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Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Director Ben Steinbauer (left) debunks the myth of the 'Angriest Man in the World' in 'Winnebago Man.'

Rather than wasting your weekend's entertainment dollar on a half-baked Dinner for Schmucks or the equally unpalatable Salt – sorry, I couldn't help myself – find your way to the Lumiere to catch the sleeper hit of the summer: Winnebago Man, Steinbauer's hugely entertaining tribute to an irascibly foul-mouthed pitchman. As always, here's a list of some of the finest films currently playing at an indie theater near you.

1. Winnebago Man
Where: Lumiere Theatre, 1572 California St., 415-885-3201
When: All Week

Why: Jack Rebney (pictured, right) became a viral video star by cursing his way through a hilarious Winnebago commercial that helped doom his career as a corporate pitchman. Ben Steinbauer's equally uproarious new documentary, a favorite of Michael Moore's, seeks to reveal the man behind the Internet legend.

2. Dead Man
Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: Aug. 3-4
Why: Johnny Depp plays William Blake – a mild-manned accountant from Cleveland, not the renowned poet he's frequently mistaken for – in Jim Jarmusch's mesmerizing western, a darkly comical, dreamlike meditation on death shot in beautiful black and white by cinematographer Robby Müller.

3. Dark House
Where:
Opera Plaza Cinema, 601 Van Ness Ave., 415-771-0183
When:
All Week
Why: Don't bother testing the foundations of Darin Scott's refreshingly old-fashioned house of horrors – just check your brain at the door and feast your eyes on the movie's goriest indulgences. Winner of the top prize at last year's Shriekfest Horror Festival and Fangoria's 2010 FrightFest Competition, House is neither for the faint of heart nor the sane of mind, but it's twisted enough to please those with a hankering for flayed flesh.

4. Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story
Where: The Roda Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, 510-647-2949
When: Aug. 1
Why: Narrated by Dustin Hoffman, Peter Miller's documentary, a featured selection at this year's Jewish Film Festival, revisits the experiences and legacies of Jewish ballplayers in the big leagues, from Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax to current All-Stars Ryan Braun and Kevin Youkilis. The highlight: candid observations from Koufax, the famously reclusive southpaw who won 111 games from 1962 to '66.

5. The Kids Are All Right
Where: Bridge Theatre, 3010 Geary Blvd., 415-751-3213
When: All Week
Why: In Kids – its title inspired, somewhat whimsically, by a 1979 documentary about The Who – Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play Jules and Nic, a same-sex married couple whose teenage children, both products of artificial insemination, track down their birth father. The ensuing drama, rich with sharply observed humor, rarely strikes a false note.

6. The Girl Who Played With Fire
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week
Why: The second installment of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy – soon to be remade for American audiences by David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac) – finds Lisbeth, the cyberpunk heroine of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, accused of murdering two journalists investigating the Swedish sex trade. Enter Mikael, her sometime lover, who digs deep into her troubled past to prove her innocence.

7. Breathless
Where: Embarcadero Center Cinema, 1 Embarcadero Ctr., 415-352-0835
When: All Week

Why: Jean-Paul Belmondo plays a brazen Bogart wannabe running from the law in Jean-Luc Godard's classic first feature, beautifully restored by Rialto Pictures in honor of the film's 50th anniversary. Written by François Truffaut, Breathless boldly introduced the stylistic hallmarks of the French New Wave, helping reshape cinema forever after.