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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2128 Center (at Shattuck), Berkeley, (510) 843-FILM, www.landmarktheatres.com. $6. This duplex offers a midnight movie series (plus "drawings for valuable and coveted prizes") on Saturdays for 10 weeks. For additional screenings, see our Showtimes page.
SATURDAY (Oct. 12): A 3-D X-rated film from the "Boogie Nights" era, Disco Dolls in Hot Skin (Norm DePlume, 1977), with John Holmes midnight.
345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.
SATURDAY (Oct. 12): Heads or Tails 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.
FRIDAY (Oct. 11): "Motion Detector," a program of experimental shorts curated by the new media collective systemsoular, offers Johnny deKam's Crude, systemsoular's Seashell, the Ralph Nader-narrated Countdown, and more 8 p.m.
SUNDAY (Oct. 13): Video artist Julie Mallozzi's Once Removed (2002) records her visit to China, where she learns for the first time of her mother's relatives' suffering during China's political upheavals. Her video incorporates dreams, archival footage, and scenes from her relatives' lives 7 p.m.
429 Castro (near Market), 621-6120, www.thecastrotheatre.com. $8 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.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Nicely tied to the ongoing exhibit of Lewis Carroll's photos at SFMOMA, Gavin Millar's Dream Child (U.K., 1986) casts Ian Holm as the dotty but good-hearted author of Alice in Wonderland. Jim Henson's "Wonderland" creations look rather sinister, though 7, 9:10 p.m.; also Wed 2, 4:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: A 21-day series of Akira Kurosawa's films, all but one made in collaboration with the dynamic actor Toshiro Mifune, gives audiences a new chance to appreciate Kurosawa's mastery of every aspect of film form. His free transcription of Shakespeare's Macbeth into the mist-shrouded Throne of Blood (Japan, 1957) reimagines a captain's paranoid worldview in terms of gritty volcanic rock, castles weighed down like mushrooms, and too many arrows to count 7, 9:20 p.m.
SATURDAY: "Kurosawa & Mifune" -- An excellent crime film on par with the best American noir of the time, Stray Dog (1949) finds Mifune a cop who loses his gun in the August heat of postwar Japan 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: "Kurosawa & Mifune" -- The clever structure of the hugely influential Rashomon (1950) still works for new audiences. Mifune was directed to ham unmercifully, though 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 p.m.
MONDAY: "Kurosawa & Mifune" -- Unreleased here until recently, I Live in Fear (1955) stars Mifune as a businessman terrified of atomic warfare 7, 9:10 p.m.
TUESDAY: "Kurosawa & Mifune" -- In their first collaboration, Mifune is a tubercular gangster treated by an alcoholic slum doctor, a Drunken Angel (1948), played by the future leader of the seven samurai, Takashi Shimura 7, 9:10 p.m.
2261 Fillmore (at Clay), 352-0870, www.landmarktheatres.com. An eight-week "8 Tales" midnight series continues; see www.8tales.com for more. For the rest of the Clay's schedule, see our Showtimes page. $5.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY (Oct. 11 & 12): This screening of Wes Anderson's delightful prep school Bildungsroman, Rushmore (1998), features a live performance by the Max Fischer Players midnight.
EMBARCADERO CENTER CINEMA
1 Embarcadero Center, Promenade Level, 552-8760 ext. 302 for advance tickets to this program. $50. For other screenings at this multiplex, see our Showtimes page.
FILM ARTS FOUNDATION
WEDNESDAY (Oct. 9): "Arthur Dong: A Look Back" showcases 20 years of the career of the social issue documentarian (Coming Out Under Fire, Licensed to Kill, and the new Family Fundamentals). Dong will show clips from his work and discuss it. $20 7 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143, www.fineartscinema.com. $7. A fall season continues for this innovatively programmed art house.
WEDNESDAY: Glenn Ford is an outlaw escape artist in custody of rancher Van Heflin in Delmer Daves' excellent western 3:10 to Yuma (1957; 7:30 p.m.), screening with Alfred Hitchcock's comic Cold War drama North by Northwest (1959; 9:15 p.m.), with Cary Grant a puppet of U.S. intelligence pursued by enemy spies.
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.
DAILY: An opera-loving thief bootlegs a performance by a technophobic Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix, France, 1982), screening through Oct. 27 at 6:30, 8:45 p.m.; also Fri & Sat midnight.
3200 Grand (at Highway 580), Oakland, (510) 465-0804 and email@example.com for this program. The 13th annual Black Filmworks Festival of Film and Video screens at various venues in the East Bay. For other films at this grand old theater, see our Showtimes page.
THURSDAY (Oct. 10): Tim Reid's Millennium Studios screens its latest film, For Real (Reid, 2002), with a post-show Q&A followed by reception. $10 7 p.m.
James Moore Auditorium, 10th & Oak streets, Oakland, (510) 465-0804 and firstname.lastname@example.org for this program. The 13th annual Black Filmworks Festival of Film and Video offers several programs this weekend. $5 per program, save as noted.
FRIDAY (Oct. 11): The Filmworks Awards Ceremony & Reception features a screening of the festival's best short films, including Move (Jacqueline McKinley and Antonia F. March, 2002), a civil rights drama with Coolio. $10 7 p.m.
SATURDAY (Oct. 12): TV specials including Ashley James' Gordon Parks: The Man and the Music (2001) 10 a.m. Short films including the first-place documentary Carolina Bebop Kings (Steve Crump, 2001) 12:15 p.m. Shorts and A Promise Fulfilled (Edward Harris and Adrianne Smith, 2002), about "The Vieques Four" 2:30 p.m. More documentaries, including Christina (Nefertina) Abram-Davis' The Cosmology of Words: A Journey From Griot to Rapper 5 p.m. Move, and first-place feature Joy (Jackie Alexander, 2002), about "a young African American man coming to terms with the fact that no amount of success can shield him from the ills that face our society" 7:15 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. Taking over from the Lumiere this fall season, this multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater. For the rest of the Opera Plaza's schedule, see our Showtimes page. $8.75.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Oct. 11-17): Arthur Dong's Family Fundamentals (2002); see Opening for review. Call for times.
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: Errol Morris' Fast, Cheap & Out of Control (1997) tells us of four eccentrics, including a topiary gardener and a fan of the hairless mole rat 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: A series of the films of Rob Nilsson continues with Northern Lights (John Hanson and Nilsson, 1978; 7 p.m.), telling the story of a grass-roots movement in North Dakota, the Nonpartisan League, in 1915-16 through the life of a farmer who becomes politically active; and Words for the Dying (1989; 9:10 p.m.), showing composers John Cale and Brian Eno at work -- the latter reluctant to be filmed.
FRIDAY: Rob Nilsson introduces John Cassavetes' incendiary portrait of a difficult marriage, A Woman Under the Influence (1975) 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: A monthlong series of the films of Italian thrillmeister Mario Bava continues with a double bill of Four Times That Night (1972; 7 p.m.) -- Rashomon retold as a sex farce -- and The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963; 8:45 p.m.) and was chased across Italy.
SUNDAY: Ken Hughes' film of Ian Fleming's children's fantasy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (U.K., 1968), our fine four-fendered friend 2 p.m. Mathematician Robert Osserman introduces Mario Martone's Death of a Neapolitan Mathematician (Italy, 1992), the true story of a radical math genius drinking himself to death. Part of a "CineMath" series screening this month 5:30 p.m.
MONDAY: A UC Berkeley class on courtroom dramas, "Trials and Film," with lectures by Carol Clover, is open to the public as space permits. Today, John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln (1939), with a memorable turn by Henry Fonda, breaking logs and witnesses 3 p.m. Ang Lee's debut feature, Pushing Hands (Taiwan, 1992), a family comedy of cultural difference 7 p.m.
TUESDAY: "CineMath" -- Mathematician Dave Bayer introduces experimental films with mathematical themes by Walter Ruttman, James Whitney, Norman McLaren, and Bruce Conner (the timely Ten Second Film) 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.
THURSDAY (Oct. 10): John Stanley hosts a "Creature Features Double Feature" -- Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee battling it out with a prehistoric monster on board the Trans-Siberian Express in Horror Express (1972), and one of the first Vietnam-vet horror films, from the future auteur of Porky's, Dead of Night (aka Deathdream, Bob Clark, Canada, 1972). $8; advance purchase recommended 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY (Oct. 12): A matinee of John Ford's emotionally faithful adaption of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (1940), screening as a benefit for the Oakland Public Library. $3 3 p.m.
TUESDAY (Oct. 15): The Grapes of Wrath (1940), screening as a benefit for the Oakland Public Library. $6, half off if you show your Oakland Library card 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 THROUGH SUNDAY: The Mill Valley Film Festival continues at this venue.
STARTS MONDAY: Call theater for program.
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: The future Fat Bastard and Pistachio Disguisey play heavy-metal heads in Penelope Spheeris' Wayne's World (1992) 2, 7:15, 9:20 p.m.
THURSDAY: Antero Alli's Hysteria (2002), an ambitious, locally made digital video about the nightmares of a Croatian boxer 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Sing along with John Cameron Mitchell's cult musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001) 7:15, 9:20 p.m.; also Sat 2, 4:15 p.m.
SUNDAY & MONDAY: Spiritual struggles in a Zen monastery liven up Bae Yong-Kyun's highly acclaimed Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (Korea, 1989) 8 p.m.; also Sun 2, 5 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (Oct. 15 & 16): Hideous hairstyles are chronicled in Jennifer Arnold's American Mullet (2002) 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $8 save as noted. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.A.
DAILY: Werner Herzog's Invincible (Germany, 2002) screens through Oct. 17. See Ongoing for review 7, 9:30 p.m.; also Wed, Sat, & Sun 2, 4:30 p.m.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Weekly screenings of Scott Ritter's In Shifting Sands (2002), billed as "The Truth About UNSCOM and the Disarming of Iraq," continue on weekends at noon. Ritter in person on Sunday.
2230 Shattuck (at Kittredge), Berkeley, (510) 843-3456, www.landmarktheatres.com. $9. This venerable theater assigns one of its eight screens to repertory programming. For the rest of the Shattuck's schedule, see our Showtimes page.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Jean-Luc Godard's In Praise of Love (France/Switzerland, 2001); see Ongoing for review. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Oct. 11-17): Arthur Dong's Family Fundamentals (2002); see Opening for review. Call for times.
934 Brannan (at Eighth Street), 552-FILM and www.filmarts.org/events.
FRIDAY (Oct. 11): The 14th annual "Straight Outta Film Arts" fest screens works produced in Film Arts Foundation classes. Party, barbecue, and screening, all free, at 7 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.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Preston Sturges' tale of a wandering director, Sullivan's Travels (1941; 7:30 p.m.), screens with George Cukor's comedy of bad manners Dinner at 8 (1933; 5:30, 9:10 p.m.), perhaps the rawest film of all pre-Production Code Hollywood.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Ronald Colman stars as a seeker of eternal truth in Lost Horizon (Frank Capra, 1937; 3, 7:30 p.m.) and as an amnesiac in Random Harvest (Mervyn LeRoy, 1942; 5:10, 9:40 p.m.). Given that the Gnostics hold that we once knew eternal truth but have forgotten it, these may in fact be the same movie.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Closed.
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: Isat Batsry's These Are Not My Images (Neither There Nor Here) (2000), a "poetic investigation" of ethnographic images of South India, screens through Sunday at noon.
WEDNESDAY (Oct. 9): The Latino Film Festival screens A Great Day in Havana (Germany, 1995), by Laurie Ann Schag and Casey Stoll, about Cuban artists who like it there. Filmmakers in person. $7 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY (Oct. 10): The San Francisco Cinematheque presents handmade films by Cade Bursell (including her latest, the 35mm Test Sites, comprised of found footage pasted onto film stock) and Maia Cybelle Carpenter. Filmmakers in person. $7 7:30 p.m.
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