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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. p> SATURDAY (Dec. 22): A program of new experimental works concludes the Other Cinema's fall season with such films as Rodney Ascher's Sparklehorse, Cade Bursell's Skate, Patrick Nguyen's Biker Dave, the premiere of Matt McCormick's Going to the Ocean, and many more 8:30 p.m.
429 Castro (at Market), 621-6120, www.thecastrotheatre.com. $7. Short-run rep in a spectacular 1922 Greco-Roman-themed palace designed by Timothy L. Pflueger. After a long absence a refurbished Castro, with new seats, reopens this week. Evening intermissions feature David Hegarty or Bill McCoy on the Mighty Wurlitzer.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Closed for remodeling.
MONDAY: The San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus performs "Home for the Holidays," its 13th annual concert. Call 865-3650 for ticket availability. $15 5, 7, 9 p.m.
STARTS TUESDAY: A new print of John Waters' Female Trouble (1974), starring Divine; this remastered "special edition" screens through Jan. 1 2, 4:30, 7, 9:20 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143, www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. Berkeley's innovatively programmed art house puts on some of the most conceptually daring double bills in town.
WEDNESDAY: David Lynch tries out linear narrative in the well-made The Straight Story (1999; 7:30 p.m.), with an excellent performance, his last, by Richard Farnsworth. It screens with Jay Capela's cute short film Breathe and is followed by Chris Smith's American Movie (2000; 9:35 p.m.; also Sun 5:25 p.m.), a documentary about a man's desperate efforts to complete his no-budget horror film in Menomonee Falls, Wis.
THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: The fifth annual Footage Dance Festival screens dance films from all over the world 7:30 p.m. Tony Gatlif's Gadjo Dilo (France, 1997; 9:15 p.m.; also Sun 5:35 p.m.), about a young ethnomusicologist who falls in with Romanian Gypsies.
STARTS MONDAY: Closed for the holidays, through Jan. 1.
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. Closed Mondays and Christmas.
DAILY (save as noted): Richard Quine's Bell, Book and Candle (1958), starring James Stewart and Kim Novak the same year they teamed in Vertigo, also features Jack Lemmon in this glossy comedy of magic. Screens through Dec. 30 6, 8 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. $7.50.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Veit Helmer's Tuvalu (Germany, 1999); see Ongoing for review 5, 7:10, 9:30 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Dec. 21-27): That Turnadot is fair play for Zhang Yimou and Zubin Mehta's collaboration on Rossini's opera is the burden of Allan Miller's documentary The Turandot Project (Italy/China, 2001). See Opening for review 5:10, 7:25, 9:45 p.m.; also Fri-Sun 12:30, 2:45 p.m.
PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE
2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu. $7, second show $1.50. The East Bay mecca for film scholars, part of UC's Berkeley Art Museum, thrives at its on-campus location, up the steps on Bancroft between Telegraph Avenue and the Hearst Gym.
DAILY: Theater closed through Jan. 3.
1834 Park (at Lake Merritt), Oakland, (510) 814-2400, www.picturepubpizza.com. $5 save as noted. Pizza, beer, and movies on two screens. Call theater for programs, booked a week in advance. The Parkway also offers occasional scheduled special programs.
THURSDAY (Dec. 20): Bob Clark's droll adaption of the late Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story (1983) displays some of the childlike wit that might as well have been applied to Harry Potter. $6 6:30, 9:15 p.m.
SATURDAY (Dec. 22): The first annual Blackdot Ritual Film Festival screens two 35mm works in its inaugural year, films devoted to "the SPIRIT of different folks in the African Diaspora." Today, Sankofa (Haile Gerima, Burkina Faso, 1993), about a fashion model transported to the age of the slave trade while visiting modern Africa. For more info on this series call (510) 553-6629 or e-mail email@example.com 3 p.m.
SUNDAY (Dec. 23): Free projection-TV screenings of afternoon NFL football games continue through Dec. 30 noon-4 p.m. Blackdot Festival - Two women are mysteriously bound in Maanagamizi (Martin Mhando and Ron Mulvihill, Tanzania/U.S., 2000), billed as a "spiritual journey" 3:30 p.m.
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.finc.org. $8 save as noted. This three-screen repertory theater is operated by the Film Institute of Northern California. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Charles Laughton's scary, faux-naif thriller The Night of the Hunter (1955) 7 p.m. The Business of Strangers (Patrick Stettner, 2001) 7:15, 9:15 p.m. The Endurance (George Butler, 2000) 9 p.m.
WEDNESDAY: The fifth annual Footage Dance Film Festival screens dance films from all over the world 7, 9:15 p.m.
THURSDAY: A preview of Jessie Nelson's i am sam (2001), with Nelson and star Sean Penn in person 6:45 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: The Business of Strangers, The Endurance, and Bread and Tulips (Silvio Soldini, Italy, 2000); call for times.
FRIDAY: A "Happy Judy Hollidays" series of comedies featuring the talented star of the 1950s commences with her Oscar-winning turn as the dumb blonde who learns the merits of democracy in playwright Garson Kanin's Born Yesterday (George Cukor, 1950). Holliday's card game alone is worth the price of admission 7 p.m.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY: In memory of George Harrison, A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester, 1964) 2:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: "Happy Judy Hollidays" - Kanin and Cukor's parable of excess and success It Should Happen to You (1954), one of Holliday's best vehicles, and Jack Lemmon's debut 2:15, 7 p.m.
SUNDAY: "Happy Judy Hollidays" - Frank Capra's little man formula of the 1930s is reworked for the businesslike 1950s as Holliday plays a lone stockholder who takes on a corrupt corporation in The Solid Gold Cadillac (Richard Quine, 1956) 2:15, 7 p.m.
MONDAY: Theater closed.
TUESDAY: "Happy Judy Hollidays" - Holliday was thrown a key supporting role in a benevolent conspiracy to build up her career in the splendid Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn vehicle Adam's Rib (Cukor, 1949), written by Kanin and his wife, Ruth Gordon 7 p.m.
1727 Haight (at Cole), 668-3994, www.redvicmoviehouse.com. $6.50 save as noted. There's a spot on the couch for you at this collectively owned rep house.
WEDNESDAY: Francesco Toboada's documentary portrait of the survivors of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, The Last Zapatistas, Forgotten Heroes (Mexico, 2001) 2, 7:30, 9:15 p.m.
THURSDAY: A bereaved family's suit against Judas Priest over two teenagers' suicide pact is the subject of David Van Taylor's documentary Dream Deceivers (1991) 7:30, 9:15 p.m.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: The true story of how a cover band's lead singer stepped into a regular gig with Judas Priest was converted by Hollywood into Rock Star (Stephen Herek, 2001), starring Mark Wahlberg as a copier repairman turned superstar 7:15, 9:35 p.m.; also Sat 2, 4:20 p.m.
SUNDAY: Ron Fricke's global "breath of life" documentary Baraka (1992) 7:15, 9:30 p.m.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Closed.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $7 save as noted. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.A.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Sydney Macartney's A Love Divided (Ireland, 2000). See Ongoing for review 7, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2, 4:30 p.m.
FRIDAY & SATURDAY: Baz Luhrmann's MTV-ized version of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet (1996), with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the doomed lovers 2, 4:30, 7, 9:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Vincent (Australia/France, 1998), Paul Cox's epistolary portrait of Vincent van Gogh, drawn from his letters, as spoken by John Hurt 2, 4:30, 7, 9:15 p.m.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Michael Curtiz's beloved wartime romance Casablanca (1942), not due for a remake anytime soon, we hope 2, 4:30, 7 p.m.; also Tues 9:15 p.m.
2230 Shattuck (at Kittredge), Berkeley, (510) 843-3456, www.landmarktheatres.com. $8.25. This venerable theater usually gives over one of its eight screens to repertory programming, although calendar screenings end this week, not to resume until January. For the rest of the Shattuck's schedule, see our Showtimes page.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Veit Helmer's Tuvalu (Germany, 1999); see Ongoing for review 1, 3, 5:10, 7:20, 9:25 p.m.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection and a courteous staff. A series of British detective mysteries and spy thrillers concludes, followed by a Christmas Eve tradition.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Closed.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: David Lean's This Happy Breed (U.K., 1944; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 4:15 p.m.) spans 20 years of British life, from 1919 to 1939, as personified by Robert Newton, Celia Johnson, John Mills, Kay Walsh, and Stanley Holloway. It screens with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce as Holmes and Watson in Terror by Night (Roy William Neill, 1946; 6:20, 9:35 p.m.).
MONDAY: The Stanford's annual Christmas Eve screening of Frank Capra's sentimental masterpiece It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Check now for advance tickets - this program sells out 9 p.m.
YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS
701 Mission (at Third Street, in Yerba Buena Gardens), 978-2787, www.YerbaBuenaArts.org. $5 save as noted. This venue's Screening Room is a home for film and video programs of all sorts. Closed Mondays and Christmas.
DAILY: "Directors of the Board," video screenings of short films about skateboarding, plays thrice daily through Jan. 27. Free with YBCA admission noon, 2:05, 4:15 p.m.
FRIDAY (Dec. 21): A series devoted to some of Elizabeth Taylor's more eccentric productions of the 1960s concludes with Joseph Losey's Secret Ceremony (1968), with Taylor a prostitute convinced Mia Farrow is her daughter. Also stars Robert Mitchum. $6 7:30, 9:45 p.m.