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. For additional Reps Etc. listings, go to sfweekly.com.
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2128 Center (near Shattuck), Berkeley, (510) 843-FILM. In addition to its regular programming, this theater is offering a 10-week midnight movie series. $6.
SATURDAY (March 2): The course of John Cusack's love life suggests he's Better Off Dead (Savage Steve Holland, 1985) midnight.
345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video screen as part of a “Cine-Bistro” once only this week, complete with meal. $30 general, $25 members.
WEDNESDAY (Feb. 27): The second of Eric Rohmer's seasonal stories, A Tale of Winter (1992) finds a young woman torn between two lovers and a memory 7 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.
THURSDAY (Feb. 28): Noise Pop — a musical series as part of the local music festival commences with Okie Noodling and other films by Brad Beesley. Soundtrack by the Flaming Lips 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY (March 1): Noise Pop — Don Letts' The Clash — Westway to the World 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY (March 2): Noise Pop — Blood Hag: The Sooner You Go Deaf the More Time You Will Have to Read screens with Everybody's Dying Here, a Mexican girl punk documentary 1:30 p.m. Radiohead: Reflections on Kid A plus Sonic Cinema: Sparklehorse 3:30 p.m. Open Cinema hosts “Underground Zero: Independent Filmmakers Respond to 9/11,” a program of new shorts made in response to an appeal by local artists Caveh Zahedi and Jay Rosenblatt. Included are filmmakers Barbara Hammer, Leighton Pierce, Lynn Sachs, and many more 8:30 p.m.
SUNDAY (March 3): Noise Pop — The Atlas Moth and Soul Asylum: Something Out of Nothing 1:30 p.m.
3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), 221-8184. $7 regular admission; $7.50 for Wednesday's special program. This pleasant old house normally runs double-bill programs on its two screens. Wednesday's regular program is suspended for a party.
WEDNESDAY (Feb. 27): The Balboa celebrates its 76th anniversary with a “Birthday Party” re-creating a film program of 1926. In addition to live music and a magician, the Balboa is screening coming attractions, the Felix the Cat cartoon Futuritzy, a sing-along “cartune” from the Fleischer Brothers, Sweet Adeline, Chapter 6 of the Ruth Roland serial Haunted Valley, and Buster Keaton's classic comedy The General (1926). Doors open at 7:15 p.m. with the feature film at 8:45 p.m.
429 Castro (at Market), 621-6120, www.thecastrotheatre.com. $7 save as noted. Short-run rep in a spectacular 1922 Greco-Roman-themed palace — recently refurbished — designed by Timothy L. Pflueger. Evening intermissions feature David Hegarty or Bill McCoy on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
WEDNESDAY: It's the long, long version of Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now Redux (1979/2001), with the added interpolations of French plantation and stranded bunnies proving the soundness of Chef's advice “Don't get off the boat. Never get off the boat” noon, 4, 8 p.m.
STARTS THURSDAY: The lives of gay and lesbian Hasidic and Orthodox Jews, Trembling Before G-d (Sandi Simcha DuBowski, 2001), screens through March 14. See Opening for review 7, 9:10 p.m.; also Sat, Sun, & Wed 12:30, 2:40, 4:50 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143, www.fineartscinema.com. $8 save as noted. Berkeley's innovatively programmed art house puts on some of the most conceptually daring double bills in town.
WEDNESDAY: New prints of Luis Buñuel's last film, the wittily perverse That Obscure Object of Desire (France, 1977; 7:15 p.m.) and Hector Babenco's prison melodrama Kiss of the Spider Woman (Brazil, 1985; 9:15 p.m.).
THURSDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY (Feb. 28-March 6): Two corrosive films from the 1950s peel the paint off that allegedly conformist era (in fact, how many genuinely heretical films do the mainstream studios produce now?). Alexander Mackendrick's Sweet Smell of Success (1957; 7:15 p.m.) features Burt Lancaster as the king of gossip and Tony Curtis as his dogsbody in dirty deeds; Orson Welles' border-town noir Touch of Evil (1958; 9:05 p.m.; also Sun 5:10 p.m.) stars Welles himself as a sheriff oozing with corruption.
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. $7.50.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Joe and Harry Gantz's Sex With Strangers (2001); see Ongoing for review 5, 7:30, 9:55 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: The Lumiere is off calendar for a week. Call for program.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 for reservations and information. $5. This cultural asset of long standing offers a spring/summer “CinemaLit” series of projected video of classics, with salon-style discussions after the films.
FRIDAY (March 1): A series of movies based on the writings of John Steinbeck opens with David Thomson lecturing on James Dean and Elia Kazan's film version of East of Eden (1954) 6:30 p.m.
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu. $7, second show $1.50. The East Bay mecca for film scholars, part of UC's Berkeley Art Museum, thrives at its on-campus location, up the steps on Bancroft between Telegraph Avenue and the Hearst Gym.
WEDNESDAY: Scholar Russell Merritt's film history course, open to the public, screens Jean Renoir's early sound film La Chienne (France, 1931) 3 p.m. Video essays by Ursula Biemann include Writing Desire (2000) and Remote Sensing (2001), about e-mail-order brides and international sex trafficking, respectively 7:30 p.m. [page]
THURSDAY: A series of films by women directors in Islamic societies screens The Season of Men (Moufida Tlatli, Tunisia, 2001), about a village where men working in the city return home one month out of the year 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: The Woman of Color Film Festival presents a program on “Constructing Identities” including Yvette Smalls' Hair Stories 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: Women of Color — A program called “The Hunger” addresses obsessions. Films include Fredeswinda Z. Santos' A Haunting and Jennifer Thuy Lan Phang's Love Ltd. 7:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Women of Color — Exilees remember their earlier lives in this program, “Forward Reflections,” which includes the dreams of six Nepalese women, She Wants to Talk to You (Anita Wen-Shin Chang, 2001) 7:30 p.m.
MONDAY: A UCB class on the musical screens Vincente Minnelli's evergreen The Band Wagon (1953), which is also a docudrama about an aging Fred Astaire, who at one point declaims, “I am not Marlon Brando!” 3 p.m. A UCB class on “Cinema and the Sex Act” screens Bernardo Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris (France, 1973), which is also a docudrama about an aging Marlon Brando, who does very little dancing. He's no Fred Astaire 7 p.m.
TUESDAY: The German documentary B-52 (Hartnut Bitomsky, 2001) looks critically at the history of the long-lived “Stratofortress” bomber 7:30 p.m.
2025 Broadway (at 20th Avenue), Oakland, (510) 465-6400, www.paramounttheatre.com. $5. This beautifully restored picture palace's ongoing “Movie Classics Series” regularly includes a feature plus a newsreel, cartoon, previews, and a few spins of the Dec-O-Win prize wheel.
FRIDAY (March 1): Alfred Hitchcock's espionage thriller North by Northwest (1959) 8 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.
THURSDAY (Feb. 28): A rare 35mm print of Ted V. Mikels' The Doll Squad (1973), about a gang of female action heroes. $6 7:30 p.m.
MIDNIGHT SHOW (Saturday): The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975) with live performance by Barely Legal. $6.
RAFAEL FILM CENTER
1118 Fourth St. (at A Street), San Rafael, 454-1222, www.finc.org. $8.50. This three-screen repertory theater is operated by the Film Institute of Northern California. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY: Bruce Weber's Chop Suey (2001) 6:45, 9:15 p.m. No Man's Land (Danis Tanovic, Slovenia, 2001) 7, 9 p.m. Daniel M. Cohen's finely cut and well-shaped Diamond Men (2001) 6:30 p.m. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001) 8:45 p.m.
THURSDAY: The Rafael's “We Love New York” film series screens Gene Kelly's debut as a dancer/director, On the Town (Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1949) 7 p.m. Also, Chop Suey (2001) 9:15 p.m. No Man's Land 7, 9 p.m. Diamond Men 6:30 p.m. Mulholland Drive 8:45 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Ram Dass: Fierce Grace (Mickey Lemle, 2001) and Time of Favor (Joseph Cedar, Israel, 2000); see Opening for reviews. Call for times.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $6.50 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
WEDNESDAY: Don't mess with Fat Girl (Catherine Breillat, France, 2001) 2, 7:15, 9:15 p.m.
THURSDAY: A three-day “Identity Crisis” series kicks in with Robert Altman's Three Women (1977), which with its Southern California setting and swapping-identities plot is very much an ancestor for Mulholland Drive 7, 9:35 p.m.
FRIDAY: “Identity Crisis” — Bill Pullman loses everything, and turns into a surly teenage garage mechanic, in David Lynch's Lost Highway (1997), which for clarity and resolution makes Mulholland Drive look like a straight story. It's the ride that counts, though 7, 9:45 p.m.
SATURDAY: “Identity Crisis” — It's only the detective who doesn't know who's who in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958) 2, 4:30, 7, 9:35 p.m.
SUNDAY & MONDAY: A documentary on chronic fatigue syndrome, I Remember Me (Kim Snyder, 2000) 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Sun 2, 4 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (March 5 & 6): The Kornbluth Brothers' workplace comedy Haiku Tunnel (2001) 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $7 save as noted. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.A.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: It's a lost highway for two women with vertigo in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) 7, 9:45 p.m.; also Wed 1, 4 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Ram Dass: Fierce Grace (Mickey Lemle, 2001); see Opening for review 6, 8, 10 p.m.; also Sat, Sun, & Wed 2, 4 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE
S.F. Art Institute, 800 Chestnut (at Jones), 822-2885, www.sfcinematheque.org. $7 save as noted. The San Francisco Cinematheque specializes in avant-garde, historical, and experimental films here and at venues around the Bay Area (see the Yerba Buena Center for a Thursday program).
SATURDAY (March 2): Hollis Frampton comes alive with his seven-part investigation of cinema, Hapax Legomena (1976) 7:30 p.m.
SUNDAY (March 3): A program of work by women filmmakers of the 1970s screens Gunvor Nelson's Take Off, Anne Severson's Near the Big Chakra, and many more 7:30 p.m.
2230 Shattuck (at Kittredge), Berkeley, (510) 843-3456, www.landmarktheatres.com. $8.25. This venerable theater assigns one of its eight screens to repertory programming. For the rest of the Shattuck's schedule, see our Showtimes page.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Bruce Weber's Chop Suey (2001); see Ongoing for review 2:30, 4:50, 7:10, 9:25 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (March 1-7): Time of Favor (Joseph Cedar, Israel, 2000) 2:30, 4:50, 7:10, 9:25 p.m.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.swixo.com/stanford. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection and a courteous staff.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY: Grace Moore and Cary Grant enter into a marriage of convenience in screenwriter Robert Riskin's directorial debut, When You're in Love (1937; 7:30 p.m.) — mandatory viewing for scholars sussing out Riskin's importance to all the Frank Capra films he wrote. Grant traveled to England for a comedy about a rich man forgoing wealth for a year, The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss (Alfred Zeisler, U.K., 1936; 6:10, 9:30 p.m.). [page]
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: Grant and Constance Bennett did very well for themselves as carefree ghosts in Topper (Norman Z. McLeod, 1937; 7:30 p.m.; also Sun 3:40 p.m.). Grant, corporeal again, then competes with shady financier Edward Arnold for Frances Farmer in Rowland V. Lee's The Toast of New York (1937; 5:30, 9:20 p.m.).
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Theater closed.
YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
701 Mission (at Third Street, in Yerba Buena Gardens), 978-2787, www.YerbaBuenaArts.org. $5 save as noted. This venue's Screening Room is a home for film and video programs of all sorts. Closed Mondays.
DAILY: Eurotika!, a nine-part documentary series on low-budget Eurotrash cinema of the 1960s and '70s, repeats thrice daily through April 21. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Italian horror and the work of Jean Rollin and Jess Franco; on Thursdays and Fridays, Jose Larraz, Jose Benazeraf (“The Pope of Perversion”), and an overview of Eurocine; on Saturdays and Sundays, Spanish horror and directors Max Pecas (I Am a Nymphomaniac) and Mike Reeves (The Conqueror Worm). Free with gallery admission noon, 2, 4 p.m.
WEDNESDAY (Feb. 27): The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival screens Danny Wachsman's video Facing the Forest (Israel, 1999), about a scholar caught up in a medieval mystery. $6 8 p.m.
THURSDAY (Feb. 28): Found-footage archivists Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi screen Images of the Orient and African Diary, made up of footage shot many decades ago by tourists in India and Algeria, respectively. Artists in person 7:30 p.m.
A free discussion with the makers of Trembling Before G-d follows the 7 p.m. screening at the Castro Theatre of this new film. Producer/director Sandi Simcha DuBowski and film editor Susan Korda in person, Tuesday, March 5, at 9 p.m. at the Most Holy Redeemer Church, Ellard Hall, 100 Diamond, S.F.