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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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 (July 20): Robin Dunn's feature A Wilderness in Your Heart (2006), promises to be "a rough, beautiful, uncompromising dissection of the passions and vicious cruelties of a tortured and powerful love affair" starring Dunn and Anna McConnell. Filmmaker in person 8 p.m.
SATURDAY (July 22): Hands-on Manipulation: Earache My Eye offers four "experimental noise acts" with video backdrops: Mummers (Eype), Commode Minstrels in Bullface, Replicock, and Ju Suk Reet Meate 8 p.m.
BALBOA 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: A double bill of Robert Altman's last (?) feature, A Prairie Home Companion (2006; 1:15, 5, 8:45 p.m. ) and Thank You for Smoking (Jason Reitman, 2006; 3:15, 7 p.m. ). In Theatre 2, a double bill of Nacho Libre (Jared Hess, 2006; 1:30, 5:15, 9 p.m. ) and The War Tapes (Deborah Scranton, 2006; 3:25, 7:10 p.m. ).
STARTS FRIDAY: Call for program.
BRIDGE 3010 Geary (at Blake), 751-3213, www.peacheschrist.com for this series. This popular little theater offers, in addition to its regular screenings, a "Midnight Mass" every Saturday this summer, hosted by Peaches Christ. $12.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY (July 21 & 22): Midnight Mass Paul Verhoeven's career-killing (for him, anyway) Showgirls (1995) with a live show and a free lap dance with every large popcorn midnight.
CASTRO 429 Castro (near Market), 621-6120 and www.thecastrotheatre.com for venue; (925) 275-9490 and www.sfjff.org for the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. $10 save as noted for regular programs, $11 save as noted for the Jewish Film Festival. 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.
WEDNESDAY: A double bill of two stylized westerns built around female icons, Rancho Notorious (Fritz Lang, 1952; 3, 7 p.m. ), with Marlene Dietrich, and Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954; 4:45, 8:45 p.m. ) They're both tales, to quote the opening song of Rancho Notorious, of "hate, murder, and revenge."
THURSDAY: The 26th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival screens here for most of the next week. See "Night & Day" page TK for more on this festival. Opening Night Reception at 6:30 p.m. is followed by the Opening Night feature, Four Weeks in June (Henry Meyer, Sweden, 2005) at 8 p.m. Reception and film $50, film only $20.
FRIDAY: The Joan Crawford vehicle Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945), with co-star Ann Blyth in person. The Gala program with onstage Q&A by Eddie Muller, clip reel, live music, pie-eating contest and film starts at 7 p.m. with Dessert Reception to follow 10:30 p.m. $ 27.50 Gala only, $55 Gala and reception.
SATURDAY: The Jewish Film Festival continues. Shadya (Westler) and First Lesson in Peace (Honig, Israel) 11:30 a.m. Love Iranian-American Style (Eshaghian) and Jews of Iran (Farahani, Israel) 1:45 p.m. 51 Birch Street (Block) 4:30 p.m. La Petite Jerusalem (Albou, France) 7:15 p.m. The First Zionist Bunny (Shahar, Israel) 10 p.m.
SUNDAY: Jewish Film Festival "True to Life", a program of shorts by teens from the Israeli town of Ramla 11 a.m. An afternoon of films by festival honoree Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai opens with House (1980) 1:30 p.m. Gitai's documentary sequel, News from Home/News from House (2006) 4:30 p.m. Free Zone (Gitai, 2005) 7:15 p.m. The results of a "Cinemasports" instant filmmaking competition 9:45 p.m.
MONDAY: Jewish Film Festival Whisky (Rebella and Stoll, Argentina) 1:30 p.m. Yiddish Theater: A Love Story (Katzir, Israel) 3:50 p.m. KZ (Bloomstein) 6:15 p.m. Papa (Mashkov) 9:15 p.m.
TUESDAY: Jewish Film Festival Roots (Loungin, France/Russia) noon Belzec (Moscovitz, France). Free 2:15 p.m. Forgiving Dr. Mengele (Hercules and Pugh) 5 p.m. Close to Home (Bilu and Hager, Israel) 7 p.m. Local Call! (Joffe, France) 10 p.m.
EL RIO 3158 Mission (at Precita near Cesar Chavez), 282-3325, www.elriosf.com. This neighborhood bar often screens programs on its outdoor patio (or indoors if it rains).
TUESDAY (July 25): The Heads Up Collective's "Televising the Revolution" series screens Cruel and Unusual (Adrien Lyne, 1980), a documentary about pre-op transgender women in men's prison, as a benefit for the Trans/Gender Variant in Prison Committee. Donations accepted 8 p.m.
FOREIGN CINEMA 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: Banish all thought of Richard Gere, all ye who enter here, for the Japanese original version of Shall We Dance (Masayuki Suo, 1995). Screens through July 30 "Starts at dusk."
LA PEÑA CULTURAL CENTER 3105 Shattuck (at Prince), Berkeley, (510) 849-2568, www.lapena.org. This cafe for activists offers occasional film and video screenings, shown on a 10 x 12-foot screen. $7.
WEDNESDAY (July 19): A four-day Nicaraguan Film Festival looking back at the Sandinista regime continues with Images of the Revolution plus three short films by locals 7 p.m.
THURSDAY (July 20): Nicaraguan Film Festival Carla's Song (Ken Loach, U.K., 1996), with Robert Carlyle as a brus driver who befriends a Nicaraguan refugee, screens with a short, Overcoming Darkness 7 p.m.