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 (Feb. 26): A Juliette Binoche series continues with Krzysztof Kieslowski's Blue (France, 1993), the first of his "Three Colors" trilogy, with Binoche as the widow of a celebrated composer coming to terms with loss 7 p.m.
SATURDAY (March 1): Blue 2 p.m.
ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS
992 Valencia (at 21st Street), 824-3890, www.atasite.org for most programs, www.othercinema.com for Saturday evening programs. $5 save as noted. This venue offers all manner of strange and unusual video and film.
FRIDAY (Feb. 28): "Rhythm From Wreckage!," a showcase of "vidsonic" work from Wago Kreider, Lovid, Rebekah Nagy, and others exploring the results of "awkward encounters with media technology," plus live performance with streams of live and prepared video and audio by Sue Costabile 8 p.m.
SATURDAY (March 1): The Noise Pop festival of music, at various venues around town, also sponsors film screenings here and at the Yerba Buena this week. This afternoon, Rock That Uke (William Preston Robertson and Sean Anderson, 2002) shows us how post-punk musicians have taken up the four-stringed novelty as "a raucous and irreverent source of irony, angst and impotent rage." Screens with Doug Stone's Angel of Love (2002), about a substitute teacher who writes and sings his own music about the U.S. Navy 2 p.m. The Pixies are remembered in Pixies -- Gouge (Matt Quinn, U.K., 2001), plus two shorts 4 p.m. In the evening, Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet (DeeDee Halleck, Tamar Schulmann, 2003) looks back over a decade's work of the anti-war Bread and Puppet Theater. Halleck in person 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY (March 2): Noise Pop -- It's a DIY world: Do You Remember?: Fifteen Years of the Bouncing Souls (Jeff Alulis, 2002) 2 p.m. An S.F. video artist returns home to San Antonio and tries to make a documentary about a Chicano punk band in Jim Mendiola's comedy Speeder Kills (2003) 4 p.m.
3630 Balboa (at 37th Avenue), 221-8484, $7.50. This great neighborhood house is a good place to catch second-run Hollywood, independent, and foreign fare. See our Showtimes page for regular programs.
THURSDAY (Feb. 27): The Balboa celebrates a "77th Birthday Party" with a screening of Rudolph Valentino, still compelling as the Son of the Sheik (1926), presented in a tinted 35mm print, plus Charlie Chaplin's filmed-in-San Francisco A Jitney Elopement (1915), cartoons, and more shorts. Evening show only: all of the above plus a vaudeville review with magician James Hamilton, belly dancer Nahar, and songstress Susanne Ramsey 2, 7:30 p.m.
MONDAY (March 3): A memorial for the late Bay Area filmmaker Jaime Kibben offers a retrospective of his films, which included documentaries on organic farming in Cuba; Chiapas, Mexico, Indians practicing sustainable agriculture; and a friend with early-onset Parkinson's. Screens as a fund-raiser for Kibben's family. $15; all welcome 7:30 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 David Lynch's dreamy tour of small-town nightmare, Blue Velvet (1986) 1:30, 4:15, 7, 9:35 p.m.
THURSDAY: The Frameline-hosted series "Close-Up: Visionaries of Modern Cinema" offers an evening with producer Christine Vachon (Todd Haynes' films and many more), interviewed onstage by David Ansen of Newsweek. $12 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: This evening opens a two-week series of screenings from producer Ely Landau's American Film Theatre, 14 film adaptions of celebrated plays released on a subscription basis in 1973-75, and now finally revived. (I saw many of these way back when, and at the time they mostly went over my head -- the thankfully broken promise in the ads was that they would never be seen again!) Tonight, Alan Bates stars as a bisexual teacher in the bitterly witty Butley (Harold Pinter, U.K., 1974). With Jessica Tandy 7, 9:35 p.m.
SUNDAY: AFT -- For whatever reason, Lee Marvin was cast in the role supposedly owned by Jason Robards, Hickey in the AFT film of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh (John Frankenheimer, 1973), and by all accounts was more than credible. The great cast includes Robert Ryan, Jeff Bridges, Fredric March, and Moses Gunn 2, 7 p.m.
MONDAY: AFT -- Three brothers return to their coal mining hometown for their parents' 40th wedding anniversary in David Storey's In Celebration (Lindsay Anderson, 1974), with Alan Bates and Brian Cox 7, 9:35 p.m.
TUESDAY: AFT -- Even as a 20-year-old I recognized Robert Shaw's The Man in the Glass Booth (Arthur Hiller, 1975) as meretricious. Maximilian Schell chews the scenery as a Jew accused of being a Nazi war criminal 7, 9:30 p.m.
FRIDAY (Feb. 28): "Open Screening" of new Bay Area-made shorts by members, "the first 90 minutes of material to walk through the door." Plus gratis popcorn and soda. Free 7 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.
MONDAY: Venue closed.
STARTS TUESDAY: Terry Gilliam's retro futurescape Brazil (1985) screens through March 23 at 6:30, 8:45, 11 p.m.
THURSDAY: The animated Heavy Metal 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: Roddy Bogawa's Junk (1999), an "apocalyptic science-fiction love story built from detritus, rust and naked flesh" 8 p.m.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Call for program.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 for reservations and information. $5. This cultural asset of long standing offers a "February Film Noir" series of projected video of classics, with salon-style discussions after the films featuring noir expert Eddie Muller.
FRIDAY (Feb. 28): John Alton's cinematography for Raw Deal (1948) virtually defines "film noir" with its harsh, high-contrast black-and-white look pinning down the hapless protagonists, who include Dennis O'Keefe and Claire Trevor 6:30 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.
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu. $8, second show $2. 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: René Clair greeted the sound era with A Nous la Liberté (France, 1931), a silent comedy with music, dialogue, and singing flowers 3 p.m. A compendium of product placements from Hollywood films gives us "Value-Added Cinema" 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: A "Czech New Wave" series continues with The Maple and Juliana (Stefan Uher, 1972), a Slovakian fairy tale about a lovelorn woman turned into a tree and the calamities that follow when three musicians chop the tree up to make new instruments. Not due for a remake from Pixar anytime soon! 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: The Czech series concludes with Jan Nemec's thriller Diamonds of the Night (1964; 7:30 p.m.), following two boys as they escape from a death camp train, co-scripted by one of the survivors; and The Cremator (Juraj Herz, 1968; 9 p.m.), about a crematorium worker who becomes obsessed with his job.
SATURDAY: "An Afternoon With Bertrand Tavernier" offers the fine French filmmaker in person with his latest, Safe Conduct (2002), a drama set in the French film industry during the Occupation 2 p.m. The Women of Color Film Festival opens with "It's Our Turn to Speak," a program of short videos and the hourlong Some Real Heat (Stefanie Jordan, 2002), about female firefighters 7:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Women of Color -- "Displacement," short films on exile and the hourlong Children of the Crocodile (Marsha Emerman, U.S./Australia), following two East Timor women's adaptation to life in Australia 3 p.m. The program "Through the Mirror" includes the short feature Adrift in the Heartland (Brigid Maher, 2002), about the friendship of a Palestinian woman and an African-American woman 6:30 p.m.
TUESDAY: Women of Color -- "Home Is Where Our Healing Is," a program of shorts on coming to terms with the past. Filmmakers in person for this and other programs in the series 7:30 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.
FRIDAY (Feb. 28): Billy Wilder's adept mix of schmaltz and cynicism, The Apartment (1960), marked career highs for all, including Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray as three sides of an office triangle 8 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. The Parkway also offers occasional scheduled special programs.
THURSDAY (Feb. 27): A pimp moonlights as a suburbanite in Candy Tangerine Man (Matt Cimber, 1975) 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 California Film Institute. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Alexander Sokurov's Russian Ark (Russia, 2002) 6:30, 8:30 p.m. Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, Australia, 2002) 6:45, 8:45 p.m. Ownership of a Portuguese hotel binds three sisters together against their sister-in-law in the Dutch comedy Zus & Zo (This and That, Paula van der Oest, 2002) 7, 9 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary (André Heller, Othmar Schmiderer, Austria, 2002); see Opening for review. Russian Ark and Rabbit-Proof Fence continue. Call theater for show times.
SUNDAY: A "Beyond Borders" series of films for children (over 10 years old, in this case) continues with In Desert and Wilderness (Gavin Hood, Poland, 2002), about two kids kidnapped by Egyptian rebels in 1890. In Polish; English translation available over earphones 1 p.m.
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.
THURSDAY: Naomi Watts is threatened by ominous forces in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) 2, 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Naomi Watts is threatened by an anonymous videotape in The Ring (Gore Verbinski, 2002) 7, 9:35 p.m.; also Sat 2, 4:25 p.m.
SUNDAY & MONDAY: Michelle Blair's documentary about bulimia, Inside Out (2002), with director in person for evening screenings 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Sun 2, 4 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (March 4 & 5): A. Sandler gets KO'd in P.T. Anderson's Punch-Drunk Love (2002) 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.
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 (see separate entry).
SUNDAY (March 2): "Graphic Sonic," a program of music-inspired short films, screens works cut to music by the likes of Arthur Honegger and Richard Wagner, including Jean Mitry's Pacific 23, Konrad Steiner's Devil Egged, Len Lye's Free Radicals, and Harold Becker's Blind Gary Davis (to be distinguished from California's Blind Gray Davis) 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.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Feb. 28-March 6): Gus Van Sant's Gerry (2003); see Opening for review. Call for times.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.stanfordtheatre.org. $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 & THURSDAY: The young, hyperactive James Cagney sparkles in two of his early vehicles, Blonde Crazy (Roy Del Ruth, 1931; 7:30 p.m.) -- as a hotel con artist/bellhop in league with Joan Blondell -- and as a pro-union cabbie in Taxi! (Del Ruth, 1932; 6:10, 9 p.m.), with Loretta Young.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Two of Orson Welles' lesser-known films from the era of Kane and Lady From Shanghai, respectively. Journey Into Fear (Norman Foster, 1942; 6:05, 9:20 p.m.) is a baroque potboiler that's the only Mercury production at RKO besides Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, with glints of ghost-director Welles' style (he's also a sinister cop). The Stranger (Welles, 1946; 7:30 p.m.; also Sun 4:20 p.m.) was the director's most conventional film, with Welles as a Fascist hiding out in a New England boy's school. Hollywood stars Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young play their usual selves; Welles' choice, Agnes Moorehead, would have been more inspired casting in Robinson's role as a determined detective.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Theater closed.
701 Mission (at Third Street, in Yerba Buena Gardens), 978-2787, www.YerbaBuenaArts.org. $5 save as noted. This venue's Screening Room is a home for film and video programs of all sorts. Closed Mondays.
DAILY: Continuous loop screenings by Swedish video artists through April 13 -- On Wednesdays, Annika Ström's The Artist Live; on Thursdays, Ström's Ten New Love Songs; on Fridays, Anneè Olofsson's Ricochet and The Thrill Is Gone; on Saturdays, Annika Larsson's Cigar; on Sundays, Larsson's 40-15; on Tuesdays, Olofsson's You Need Her and You Want Her Golden Hair. Free with gallery admission 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
WEDNESDAY (Feb. 26): The S.F. Jewish Film Festival screens Late Summer Blues (Renen Schorr, Israel, 1987), about high school graduates spending their last summer together before the 1970 army draft. $7 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY (Feb. 27): A Noise Pop festival screening of music films -- If I Should Fall From Grace: The Shane MacGowan Story (Sarah Share, Ireland, 2000), on the Pogues frontman, plus Johnny Cash singing a song by Trent Reznor, Hurt (Mark Romanek, 2003). $7 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY (Feb. 28): Noise Pop -- Two hourlong music docs, Beautiful Frenzy (Christina Hallström and Mandra Wabäck, Netherlands/Sweden, 2001), on the Dutch quintet the Ex, and Silver Rockets/Kool Thing: 20 Years of Sonic Youth (Christoph Dreher, Germany, 2002). $7 7:30 p.m.
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