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.
WEDNESDAY (Jan. 15): Michel Blanc's Grosse Fatigue (1995) 7 p.m.
SATURDAY (Jan. 18): Grosse Fatigue 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 (Jan. 18): Doug Loranger's Bad Reception (2002) follows S.F. residents who've formed the San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union (SNAFU) to resist neighborhood placement of wireless antennas. Discussion follows, presumably by no one who ever uses a cell phone 8 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: 2003's Berlin & Beyond Film Festival of German-language cinema closes with Do It from Switzerland 2 p.m. Westend from Germany 5 p.m. Closing Night film is the highly popular Sissi (Ernst Marischka, Germany/Austria, 1955), with 17-year-old Romy Schneider as the young bride of Emperor Franz Josef (future Peeping Tom Karlheinz Böhm). Party to follow. $15 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: James Marsh's Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) tells us of dark doings in the Midwest of the 1890s 7, 9 p.m.
FRIDAY: "Noir City," a 10-night, 20-film series of noir pictures set and in most cases filmed in San Francisco -- all in good, 35mm prints -- opens with The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941; 7 p.m.) and Delmer Daves' hallucinatory Dark Passage (1947; 9:10 p.m.).
SATURDAY: "Noir City" -- Ann Sheridan is a Woman on the Run (1950; 2, 5:30, 9:10 p.m.) through S.F.'s Playland at the Beach, in a film directed by longtime Orson Welles collaborator Norman Foster. Welles' own bizarre The Lady From Shanghai (1948; 3:40, 7:10 p.m.) also concludes at Playland.
SUNDAY: "Noir City" -- Joseph Santley's Shadow of a Woman (1946; 1:30, 5:20, 9:10 p.m.) has something to do with holistic medicine. David Miller's Sudden Fear (1952; 3:10, 7 p.m.) posits Joan Crawford in jeopardy from Jack Palance -- as if!
MONDAY: "Noir City" -- Two with sleepy noir icon Robert Mitchum, Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947; 7 p.m.) and Where Danger Lives (John Farrow, 1950; 9 p.m.).
TUESDAY: "Noir City" -- George Raft's a Bay Meadows bookie in Race Street (Edward L. Marin, 1948; 7:20 p.m.), screening with the Produce Market melodrama Thieves' Highway (Jules Dassin, 1949; 9 p.m.).
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143 and www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. A winter season continues for this innovatively programmed art house.
WEDNESDAY: Godfrey Reggio casts a jaundiced eye on 20th-century civilization in Koyaanisqatsi (1982; 7 p.m.), screening with Harmony Korine's plotless, jaundiced Gummo (1997; 8:45 p.m.).
THURSDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY (Jan. 16-22): The Fine Arts celebrates small film theaters with the comedy The Smallest Show on Earth (Basil Dearden, U.K., 1957; 7 p.m.), with Peter Sellers and Margaret Rutherford as elderly staffers; and small filmmakers with Chris Smith's American Movie (1999; 8:35 p.m.; also Sun 5 p.m.), documenting the making of a low-budget horror film.
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.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: James Bond vs. Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, U.K., 1964) 6:15, 8:15, 10:15 p.m.
STARTS TUESDAY: Mira Nair's colorful Monsoon Wedding (India, 2001) screens through Feb. 9 6:15, 8:15, 10:15 p.m.
510 Larkin (at Turk), 820-3907, www.sfindie.com. This "Rock 'n' Roll DJ Bar" offers an "SF IndieFest MicroCinema" Mondays through Fridays. All screenings are followed by DJ music at 10 p.m. Free.
WEDNESDAY: Underrated hack director Stuart Raffill's somewhat underated Star Wars knockoff Ice Pirates (1984). (It has zero reputation, but it's watchable, and Anjelica Huston's in it.) Later Raffill authored an E.T. knockoff, Mac and Me, infamous for its shameless plugs for McDonald's. It's time for a Raffill retro -- he's the Terrence Malick of tie-ins 8 p.m.
THURSDAY: Writer/director Charles Brosseau-Fisher stars as St. John the
Baptist, a Hollywood film producer, in Frozen Hot, a blacksploitation parody said to inspire "helpless, baffled laughter" 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: Japanese robot sex porn -- Iku 8 p.m.
MONDAY: And there's a sexy German robot in Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927) 8 p.m.
TUESDAY: Tsui Hark's literally jaw-dropping fantasy, Chinese Ghost Story (1987) 8 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. 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: Derrida (Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Kofman, 2002); see Ongoing for review. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Jan. 17-23): Steve Guttenberg's P.S. Your Cat Is Dead (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: A "New Iranian Cinema" series continues with The Deserted Station (Alireza Raisan, 2002; 7 p.m.), about an urban couple stranded in a village, and A House Built on Water (Bahman Farmanara, 2002; 9 p.m.), which follows a doctor's life and work. Water repeats on Friday.