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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ACT I & II
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.
STARTS FRIDAY: Breakfast on Pluto (Neil Jordan, U.K., 2005). Call for times.
3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), 221-8484, www.balboamovies.com. $8.50 save as noted. This great neighborhood house shows films of all sorts. See our Showtimes page for additional listings.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: "Samurai!," a festival of famous and little-seen Japanese martial arts classics, concludes with two outsiders double- and triple-crossing all and sundry in Kill! (Kihachi Okamoto, 1968; 12:45, 4:45, 8:45 p.m.), screening with Zatoichi on the Road (Tokuzo Tanaka, 1963; 1:15, 5:15, 9:15 p.m.), fifth in the series about the good-hearted and unlucky blind swordsman, here trying to rescue a kidnapped maiden.
STARTS FRIDAY: The Balboa revives the hugely popular, six-hour Italian epic The Best of Youth (Marco Giordana, 2003) for two weeks, through Jan. 5. Two parts, separate admission. Call for times.
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 on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Closed for the holiday.
MONDAY: A Busby Berkeley series of the visionary choreographer's musicals opens; see Night & Day Tuesday, Page 24, for more. Mickey Rooney puts on a show in Babes on Broadway (Berkeley, 1941), screening with the markedly downbeat debut of Gene Kelly, For Me and My Gal (Berkeley, 1942). Judy Garland co-stars in both. Call for times.
TUESDAY: Two of Berkeley's best, the tart in every way Gold Diggers of 1933v (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933) and Gold Diggers of 1935 (Berkeley, 1935), the latter co-starring nonsinging, nondancing beauty Gloria Stuart, who has much less to do here than she did as Old Rose in Titanic. Call for times.
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.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: Forget Conan, follow Pelle the Conqueror (Bille August, Denmark/Sweden, 1988). Max von Sydow stars as a struggling farmer. "First showing" of this 150-minute movie at 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Closed.
STARTS MONDAY: 2005 only felt like the end of the world -- see Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, U.K., 1964) for the real deal. Screens through Jan. 22. "Starts at dusk."
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: Pulse (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan, 2001) 1:30, 4:15, 7, 9:30 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for film and times.
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.
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: Jack Nicholson is Michelangelo Antonioni's The Passenger (Italy, 1975) 6:30, 9 p.m. Naked in Ashes (Paula Fouce, 2005) 6:45 p.m. Viggo Mortensen has A History of Violence (David Cronenberg, 2005) 8:50 p.m. The Squid and the Whale (Noah Baumbach, 2005) 7 p.m. Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic (Liam Lynch, 2005) 9:15 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for films and times.
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.
WEDNESDAY: Three convicts go Down by Law (Jim Jarmusch, 1986) in a New Orleans jail in this remarkable indie comedy 2, 7:15, 9:20 p.m.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY: MirrorMask (Dave McKean, U.K., 2005); see Night & Day Friday, Page 20, for more 7:15, 9:25 p.m.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Closed for the holidays.
MONDAY: MirrorMask 7:15, 9:25 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (Dec. 27 & 28): Future Pentagon pinup Dennis Hopper directed Easy Rider in 1969, when he and the world were young(er) 7:15, 9:20 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
3117 and 3125 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $8 save as noted. Short-run repertory on two screens, separated by a bar, in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for films and times.
DAILY (Closed Wednesday and Christmas Day): A Kiki Smith exhibit offers Art:21:Stories (PBS, 2003) through Jan. 29 2 p.m. Chuck Close: A Portrait in Progress (Marian Cajori, 1997) through Feb. 28 Thurs 4, 7:30 p.m.; Fri, Mon, Tues 4 p.m.
Koret Auditorium, Lower Level, 100 Larkin (at Grove), 557-4400, http://sfpl.lib.ca.us. A weekly video program screens on Thursdays and occasional other days. Free.
THURSDAY (Dec. 22): "Down in New Orleans," a film series set in the landscape formerly known as the Big Easy, screens Suddenly, Last Summer (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1959), with Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Montgomery Clift in more N.O. madness from Tennessee Williams noon.
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. Normally closed Monday through Wednesday.
WEDESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY: James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan are feuding lonely hearts in Ernst Lubitsch's beautifully modulated romance The Shop Around the Corner (1940; 7:30 p.m.), screening with Kris Kringle rampant in Miracle on 34th Street (George Seaton, 1947; 5:40, 9:20 p.m.).
SATURDAY: James Stewart's rampant in the Stanford's annual screening of the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946). Advance ticket purchase recommended 9 p.m.
SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Closed.
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