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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2128 Center (at Shattuck), Berkeley, (510) 843-FILM, www.landmarktheatres.com. $6. This duplex offers a 10-week midnight movie series (plus "drawings for valuable and coveted prizes"). For additional screenings, see our Showtimes page.
SATURDAY (Oct. 4): Wolfgang Petersen's OK version of Michel Ende's splendid fantasy The NeverEnding Story (Germany, 1984) midnight.
345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.
WEDNESDAY (Oct. 1): A François Truffaut series opens with the all-star, World War II drama The Last Metro (1980) 7 p.m.
SATURDAY (Oct. 4): The Last Metro 2 p.m.
ARTISTS' TELEVISION ACCESS
992 Valencia (at 21st Street), 824-3890, www.atasite.org for most programs, www.othercinema.com for Saturday evening programs. $5 save as noted. This venue offers all manner of strange and unusual video and film.
THURSDAY (Oct. 2): Arnold Schwarzenegger, smoking pot, psyching out opponents, and Pumping Iron (George Butler, 1977). Unfortunately Two-Ton Cruz, the Mighty Arianna, and Tom Tom McClintock are harder to scare off than Lou Ferrigno 8 p.m.
FRIDAY (Oct. 3): The MadCat Women's International Film Festival offers "Cut Snip Ooze," a program of animated films, including Sarah Jane Lapp's Chronicles of an Asthmatic Stripper, Nancy Andrews' Monkeys and Lumps, and Gabriela Golder's Cows. Program repeats at the PFA on Sunday. $7-20 8 p.m.
SATURDAY (Oct. 4): ATA's Other Cinema gives us "Life as an Advertisement," a program on subliminal commercials that includes Peter Conheim and Steve Seid's Value-Added Cinema, a compendium of product placements drawn from Hollywood movies 8:30 p.m.
CALIFORNIA COLLEGE OF THE ARTS
1111 Eighth St. (at Irwin), 703-9500, www.ccarts.edu. $7.
SUNDAY (Oct. 5): "Wild Space" is billed as "a retinal safari" on the theme of how moving-image space is constructed. Films include Ken Jacobs' Flo Rounds the Corner, Leslie Thornton's Have a Nice Day Alone, and the premiere of Michael Snow's shortened version of his 1967 avant-garde classic Wavelength, which was comprised of a slow, 45-minute zoom across a room. His new version is the presumably quicker WVLNT (Wavelength for Those Who Don't Have the Time) 7:30 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 & THURSDAY: Jacques Becker's crime thriller Touchez pas au Grisbi (Don't Touch the Loot, France, 1954), with Jean Gabin 7, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2, 4:30 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Oct. 3-9): Ulrich Seidl's Dog Days (Austria, 2002); see Opening for review 7, 9 p.m.; also Sat & Wed 1:20, 4:15 p.m.; Sun 4:15 p.m.
2261 Fillmore (at Clay), 267-4893, www.landmarktheatres.com; www.8tales.com for this series. A weekend midnight movie series continues. For the rest of the Clay's schedule, see our Showtimes page. $5.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY (Oct. 3 & 4): Tim Burton designed and wrote -- but Henry Selick directed -- the already classic Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). "I am the Pumpkin King!" Come for extra fun Saturday midnight.
DANGER & DESPAIR KNITTING CIRCLE
182 Second St. (at Howard), Third Floor, 552-1533 or e-mail email@example.com to reserve seats. Free with reservation; don't come without one. A "16mm Noir" series presented by the Danger & Despair Knitting Circle screens in this new location every Thursday, with round-table discussion to follow. Come at 7 p.m. for no-host bar; lobby doors locked at 8:15 p.m.
THURSDAY (Oct. 2): A "Film Noir Bad Girls" series screens Bad Blonde (aka The Flanagan Boy, Reginald LeBorg, 1953), with Barbara Payton as a boxing promoter's wife out to seduce and destroy 8 p.m.
FILM ARTS FOUNDATION
145 Ninth St. (between Mission and Howard), 552-8760, www.filmarts.org for this program. $7.
TUESDAY (Oct. 7): "Jovial Tales and Tragic Sensibilities" showcases video artists Jeanne C. Finley and John Muse, with clips from their work and questions from Craig Baldwin and Margaret Morse 7 p.m.
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): The anime instant classic Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2002) screens through Oct. 19 7, 9:15 p.m.
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. $9.50.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: The Embalmer (Matteo Garrone, Italy, 2002); see Ongoing for review. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Oct. 3-9): Prey for Rock & Roll (Alex Steyermark, 2003); see Opening for review. Call for times.
MAIN POST THEATRE
99 Moraga, The Presidio, 561-5500, www.sffs.org for more information on this event. The 64-year-old Main Post Theatre hosts an occasional outdoor movie event. Free.
SATURDAY (Oct. 4): "Film in the Fog" screens The Blob (Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., 1958), about "a malevolent dollop of marmalade" that attacks a small town. Teens are rallied by "Steven" McQueen to save it. Preceded by a newsreel and Chuck Jones' great cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2 Century (1953). Festivities begin at 7 p.m.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 and www.milibrary.org for information; phone or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. $5. This cultural asset of long standing hosts an ongoing film series on projected video, with salon-style discussions to follow.