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.
We're interested in your film or video event. Please send materials at least two weeks in advance to: Film Editor, SF Weekly, 185 Berry, Suite 3800, San Francisco, CA 94107.
345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.
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 (Jan. 31): "He Who Hits First, Hits Twice," a program of political agitprop by the late Cuban director Santiago Alvarez, includes Now (1965); Cerro Pelado (1966), about the attempted participation of a Cuban sports team in a Puerto Rico competition; Hanoi Martes 13 (1967), filmed during one day of U.S. bombing; and LBJ (1968) 8 p.m.
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143 and www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. A winter season concludes this week for this innovatively programmed art house, which closes Sunday till further notice.
WEDNESDAY: 1960s indie filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler, in person with Wild Guitar (1962; 7 p.m.), starring Steckler as a sleazy promoter, and Wild Ones on Wheels (1962; 9:15 p.m.), with Steckler as "Cash Flagg," biker hero. Hosted by Will the Thrill and Monica the Tiki Goddess, direct from the Parkway.
THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Two films about two guys stuck deep in their ruts, Harold Ramis' comedy Groundhog Day (1993; 7 p.m.) and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980; 8:55 p.m.; also Sun 4:20 p.m.). All work and no play; don't say you weren't warned.
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: 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.
TUESDAY: Peter Jackson's underrated fantasy The Frighteners (1996) 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: Samira Makhmalbaf's Blackboards (Iran, 2000). See Ongoing for review. Call for times.
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 UCB film history class open to the public offers an introduction to "Early Cinema" by professor Marilyn Fabe3 p.m. A video program, "Pro/Found," with works by Brian Boyce, Jacqueline Goss, and others manipulating found sights and sounds 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: A series of new prints of films from postwar Germany continues with two by Helmut Käutner, Sky Without Stars (1955; 7 p.m.), a drama of two lovers separated by the East-West line, and a retrospective of the Nazi era narrated by a car (!), In Those Days (1947; 8:30 p.m.).
FRIDAY: Two postwar German dramas of World War II -- juvenile soldiers standing at The Bridge (Bernhard Wicki, 1959; 7 p.m.) and a film about an army deserter, Kirmes (Wolfgang Staudte, 1960; 9:05 p.m.).
SATURDAY: In Hollywood, Robert Siodmak directed such key films noir as Phantom Lady and Crisscross; back in Germany, he made the noirish The Devil Strikes at Night (1957; 7 p.m.), about the hunt for a serial killer, and My Schoolmate (1960; 9:05 p.m.), whose hapless protagonist was a classmate of Hermann Goering.
SUNDAY: A Children's Film Festival screening of Help! I'm a Boy! (Oliver Dommenget, Germany, 2002), about two 11-year-olds who switch sexes. English subtitles read aloud 1 p.m. For teenagers -- the 5th Bay Area High School Fest3 p.m. Two postwar German comedies, Aren't We Wonderful? (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958; 5:30 p.m.) and Film Without a Title (Rudolf Jugert, 1948; 7:40 p.m.).