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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2128 Center (at Shattuck), Berkeley, (510) 464-5980, www.landmarktheatres.com. $9.25 save as noted. One of this venue's two screens is a "calendar house" for Landmark Theatres. For additional screenings, see our Showtimes page.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 17-23): On separate screens, Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Last Life in the Universe (Thailand, 2003), and the Karl Rove documentary Bush's Brain (Joseph Mealey, Michael Shoob, 2004). See Opening for reviews. Call for times.
345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.
WEDNESDAY (Sept. 15): Three boys and one girl in the South of France in Robert Guédiguian's drama Dieu vomit les tièdes (1990) 6 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.
FRIDAY (Sept. 17): The MadCat Women's International Film Festival screens two programs here tonight, "The Abilities We Have," films by and featuring people with disabilities, including Sharon Greytak's Weirded Out and Blown Away and Thanh Diep's Shining Into 7 p.m. Remedies for our future are posited in How to Fix the World (Jacqueline Goss), Farm-in-the-City (E.E. Miller, Bernadine Mellis), and more 9 p.m. $7-20 sliding-scale admission per program.
SATURDAY (Sept. 18): ATA's Other Cinema opens a three-day retrospective of the films of "the grizzled dean of West Coast experimental cinema," Robert Nelson, with the artist in person at all shows. Tonight, his 1960s films Confessions of a Black Mother Succuba, Oh Dem Watermelons, and The Great Blondino 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY (Sept. 19): Nelson's Hot Leatherette, Deep Westurn, and The Off-Handed Jape 8:30 p.m.
MONDAY (Sept. 20): Nelson's Grateful Dead, Plastic Haircut, and Bleu Shut 8:30 p.m.
BAY CLUB MARIN
220 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, 945-3000 for venue, 381-4123 and www.tiburonfilmfestival.com for the Tiburon Film Society, which begins a "third Thursday" film series this month.
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.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 17-23): Political corruption in the heat of the sun -- a timely screening of Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974) 7, 9:35 p.m.; also Sat, Sun, & Wed 1:30, 4:15 p.m.
3158 Mission (at Precita near Cesar Chavez), 282-3325 for venue; www.madcatfilmfestival.org for this program. The MadCat Women's International Film Festival screens programs here through Oct. 3 on this bar's outdoor patio (or indoors if it rains). $7-20 sliding scale.
WEDNESDAY (Sept. 15): The eighth annual MadCat festival continues with "The Experimentalists," a program of shorts by Elizabeth Block, Angela Reginato, and Chelsea Walton and the West Coast premiere of the "found footage extravaganza" Neptune's Release (2004). Free barbecue 6:30 p.m. Films 8:30 p.m.
TUESDAY (Sept. 21): MadCat -- "Home Sweet Home," documentaries from India, Australia, Germany, England, and the United States chronicling house hunting. Films include Gretchen Hildebran's The Smallest Space, which sounds like the place I rented in the city for $1,000 a month. Free barbecue 6:30 p.m. Films 8:30 p.m.
FIRST UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH
SATURDAY (Sept. 18): "An Evening of Equality for a Lifetime of Rights" offers a reception at 7 p.m. followed by a screening of a documentary about last winter's same-sex marriages at City Hall, Freedom to Marry, at 7:30 p.m. This church has been marrying same-sex couples for 30 years. A wedding reception and celebration follows.
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.
530 Bush (at Grant), 263-8760, www.goethe.de/uk/saf/enindex.htm. The place to go for German cultural events. $5.
TUESDAY (Sept. 21): A series of the Holocaust-themed films of producer Arthur Brauner screens Angry Harvest (Agnieszka Holland, Germany, 1985), retelling an affair between a German woman and a Polish farmer during the war 7:30 p.m.
3200 Grand (at Lake Park), Oakland, (510) 452-3556, www.oaklandfilmfestival.org for this event. This multiplex usually shows first-run movies. $9 save as noted. For the rest of the Grand Lake's schedule, see our Showtimes page.
WEDNESDAY: The third Oakland Film Festival screens here through Sept. 22. The Opening Night program is a presentation of shorts, "Straight Out of Oakland" 7 p.m.
THURSDAY: "Enter the World Of," short documentaries about unusual hobbies 6 p.m. "Thrills, Spills and Chills" (shorts) 9 p.m.
FRIDAY: Looking Toward Home (Kruzic) and shorts 6 p.m. "Love and Happiness" (shorts) 9 p.m.
SATURDAY: "Faces of War" (shorts) 5 p.m. Justice (Almonar and Shulman) 8 p.m.
SUNDAY: "Life by the Water" (shorts) 6 p.m. Senegalese filmmaker Mansour Sora Wade's Ndeysaan 9 p.m.
MONDAY: "Sex, Lies and Videotape" (shorts) 6 p.m. The Dress (Thiago, Brazil) 9 p.m.
TUESDAY: "Stories of Survival" (shorts) 6 p.m. Local filmmaker Unsu Lee's Happy, Even After 9 p.m.
INTERSECTION FOR THE ARTS
446 Valencia (between 15th and 16th streets), 626-3311, www.theintersection.org. This art space offers a film screening this week. $9-15 sliding scale.
THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY (Sept. 16-18): Filmmaker Pierre Hébert and composer Bob Ostertag combine for a live "sampled sound" performance of Endangered Species (2004), "a new work about disappearance, panic, witness and humor." Program repeats next week 8 p.m.
ISTITUTO ITALIANO DI CULTURA
425 Washington (at Battery), Suite 200, 788-7142, www.sfiic.org. The Istituto Italiano di Cultura promotes Italian language and culture in Northern California with occasional film screenings. Free.
TUESDAY (Sept. 21): The July 31 death of actress Laura Betti is marked by a screening of her documentary about director Pier Paolo Pasolini, Pier Paolo Pasolini e la ragione di un sogno (1968) 6:30 p.m.
549 Magnolia (at Post), Larkspur, 924-5111. This single-screen art deco theater has reopened with a policy mixing new and repertory programming. $8 save as noted.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: The Door in the Floor (Christopher Hampton, U.K./Argentina, 2004). See Ongoing for review 6:15, 8:40 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for film and times.
3125 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $8 save as noted. Popular holdover programs from the "big" Roxie two doors down.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call theater for program.
1572 California (at Polk), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. This multiplex offers a midnight movie series, "The Filth," with just the film on Fridays and audience participation events on Saturdays. $8. For other Lumiere programs, see our Showtimes page.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Eloy de la Iglesia's Bulgarian Lovers (Spain, 2003). See Ongoing for review. Call for times.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 and www.milibrary.org for information; phone or e-mail email@example.com for reservations. $7. This cultural asset of long standing continues its fall film series. Shown on projected video, with salon-style discussions to follow.
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.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 17-23): Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Last Life in the Universe (Thailand, 2003). See Opening for review. Call for times.
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 Berkeley's Art Museum, thrives at its on-campus location, up the steps on Bancroft between Telegraph Avenue and the Hearst Gym.
FRIDAY: "Neo-Eiga," a series of new Japanese films, opens with My House (Junji Sakamoto, 2002), about a 7-year-old cared for by her gangster brother and prostitute sister 7 p.m. Street kids open a Peep "TV" Show (Yutaka Tsuchiya, 2003) 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: "Neo-Eiga" -- A free lecture on "Japanese Cinema Now" 3:30 p.m. A family mourns in the "joyful" Shara (Naomi Kawase, 2003) 5 p.m. Slackers kill time in Ramblers (Nobuhiro Yamashima, 2003) 7 p.m. Poet and prostitute love in Akame 48 Waterfalls (Genjiro Arato, 2003) 8:50 p.m.
SUNDAY: "Neo-Eiga" -- A documentary about the cultivation of Red Persimmons (Shinsuke Ogawa, Peng Xiaolian, 2001) 2 p.m. An elderly woman is haunted by memories of Hiroshima and a missing daughter in Women in the Mirror (Kiju Yoshida, 2002) 4 p.m. An improvised comedy à la Mike Leigh, A Woman's Work (Kentaro Otani, 2002) 7 p.m.
MONDAY: Theater closed.
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.
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: A "Thrillville" screening, hosted by Will the Thrill Viharo and Tiki Goddess Monica, of The Mob (Robert Parrish, 1951), with Broderick Crawford as a cop on the waterfront. With an episode of the serial The Shadow 6:30 p.m.
MIDNIGHT SHOW (Saturday): The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975), with live performance by Barely Legal. $6. See Ongoing for review.
1118 Fourth St. (at A Street), San Rafael, 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $9 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: Maria Full of Grace (Joshua Marston, 2004) 6:45, 9 p.m. Mean Creek (Jacob Aaron Estes, 2004) 6:30, 8:45 p.m. Ju-On: The Grudge (Takashi Shimizu, Japan, 2003) 7, 9:10 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
STARTS FRIDAY: Bush's Brain (Joseph Mealey, Michael Shoob, 2004); see Opening for review. Maria Full of Grace, Mean Creek, and Ju-On continue. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: A six-day cycle of three Ingmar Bergman films opens with his autobiographical tale of two children, Fanny and Alexander (Sweden, 1982) Fri 7:30 p.m.; Sat 3, 7:30 p.m.; Sun 3 p.m.
SUNDAY & MONDAY: Bergman's beloved comedy Smiles of a Summer Night (Sweden, 1955) 7 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (Sept. 21 & 22): Bergman's Knight plays chess with Death in the oft-parodied but still powerful The Seventh Seal (Sweden, 1957) 7 p.m.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $7 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
THURSDAY: David Greene's film of the hippie Gospel musical Godspell (1973) utilizes red streamers instead of blood for Christ's crucifixion, and song and dance instead of beatings. Live musical performance by Smile God Loves You 7, 9:30 p.m.
TUESDAY: A tiny child gets manipulated and escapes in The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb (Dave Borthwick, 1993), screening with Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life (Peter Capaldi, 1993), with Richard E. Grant trying to decide what Gregor Samsa wakes up as 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087 and www.roxie.com. $8 save as noted. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the USA.
SAN GERONIMO VALLEY COMMUNITY CENTER
6350 Sir Frances Drake Blvd., San Geronimo, 488-8888, www.filmnight.org. A summer-long "Film Night in the Park" continues. BYO chairs, blankets, and pillows. $5 donation, no one turned away.
FRIDAY (Sept. 17): A "Made in the Bay Area" series screens Carroll Ballard's classic horse and his boy movie The Black Stallion (1979) 8 p.m.
Gunn High School Campus, 780 Arastradero (at Foothill Expressway), Palo Alto, (650) 354-8263, www.spangenbergtheatre.com. This recently refurbished Center for the Arts offers a 35mm film series on a large 30-foot screen. $5.
THURSDAY (Sept. 16): See the Democrats get Outfoxed (Robert Greenwald, 2004) 5:45 p.m. Was it all a dream? It seemed like a movie could unelect a president. Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore, 2004) 7:30 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for program.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.stanfordtheatre.org. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually (but not always) screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY: Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, teamed in the Caribbean in their first film, To Have and Have Not, (Howard Hawks, 1944; 5:40, 9:25 p.m.) and threatened by Edward G. Robinson in Key Largo (John Huston, 1948; 7:30 p.m.).
SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Cary Grant is threatened by two spooky old aunts in Frank Capra's comedy Arsenic and Old Lace (1944; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 3:25 p.m.) even as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (Charles Lamont, 1948; 5:55, 10 p.m.). Chapter 13 of Superman (1948) precedes Arsenic.
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK
601 Columbus (at Union), 465-3456, www.sfntf.org. The San Francisco Neighborhood Theater Foundation and the Telegraph Hill Dwellers present "Film Night" in this park on a giant outdoor screen. $5 donation requested.
SATURDAY (Sept. 18): San Quentin escapee Humphrey Bogart tries to prove his innocence with the aid of Lauren Bacall in Delmar Daves' thriller Dark Passage (1947), shot in this park's immediate area. BYO pillows and blankets; chairs discouraged. Shorts by local filmmakers, followed by feature, all starting at 7:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY (Sept. 15): A Film Arts Foundation screening of Voting in America (2004), a compilation of nine short films about changing nonvoters' minds. $7 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY (Sept. 17): A September "Giant Monster Attack" series continues with the latest entry in the venerable cycle, Godzilla Tokyo S.O.S. (Masaaki Tezuka, Japan, 2003), with a less pacific beast taking on Mechagodzilla, Mothra, twin Mothra larvae, and the Japanese navy 7:30 p.m.
The Danger and Despair Knitting Circle continues a series devoted to the noirs of 1941 with Among the Living, Stuart Heisler's film about two twins, one of whom has been kept locked up for years. He escapes. It screens Thursday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. For more info, see www.noirfilm.com; to make a reservation and get directions to the screening locale, contact 552-1533 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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