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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449B 23rd St. (between Telegraph and Broadway), Oakland, (510) 444-7263, email@example.com.
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.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Now that John Ashcroft's retiring, he may have time to stop by and catch Shooting Porn (Ronnie Larsen, 1997), a doc about the gay porn industry 7, 9:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 1, 3, 5 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.
DAILY (Closed Monday): Wolfgang Petersen's U-boat classic Das Boot (Germany, 1981) screens through Feb. 6 6:15, 8:45 p.m.
JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER OF SAN FRANCISCO
3200 California (at Presidio), 292-1200, www.jccsf.org. This popular center offers a wide range of programs, many of them film-oriented.
THURSDAY (Jan. 20): The Jewish Film Fair presents a monthly screening of historic Jewish films. Today, a made-in-the-USA Yiddish-language film, The Cantor's Son (Dem Khazn's Zindl, Ilya Motyleff and Sidney Goldin, 1937), about an immigrant who gains fame but yearns for home. Free 2:30 p.m.
LA PEÑA CULTURAL CENTER
3105 Shattuck (at Prince), Berkeley, (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org. This cafe for activists offers occasional film and video screenings.
FRIDAY (Jan. 21): Until When?, a documentary about Palestinian land rights, with discussion to follow with producer Jess Ghannam. $8 8 p.m.
SUNDAY (Jan. 23): The mixed-race support group Swirl sponsors the documentary A Beautiful Blend: Mixed Race in America. See www.swirlinc.org for more info, and RSVP for this program at firstname.lastname@example.org 3 p.m.
549 Magnolia (at Post), Larkspur, 924-5111, www.larktheater.net. This single-screen art deco theater has reopened with a policy mixing new and repertory programming. $8; separate admission for each film.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Gael García Bernal and Rodrigo de la Serna are the Venture Brothers on bikes as Che Guevara and friend in The Motorcycle Diaries (Walter Salles, Brazil, 2003). See Ongoing for review 4:30, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY: The recurring Lark series "The Men We Love" returns with Antonio Banderas in The Mask of Zorro (Martin Campbell, 1998) 6:45 p.m. Johnny Depp stars in Emir Kusturica's crazed dramedy Arizona Dream (1993), co-starring Jerry Lewis and Faye Dunaway 9:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: "The Men We Love" -- The Mask of Zorro 4, 9:30 p.m. Arizona Dream 6:45 p.m.
MONDAY: "The Men We Love" -- The Mask of Zorro 7 p.m.
TUESDAY: Closed for private event.
1572 California (at Polk), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. This multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater; for the rest of the Lumiere schedule, see our Showtimes page. $9.50.
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 a documentary 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.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: The Green Butchers (Anders Thomas Jensen, Denmark, 2003); see Ongoing for review 1:45, 7, 9:20 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call theater for program.
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.
WEDNESDAY: A weekly "Games People Play" series opens with the Soviet short Chess Fever (V.I. Pudovkin, Nikolai Shpikovsky, 1925) and The Most Dangerous Game (Ernest B. Schoedsack, Irving Pichel, 1932), with Leslie Banks a hunter with eyes on human quarry 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: "The Whole Equation," a series promoting historian David Thomson's new book of the same name, continues with the surviving ruins of Erich von Stroheim's faithful adaptation of Frank Norris' McTeague, Greed (1924) 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: "The Whole Equation" -- Two more silent classics, which burnish their reputations on every screening, The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928; 7 p.m.) and F.W. Murnau's Sunrise (1927; 9 p.m.), very different films about the problems of average folk.
SATURDAY: "The Whole Equation" -- The original 225-minute version of Michael Cimino's Greed, Heaven's Gate (1980), which on revival is neither a disaster nor a masterpiece (contrary to general and elite opinion, respectively), but merely a heavy-handed revisionist western with some elaborate spectacle to please the eye 7 p.m.
SUNDAY: "The Whole Equation" -- A great juxtaposition of two workplace romances, Ernst Lubitsch's subtle romance The Shop Around the Corner (1940; 5 p.m.) and Hal Ashby's sex comedy Shampoo (1975; 7 p.m.).
MONDAY: A "Buddhism and Film" series, offering lectures by Robert Sharif and screenings of relevant films, opens with Film (Alan Schneider, 1965), Samuel Beckett's one original screenplay, with Buster Keaton as an old man trying to avoid self-awareness 3 p.m.
TUESDAY: "JPEX," a series of Japanese experimental films, continues with Toshio Matsumoto's Funeral Parade of Roses (1969), a "drag queen melodrama" 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.
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: Kinsey (Bill Condon, 2004) 7, 9:15 p.m. Travellers & Magicians (Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan, 2003) 6:30, 8:50 p.m. Short Cut to Nirvana (Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day, 2004) 6:45 p.m. In the Realms of the Unreal (Jessica Yu, 2004) 8:35 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Kinsey, Travellers & Magicians, Short Cut to Nirvana, and In the Realms of the Unreal continue. Call for times.
FRIDAY: "Global Lens," an international film series of new works intended to "promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema," opens with the sock factory comedy Whisky (Rebella and Stoll, Uruguay) 6:45 p.m. An Angolan civil war orphan is lost in the Hollow City (Ganga, Angola) 9 p.m.
SATURDAY: "Global Lens" -- Hollow City 2 p.m. An amnesiac taxi driver wonders What's a Human Anyway? (Erdem, Turkey) 4 p.m. A boy leads two water buffalo on a dangerous trek in Buffalo Boy (Minh, Vietnam) 6:45 p.m. A promised visit by President Clinton lights a Bosnian Fuse (Zalica) 9 p.m.
SUNDAY: "Global Lens" -- A Chinese indie about a rebel who dons a policeman's Uniform (Diao) 2 p.m. An exile returns to his small town in Kabala (Kouyate, Mali) 4 p.m. Whisky 6:30 p.m. An unemployed cook dons drag to find work in Lili's Apron (Galperin, Argentina) 8:45 p.m.
MONDAY: "Global Lens" -- A Swiss-raised woman seeks her mother in the desert in Daughter of Keltoum (Charef, Algeria) 6:45 p.m. An actress takes up prostitution in Today and Tomorrow (Chomski, Argentina) 9 p.m.
TUESDAY: "Global Lens" -- Hollow City 6:45 p.m. Buffalo Boy 9 p.m.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $7. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
WEDNESDAY: What the Tarnation (Jonathan Caouette, 2004)?!? 2, 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
THURSDAY: Penelope Spheeris charts The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) in this document of the L.A. punk scene 7:15, 9:25 p.m.
3117 and 3125 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087 and www.roxie.com. $8. Short-run repertory on two screens, separated by a bar, in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the USA.
DAILY: Fear meets Freud in The Century of the Self (Adam Curtis, U.K., 2002); see Ongoing for review. Parts 1 & 2 ($8) 7 p.m.; also Wed, Sat, & Sun 2 p.m. Parts 3 & 4 ($4) 9:10 p.m.; also Wed, Sat, & Sun 4:10 p.m.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Alexandra's Project (Rolf de Heer, Australia, 2003). See Ongoing for review 7, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2, 4:30 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Jan. 21-27): A Talking Picture (Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal, 2003); see Opening for review 6, 8 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 2 p.m. Short Cut to Nirvana (Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day, 2004) 9:45 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 4 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
DAILY (closed Wednesday): "Roy Lichtenstein in Context" Thurs 2:30, 4, 7:30 p.m.; Fri 2:30, 4 p.m.; Sat & Sun 1, 3 p.m.; Mon & Tues 2:30, 4 p.m.
SATURDAY (Jan. 22): A program of the videos of Mary Lucier presents an hourlong screening of her works from "The 1990s and Beyond: Figure and Ground" every Saturday this month 4 p.m.
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. A winter season of Fred Astaire musicals continues. Closed Monday through Thursday.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Astaire thaws out Soviet ice princess Cyd Charisse in the Cold War musical Silk Stockings (Rouben Mamoulian, 1957; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 3:10 p.m.), screening with Daddy Long Legs (Jean Negulesco, 1955; 5:15, 9:35 p.m.), with Leslie Caron playing the Mary Pickford part in this version of an oft-remade film.
2961 16th St. (at Mission), 863-7576, www.victoriatheatre.org. This venerable old house frequently rents itself out for special screenings.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: The 2004 edition of Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation has been held over through January. That's just sick! $9 7:30, 9:30 p.m., midnight.
The Independent Film Channel's movie trivia game "The Ultimate Film Fanatic Challenge" offers buffs a real-time chance at prizes and humiliation, this week at Who's Your Daddy? (655 Sutter, 923-9090), Thursday through Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. Contact www.ifctv.com or call (212) 563-7656 for more information.
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