Arthouse Film Listings For Dec. 15-21

4-Star Theatre. Seasons: Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud travel throughout Europe to film brown bears, wild horses, wolves and other animals in their natural habitat. Dec. 17-18. 2200 Clement, San Francisco, 415-666-3488,

Artists’ Television Access. Other Cinema: An ongoing series of experimental cinema. Saturdays, 8:30 p.m. $7. 992 Valencia, San Francisco, 415-824-3890,

Balboa Theatre. Balboa Classics: Classic movies every week. Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Popcorn Palace: Every Saturday at 10 a.m. $10 gets ticket plus popcorn and drink! Saturdays, 10 a.m. 3630 Balboa, San Francisco, 415-221-2184,

Castro Theatre. Miracle on 34th Street: The ultimate in cuddly Christmas afternoon movies, this original version stars Edmund Gwenn (in an Oscar-winning performance) as a department store Santa Claus, who must prove he is the real deal—not least to a young girl (Natalie Wood) who has lost the true meaning of Christmas. Wed., Dec. 21, 2:30 & 4:30 p.m. 429 Castro, San Francisco, 415-621-6120,

Clay Theatre. Westworld: A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park. Fri., Dec. 16, 11:55 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 17, 11:55 p.m. 2261 Fillmore, San Francisco, 415-267-4893,

Embarcadero Center Cinema. Elle: A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her. Daily. Loving: Interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C., but the family ultimately tries to find a way back to Virginia. Daily. Moonlight: A young man deals with his dysfunctional home life and comes of age in Miami during the “War on Drugs” era. The story of his struggle to find himself is told across three defining chapters in his life as he experiences the ecstasy, pain, and beauty of falling in love while grappling with his own sexuality. Daily. Jackie: A grieving Jacqueline Kennedy (Natalie Portman) examines her husband’s (John Carroll Lynch) legacy as the nation mourns his death. Daily. Lion: Five year old Saroo gets lost on a train which takes him thousands of miles across India, away from home and family. Saroo must learn to survive alone in Kolkata, before ultimately being adopted by an Australian couple. Twenty-five years later, armed with only a handful of memories, his unwavering determination, and a revolutionary technology known as Google Earth, he sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. Daily. 1 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, 415-267-4893,

Exploratorium. Saturday Cinema: Weekly thematic film screenings presented in the Kanbar Forum by the Exploratorium’s Cinema Arts program. Saturdays. Free with museum admission. Pier 15, San Francisco, 415-528-4444,

Marina Theatre. Manchester By The Sea: Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy. Starting Dec. 16. Daily. 2149 Chestnut, San Francisco, 415-345-1323,

Opera Plaza Cinema. Mifune: The Last Samurai: A feature-length documentary about the life and films of legendary actor Toshiro Mifune, weaving together film clips, archival stills, and interviews with such luminaries as Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese. Narrated by Keanu Reeves. Daily. The Brand New Testament: God exists, and He’s a jerk. He lives in a high-rise apartment in Brussels and never gets out of His pajamas. He takes sadistic delight in dreaming up new “laws” to torment humanity and He’s a petty tyrant to His wife and ten-year-old daughter, Ea. Like her brother before her, Ea has had enough of her Father’s abuse and when she spies the right opportunity, she hacks into His computer and leaks to the entire world – by text message – the only thing He has over them: their inevitable death date. Ea, after escaping and with her Father in pursuit, gathers apostles and writes her own New Testament to try to fix the mess her Father has made of humanity. Starting Dec. 16. Daily. Miss Sloane: In the high-stakes world of political power-brokers, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is the most sought after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. Known equally for her cunning and her track record of success, she has always done whatever is required to win. But when she takes on the most powerful opponent of her career, she finds that winning may come at too high a price. Starting Dec. 16. Daily. 601 Van Ness, San Francisco, 415-267-4893,

Roxie Theater. Black Rose: After a series of gruesome murders perpetrated against young Russian-American women by a sadistic sociopathic killer, the LAPD grow worrisome that they have not being able to identify this “Black Rose Killer.” Running out of options, the head of the investigation team decides to bring in Russian Police Major, Vladimir Kazatov. The hope is that Kazatov will be able to bond with the community, therefore building trust and getting to the bottom of this investigation. Dec. 16-22. City of Dead Men: Michael (Diego Boneta), a young American arrives money-less in Medellin, Colombia after having traveled all through South America as a backpacker. There he meets a beautiful exotic girl who introduces him to her friends, a group of young misfits who call themselves “The Dead Men”. The group and their leader (Jackson Rathbone) are housed in an old abandoned psychiatric hospital where they live their adrenaline-fused lives without fear or regret – as if they could die at any time. Accepting their friendship and shelter out of desperation, Michael soon realizes that something is not right and that his life is now in danger. Dec. 16-22. Kiki: El Amor Se Has (Kiki: Love to Love): Five stories of love and sex unfold over one hot summer in Madrid, when the protagonists discover strange and unusual sources of sexual indulgence with unpronounceable names: Dacryphilia, Eliphilia, Somnophilia, Polyamori, Harpaxophilia… Taboos are broken one by one as our horny couples enter into a thrilling liberation in which no pleasure is denied, whatever form it takes. Dec. 16-22. Theo Who Lived: A documentary on American journalist Theo Padnos who was Kidnapped by Al-Qaeda in Syria. Dec. 16-21. Drop Dead Gorgeous: An annual beauty pageant in small-town Minnesota turns ridiculously competitive and ultimately chaotic in this biting comedy. Amber Atkins (Kirsten Dunst), the daughter of hard-drinking mom Annette (Ellen Barkin), and Becky Leeman (Denise Richards), who is motivated by her former beauty-queen mother, Gladys (Kirstie Alley), are among the top contenders in the event. As Amber, Becky, and other local girls prepare for the big day, bizarre incidents occur, leading up to an ending with a bang. Fri., Dec. 16, 4:30 & 8 p.m. Where The Wild Things Are: Feeling misunderstood at home and at school, mischievous Max (Max Records) escapes to the land of the Wild Things, majestic — and sometimes fierce — creatures. They allow Max to become their leader, and he promises to create a kingdom where everyone will be happy. However, Max soon finds that being king is not easy and that, even being with the Wild Things, there is something missing. Sat., Dec. 17, 3:30 p.m. Being John Malkovich: A man takes a new job on the 7th-and-a-half floor of an office building and stumbles upon a membranous room that leads inside the head of stage and screen actor John Malkovich. There he can see life through Malkovich’s eyes before being systematically ejected from the room and onto the New Jersey turnpike. The man then rents out Malkovich’s head to others, eventually letting his wife inside where she falls in love with another woman who, in turn, thinks she has fallen in love with John Malkovich. Sat., Dec. 17, 6 p.m. Frisky: Two twenty-somethings move to San Francisco to chase their career, but end up chasing tail instead. Sun., Dec. 18, 2 p.m. 3117 16th St., San Francisco, 415-863-1087,

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Roald Dahl at 100: Author Roald Dahl was best known for his darkly comic novels for children. Dahl did not trust adults or any form of sentimentality, and never condescended to his young readers. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of his birth, YBCA presents these six delightfully malevolent adaptations of his most famous books (plus the weirdest-ever James Bond film, for which he wrote the screenplay), including The Witches, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, You Only Live Twice, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The BFG, and Matilda. Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Dec. 18. 701 Mission, San Francisco, 415-978-2787,

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