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Arthouse Movie Listings May 21-27, 2014 

Wednesday, May 21 2014
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Berkeley Community Media. HeroFest 2014: Put away those reading glasses, Professor! You won't need 'em at this eighth annual festival of short action, sci-fi, superhero, and kung fu mini-movies by regional filmmakers. Here the budgets are low, the body counts are high, and entertainment value is all that counts. Sun., May 25, 7 p.m. $10. torridproductions.com/herofest. 2239 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, 510-848-2288, www.betv.org.

The Castro Theatre. Grease Sing-A-Long: The Castro invites you to spend your Memorial Day weekend by taking a trip down Memory Lane with Danny, Sandy, the T-Birds, the Pink Ladies, and the rest of the gang at Rydell High. May 23-26. $10-$16. 429 Castro, San Francisco, 621-6120, www.castrotheatre.com.

Clay Theatre. God's Pocket: John Slattery (Mad Men's Roger Sterling) makes his directorial debut with this dramedy starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, John Turturro, and Richard Jenkins. Daily. Locke: Tom Hardy (Bronson, The Dark Knight Rises) owns the screen — no, really, he's the only one on it for the entire length of the movie — in this tightly focused drama from the man who penned Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things. Daily. Ida: Director Pawel Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland for this solemn drama that's haunted by the spectres of its nation's complicitous history. Starting May 23. Daily. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom: Three midnight screenings give you three chances to atone for that pre-fridge-nuking time when you insisted this was the worst Indiana Jones movie. May 23-25, 11:59 p.m. $10. 2261 Fillmore, San Francisco, 267-4893, www.landmarktheatres.com/Market/SanFrancisco/SanFrancisco_Frameset.htm.

Dark Room Theater. Bad Movie Night: Sahara: Hosts Jim Fourniadis, Rose Lacy, and Tristan Buckner revisit a time before Dallas Buyers Club and Mud ... before True Detective and Killer Joe ... and before even Magic Mike ... to recall when Matthew McConaughey embarrassed himself in sub-Indiana Jones roles like this. Sun., May 25, 8 p.m. $6.99. 2263 Mission, San Francisco, 401-7987, www.darkroomsf.com.

Embarcadero Center Cinema. Only Lovers Left Alive: Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton play longer-than-longtime lovers in Jim Jarmusch's atmospheric art-house take on the vampire movie genre. Daily. The Railway Man: Colin Firth stars in this screen adaptation of British Army officer Eric Lomax's memoir about struggling to overcome memories of wartime torture at the hands of the Japanese. Daily. Belle: Austenesque costume drama meets the decidedly inelegant subject of 18th century slavery in this true-life tale of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a British Admiral. Daily. Palo Alto: If you missed its debut at this year's S.F. International Film Festival, here's another chance to catch young Gia Coppola's moody cinematic adaptation of James Franco's book about an adolescence spent in you-know-where. Daily. Fading Gigolo: John Turturro and Woody Allen star in Turturro's new comedy that is, despite initial appearances, not actually a Woody Allen film. Daily. Fed Up: Director Stephanie Soechtig and producer/narrator Katie Couric take on the American food industry in this documentary that boldly aims to "change the way you eat forever." Starting May 23. Daily. Chinese Puzzle: After previous sojourns in Spain and Russia, French homme-du-monde Xavier (Romain Duris) comes to NYC's Chinatown for more photogenic escapades in the latest bourgeois-bohemian comedy from writer/director Cédric Klapisch. Starting May 23. Daily. 1 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, 267-4893, www.landmarktheatres.com/market/SanFrancisco/EmbarcaderoCenterCinema.htm.

Exploratorium. Saturday Cinema: Weekly thematic film screenings presented in the Kanbar Forum by the Exploratorium's Cinema Arts program. Saturdays. Free with museum admission. Pier 15, San Francisco, 528-4444, www.exploratorium.edu.

Japan Society of Northern California. Hafu: Documentary exploring the sociocultural complexities of life as a mixed-race member of Japanese society. Wed., May 21, 6:30 p.m. $10-$15. 500 Washington, San Francisco, 986-4383, www.usajapan.org.

New Parkway Theater. The Ghosts in Our Machine: The Animal Defense Legal Fund presents the Bay Area premiere of this documentary examining the effect of global animal industries, with director/producer Liz Marshall in attendance for an audience Q&A session. Fri., May 23, 6:30 p.m. $10. theghostsinourmachine.com. 474 24th St., Oakland.

Opera Plaza Cinemas. The Gálapagos Affair: With a subtitle like "Satan Came to Eden," you know things will almost certainly go awry in this documentary about pre-WWII Europeans who attempted to escape society in the wilds of the Gálapagos Islands — but soon learned you can never truly escape the human beast. Daily. Finding Vivian Maier: John Maloof and Charlie Siskel's documentary portrait of a shy, emotionally troubled nanny who also happened to be a highly talented photographer whose art remained a secret until after her death. Daily. The German Doctor: Director Lucía Puenzo adapts her own speculative novel about what might have happened while notorious concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele lived under an assumed name in 1960s South America. Daily. Tasting Menu: European ensemble comedy for those with light appetites. Daily. The Double: Dostoyevsky's novella becomes a black comedy with Jesse Eisenberg as a timid office drone taunted by his cocky lookalike in this ever brisk and intricately wry film. Daily. Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case: Documentary about the famed Chinese dissident artist. May 23-29. 601 Van Ness, San Francisco, 777-3456, www.landmarktheatres.com/market/SanFrancisco/OperaPlazaCinema.htm.

Roxie Theater. Documented: Filmmaker (and Pulitzer-winning journalist) Jose Antonio Vargas appears in person to present a Thursday sneak preview of his documentary about being a gay — and undocumented — Filipino-American, with regular daily screenings during the week that follows. Through May 22. $7.50-$10. documentedthefilm.com. I Wake Up Dreaming 2014: Dark Treasures from the Warner Archive: The Roxie turns back the clock for 10 days of rare film noir and vintage crime movies from 1932-1965. Through May 25, 6:30 p.m. $12. Breastmilk: Dana Ben-Ari makes her directorial debut with this documentary about one of the most common — yet most infrequently discussed — bodily functions. The filmmaker also appears in person at select screenings on Friday and Saturday. May 23-29. Frequencies: British indie drama infused with a dose of sci-fi from first-time director Darren Paul Fischer. Mon., May 26, 7 & 9 p.m. Looking for Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders: Documentary about the influential proto-punk guitarist from the New York Dolls. Tue., May 27, 7:15 & 9:30 p.m. 3117 16th St., San Francisco, 863-1087, www.roxie.com.

Sundance Kabuki Cinemas. Grand Opera Cinema Series: The S.F. Opera presents a filmed recording of its 2007 production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mon., May 26, 7:15 p.m. $10.25-$14. sfopera.com. 1881 Post, San Francisco, 346-3243, www.sundancecinemas.com/kabuki.html.

Tides Theatre. Des Voix ... Found in Translation Biennial 2014: Cinema Series: Cutting Ball Theater and the Playwrights Foundation present screenings of French films corresponding with the Des Voix ... Found in Translation festival of new French plays. Sun., May 25, 5:30 p.m. $10. desvoixfestival.com. 533 Sutter, San Francisco, 399-1322, www.tidestheatre.org.

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Astonishing Animation: The Films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli: Monthlong 35mm retrospective of the beloved Japanese filmmaker, with all your favorite cat buses, wolf gods, sky castles, and other fantastic creations paying a visit. Thu., May 22; Sat., May 24; Sun., May 25; Thu., May 29; Sat., May 31; Sun., June 1. $8-$10. 701 Mission, San Francisco, 978-2787, www.ybca.org.

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