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.
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SATURDAY (Jan. 22): A CD release party for the band Reel Change offers "Open in Total Darkness," live music accompanying the witty movies of local filmmaker David Michalak. $6-10 sliding scale 8 p.m.
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 (Jan. 21-27): A Korean anime, Sky Blue (Moon Sang Kim, 2003); see Opening for review. Call for times.
345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.
WEDNESDAY (Jan. 19): Writer/director Jacques Nolot stars as an actor returning home to help his ailing parents in L'Arrière-pays (France, 1998) 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.
WEDNESDAY (Jan. 19): "Punk Sound Night" offers video and music by Shane MacGowan 8 p.m.
THURSDAY (Jan. 20): As an "Auntie Dote" for the next four years, ATA revisits the Nixon administration with Tricia's Wedding (Milton Miron, 1971) as enacted by the S.F.-based transvestite group the Cockettes, and Jack Smith's No President (1968), scenes of fun at the New York underground filmmaker's loft intercut with found footage of 1940 Republican nominee Wendell Willkie 8 p.m.
FRIDAY (Jan. 21): "Death by Tealight II" screens new video art from San Francisco, with improvised sound to follow. $3 8 p.m.
3630 Balboa (at 37th Avenue), 221-8484, www.balboamovies.com. $8.50, $10 for Noir City evening shows (regular matinees $6, $7.50 for Noir City, with theater cleared before evening shows, full price needed for readmission). This great neighborhood house, long a good place to catch second-run fare, has converted one of its screens to a repertory theater. See our Showtimes page for what's on the Balboa's other screen.
WEDNESDAY: The Balboa's Noir City series continues, programmed by Anita Monga and hosted by local noir expert Eddie Muller. Today, two by German expatriate Robert Siodmak, bringing his hand of fate to the hard-to-see Cry of the City (1948; 1:10, 4:45, 9 p.m.) and the twisty Criss Cross (1949; 3, 7 p.m.).
THURSDAY: Noir City -- Cops go bad Where the Sidewalk Ends (Otto Preminger, 1946; 1, 4:40, 9 p.m.), and Joseph Losey's excellent The Prowler (1950; 2:50, 7 p.m.), probably the best of his American films.
FRIDAY: Noir City -- Con artists with big ambitions meet their matches in 711 Ocean Drive (Joseph Newman, 1950; 1, 4:45, 9:15 p.m.) and Abraham Polonsky's justly celebrated Force of Evil (1948; 3, 7:30 p.m.).
SATURDAY: Noir City -- Clifton Webb reprises his smarty-pants art lover from Laura while Mark Stevens and Cathy Downs echo Fox personae Dana Andrews and Linda Darnell, respectively, in Henry Hathaway's very entertaining The Dark Corner (1946; noon, 3:45, 9:25 p.m.). The difference is Lucille Ball as Stevens' loyal, wisecracking secretary, imported from the screwball comedies of a decade earlier. A recommended rediscovery. A vein of black humor also runs through Murder, My Sweet (Edward Dmytryk, 1944; 1:55, 5:30, 7:30 p.m.), a Raymond Chandler adaptation with Dick Powell an incongruous Philip Marlowe. There's a separate-admission special screening of Martin Scorsese's personal print of Cy Endfield's Try and Get Me (1950), based on a 1930s California lynching and given a political spin by the soon-to-be-blacklisted Endfield, at 11:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Noir City -- Fox scored a great success and giggling killer Richard Widmark made an indelible impression in Kiss of Death (Hathaway, 1947; noon, 3:30, 8:50 p.m.), screening with Andre de Toth's deceptively low-key Crime Wave (1954; 1:55, 5:20, 7 p.m.).
MONDAY: Noir City -- It's "normal healthy jealous hate" and not racism when an interracial team of cops falls out over the affections of an endangered stripper in Sam Fuller's The Crimson Kimono (1959; noon, 3:25, 9 p.m.), screening with a more polished Fuller gem, Pickup on South Street (1953; 1:35, 5:10, 7:10 p.m.), with Richard Widmark as a sarcastic pickpocket.
TUESDAY: Noir City -- Farley Granger falls off the Edge of Doom (Mark Robson, 1950; 1, 4:40, 9 p.m.) in anger at the church, while Dick Powell breaks the commandment against adultery and slips into the Pitfall (de Toth, 1948; 3, 7 p.m.).
429 Castro (near Market), 621-6120, www.castrotheatresf.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 "Dystopia" series of films about our miserable future continues with Michael Radford's suitably somber film of George Orwell's 1984 (U.K., 1984), with John Hurt almost too perfectly cast as Winston Smith 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: "Dystopia" -- The gleaming white-on-white of George Lucas' revised edition of his debut feature, THX-1138 (1971/2004), doesn't seem to have accurately predicted George W. Bush's second term (I'd suggest instead Brazil), but the torture-as-fun TV programming the drones of the future viddy is an accurate guess at what NBC and Fox now offer every week 7, 9:15 p.m.
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