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Commentary by Gregg Rickman ( 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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111 Minna (between New Montgomery and Second streets), 864-0660 and for information on this program. $6.

MONDAY (Sept. 19): The "Autumnal Edition" of the monthly "Independent Exposure Screening Series" presents Altsi Toivianen's Finnish Dreamerv; Marie Losier's documentary about the Kuchar Brothers, Electrocute Your Stars; and Rob Perri's timely admonition Conform or Die 8 p.m.


2128 Center (at Shattuck), Berkeley, (510) 464-5980, $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.

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: El Crimen Perfecto (Alex de la Iglesia, Spain, 2002). Call for times.

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 16-22): The Baxter (Michael Showalter, 2005). See Opening for review. Call for times.

MIDNIGHT SHOW (Friday & Saturday): Johnny Depp's quite the cutup in Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands (1990).


345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.

WEDNESDAY (Sept. 14): French director Bruno Dumont's California shot of anomie, Twentynine Palms (2003) 6 p.m.


430 Emerson (at Lytton), Palo Alto, (650) 266-9260, $8 for this midnight series. "Midnight Moovies" continues, with Bunny the Cow hosting a pre-film show with prize giveaways and cartoons/TV programs on Saturdays only. There will be additional screenings Saturday and Sunday "around noon" (call for more info). See our Showtimes page for the Aquarius' regular listings.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY (Sept. 16 & 17): A daylong detention brings life lessons to all in The Breakfast Club (John Hughes, 1985), due for a remake with the same class (and different lessons) midnight.


992 Valencia (at 21st Street), 824-3890, $5 save as noted. This venue offers all manner of strange and unusual video and film.

THURSDAY (Sept. 15): International ANSWER screens Gaza Strip (James Longley, 2002), a look at the (then) Israeli occupied territory from the viewpoint of a 13-year-old Palestinian 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY (Sept. 16): The ongoing ninth annual MadCat Women's International Film Festival starts its ATA screenings with "Media Remix," a program of repurposed mass-media images including Lisa Barcy's stop-motion romance novel Woman Without a Past and Vivian Ostrovsky's half-hour montage Ice/Sea (France, 2004). Also, boop-oop-a-doop by Sachiko Hayashi looks at the images of Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop, Big Shtick by Courtney Egan considers the opposable thumb, and the excellent Pounds Per Square Inch by Heather Posner deconstructs heterosexual feminist fantasy. $7-20 7:30 p.m.

SATURDAY (Sept. 17): Other Cinema opens a "Psycho-Geography" series with Trevor Paglen's Secret Bases, a visit to the Pentagon's "black project" facilities in Nevada (Area 51, et al.). Filmmaker in person. Also, Bruce Gagnon's anti-Star Wars Arsenal of Hypocracy 8:30 p.m.


3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), 221-8484, $8.50 save as noted. This great neighborhood house shows films of all sorts. See our Showtimes page for additional listings.

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Dai Sijie, China, 2004) 12:15, 2:30, 4:45, 7:10, 9:15 p.m. My Mother's Smile (Marco Bellocchio, Italy, 2002) 12:25, 2:35, 4:45, 7, 9:10 p.m.

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 16-22): The World (Jia Zhangke, China, 2004). See Opening for review noon, 2:50, 5:40, 8:30 p.m. Call for other films and times.


2789 24th St. (at York), 647-2822 for box office, 609-0343 and for program, for advance tickets. This restored movie house, with two screens, is now the home of the Brava Center for Women in the Arts. It presents two special programs this weekend.

FRIDAY (Sept. 16): Cinefemme screens "Future Femme," a program of short visions of the future by local and international women. Q&A and reception to follow. $19 8 p.m.

SATURDAY (Sept. 17): "Future Femme" rescreens, with panel discussion to follow. $10 2 p.m.


429 Castro (near Market), 621-6120, $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 on the Mighty Wurlitzer.

WEDNESDAY: A "Dueling Divas" series continues with Joan Crawford starring in the delirious Humoresque (Jean Negulesco, 1946; 2:15, 7 p.m.) opposite tormented musician John Garfield. It screens with Bette Davis as Joey Heatherton's grandmother wondering Where Love Has Gone (Edward Dmytryk, 1964; 9 p.m.). After two rounds, Davis was ahead 2-0, but this program's Round 3 is advantage Joan.

THURSDAY: "Dueling Divas" -- Crawford is the Queen Bee (Ranald MacDougall, 1955; 7 p.m.) terrorizing her Southern mansion, while Bette takes no prisoners in William Wyler's classic The Little Foxes (1940; 8:50 p.m.). As source material Lillian Hellman's plantation Gothic is unbeatable, so Round 4 goes to Davis (for a 3-1 lead).

FRIDAY: "Dueling Divas" -- Joan takes the evening with the cult western favorite Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954; 7 p.m.), evading the efforts of Mercedes McCambridge to lynch her. Coming in second is Bette Davis in yet another Southern melo, In This Our Life (John Huston, 1942; 9:05 p.m.). Davis still leads, 3-2, but then there's a separate-admission screening of their co-starring duel What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962), which I give to Joan, evening the score. While Davis as the washed-up child actress excels in the showy part, the film wouldn't work without Crawford's solid support. She's the one who has to react believably when Bette serves her up a rat midnight.

SATURDAY: "Dueling Divas" -- It's a tough call between Joan Crawford as the striving Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945; 2:15, 7 p.m.) in a noir family melodrama, and the classic weepie Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper, 1942; 4:30, 9:05 p.m.), but let's give it to Joan's business career as more gripping than Bette's delicate condition. Crawford takes the lead, 4-3, and then for her troubles is portrayed by Faye Dunaway in the infamous biopic Mommie Dearest (Frank Perry, 1981), separate admission at midnight.

SUNDAY: "Dueling Divas" -- Both women go to late-career extremes: Joan Crawford is either in, or in a, Strait-Jacket (George Castle, 1964; 7:15 p.m.), while Bette Davis' sanity is challenged in Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Aldrich, 1964; 9 p.m.), neither film screened by this corner. The results of this contest can only be decided by you.

MONDAY: A double bill of the campy musicals Xanadu (1980; 7 p.m.), a roller-disco flick with Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly (!), directed by future agitprop documentarian Robert Greenwald, with Sidney Lumet's film of the once-popular Broadway musical The Wiz (1978; 8:50 p.m.).

TUESDAY: Another double bill, this time of Menahem Golan's futuristic rock musical The Apple (1980; 7 p.m.) and the sung and danced remake of the Tibetan spiritual Lost Horizon (Charles Jarrott, 1973; 8:45 p.m.). Look out for Mr. Boogaloo!


2261 Fillmore (at Clay), 267-4893, or for this series. "Eight Tales," a weekend midnight movie series, continues. For additional Clay screenings, see our Showtimes page. $8.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY (Sept. 16 & 17): Mike Judge checks out the Office Space (1999). On Saturday, an "Office Equipment Holocaust" is promised midnight.


3158 Mission (at Precita near Cesar Chavez), 282-3325 for venue; for this program. The MadCat Women's International Film Festival screens programs through Sept. 27 on this bar's outdoor patio (or indoors if it rains). $7-20 sliding scale.

WEDNESDAY (Sept. 14): MadCat continues with "Amok-imation," untypical cartoons that include Jesus and Mary Magdalene stealing away from a church in The Guilt Trip, or the Vatican Takes a Holiday (Lisa Barcy), Echoes of Bats and Men (Jo Dery), and Cosmetic Emergency (Martha Colburn). Free barbecue 6:30 p.m. Films 8:30 p.m.

TUESDAY (Sept. 20): MadCat's "City Nights" profiles unseen San Francisco with Trina Lopez's A Second Final Rest, about S.F.'s "lost cemeteries"; Kristen Nutile's Police Blotter; and Ashley Tindall's Green Cross. Free barbecue 6:30 p.m. Films 8:30 p.m.


2534 Mission (between 21st and 22nd streets), 648-7600, 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): In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong, 2000), the (superior) predecessor to Wong Kar-Wai's current film of dreamy love, 2046, screens through Oct. 2. "Starts at dusk."


3200 Grand (at Lake Park), Oakland, (510) 452-3556; (510) 451-3456 and 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.

THURSDAY: The fourth Oakland International Film Festival opens with Constellation (Jordan Walker-Pearlman), with an excellent cast including Billy Dee Williams and Hill Harper. Reception 6 p.m., film 8 p.m.

FRIDAY: OIFF -- Beat the Drum (Hickson) 6 p.m. Karmen Gei (Ramaka, Senegal) 8:20 p.m. "Best Short Film Competition" 10 p.m.

SATURDAY: OIFF -- Hip Hop Colony (Wanguhu) 6 p.m. "Best Short Film Competition" 8:20 p.m. God's Waiting List (Adler) 10 p.m.

SUNDAY: OIFF -- Sweet Honey in the Rock: Raise Your Voice (Nelson) 6 p.m. Short documentaries including The Oath (Collett) 8 p.m. Sense of Need (Srours) 10 p.m.

MONDAY: OIFF -- Head and Heart (Mannas) 6 p.m. Short films including The Correct Use of Oranges (Okada) 8 p.m. More shorts including Don't Give Me the Finger (Balcorth) 10 p.m.

TUESDAY: OIFF -- Short documentaries including Bullets in the Hood (Highitani) 6 p.m. Beat the Drum 8 p.m. Shorts including Downtown (Dedio) 10:20 p.m.


549 Magnolia (at Post), Larkspur, 924-5111, This single-screen art deco theater mixes new and repertory programming. Separate admission for different films screened on the same day. $8.

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: North Korean gymnasts train in A State of Mind (Daniel Gordon, North Korea-U.K., 2004) Wed 7 p.m., Thurs 5:30 p.m. Kids learn to dance in Mad Hot Ballroom (Marilyn Argelo, 2005) Wed 8:50 p.m.; Thurs 10 a.m., 7:30 p.m.

STARTS FRIDAY: Call theater for program.


1572 California (at Polk), 352-0810, This multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater; for the rest of the Lumiere schedule, see our Showtimes page. $9.50.

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: El Crimen Perfecto (Alex de la Iglesia, Spain, 2002). Call for times.

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 16-22): The Baxter (Michael Showalter, 2005). See Opening for review. Call for times.


1428 Alice (at 14th Street), Oakland; (510) 451-3456 and for this event. Once known as Oakland's Alice Arts Center, this theater hosts some events for the fourth Oakland International Film Festival. Call for admission.

FRIDAY: OIFF features "In the Classroom" screenings of documentaries on some weekdays throughout the festival 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

MONDAY: OIFF -- "In the Classroom" 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

TUESDAY: OIFF -- "In the Classroom" 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 and for information; phone or e-mail for (required) reservations. $7. This cultural asset of long standing continues its fall film series. Shown on projected video, with salon-style discussions to follow.

FRIDAY (Sept. 16): Critic David Thomson introduces Patterns (Fielder Cook, 1956), from a Rod Serling teleplay about televisual power struggles. Van Heflin, Everett Sloane, and Ed Begley Sr. star 6:30 p.m.


Edison Theater, 37395 Niles (near G Street), Fremont, (510) 494-1411 and A weekly "Saturday Night at the Movies" series screens silent films in this historic theater. $5.

SATURDAY (Sept. 17): A shorts program offers Charlie Chaplin as The Floorwalker (Chaplin, 1916), Buster Keaton as The Balloonatic (Keaton and Eddie Cline, 1923), and two supervised by comedy great Leo McCarey at Hal Roach Studios, Charley Chase as A One-Mama Man (James Parrott, 1927) and Laurel & Hardy in Leave 'Em Laughing (Clyde Bruckman, 1928). Molly Axtmann at the piano 7:30 p.m.


2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124,, $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 program by the British digital art duo Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman and Joseph Gerhardt) screens their sound films Retropolis (1999), Digital Anthrax Live (2002), and The Sound of Microclimates (2004). Artists in person 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY: An "Along the Silk Road" series of films from Central Asia continues with Revenge (Ermek Shinarbaev, Uzbekistan, 1987), about a father's search for same over many years. Largely set in Korea 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY: "Along the Silk Road" -- Two from Uzbekistan, a version of the Uzbek Romeo and Juliet, Takhir and Zukhra (Nabi Ganiev, 1945; 7:30 p.m.) and the French New Wave-influenced romance Tenderness (Elyer Ishmukhamedov, 1987; 9:20 p.m.).

SATURDAY: A British silent film series concludes with two starring Ivor Novello. A jewel thief bets he can win a woman's love in 30 days in The Triumph of the Rat (Graham Cutts, U.K., 1926; 7 p.m.), screening with Novello sliding Downhill (Alfred Hitchcock, U.K., 1927; 9 p.m.) from schoolboy to gigolo.

SUNDAY: Jos de Putter's documentary look at a rising Chechen gangster-turned-politician, The Making of a New Empire (Netherlands, 2005) 5:30 p.m.

MONDAY: Theater closed.

TUESDAY: Caroline Martel's compilation of 80 years' worth of Bell corporation films about women telephone operators, The Phantom of the Operator (Canada, 2004) 7:30 p.m.


1834 Park (at Lake Merritt), Oakland, (510) 814-2400, $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 (Sept. 15): "Tim Goodman's TV Hootenanny" offers S.F. Chronicle critic Goodman hosting "previews of exciting new Fall TV shows" (that should take about five minutes), plus surprises and prizes for TV trivia. Free 6:30 p.m.

SUNDAY (Sept. 18): The Found Footage Festival compiles an hour's entertainment from videos purchased or found in garage sales, thrift stores, and dumpsters by curious curators Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher. See for more. $6 6 p.m.

TUESDAY (Sept. 20): "Audience Appreciation Night" offers a free screening of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992) 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, $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: The inexorable March of the Penguins (Luc Jacquet, France, 2005) 4:30, 6:30, 8:30 p.m. Balzac and the Little Chinese Princess (Dai Sijie, China, 2004) 4:15 p.m.; also Thurs 9:05 p.m. El Crimen Perfecto (Alex de la Iglesia, Spain, 2002) 4:45, 7, 9:20 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: A Greta Garbo series concludes with her early American silent A Woman of Affairs (Clarence Brown, 1928), an adaptation of the once-sensational novel The Green Hat 8 p.m.

STARTS FRIDAY: Call for films and times.


1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, $7 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house. The previously announced (and on the Red Vic's printed calendar) "Midnights for Maniacs" series has been canceled.

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Hayao Miyazaki's popular fantasy Spirited Away (Japan, 2002) 7, 9:30 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.

THURSDAY THROUGH SATURDAY: "A new level of surf-stoke" is achieved in Down the Line (Eric Nelson and Curt Myers, 2005), filmed on location as last winter's waves hit Hawaii and California 7:15, 9:50 p.m.; also Sat 2, 4:35 p.m.

SUNDAY & MONDAY: The two-part, six-hour Italian family saga The Best of Youth (Marco Tullio Giordana, 2003) concludes this weekend with Part 2 at 5:30, 9 p.m.; also Sun 2 p.m.

TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 20-22): Count your change! Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (Alex Gibney, 2005) 7, 9:20 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.


3117 and 3125 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, $8 save as noted. Short-run repertory on two screens, separated by a bar, in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the USA.

WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Milwaukee, Minnesota (Allan Mindel, 2003) 6 p.m.; also Wed 2, 4, 8, 10 p.m. Winter Soldier (Winterfilm Collective, 1972) 7 p.m. Margaret Cho: Assassin (Kerry Asmussen, 2005) 8:45 p.m.

STARTS FRIDAY: Call theater for program and times.


Koret Visitor Education Center (save as noted), 151 Third St. (between Mission and Howard), 357-4000, Screenings are free with museum admission of $12.50.

DAILY (Closed Wednesdays): Richard Tuttle: Never Not an Artist (Chris Maybach, 2005) 1 p.m.; also Thurs 4, 7 p.m. Art:21:Structures (PBS, 2005) 3 p.m.


Koret Auditorium, Lower Level, 100 Larkin (at Grove), 557-4400, A weekly video program screens on Thursdays. Free.

THURSDAY (Sept. 15): A series of A-bomb-related cinema presents Secrets, Lies and Atomic Spies (2002), an episode from the PBS series Nova noon.


Murray & Justin, 695-5006, for more information. Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema offers the last of three straight Saturday evenings of screenings by local filmmakers in area parks. BYO blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics.

SATURDAY (Sept. 17): Meet the filmmakers on site at the park 6-7 p.m. Films -- including Elizabeth Stevens' Luba: The Mother Teresa of Art; Susan Hoffman's adaptation of a David Henry Hwang version of a Japanese ghost story, Sound of a Voice; and Oscar-winning producer Debra Chasnoff's Winter of Love documentary One Wedding and a Revolution -- start at 7:30 p.m.


221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, $6. This handsomely restored and newly expanded neighborhood palace usually (but not always) screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection.

WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: The Stanford begins a centennial tribute to Greta Garbo with the all-star vehicle Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding, 1932; 7:30 p.m.), with Garbo as the ballerina who "vants to be alone," and as Anna Karenina (Clarence Brown, 1935; 5:45, 9:35 p.m.).

SATURDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Two of Garbo's best, the still-timely comedy Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 3:40 p.m.) and Queen Christina (Rouben Mamoulian, 1933; 5:40, 9:30 p.m.).


701 Mission (at Third Street, in Yerba Buena Gardens), 978-2787, $7 save as noted. This venue's Screening Room is a home for film and video programs of all sorts.

DAILY (Closed Mondays): "4 x 4," commissioned videos by Ellen Bruno, Bill Daniel, Sam Green, and Caveh Zahedi, screens through Sept. 25. Free with gallery admission of $6 3 p.m.

WEDNESDAY (Sept. 14): A heavy-metal film series continues with Rock 'n' Roll Nightmare (John Fasano, 1987), about a metal Viking gladiator's battle with Satan 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY (Sept. 15): The Goethe-Institut continues three weeks of the documentaries of Swiss filmmaker Erich Langjahr. Creatures transform into objects in Peasant's War (1998), examining "disturbing production methods of the farming community" in Langjahr's most praised film. $6 7:30 p.m.

FRIDAY (Sept. 16): More metal -- Metal Storm: The Scandinavian Black Metal Wars (2005), a re-edit by Kier-la Janisse of a 2000 documentary (Satan Rides the Media) on the violent "black metal" scene that burned 100 churches and involved the death of two stars 7:30 p.m.


SF IndieFest presents "A Mighty Ruckus at Islais Creek," a program promising live outdoor music, plus art, DJs, and short films, all near Custer and Rankin streets along Islais Creek in San Francisco starting at noon Saturday, Sept. 17. It's free. For more info, see ... The free monthly "Old Oakland Outdoor Cinema" screens the popular indie set in an isolated train station The Station Agent (Thomas McCarthy, 2003) on Ninth and Washington in downtown Oakland this Saturday, Sept. 17. BYO chairs and blankets. For more information, call (510) 238-4734 or visit Starts at sunset. ... There's something about Amalia in Lucrecia Martel's The Holy Girl, an Argentine film about an adolescent with both inner ear and inner soul problems, screening at the Sonoma Film Institute, Warren Auditorium, Ives Hall, Sonoma State University in Cotati, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18. Call (707) 664-2606 or see for more info. $5 admission.

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