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 (Aug. 2): The rich make fun of their lessers in The Dinner Game (Francis Veber, 1998), a popular farce (and not just in France) and a popular occupation (ditto) 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 (Aug. 1): The Tour Baby! (Scott Coady, 2003), billed as a "sentimentally funny behind-the-scenes look at the 2000 Tour de France," screens as a benefit for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Filmmaker in person 8 p.m.
SATURDAY (Aug. 2): The "Fast Forward Film Festival" screens new work by local teens 3 p.m.
SUNDAY (Aug. 3): The fifth annual Polyester Prince Rambling Road Show screens Super 8 films direct from L.A.'s Echo Park 8 p.m.
3630 Balboa (at 37th Avenue), 221-8484, $7.50. This great neighborhood house is a good place to catch second-run Hollywood fare. See our Showtimes page for what's at the Balboa the rest of this week.
THURSDAY (July 31): The Tour Baby! (Scott Coady, 2003), a documentary about the 2000 Tour de France, screens as a benefit for the cancer-fighting Lance Armstrong Foundation's Peloton Project. Director in person. $15. Doors open 6 p.m.
3010 Geary (at Blake), 751-3213, www.peacheschrist.com for this series. This popular little theater offers, in addition to its regular screenings (see Showtimes for listings), a "Midnight Mass" every Saturday this summer, hosted by Peaches Christ. $7.
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.
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): Jean Cocteau's lovely adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (France, 1946) screens through Aug. 17 8:30, 10:30 p.m.
2200 Clement (at 23rd Avenue), 666-3488, www.hkinsf.com/4star/. This innovative theater screens second-run movies, a "Midnites for Maniacs" series on weekends, and "Hong Kong Movie Madness" double features on Thursdays. For the rest of the Four Star's schedule, see our Showtimes page. $6.
THURSDAY (July 31): A six-week series of "Hong Kong Movie Madness" concludes. Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh star in Tai Chi Master (Yuen Wo-Ping, 1994; 2, 6, 10 p.m. ), screening with South Shaolin Master (Siu Lung, China, 1984; noon, 4, 8 p.m. ), a fight film from the mainland.
MIDNIGHT SHOW (Saturday): A "Slumber Party Triple Feature" of Revenge of the Cheerleaders (Richard Lerner, 1976), with David Hasselhoff, and the arcade-themed Pinball Summer (George Mihalka, Canada, 1981) and Joysticks (Greydon Clark, 1983). A free bowl of cereal to survivors midnight.
510 Larkin (at Turk), 345-9832, www.jezebelsjointsf.com. This "Rock 'n' Roll DJ Bar" offers an "S.F. IndieFest MicroCinema" Tuesday through Friday (most weeks). Screenings are followed by DJ music at 10 p.m. Free save as noted.
WEDNESDAY: The Church of Satan's Rev. Leyba works his magic for San Francisco's power brokers in Unspeakable 8 p.m.
THURSDAY: Crystal meth Cookers go paranoid 8 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for programs.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 and www.milibrary.org for information; phone or e-mail email@example.com for reservations. $5. This cultural asset of long standing concludes a summer film series this week. Shown on projected video, with salon-style discussions to follow.
FRIDAY (Aug. 1): Rudolph Valentino stars with Vilma Banky in the entertaining Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice, 1926). In person, guest speaker Emily Leider, author of Dark Lover: The Life and Death of Rudolph Valentino 6:30 p.m.
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: A two-month series of campy takes on immorality, "Excess of Evil," screens Charles Laughton's silent film-influenced The Night of the Hunter (1956), with Robert Mitchum as the evil preacher with tattooed knuckles 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: Part 1 of Wang Bing's nine-hour documentary about China's northeastern industrial zone, Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks -- Part One: Rust (2003) 7 p.m.
SUNDAY: A W.C. Fields series opens with the comic's cross-country trip to his Arcadian dream of a California orange grove, It's a Gift (Norman Z. McLeod, 1934) -- to many, one of Fields' best. It's certainly enough to qualify him for governor. Screens with the short The Barber Shop (Arthur Ripley, 1933), the one with the opportunistic dog that hangs around said shop 7:30 p.m.
MONDAY: Theater closed.
TUESDAY: Ten years of a radical theater group's summer workshops are distilled in Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet (DeeDee Halleck, Tamar Schumann, 2002), with Halleck in person, perhaps carrying a giant papier-mâché head 7:30 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 (July 31):A "Thrillville" screening of Kingdom of the Spiders (John "Bud" Cardos, 1977), with no less than William Shatner taking on the eight-legged critters. $6 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), San Rafael, 454-1222, www.cafilm.org; (925) 275-9490 and www.sfjff.com for the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, screening here Saturday through Monday. $9 regular screenings, $10 Jewish Film Festival programs save as noted. This three-screen repertory theater, now officially the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, is operated by the California Film Institute. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: A spelling bee leaves kids Spellbound (Jeff Blitz, 2003) 6:45, 8:50 p.m. Jacques Perrin's Winged Migration (France, 2002) 7, 9 p.m. Rivers and Tides (Thomas Reidelsheimer, U.K., 2001) 6:30 p.m. Capturing the Friedmans (Andrew Jarecki, 2003) 8:30 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Spellbound, Winged Migration, and Capturing the Friedmans continue. Call for times.
SATURDAY: The Jewish Film Festival screens Galoot (Tlalim, Israel) for free 1 p.m. Under Water (Londer, Israel) 6:30 p.m. Manhood (Roth) 9 p.m.
SUNDAY: JFF -- Shalom Ireland (Ganley) noon. Divan (Gluck) 2:45 p.m. Close, Closed, Closure (Loevy, France) 4:30 p.m. Embrace Me (Meislich and Avraham, Israel) 7 p.m. The Soul Keeper (Faenza, Italy) 9 p.m.
MONDAY: JFF -- Monsieur Batignole (Jugnot, France) 6:30 p.m. The Burial Society (Racz) 8:45 p.m.
TUESDAY: Peck again, To Kill a Mockingbird 6:45 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.
WEDNESDAY: The inevitable mawkishness aside, Minority Report (2002) is Steven Spielberg's best in some years 2, 7, 9:55 p.m.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Justin Lin's model minority meltdown, Better Luck Tomorrow (2003) 7:15, 9:25 p.m.; also Sat 2, 4:15 p.m.
SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Filmmakers Judith Helfand and Daniel Gold travel America in search of the truth about polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the "toxic odyssey" Blue Vinyl (2002) 7:15, 9:20 p.m.; also Sun 2, 4:15 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 USA.
SF LGBT COMMUNITY CENTER
1800 Market (at Octavia), 865-5555, firstname.lastname@example.org. "Free admission, hot popcorn, cold drinks every last Wednesday of the month." Donations welcome.
WEDNESDAY (July 30): A double feature of Beautiful Thing (Hettie Macdonald, U.K., 1996; 4, 8 p.m. ), a teen coming-out drama, and Stephen Frears' My Beautiful Laundrette (U.K., 1985; 6 p.m. ), with Daniel Day-Lewis.
Gunn High School Campus, 780 Arastradero (at Foothill Expressway), Palo Alto, (650) 354-8263, www.spangenbergtheatre.com. This newly refurbished Center for the Arts offers a 35mm film series on a large 30-foot screen. $5.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY (July 30-Aug. 1): A bourgeoise woman and a prostitute bond in Coline Serreau's Chaos (France, 2001) 7, 9:15 p.m.
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.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY: Two of Alfred Hitchcock's deservedly popular chase thrillers, The 39 Steps (U.K., 1935; 7:30 p.m. ) and Young and Innocent (U.K., 1937; 5:55, 9:10 p.m. ).
SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Tyrone Power stars as the fop by day, swashbuckler by night in The Mark of Zorro (Rouben Mamoulian, 1940; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 4:05 p.m. ) -- let's make him governor. He seems qualified. Also, Gene Tierney tries to fleece but learns to love Henry Fonda in Rings on Her Fingers (Mamoulian, 1942; 5:50, 9:15 p.m. ).
701 Mission (at Third Street, in Yerba Buena Gardens), 978-2787, www.YerbaBuenaArts.org. $6 save as noted. This venue's Screening Room is a home for film and video programs of all sorts. Closed Mondays.
DAILY: Continuous screenings of "Looking Is Better Than Feeling You," a loop of videos by women, through Oct. 5 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
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