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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345 Bush (at Polk), 775-7755, www.afsf.com. French-language films shown on projected video. $5 donation.
WEDNESDAY (Jan. 29): Gérard Depardieu, Michel Blanc, and Philippe Noiret star in Claude Berri's drama about the immediate postwar period in a small French town, Uranus (1990) 7 p.m.
SATURDAY (Feb. 1): Uranus 2 p.m.
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.
FRIDAY (Jan. 31): "He Who Hits First, Hits Twice," a program of political agitprop by the late Cuban director Santiago Alvarez, includes Now (1965); Cerro Pelado (1966), about the attempted participation of a Cuban sports team in a Puerto Rico competition; Hanoi Martes 13 (1967), filmed during one day of U.S. bombing; and LBJ (1968) 8 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.
DAILY: John Junkerman's Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Times (2003) 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 p.m.
FINE ARTS CINEMA
2451 Shattuck (at Haste), Berkeley, (510) 848-1143 and www.fineartscinema.com. $7 save as noted. A winter season concludes this week for this innovatively programmed art house, which closes Sunday till further notice.
WEDNESDAY: 1960s indie filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler, in person with Wild Guitar (1962; 7 p.m.), starring Steckler as a sleazy promoter, and Wild Ones on Wheels (1962; 9:15 p.m.), with Steckler as "Cash Flagg," biker hero. Hosted by Will the Thrill and Monica the Tiki Goddess, direct from the Parkway.
THURSDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: Two films about two guys stuck deep in their ruts, Harold Ramis' comedy Groundhog Day (1993; 7 p.m.) and Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980; 8:55 p.m.; also Sun 4:20 p.m.). All work and no play; don't say you weren't warned.
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: Mira Nair's colorful Monsoon Wedding (India, 2001) screens through Feb. 9 6:15, 8:15, 10:15 p.m.
510 Larkin (at Turk), 820-3907, www.sfindie.com. This "Rock 'n' Roll DJ Bar" offers an "SF IndieFest MicroCinema" Mondays through Fridays. All screenings are followed by DJ music at 10 p.m. Free.
WEDNESDAY: Ramones-obsessed teenager P.J. Soles and her friends ultimately burn down their Rock and Roll High School (Allan Arkush, Joe Dante, 1979) 8 p.m.
THURSDAY: Shaun Peterson's black comedy about relationships, Living in Missouri (2001) 8 p.m.
FRIDAY: A documentary about Wesley Willis, a popular Chicago musician with schizophrenia, The Daddy of Rock 'n Roll 8 p.m.
MONDAY: Buster Keaton's marital mix-up Seven Chances (1925) 8 p.m.
TUESDAY: Peter Jackson's underrated fantasy The Frighteners (1996) 8 p.m.
601 Van Ness (at Golden Gate), 352-0810, www.landmarktheatres.com. 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.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Samira Makhmalbaf's Blackboards (Iran, 2000). See Ongoing for review. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Jan. 31-Feb. 6): Dana Janklowicz-Mann and Amir Mann's Shanghai Ghetto (2002). See Opening for review. Call for times. Filmmakers in person Jan. 31 and Feb. 2.
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.
WEDNESDAY: A UCB film history class open to the public offers an introduction to "Early Cinema" by professor Marilyn Fabe 3 p.m. A video program, "Pro/Found," with works by Brian Boyce, Jacqueline Goss, and others manipulating found sights and sounds 7:30 p.m.
THURSDAY: A series of new prints of films from postwar Germany continues with two by Helmut Käutner, Sky Without Stars (1955; 7 p.m.), a drama of two lovers separated by the East-West line, and a retrospective of the Nazi era narrated by a car (!), In Those Days (1947; 8:30 p.m.).
FRIDAY: Two postwar German dramas of World War II -- juvenile soldiers standing at The Bridge (Bernhard Wicki, 1959; 7 p.m.) and a film about an army deserter, Kirmes (Wolfgang Staudte, 1960; 9:05 p.m.).
SATURDAY: In Hollywood, Robert Siodmak directed such key films noir as Phantom Lady and Crisscross; back in Germany, he made the noirish The Devil Strikes at Night (1957; 7 p.m.), about the hunt for a serial killer, and My Schoolmate (1960; 9:05 p.m.), whose hapless protagonist was a classmate of Hermann Goering.
SUNDAY: A Children's Film Festival screening of Help! I'm a Boy! (Oliver Dommenget, Germany, 2002), about two 11-year-olds who switch sexes. English subtitles read aloud 1 p.m. For teenagers -- the 5th Bay Area High School Fest 3 p.m. Two postwar German comedies, Aren't We Wonderful? (Kurt Hoffmann, 1958; 5:30 p.m.) and Film Without a Title (Rudolf Jugert, 1948; 7:40 p.m.).
TUESDAY: "Absolute Animation and Graphic Cinema," experimental classics by Harry Smith, Jordan Belson, Robert Breer, Peter Kubelka, and Stan Brakhage 7:30 p.m.
2025 Broadway (at 20th Street), Oakland, (510) 465-6400, www.paramounttheatre.com. $5. This beautifully restored picture palace's ongoing "Movie Classics Series" regularly includes a feature plus a newsreel, cartoon, previews, and a few spins of the Dec-O-Win prize wheel.
FRIDAY (Jan. 31): Sean Connery takes on Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) 8 p.m.
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 (Jan. 30): Ray Dennis Steckler, tributed Wednesday at the Fine Arts, celebrates his birthday at the Parkway by screening his Batman satire Rat Pfink a Boo Boo (1967), Goofs on the Loose (1960), and The Lemon Grove Kids Go Hollywood (1967). $7 9:15 p.m.
TUESDAY (Feb. 4): Oakland filmmaker Chris Horvath's Leisure (2001), about five childhood friends on a hot summer's day at Cato's bar on Piedmont. Digital video; filmmaker in person 9:15 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. $8.50 save as noted. This three-screen repertory theater is operated by the California Film Institute. Programs are complex; check carefully and call for confirmation.
WEDNESDAY: "For Your Consideration," a series screening Best Foreign Film nominees from several countries, shows the Czech comedy Wild Bees (Bohdan Sláma, 2001) 7 p.m. A French-Canadian comedy-adventure about a womanizing cameraman, Soft Shell Man (André Turpin, 2001) 9:15 p.m. Also, Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, Australia, 2002) 6:45, 8:45 p.m. Rivers and Tides (Thomas Riedelsheimer, Germany, 2001) 6:30 p.m. Doris Dörrie's Naked (Nackt) (Germany, 2002) 8:30 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.
THURSDAY: Wild Bees 7 p.m. Standing in the Shadows of Motown (Paul Justman, 2002); see Ongoing for review 9 p.m. Rabbit-Proof Fence 6:45, 8:45 p.m. Rivers and Tides 6:30 p.m. Naked (Nackt) 8:30 p.m.
STARTS FRIDAY: Lost in La Mancha (Keith Fulton, Luis Pepe, U.K., 2002) and Shanghai Ghetto (Dana Janklowicz-Mann, Amir Mann, 2002); see Opening for reviews. Standing in the Shadows of Motown, Rabbit-Proof Fence, and Rivers and Tides continue. Call theater for times.
SUNDAY: "Beyond Borders," an international children's series, screens Long Live the Queen! (Esmé Lammers, Netherlands, 1995), about a young girl who thinks her unknown father is a chess champion. English subtitles read over earphones 1 p.m. A weekly Pre-Code Hollywood series introduced by Mick LaSalle begins with Ernst Lubitsch's witty and delightful The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), screening in an archival print 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 THROUGH SATURDAY: American Mullet (Jennifer Arnold, 2002) documents the history of a truly awful hairstyle 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m., Sat 2, 4 p.m.
SUNDAY & MONDAY: Mikhail Kalazov's eye-popping agitprop I Am Cuba (U.S.S.R., 1964) 8 p.m.; also Sun 2, 5 p.m.
TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY (Feb. 4 & 5): Matt Ehling's Urban Warrior (2002) documents the incursion of military battle techniques into American cities 7:15, 9:15 p.m.; also Wed 2 p.m.
3117 16th St. (at Valencia), 863-1087, www.roxie.com. $8. Short-run repertory in one of the most adventurously programmed theaters in the U.S.A.
WEDNESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY: Uli Edel's glum tale of urban degradation Last Exit to Brooklyn (1989) 7, 9:30 p.m.; also Wed & Sat 2, 4:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Richard Brooks' docudrama In Cold Blood (1967), from the true tale as told by Truman Capote 1:30, 4:15, 7, 9:40 p.m.
MONDAY & TUESDAY: A serial killer's spree is recorded and embellished by a camera crew in Remy Belvaux's Man Bites Dog (Belgium, 1992) 7, 9:15 p.m.
2230 Shattuck (at Kittredge), Berkeley, (510) 843-3456, www.landmarktheatres.com. $9. This venerable theater assigns one of its eight screens to repertory programming. For the rest of the Shattuck's schedule, see our Showtimes page.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Samira Makhmalbaf's Blackboards (Iran, 2000). See Ongoing for review. Call for times.
FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Jan. 31-Feb. 6): Dana Janklowicz-Mann and Amir Mann's Shanghai Ghetto (2002). See Opening for review. Call for times. Filmmakers in person Feb. 1.
221 University (at Emerson), Palo Alto, (650) 324-3700, www.stanfordtheatre.org. $6. This handsomely restored neighborhood palace usually screens pre-1960 Hollywood fare in the best available prints, with excellent projection and a courteous staff.
WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: The joint is Bogarted by The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946; 7:30 p.m.) and Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942; 5:35, 9:35 p.m.).
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY: A pair of tough early noirs, with the tiny pair of Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake -- This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942; 7:30 p.m.; also Sat & Sun 4:10 p.m.) and The Blue Dahlia (George Marshall, 1946; 5:40, 9:05 p.m.).
MONDAY & TUESDAY: Theater closed.
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.
DAILY: Continuous loop screenings by Swedish video artists through April 13 -- On Wednesdays, Annka Ström's The Artist Live; on Thursdays, Ström's Ten New Love Songs; on Fridays, Anneè Olofsson's Ricochet and The Thrill Is Gone; on Saturdays, Annika Larsson's Cigar; on Sundays, Larsson's 40-15; on Tuesdays, Anneè Olofsson's You Need Her and You Want Her Golden Hair. Free with gallery admission 11 a.m.-5 p.m.