MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 or e-mail email@example.com for reservations (required) and information. $5. This cultural asset of long standing offers an ongoing "CinemaLit" series of projected video of classics, with salon-style discussions after the films.
FRIDAY (Nov. 22): Ernst Lubitsch's black, brilliant comedy To Be or Not to Be (1942) stars Jack Benny as the impossibly vain actor married to the equally solipsistic Carole Lombard in the context of Nazi-occupied Poland 6:30 p.m.
Action Theater, Second Floor, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), 369-6098. Sony hosts screenings of popular anime series from Bandai Entertainment this month. Free.
FRIDAY (Nov. 22): Six episodes of the popular Cowboy Bebop series, about a drifter and a cyborg cop team of bounty hunters, are presented in Dolby Digital in Cowboy Bebop -- Best Sessions 7 p.m.
SATURDAY (Nov. 23): Cowboy Bebop Volumes 1 through 3 plus Best Sessions run continuously from 11 a.m.-8:45 p.m.
SUNDAY (Nov. 24): Cowboy Bebop Volumes 4 through 6 plus Best Sessions screen noon-8 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 (Nov. 22-28): Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Paul Justman, 2002); see Ongoing for review.
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.
THURSDAY: The annual Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival of ethnographic movies continues with Railroad of Hope (Ning Ying, China, 2001), following migrant workers in a cross-China journey, and Old Believers (Jana Sevcikova, Czech Republic, 2001), about the survival of some really old-time religious practitioners in rural Romania. Both at 7 p.m.
FRIDAY: Margaret Mead Festival -- Atiq Rahimi's (A)fghanistan, an Impossible State (2002) documents his homeland's "cursed" state. The "forgiveness process" following a bitter struggle in Papua New Guinea after a long civil war is recorded in Liz Thompson's Breaking Bows and Arrows (Australia, 2001). Both at 7 p.m. Lech Kowalski's The Boot Factory (U.K./Poland, 2000) looks at punk boot-makers in Krakow 9:10 p.m.
SATURDAY: Alexander Medvedkine's Happiness (U.S.S.R., 1934; 7 p.m.), a brilliant and highly stylized comedy about the doings of peasants, screens with Yakov Protaznov's social comedy The Tailor From Torzhok (U.S.S.R., 1925; 9:30 p.m.).
SUNDAY: Sergei Komarov's The Kiss of Mary Pickford (U.S.S.R., 1927; 5:30 p.m.) cleverly weaves in footage of Pickford's and Douglas Fairbanks' visit to the Soviet Union with the doings of eccentric fans. Pickford herself stars in the Elizabethan romance Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (Marshall Neilan, 1924; 7:10 p.m.).
MONDAY: A rare example of a film that actually changed the world -- by saving a life -- Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line (1988), screening as part of a class on trials in film 3 p.m. The chaos of the Civil War's evoked in Ang Lee's Ride With the Devil (1999) 7 p.m.
2025 Broadway (at 20th Street), Oakland, (510) 465-6400, www.paramounttheatre.com. $5. This beautifully restored picture palace's ongoing "Movie Classics Series" regularly includes a feature plus a newsreel, cartoon, previews, and a few spins of the Dec-O-Win prize wheel.
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 (Nov. 21): We're promised "Viet Nam vets, racial hatred, sex, violence and bad hair" in an obscure blaxploitation film The Bad Bunch (Greydon Clark, 1973), which stars Clark, future director of Satan's Cheerleaders and Lambada, the Forbidden Dance, as a white vet who visits the home of a dead Army buddy. $6 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 save as noted. 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: Alias Betty (Claude Miller, France, 2001) 8:15 p.m. Naqoyqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 2002) 7, 9 p.m. Heaven (Tom Tykwer, Germany, 2002) 8:45 p.m.; also Wed 6:30 p.m. Rivers and Tides (Thomas Riedelsheimer, Germany, 2001) 6:15 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
STARTS FRIDAY: Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Paul Justman, 2002); see Ongoing for review. Call for times and other features.
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