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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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 (Dec. 11): John Pilger's Palestine Is Still the Issue (U.K., 2002), sympathetic to the Palestinians, screens with an eyewitness report from Jamie Spector of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) as a fund-raiser for Left Turn magazine 8 p.m.
THURSDAY (Dec. 12): "Point In Time," an evening of video, installation, and performance, offers works by Nathan Boyce, Juliette Chi, Catherine Czacki, and several others 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY (Dec. 13): "Insufficient Funds," a program of new work from the S.F. Art Institute. $3 7:30 p.m.
SATURDAY (Dec. 14): Lynne Sachs' Investigation of a Flame (2001), an idiosyncratic documentary look back at the Catonsville 9's anti-Vietnam War protest, screens with Victoria Gamburg's impressive Right Road Lost (2002), a record of the moral qualms of a Gulf War I vet, and more 8:30 p.m.
MONDAY (Dec. 16): "Lovid & Qoqol," the former a live video/sound performance using homemade audiovisual devices; the latter electronic sound design with kinetically modified video by Carl Diehl 8 p.m.
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 or Bill McCoy on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
WEDNESDAY: A series on the men of Pre-Code Hollywood films concludes with Lee Tracy as a fast-talking columnist in Blessed Event (Roy Del Ruth, 1932; 1:15, 6 p.m.), Pat O'Brien and Mae Clarke as fast-talking journalists in Final Edition (Howard Higgin, 1932; 3, 7:55 p.m.), and Edward G. Robinson as a condemned criminal in Two Seconds (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932; 4:30, 9:20 p.m.).
THURSDAY: "An Evening With David Thomson" -- Film critic Thomson lectures on the use of music in nonmusicals in what sounds like a fascinating evening, hosted by Terrance Gelenter. $15 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: "A John Waters' Xmas" -- The cinéaste bon vivant hosts such seasonal pleasures as Carol Lynley reciting "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and a sing-along screening of the animated Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer (Kizo Nagashima and Larry Roemer, 1964). Contact 863-0611 for tickets; see The House of Tudor on Page 104 for more info. Reception with Waters plus program $74.95 6 p.m. Program only $29.95 8:15 p.m.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: With the Douglas Sirk-inspired melodrama Far From Heaven screening so widely, the Castro offers a series of Sirk's gaudy tragedies, all of them more fun and energetic than Todd Haynes' tasteful diorama. The most flamboyant of the lot, Written on the Wind (1957), screens at 1:30, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:35 p.m.
MONDAY: Jane Wyman was Rock Hudson's Magnificent Obsession (1954), or was that the other way 'round? 7, 9:20 p.m.
TUESDAY: Sirk tackles race in the turgid Imitation of Life (1959), with Lana Turner and, in an excellent performance, Susan Kohner as Turner's maid's daughter, who is passing for white. (Kohner is the mother of the Weitz Brothers, directors of the American Pie series.) 7, 9:30 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143 and www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. A winter season continues for this innovatively programmed art house.
WEDNESDAY (Dec. 11): A double bill of restored prints of two atmospheric French films, Julien Duvivier's Pepe Le Moko (1937; 7 p.m.) and Jacques Demy's Bay of Angels (1963; 8:45 p.m.), about gambling with love and fate.
THURSDAY & FRIDAY (Dec. 12 & 13): Artist Andy Goldsworthy works with time, Rivers and Tides (Thomas Riedelsheimer, U.K., 2001; 7 p.m.). See Ongoing for review. Also, Mickey Lemle's Ram Dass: Fierce Grace (2001; 8:45 p.m.) follows the guru's recovery from a stroke.
SATURDAY (Dec. 14): The fourth annual East Bay Gay Asian Film Festival screens Todd Wilson's Under One Roof (2002), described as Sex and the City meets The Wedding Banquet, at 7 p.m. followed by Iron Ladies (Thailand, 2001; 9:10 p.m.), about a gay volleyball team. Both films are free.
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 Mondays): Stéphane Audran serves up Babette's Feast (Gabriel Axel, Denmark, 1987), screening through Dec. 29 6:15, 8, 9:45 p.m.
510 Larkin (at Turk), 820-3907, www.sfindie.com. This "Rock 'n' Roll DJ Bar" offers an "SF IndieFest MicroCinema." All screenings are followed by DJ music at 10 p.m. Free save as noted.
WEDNESDAY (Dec. 11): The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975) -- it's even better when you drink, this week with the live cast of Barely Legal. $3 8 p.m.
THURSDAY (Dec. 12): A radio pirate kills vampire albino mutants in Radio Free Steve 8 p.m.
FRIDAY (Dec. 13): Tom Sawyer's The Strange Case of Señor Computer, an android who dreams of 1-900 phone sex 8 p.m.
Action Theater, Second Floor, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), 369-6098. Sony hosts screenings of popular anime series from Bandai Entertainment this month. Free.
FRIDAY (Dec. 13): "The fight to the top begins now" with a Mobile Fighter G Gundam tournament marathon, Volumes 7 & 8 5-9 p.m.
SUNDAY (Dec. 15): Mobile Fighter G Gundam Volumes 9 through 12, continuously from noon-7 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. Taking over from the Lumiere this fall season, 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.