Guardian Staff Writers

Under $10 gift guide: Neighborly love

We call it purposeful goodwill: buttering up that cranky elder downstairs with a well-thought-out something around the holidays. Maybe next time you throw a rager, your neighbor will call you before the cops?

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Our Holiday Guide "neighborhood" is Cookie Dough, who plays Sofia Petrillo in the now-classic annual drag queen production of The Golden Girls: The Christmas Episodes. The show runs Dec. 6-30, get your tickets at goldengirlssf.eventbrite.com

>>CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR HOLIDAY GUIDE FOR MORE CHEAP GIFTS, THINGS TO DO, ALTERNATIVE CHEERRead more »

Under $10 gift guide: Thank you for being a friend

Presents for your best bud don't have to be major. Give them something to make the bike rides you share brighter or beermaking burlier. And when in doubt: bear socks.

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Serving time as "friend" for the Holiday Guide photoshoot, Guardian intern George McIntire exudes bike-buddy realness

>>CHECK OUT THE REST OF OUR HOLIDAY GUIDE FOR MORE CHEAP GIFTS, THINGS TO DO, ALTERNATIVE CHEER

LED REAR LIGHT, $9.99

Show your bike gang member you care with the gift of safety. What are you, their mom?

Nomad Cyclery, 2555 Irving, SF. www.nomadcyclery.comRead more »

'Holy Motors' and everything else: new movies

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This week: Keira Knightley takes on a classic, but Jennifer Lawrence proves more worthy of leading-lady praise in a decidedly contemporary tale. Also, The Twilight Saga takes its fangs and goes home (at last), and HOLY MOTORS HOLY MOTORS HOLY MOTORS.

Anna Karenina Joe Wright broke out of British TV with the 9,000th filmed Pride and Prejudice (2005), unnecessary but quite good. Too bad it immediately went to his head. His increasing showiness as director enlivened the silly teenage-superspy avenger fantasy Hanna (2011), but it started to get in the way of Atonement (2007), a fine book didn't need camera gymnastics to make a great movie. Now it's completely sunk a certified literary masterpiece still waiting for a worthy film adaptation. Keira Knightley plays the titular 19th century St. Petersburg aristocrat whose staid, happy-enough existence as a doting mother and dutiful wife (to deglammed Jude Law's honorable but neglectful Karenin) is upended when she enters a mutually passionate affair with dashing military officer Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson, miscast). Scandal and tragedy ensue.

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Stage Listings

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Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

THEATER

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Film Listings

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Film listings are edited by Cheryl Eddy. Reviewers are Kimberly Chun, Dennis Harvey, Lynn Rapoport, and Sara Vizcarrondo. For rep house showtimes, see Rep Clock.

DOCFEST

The 11th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival runs through Nov 21 at the Brava Theater, 2781 24th St, SF; Roxie, 3117 16th St, SF; and Shattuck Cinema, 2230 Shattuck, SF. Tickets (most films $10-12) and complete schedule at www.sfindie.com. Read more »

Presidents, secret agents, and true stories galore: new movies!

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The election is over and, thank Zeus, good defeated evil. So you can stop making snarky Romney gifs and turn your attentions to more important matters — like seeing Lincoln (yeah, he was a Republican, but as Spielberg's movie makes abundantly clear, Democrats were actually the bigger assholes back in the day). Or, you could see what ol' James Bond is up to in his 4785th film, Skyfall (just kidding — it's his 23rd, so Godzilla still has him beat). Reviews for both below the jump.

Elsewhere, DocFest opens tonight and runs through Nov. 21; check out my take on this year's programming (spoiler alert: lots o' good stuff) here; and read Dennis Harvey's review of a very strange movie starring a very strangely coiffed Sean Penn, This Must Be the Place.

And ... as if that would be everything going on in San Francisco's film scene this week? Are you new in town? There's also the San Francisco Film Society's local showcase Cinema By the Bay (my overview here) and New Italian Cinema programs; the always-popular (and now 10th annual!) San Francisco Transgender Film Festival; and Marc Huestis' multi-film tribute to the late, great Natalie Wood at the Castro.

PLUS more short takes, including the good word on Ursula Meier's acclaimed Sister, below. Read more »

Stage Listings

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Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at listings@sfbg.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.

THEATER

OPENINGRead more »

Film Listings

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Film listings are edited by Cheryl Eddy. Reviewers are Kimberly Chun, Dennis Harvey, Lynn Rapoport, and Sara Vizcarrondo. For rep house showtimes, see Rep Clock.

DOCFEST

The 11th San Francisco Documentary Film Festival runs Nov 8-21 at the Brava Theater, 2781 24th St, SF; Roxie, 3117 16th St, SF; and Shattuck Cinema, 2230 Shattuck, SF. Tickets (most films $10-12) and complete schedule at www.sfindie.com. Read more »

True facts: there are at least 15 movies opening this week

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Pack up the leftover Halloween candy and head to the movies this weekend — what better way to escape election-related craziness and/or rest your liver after all that LET'S GO GIANTS damage you just did?

Your options are pretty spectacular, as well: intriguing Israeli doc The Flat, in which a Jewish filmmaker learns his grandparents counted a Nazi couple among their social circle (my interview with director Arnon Goldfinger here); bonkers 1987 rock 'n' roll taekwondo spectacular Miami Connection (Dennis Harvey's take on this newly discovered instant cult classic here)

Plus, RZA's The Man With The Iron Fists, an homage to chopsocky classics (with, I'm assuming, a much better soundtrack); Denzel Washington playing an airline pilot whose secret drinking problem comes to light only after he prevents a plane from crash landing in Flight; and Deep Dark Canyon, a NorCal-set thriller by former locals Silver Tree and Abe Levy starring Ted Levine.

And that's not even the end of it! Read on for video game characters run amok, two found-footage horror flicks, a musically-inclined Pacific Film Archive program, tributes to Tony Bennett (speaking of the Giants) and Monty Python's Graham Chapman, and, I kid you not ... even more.

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