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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FRIDAY (Dec. 1): Ambiotica, "an evening of inspired music, art and interactivities" includes DJs, live performance, and video art including Barbara Marx Hubbard's Humanity Ascending (2006) and rare footage of the circa 1970 Human Be-In. It's all a follow-up to a MindMeld discussion circle on the topic "What Is Your Religion?" held at the Lofty Thoughts Gallery, 1286 Folsom Street (at Ninth), at 9 p.m. $20, $15 admission if you're dressed "with fashionable flair ... cosmiccouture!" covers both events, here from 10 p.m. - 3 a.m.
ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS
992 Valencia (at 21st Street), 824-3890, www.atasite.org. $5 save as noted.
FRIDAY (Dec. 1): "Celluloid Sketches and Watercolor Movies," a program of 8 mm films by Paul Clipson, in collaboration with the Bay Area band Tarentel "experimenting with the chance continuity of image meeting with sound." $5-$7 sliding scale 8 p.m.
SATURDAY: Other Cinema presents found footage maestro Rick Prelinger's Industrial and Institutional Films: A Field Guide, a program including A Is for Atom and Why Not Live? 8:30 p.m.
3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), 221-8484, www.balboamovies.com. $8.50 save as noted. This great neighborhood house shows films of all sorts.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: For your consideration, For Your Consideration (Christopher Guest, 2006), screening with the cartoon The Cat Came Back (Cordell Barker, Canada, 1988) 1:20, 3:20, 5:20, 7:20, 9:20 p.m. In Theater 2, Helen Mirren is The Queen (Stephen Frears, U.K., 2006), screening with the Oscar-winning short Charade (John Minnis, Canada, 1984) 12:30, 2:40, 4:50, 7, 9:10 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for films and times.
CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS
Timken Hall, 1111 Eighth St. (at Irwin), 703-9500, www.ccarts.edu.
WEDNESDAY (Nov. 29): Selected Films by Bjørn Melhus features work by a German video artist who frequently casts himself (as Dorothy in Oz or as a Home Shopping Network saleswoman) in his media critiques. Free noon.
429 Castro (near Market), 621-6120 and www.thecastrotheatre.com; www.thirdi.org/festival for the Third I program on Saturday. $10 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.
THURSDAY: Teshigahara's documentary of the life of the building-bending Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí (Spain/Japan, 1984). Like Teshigahara's other films, it employs modernistic music by Toru Takemitsu 7, 9:15 p.m.
FRIDAY: The local premiere of Broken Sky (Julin Hernndez, Spain, 2006). See Opening for review 7, 9:40 p.m.
SATURDAY: Two programs presented by the San Francisco Silent Film Society, first up an excellent group of very much sound films, Silly Symphonies from the Walt Disney Studio, including such hard-to-see gems as Skeleton Dance (1929), Hell's Bells (1929) and Egyptian Melodies (1931). A panel discussion with scholar Russell Merritt and others follows. $13 1:30 p.m. The highly entertaining, newly rediscovered first screen version of Chicago (Elia Kazan, 1927) features a compelling performance from Phyllis Haver as Roxie Hart, holding nothing back and not trying to be likeable the way Ginger Rogers and Renee Zellweger try to be in their versions of this semitrue story. Live music by the Hot Four. $15 7:30 p.m. ).
SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Dec. 3-7): Broken Sky 7, 9:40 p.m.; also Sun, Wed 1:30, 4:15 p.m.
285 Ninth St. (at Folsom), www.cerritospeakeasy.com. This recently restored second-run theater, a sister theater to Oakland's Parkway, offers occasional special screenings, including "Cerrito Classics," a different revival every weekend.
2534 Mission (between 21st and 22nd streets), 648-7600), www.foreigncinema.com. Free with meal. This restaurant screens foreign films, usually in 35 mm, 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: Hot bubbling magic realism, Like Water for Chocolate (Alfonso Arau, Mexico, 1992), through Dec. 31 "Starts at dusk."
1572 California (at Polk), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. This multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater. $9.50 save as noted.
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for films and 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. $10 suggested donation. This cultural asset of long standing continues a weekly film series. Shown on projected video, with salon-style discussions to follow.
FRIDAY (Dec. 1): A "Stage to Screen" series concludes with James Whale's tongue-in-cheek version of Showboat (1936) 6:30 p.m.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $8 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
WEDNESDAY: The 2006 Mavericks Surf Contest 2, 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
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