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FALL ARTS 2014 Film season unspools at a theater (or a park or museum) near you

Ben Affleck stars in David Fincher's Gone Girl, coming in October.
Photo by Merrick Morton

Also at the Castro, the San Francisco Silent Film Festival moves its popular "Silent Winter" to Sept. 20 and renames it (aha!) "Silent Autumn." Per usual, the programming is excellent, with top-notch musical accompaniment planned for each screening. Compilations include "Another Fine Mess: Silent Laurel and Hardy Shorts" and the British Film Institute's time-capsule peek at the start of World War I, "A Night at the Cinema in 1914." Features are the Valentino classic The Son of the Sheik (1926); Buster Keaton comedy The General (1926); and German Expressionist chiller The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari (1920).

The Castro Theatre's own programming unveils tributes to both Robin Williams (series starts Sept. 7) and Lauren Bacall (Oct. 1). The Castro is also the most consistent venue for Jesse Hawthorne Ficks' "Midnites for Maniacs" series; Sept. 19 honors "Diegetic Odysseys" with a double-feature of Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and Coal Miner's Daughter (1980).;

Fall at the Pacific Film Archive includes complete retrospectives "Eyes Wide: The Films of Stanley Kubrick" (Sept. 4-Oct. 31) and "James Dean, Restored Classics from Warner Bros" (Sept. 5-20). There's also the Berkeley-appropriate "Activate Yourself: The Free Speech Movement at 50" (Sept. 11-Oct. 30); movie-geek catnip "Jean-Luc Godard: Expect Everything from Cinema" (Sept. 12-Oct. 23) and "Life: The Films of Hou Hsaio-hsien" (Oct. 10-Dec. 14); and the launch of an impressively depthed overview of Georgian cinema (Sept. 26-April 19).

Didn't make it to any of the big out-of-town film festivals this past year? Don't worry — the Roxie's got your back with a calendar that includes the buzzed-about Memphis (opens Sept. 19); Nick Cave docudrama 20,000 Days on Earth (Sept. 26); Catherine Breillat's Abuse of Weakness (Oct. 3); and Alex Ross Perry's Listen Up Philip (Oct. 26).

Over at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, film/video curator Joel Shepard promises an action-packed fall, with series like the extremely timely "Lest We Forget: Remembering Radical San Francisco" (Oct. 2-26); Halloween-time new horror films from Spain, including Albert Serra's Casanova-meets-Dracula tale Story of My Death (2013); "New Black Cinema" (Nov. 6-9) and "New Waves in Mexican Cinema" (Dec. 4-21); and Double Play, a new documentary on Richard Linklater that's screening as part of a Linklater-James Benning dual focus (Nov. 13-16).

The San Francisco Film Society begins its fall mini-festival season Nov 6. with "French Cinema Now," followed by "Hong Kong Cinema" (Nov. 14-16) and "New Italian Cinema" (Nov. 19-23). It also presents a screening of acclaimed indie Hellion, with director Kat Candler in person (Sept. 15), and hosts Ethiopian American filmmakers Zeresenay Mehari and Mehret Mandefro as its latest artists-in-residence (Oct. 1-14).

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