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. $5 donation.
SATURDAY (Nov. 30): The Closet 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 (Nov. 30): Jill Sharpe's Culture Jam (2002) tells tales of the Church of Stop Shopping, the Billboard Liberation Front, and other "hijackers" of commercial culture. Plus new shorts by Eric Saks, Negativland, and more 8:30, 10 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: A new print of Jean Cocteau's fantasy masterpiece Beauty and the Beast (France, 1946), with Jean Marais as the enchanted lover 2, 4:30, 7, 9:15 p.m.
3601 Lyon (at Richardson), 563-7337, www.exploratorium.edu. Free with museum admission of $10, $6 kids aged 5-17. Screenings are in the center's McBean Theater, through the front doors and on the left.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY (Nov. 29 & 30): For Thanksgiving the Exploratorium is screening Frederic Back's hand-drawn The Man Who Planted Trees (Switzerland, 1988), a lovely film about a World War I vet who devoted his life to creating a forest on barren land 1, 3 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143 and www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. A fall season continues for this innovatively programmed art house.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Closed for the holiday.
SATURDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY (Nov. 30-Dec. 4): Two tales from the north of England, a mock history of the Manchester music scene, 24 Hour Party People (Michael Winterbottom, U.K., 2002; 7 p.m.), and the justly celebrated hard-boiled thriller Get Carter (Mike Hodges, U.K., 1971; 9:10 p.m.; also Sun 4:55 p.m.), the good one with Michael Caine, not the god-awful remake, also with Michael Caine, in support of Sylvester Stallone (shudder). There is a special late-night show as well, with separate admission, of Pascal Le Gras' The Fall, a video using the music of Mark E. Smith and the Fall 11:15 p.m.
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 (closed Mondays): The Band and some of their friends perform and chat in Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz (1979), screening through Dec. 8 6:15, 8:30 p.m.; also Fri & Sat 11 p.m.
WEDNESDAY (Nov. 27): Weekly screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975) continue. It's even better with beer 8 p.m.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY (Nov. 28 & 29): The "explicit and disturbing" doings of satanic priest (and party performer for political pooh-bah Jack Davis) "Reverend Leyba" are recorded in Unspeakable (2002) 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.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Love in the Time of Money (Peter Mattei, 2002); see Ongoing 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 & THURSDAY: Theater closed.
FRIDAY: A monthlong tribute to the lengthy collaboration of Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa and star Toshiro Mifune commences with the famous black comedy rogue-samurai hit Yojimbo (1961; 2, 7 p.m.) and its drier, wittier sequel, Sanjuro (1962; 4:10, 7:10 p.m.).
SATURDAY: The PFA's annual "Teddy Bear Film Festival" encourages audience members to bring their teddies, parade around the theater, and watch such films as Eddy & the Bear (Tony Collingwood, U.K., 2001) 1, 3 p.m. Kurosawa and Mifune -- "What is truth?" asks Rashomon (1951; 5:30, 9:30 p.m.), while Throne of Blood (1957; 7:20 p.m.) is a brilliant transposition of Shakespeare to medieval Japan.
SUNDAY: The annual "Teddy Bear Film Festival" repeats at 1, 3 p.m. Kurosawa and Mifune -- The actor's debut for Kurosawa was as a gangster dying of TB and under the care of slum doctor Takashi Shimura, future leader of the seven samurai and title character of Drunken Angel (1948; 5:30 p.m.). It screens with the excellent film noir, Japanese style, Stray Dog (1949; 7:30 p.m.).
MONDAY: A class on the topic of trials in film concludes with A Matter of Life and Death (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, U.K., 1946), with RAF pilot David Niven up before a heavenly tribunal 3 p.m. Ang Lee's martial arts epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Hong Kong/Taiwan, 2000) 7 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.
TUESDAY (Dec. 3): A "Gothic Holiday Party" offers live music from the "lurid lounge band" Rosin Coven and a screening of Tim Burton's well-realized parable of adolescent self-pity, Edward Scissorhands (1991). $8 6:30, 9:30 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: Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Paul Justman, 2002) 6:45, 9 p.m. Heaven (Tom Tykwer, Germany, 2002) 6:30, 8:45 p.m. Rivers and Tides (Thomas Riedelsheimer, Germany, 2001) 6 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: A series paying tribute to the exuberant talent of Zero Mostel opens with his legendary Max Bialystock of The Producers (Mel Brooks, 1968). I'll buy 10 percent of that if everyone reading this will too. Call for times.
SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY: More Mostel -- Richard Lester's ring-a-ding-rhythm take on A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966), with every old comic from Zero to Buster Keaton. Call for times.
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 THROUGH MONDAY (Nov. 27-Dec. 2, but closed on Thanksgiving): Highlights of the 2001-02 big-wave season are chronicled in the video documentary 100 Ft. Wednesday (Eric W. Nelson and Curt Myers, 2002) 6, 8, 10 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m., Fri-Sun 2, 4 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (Dec. 3 & 4): And speaking of spectacular wipeouts, Robert Evans struggles to ride his boogie board in The Kid Stays in the Picture (Brett Morgan and Nanette Burstein, 2002), a highly entertaining look at Hollywood in the 1960s-70s 7:15, 9:20 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $8. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.A.
DAILY: Estela Bravo's Fidel: The Untold Story (2002) is a new documentary tagging along with El Jefe as he receives friends such as Nelson Mandela and hangs with the Buena Vista Social Club. The director's an American living in Cuba, so don't expect a critical portrait 6, 8, 10 p.m.; also Wed, Sat, & Sun 2, 4 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE
S.F. Art Institute, 800 Chestnut (at Jones), 822-2885, www.sfcinematheque.org. $7 save as noted. The San Francisco Cinematheque specializes in avant-garde, historical, and experimental films at venues around the Bay Area, including the Yerba Buena Center and its home base at the S.F. Art Institute.
SUNDAY (Dec. 1): Longtime independent filmmaker Jon Jost returns to San Francisco with his latest, Six Easy Pieces (2002), an investigation of digital video aesthetics. Filmmaker in person 7:30 p.m.
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: Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai (Japan, 1954) ride again in a new print. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Nov. 29-Dec. 5): A mother and daughter reunite after 22 years apart in Daughter From Danang (Gail Dolgin and Vicente Franco, 2002). See Opening for review. Call for times.
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: Two classic early 1930s musicals -- the first official pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, The Gay Divorcee (Mark Sandrich, 1934; 7:30 p.m.), and 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, 1932; 5:50, 9:30 p.m.), the still-famous Depression-era hit with Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, and choreography by Busby Berkeley.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Beauteous Gene Tierney stars in two good dramas from 20th Century Fox, the classic mystery about a detective who falls for a dead woman, Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944; 3:55, 7:30 p.m.), and the supernatural romance The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1947; 5:35, 9:05 p.m.).
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Closed.
DAILY (closed Mondays, and Thursday this week): Screenings of "Bay Area Now 3" programs of recent documentaries continue through Jan. 12, free with gallery admission. On Wednesdays, children speak freely in No Dumb Questions (Melissa Regan, 2001) and She Wants to Talk to You (Anita Chang, 2001); on Fridays, a roller derby queen is Demon of the Derby (Sharon Marie Rutter, 2001); on Saturdays, the dot-com era's Boom! The Sound of Eviction (Francine Cavanaugh, A. Mark Liiv, Adams Wood, 2001) is recalled; on Sundays, a profile of lovely life in Livermore (Rachel Raney and David Murray, 2002); on Tuesdays, Artists in Exile: A Story of Modern Dance in San Francisco by Austin Forbord and Shelley Trott (2000) noon.
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