Commentary by Gregg Rickman (email@example.com). 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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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.
TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Dec. 31-Jan. 2): A new print of Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris (U.S.S.R., 1972), a remarkable work of human-alien encounter in hypnotic slow motion. Not to be confused with the recent, elliptical adaptation by Steven Soderbergh. See Ongoing for review 1, 4:30, 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: A mini-Tarkovsky retrospective -- not that there's anything minimal about anything this director did -- continues with his second work of science fiction, Stalker (U.S.S.R., 1979), wherein the title figure leads the Writer and the Professor through the Zone in search of the Room 1, 4:30, 8 p.m.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Tarkovsky rings the bell with the medieval fresco Andrei Roublev (U.S.S.R., 1966) 1:30, 4:15, 7:30 p.m.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Tarkovsky's first feature, Ivan's Childhood (U.S.S.R., 1964; 3:10, 7:10 p.m.), about a Russian boy behind enemy lines in World War II. His The Mirror (U.S.S.R., 1974; 1, 5:05, 9:10 p.m.) has two faces, the personal and the political, in a dying man's reverie.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (Dec. 31 & Jan. 1): Theater closed.
THURSDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY (Jan. 2-8): It's hot rodder heaven with two early-'70s classics. George Lucas' American Graffiti (1973; 7 p.m.) proves that everyone -- yes, even George Lucas -- has a good autobiographical film deep down inside, and unlike recent efforts it is well-written, well-acted, and pixel-free. Drive-in meets art house in Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop (1971; 9:05 p.m.; also Sun 4:50 p.m.), with James Taylor and Dennis Wilson as a pair of enigmatic grease monkeys. Highly recommended.
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): James Bond vs. Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, U.K., 1964), screening through Jan. 19 6:15, 8:15, 10:15 p.m.
TUESDAY (Dec. 31): No films scheduled.
WEDNESDAY (Jan. 1): Closed for National Hangover Day.
THURSDAY (Jan. 2): The weird world of They Might Be Giants is exposed in Gigantic 8 p.m.
FRIDAY (Jan. 3): After the apocalypse, survivors survive Ever Since the World Ended 8 p.m.
MONDAY (Jan. 6): Buster Keaton's brilliant wedding-bell-blues comedy Seven Chances (1925) 8 p.m.
TUESDAY (Jan. 7): Chinese Hopping Vampires populate, or should we say depopulate, Mr. Vampire (Ricky Lau, Hong Kong, 1985) 8 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. Taking over from the Lumiere this 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.
TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Dec. 31-Jan. 2): Call for films and times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Jan. 3-9): Kim Ki-Duk's The Isle (Korea, 2000); see Opening for review. Call for times.
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. 31): A New Year's Eve Toga Party is accompanied by a screening of John Landis' Animal House (1978), plus live entertainment. $30 8 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.
TUESDAY (Dec. 31): Closed for the holiday.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, Australia, 2002) 6:45, 8:45 p.m.; also Wed 4:30 p.m. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Paul Justman, 2002) 6:45, 9 p.m.; also Wed 4:45 p.m. Rivers and Tides (Thomas Riedelsheimer, Germany, 2001) 6:30, 8:30 p.m.; also Wed 4 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
STARTS FRIDAY: Personal Velocity (Rebecca Miller, 2002); see Ongoing for review. Call theater for times and other films.
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.
TUESDAY (Dec. 31): Closed for the holiday.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Ron Fricke's ecumenical celebration of life, Baraka (1992) 7:15, 9:30 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
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