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.
SATURDAY (Dec. 7): Other Cinema marks Pearl Harbor Day with a program on Japanese disasters -- Bad Luck (Christophe Draeger, Martin Frei, 2002), a meditation on Hiroshima, the Aum Shinrikyo subway poisoning, and other acts of mass destruction; and an anime produced by the Japanese navy in World War II to bolster war morale 8:30 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: A new print of the perennially popular Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952), now in Dolby. You can hear every raindrop! 2, 4:30, 7, 9:20 p.m.
THURSDAY: A series on the men of Pre-Code Hollywood films, timed to coincide with the publication of Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle's new book Dangerous Men, commences with the two key early gangster films Scarface (Howard Hawks, 1932; 7:10 p.m.) and The Public Enemy (William Wellman, 1931; 9 p.m.), with an apelike Paul Muni and a freewheeling James Cagney, respectively.
FRIDAY: LaSalle introduces the all-star MGM melodrama Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding, 1931; 7 p.m.), with the Barrymore brothers and Wallace Beery, to be followed by the entertaining Dinner at Eight (George Cukor, 1933), with Lionel Barrymore, Beery, and Lee Tracy.
SATURDAY: Walter Huston's a genially corrupt president possessed by God in Gregory LaCava's still amazing Gabriel Over the White House (1933; 3:30, 7:20 p.m.), screening with Huston as a prison warden in The Criminal Code (Hawks, 1931; 1:30, 5:20, 9:10 p.m.).
SUNDAY: Two Depression-themed musicals with justly celebrated numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley -- Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933; 3:05, 7:10 p.m.) and Footlight Parade (Lloyd Bacon, 1933; 1, 5:05, 9 p.m.).
MONDAY: Warren William, a sleazy middle-aged con artist, is spotlit in three films, introduced by LaSalle at the first show of the evening -- Bedside (Robert Florey, 1934; 6:30 p.m.), The Mind Reader (Roy Del Ruth, 1933; 8 p.m.), and Employees' Entrance (Del Ruth, 1933; 9:25 p.m.).
TUESDAY: Two of "Wild Bill" Wellman's best Depression-themed films, Heroes for Sale (1933; 6:30 p.m.), with Richard Barthelmess as a drug-addicted veteran, and Wild Boys of the Road (1933; 8:15 p.m.), about teens hopping trains. As a bonus, Paul Muni stars in the fact-based prison drama I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (LeRoy, 1932; 9:35 p.m.).
FILM ARTS FOUNDATION
145 Ninth St. (between Mission and Howard), 552-8760, http://www.filmarts.org/events.html for this program. Note the new location for this venerable helpmate for local filmmakers.
FRIDAY (Dec. 6): "Meet Your Maker," a free Film Arts networking event, offers viewers a chance to connect with local indie filmmakers with two programs of shorts curated by Artists' Television Access and Intersection for the Arts, plus an open house and $2 drinks. Free 7:30 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143 and www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. A fall season continues for this innovatively programmed art house.
WEDNESDAY: Two tales from the north of England, a mock history of the Manchester music scene, 24 Hour Party People (Michael Winterbottom, U.K., 2002; 7 p.m.), and the justly celebrated hard-boiled thriller Get Carter (Mike Hodges, U.K., 1971; 9:10 p.m.), the good one with Michael Caine. Also, a special late-night show, with separate admission, of Pascal Le Gras' music video for the band The Fall 11:15 p.m.
THURSDAY: "Twisters Vintage Holiday Xtravaganza" offers "fashion, film, music and fun" from 7-11 p.m.
FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY (Dec. 6-11): A double bill of restored prints of two atmospheric French films, Julien Duvivier's Pepe Le Moko (1937; 7 p.m.) and Jacques Demy's Bay of Angels (1963; 8:45 p.m.; also Sun 5:25 p.m.), about gambling with love and fate.
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.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: The Band and some of their friends perform and chat in Martin Scorsese's The Last Waltz (1979), screening through Dec. 8 6:15, 8:30 p.m.; also Fri & Sat 11 p.m.
MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY
57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 or e-mail email@example.com for reservations (required) and information. $5. This cultural asset of long standing offers an ongoing "CinemaLit" series of projected video of classics, with salon-style discussions after the films.
FRIDAY (Dec. 6): The last film of the current season is W.S. Van Dyke's After the Thin Man (1936), with James Stewart in an early role and of course William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Asta 6:30 p.m.
Action Theater, Second Floor, 101 Fourth St. (at Mission), 369-6098. Sony hosts screenings of popular anime series from Bandai Entertainment this month. Free.
FRIDAY (Dec. 6): "The last line of defense against Talpa and his evil supernatural army" -- Ronin Warriors, Volume 1 5-9 p.m.
SATURDAY (Dec. 7): Ronin Warriors, Volumes 2 through 4, continuously from 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. Taking over from the Lumiere this fall season, this multiplex is only partly a "calendar house" rep theater. For the rest of the Opera Plaza's schedule, see our Showtimes page. $8.75.