If this week's openings seem a little thin, it's because all of the studios are hoping to cash in on the holiday moviegoing spirit, releasing their films next week (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) or, more likely, the week after (Django Unchained, Les Misérables, This is 40, The Impossible, Jack Reacher, etc.) 'Tis the season, and all that.
But that doesn't mean you should ignore Friday's releases (check out my feature on custody drama In the Family), or miss out on two rep programs Dennis Harvey covers in this week's issue: retro porn-musical showcase "Honk If You're Horny" at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and a tribute to French comedian Pierre Étaix at the Smith Rafael Film Center.
Plus, more short takes below, including Harvey's preview of on the Vortex Room's weekly (and timely!) apocalypse series. Because if the world ends December 21, you won't get to see any of those Christmas releases anyway. Tres désolé, Hugh!
Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.
Also! Check out my rundown on the Another Hole in the Head film festival, an annual event stuffed with catnip candy for fans of horror, sci-fi, and cinema du sick 'n' wrong. (If you love Franco Nero, John Saxon, Henry Silva, and guys with 1970s mustaches fighting in junkyards like I do, don't miss my top pick: Eurocrime!)
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 email@example.com. For further information on how to submit items for the listings, see Picks.
Let's be real: your ma's and pa's will like just about anything you box up and send their way this year. But that's not to say you shouldn't put a little effort in. Hit up these local businesses and they'll walk with something fab.