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WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY: Beautiful Boxer (Ekachai Uekrongtham, Thailand, 2003) 4:15, 7, 9:35 p.m.

STARTS FRIDAY: Call theater for program.

MECHANICS' INSTITUTE LIBRARY

57 Post (near Market), 393-0100 and www.milibrary.org for information; phone or e-mail rsvp@milibrary.org for reservations. $7. This cultural asset of long standing continues a documentary film series. Shown on projected video, with salon-style discussions to follow.

FRIDAY (Jan. 28): SF Weekly contributor Michael Fox's four-week series on "The Contemporary Documentary: Cultural Icons" concludes with what Fox describes as Bruce Weber's "melancholy ode to jazz musician Chet Baker ... one of the most beautiful documentaries ever made," Let's Get Lost (1988) 6:30 p.m.

NILES ESSANAY SILENT FILM MUSEUM

Edison Theater, 37395 Niles Boulevard (near G St.), Fremont, (510) 494-1411 and www.nilesfilmmuseum.org. A weekly "Saturday Night at the Movies" series screens silent films in this historic theater. $5.

SATURDAY (Jan. 29): Colleen Moore stars in Broken Hearts of Broadway (Irving Cummings, 1923), a drama with a great cast now known only to buffs: Alice White, Tully Marshall, leading man Johnny Walker 7:30 p.m.

OPERA PLAZA

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: A Korean anime, Sky Blue (Moon Sang Kim, 2003); see Ongoing for review 2:15, 5, 7:30, 9:50 p.m.

FRIDAY THROUGH THURSDAY (Jan. 28-Feb. 2): After visiting purgatory, Jean-Luc Godard climbs to heaven in Notre Musique (France, 2004); see Opening for review. Call for times.

PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE

2575 Bancroft (at Bowditch), Berkeley, (510) 642-1124, 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 UCB film history class open to the public and taught by Marilyn Fabe opens with a program on film's early history, "From the Cinema of Attractions to Narrative Illusionism" with films screened by Thomas Edison, the Lumière Brothers, Edwin S. Porter, and D.W. Griffith 3 p.m. A weekly "Games People Play" series continues with G4M3RS: Clans, Mods, and a Cultural Revolution (Kiyash Monsef, 2003), a documentary about the multiplayer computer game Counter-Strike and its subculture clashes. Gaming party to follow at gLAB, a cyber game center across the street from the PFA 7:30 p.m.

THURSDAY: "The Whole Equation," a series promoting historian David Thomson's new book of the same name, continues with P.T. Anderson's San Fernando Valley epic Magnolia (1999) 7 p.m.

FRIDAY: "The Whole Equation" -- Two intelligent unheralded favorites of Thomson's, Daisy Kenyon (Otto Preminger, 1947; 7 p.m.) -- Joan Crawford torn between Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda -- and Anthony Mann's excellent Korean War drama Men in War (1957; 9 p.m.).

SATURDAY: "The Whole Equation" -- Two fine films by Vincente Minnelli, evergreen seasonal favorite Meet Me in St. Louis (1944; 5 p.m.) and the Hollywood melodrama The Bad and the Beautiful (1952; 9:05 p.m.).

SUNDAY: "The Whole Equation" -- Michael Mann's cop and criminal drama Heat (1980), all 172 minutes of glass and steel fun 5 p.m.

MONDAY: A "Buddhism and Film" series, offering lectures by Robert Sharif and screenings of relevant films, continues with Waking Life (2001), Richard Linklater's hand-painted philosophical adventure 3 p.m.

TUESDAY: "JPEX," a series of Japanese experimental films, concludes with recent video and film work, including Junko Wada's Peach Baby Oil (1995), Tatsu Aoki's Decades Passed (2003) and Ichiro Sueoka's A flick film in which there appear Liz and Franky, is composed under the score of ARNULF RAINER by P. Kubelka on NTSC (2000) 7:30 p.m.

PARAMOUNT

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. 28): John Huston's faithful take on Dashiell Hammett's crime classic The Maltese Falcon (1941). Doors open at 7 p.m. , film at 8 p.m.

PARKWAY

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. 27): The candy-colored clown they call the sandman invites you to David Lynch's Blue Velvet (1986), with trivia and "no warm beer." $6 9:15 p.m.

MIDNIGHT SHOW (Saturday): The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975), with live performance by Barely Legal. $6. See Ongoing for review.

RAFAEL FILM CENTER

1118 Fourth St. (at A Street), San Rafael, 454-1222, www.cafilm.org. $9 save as noted. This three-screen repertory theater, now 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: Travellers & Magicians (Khyentse Norbu, Bhutan, 2003) 7, 9:15 p.m. Short Cut to Nirvana (Maurizio Benazzo and Nick Day, 2004) 6:30 p.m. Kinsey (Bill Condon, 2004) 8:30 p.m. See Ongoing for reviews.

WEDNESDAY: "Global Lens," an international film series of new works intended to "promote cross-cultural understanding through cinema," continues with the sock factory comedy Whisky (Rebella and Stoll, Uruguay) 6:45 p.m. An actress takes up prostitution in Today and Tomorrow (Chomski, Argentina) 9 p.m.

THURSDAY: "Global Lens" -- A promised visit by President Clinton lights a Bosnian Fuse (Zalica) 6:45 p.m. An unemployed cook dons drag to find work in Lili's Apron (Galperin, Argentina) 9 p.m.

FRIDAY THROUGH TUESDAY: Travellers & Magicians, Short Cut to Nirvana, and Kinsey continue. Call for times.

FRIDAY: "Global Lens" -- A boy leads two water buffalo on a dangerous trek in Buffalo Boy (Minh, Vietnam) 6:45 p.m. Whisky 9 p.m.

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