3630 Balboa (at 38th Avenue), 221-8484, www.balboamovies.com. $8.50 save as noted. This great neighborhood house shows films of all sorts.
DAILY: She's so cute! Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Ferris, 2006; noon, 2:20, 4:40, 7, 9:20 p.m. ) and in Theatre 2, Edward Norton stars as The Illusionist (Neil Burger, 2006; 12:15, 2:35, 4:55, 7:15, 9:30 p.m. ).
429 Castro (near Market), 621-6120 and www.thecastrotheatre.com. $10 save as noted. 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 & THURSDAY: Call for program.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept 1-7): Viva Pedro!, an eight-film series of new prints of films by Pedro Almodovar, opens with a week's run of the clever comedy Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Spain, 1988), Call for times.
DARK ROOM THEATRE
2263 Mission (between 18th and 19th "between the pawn shop and the laundromat"), 401-7987, www.darkroomsf.com. Live cabaret, plus regular film screenings with audience cat-calling encouraged.
SUNDAY (Sept. 3): It's Shatner Month at the Dark Room's weekly "Bad Movie," opening with the bang of The Explosive Generation (Buzz Kulik, 1961), with Shatner as a high school teacher who lets students Patty McCormick and Billy Gray write essays about sex. Jim Fourniadis, Mike-Em, and Sean Owens host. $5 8 p.m.
2534 Mission (between 21st and 22nd streets), 648-7600), www.foreigncinema.com. Free with meal. This restaurant screens foreign films, usually in 35 mm, 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: What is truth? Asked jesting Pilate, but did not stay to hear the answer. And then he saw Blow Up (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1966) and realized it didn't matter anyway "Starts at dusk."
2200 Clement (at 23rd Avenue), 666-3468, www.hkinsf.com. $8.50. This enterprising theater hosts occasional special screenings.
WEDNESDAY: "Hard-core martial arts action" is promised in the Cantonese version of The Blood of Angels and Demons (Zee Lo, 2006), with star/director "Dr. Z" in person. See www.realasianfilms.com for more "Around 8:45 p.m."
THURSDAY: The English-language version of The Blood of Angels and Demons "Around 8:45 p.m.
530 Bush (at Grant), 263-8760 and www.goethe.de/ins/us/saf/en1587184.htm for information on this program. The place to go for German cultural events. $6.
TUESDAY (Sept. 5): "Crossing Borders," a cross-cultural music film series, screens The Nomi Song (Andrew Horn, Germany, 2004), a doc about new-wave cult figure Klaus Nomi 7:30 p.m.
549 Magnolia (at Post), Larkspur, 924-5111, www.larktheater.net. This single-screen art deco theater has reopened with a policy mixing new and repertory programming. $9 save as noted.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: And why exactly does Al Gore want to keep Florida from sinking under water? Oh, that's right he actually won there. Just An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2006) 7 p.m.; also Thurs 9:15 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: The true tale of Harlem's Silver Belles, Been Rich All My Life (Heather MacDonald, 2005). See Opening for review. Call for times.
1572 California (at Polk), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. This multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater. $9.50.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 1-7): Two Drifters (João Pedro Rodrigues, Brazil, 2005). See Opening for review. Call for times.
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124 and www.bampfa.berkeley.edu, $8, second show $2. The East Bay mecca for film scholars, part of UC Berkeley's Art Museum, thrives at its on-campus location, up the steps on Bancroft between Telegraph Avenue and the Hearst Gym.
WEDNESDAY: A Kenji Mizoguchi series concludes with the life of a kabuki actor, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums (Japan, 1939), in which his long-take oriented style reached an early perfection 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: "Beyond Bollywood," a series of recent Indian films, concludes with the Scorsesean crime drama Company (Ram Gopal Varma, 2002), set in the criminal underworld of Bombay 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY: New prints of Nicholas Ray's excellent Bigger Than Life (1956; 7 p.m. ) and David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986; 8:50 p.m. ), the calculated audacity of which looks rather juvenile next to Ray's melodrama of suburban breakdown. "God was wrong!" James Mason's amped-up schoolteacher. Top that, Dennis Hopper.
SATURDAY: Blue Velvet 6:30 p.m. Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious (1946) which again seems more subversive to the romantic certainties of spy melodramas than Mr. Lynch's candy-colored nightmare 8:50 p.m.
SUNDAY: A "Mechanical Age" series of machine-based cinema opens with Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1926; 5:30 p.m. ) and Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (1936; 6 p.m. ), two approaches from different angles at the problem of the soul of man under industrialization.
TUESDAY: Haunted Cameras, a program of recent experimental films, screens Stacy Steers' Phantom Canyon, Soon-Mi Yoo's Dangerous Supplement, and Nancy Andrews' Haunted Camera 7:30 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. This multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater. $8.75.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Lunacy (Jan Svankmajer, Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2005) 2:15, 5, 8 p.m.
834 Park (at Lake Merritt), Oakland, (510) 814-2400, www.picturepubpizza.com. $5 save as noted. This friendly neighborhood theater serves beer, pizza, and more with its films. 21 and over.
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.cafilm.org. $9.50 save as noted. This three-screen repertory theater, officially the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, is operated by the California Film Institute. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Gabrielle (Patrice Chéreau, France 2005) 6:45, 9 p.m. Half Nelson (Ryan Fleck, 2006) 7, 9:15 p.m. Darshan, the Embrace (Jan Kounen, France, 2005) 6:30 p.m. Conversations With Other Women (Hans Canosa, 2005) 8:45 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Heading South (Laurent Cantet, France, 2005). See Opening for review. Call for other films and times.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $8 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: 82-year-old director Robert Altman envisions the spirit of death as a beautiful woman (and why not?) in the oddest interpolation in the oddball celebration A Prairie Home Companion (2006) 7:15, 9:30 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 1-7): Takashi Miike's fantasy The Great Yokai War (Japan, 2005). See Opening for review 7, 9:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 2, 4:30 p.m.; Wed 2 p.m.
ROXIE FILM CENTER
3117 and 3125 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $8 save as noted. Short-run repertory on two screens, separated by a bar, in this adventurous affiliate of New College.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Gabrielle (Patrice Chéreau, France 2005) 7, 8:50 p.m.; also Wed 2:30, 4:45 p.m. Carville takes on Evo in Our Brand Is Crisis (Rachel Boynton, 2006) 7:15, 9 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 1-7): What happens when art is Stolen (Rebecca Dreyfus, 2005). See Opening for review 6:15, 8, 9:40 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 2:30, 4:30 p.m. Call for other films.
SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
Koret Visitor Education Center (unless otherwise noted), 151 Third St. (between Mission and Howard), 357-4000, www.sfmoma.org. Screenings are free with museum admission of $12.50 save as noted.
DAILY (Closed Wednesdays): An hour-long exposition of The Body as Matrix: Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle 4 p.m.; also Thurs 7 p.m. In the Phyllis Wattis theater, Drawing Restraint 9 (Barney, 2005). Come dressed as your favorite blob of Vaseline! Free 2 p.m.; also Thurs 6:15 p.m.
THURSDAY: The final screenings of Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive Genius (Karen Thomas, 1999) 11 a.m. Matisse Picasso (Philippe Kohly, 2002) 2 p.m.
STARTS SATURDAY: Tina in Mexico (Brenda Longfellow, 2002) screens through Jan. 2 at 2:30 p.m.
SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY
Koret Auditorium, Lower Level, 100 Larkin (at Grove), 557-4400, http://sfpl.lib.ca.us. A weekly video program screens on Thursdays and occasional other days. Free.
THURSDAY (Aug. 31): An opera series screens In the Shadow of the Stars (Allie Light and Irving Saraf, 1991), a behind-the-scenes look at the San Francisco Opera chorus noon.
2230 Shattuck (at Kittredge), Berkeley, (510) 843-3456, www.landmarktheatres.com. $9.50. This venerable theater assigns one of its eight screens to repertory programming.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Lunacy (Jan Svankmajer, Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2005) 1:45, 4:25, 7:05, 9:45 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept 1-7): Heading South (Laurent Cantet, France, 2005). See Opening for review. Also, Viva Pedro!, an eight-film series of new prints of films by Pedro Almodovar, opens with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Spain, 1988), Call for times.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.stanfordtheatre.org. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually (but not always) screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: A Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney series continues with Strike Up the Band (Busby Berkeley, 1940; 7:30 p.m. ), plus Garland an adult for the first time in Little Nellie Kelly (Norman Taurog, 1940; 5:40, 9:50 p.m. ).
FRIDAY: Lon Chaney strikes a pose as The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian, 1925), the silent classic with live organ accompaniment by Dennis James 6, 9:20 p.m.
SATURDAY THROUGH MONDAY: Two very different 1950s romances with much to recommend them, not least outstanding color cinematography. James Wong Howe filmed shirtless William Holden intriguing Kim Novak in Picnic (Joshua Logan, 1956; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 3 p.m. ); Winton Hoch and Archie Stout shot haunted John Wayne intriguing feisty Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man (John Ford, 1952; 5:10, 9:40 p.m. ).
TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Sept. 5-7): Wholesome Garland is an unlikely Ziegfeld Girl (Robert Z. Leonard, 1941; 7:30 p.m. ) together with likelier showgirls Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner, while Life Begins for Andy Hardy (George B. Seitz, 1941; 5:35, 10 p.m. ), with Garland in her last appearance in the Mickey Rooney series. <