940s, My Childhood (1972) and My Ain Folk (1973). $6 8 p.m.
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