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First Bite: St. Vincent

First Bite: St. Vincent

The popular Heart Wine Bar abruptly closed last year when the owner decided to move back to New York, leaving a huge vacant spot on the corner of Valencia and 24th Streets. Not two weeks after opening in its stead, new "wine tavern" St. Vincent is jam-packed nightly, and already seems to be quite the second act at this address. Owner David Lynch trailblazed a $40 fixed price wine list during his last job as the sommelier for Quince and Cotogna, and he's forging into new terriority here at St. Vincent too.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

The 3rd i's International South Asian Film Festival, featuring shorts, documentaries and dramatic features from countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet and England, runs through the weekend at the Roxie, with a special Saturday engagement at the Castro Theatre highlighting Lester James Peries' acclaimed 1964 family drama Gamperaliya and Abhinay Deo's new, Hangover-inspired Bollywood farce Delhi Belly. Elsewhere:

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

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Exposed on Film, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's ongoing film series presented in conjunction with Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera Since 1870, returns to the Castro this weekend with Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool, a cinema verité-style exploration of social tension in America during the 1960s, and David Lynch's macabre fantasy Lost Highway. Elsewhere:

1. The Found Footage Festival

Where: Red Vic Movie House, 1727 Haight St., 415-668-3994
When: March 4-5

Cotogna: Quince’s New, Younger, Casual Sister

Unless you’re one of those people who merely eat to live, Cotogna is the kind of restaurant that takes hold of your inner glutton. Step inside, and your eyes immediately register the roaring fire while your nose picks up the aromas of the meats roasting on the rotisserie that owner-chef Michael Tusk ordered from Tuscany. Skim the menu full of words like tortelloni, fried pumpkin, porcinis, and sausage ragu, and your hands will unconsciously start rubbing together in greedy anticipation. On a cold winter’s night, how could you not want to dip into a shellfish stew with grilled bread swiped with aioli? Or a creamy mess of burrata with chopped chicories followed by spit-roasted pork with fennel and satsumas?

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

Just a month remains before the September release of Casey Affleck's long-rumored documentary about Joaquin Phoenix's bumpy transition from the big screen to the recording studio. (The Oscar-nominated Walk the Line star reportedly aspires to rap.) You can try holding your breath in the meantime, but you'd be wiser to visit one of the city's lovely indie theaters, where the following fine films await you.

1. Rebel Without a Cause
Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., 415-621-6120
When: Aug. 6

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See at the 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival

The 53rd San Francisco International Film Festival, the longest-running celebration of cinema in North America, is in full swing at its primary venues, including the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, the Castro Theatre, the Clay Theatre and the Pacific Film Archive. Here's a list of some of this year's most tantalizing offerings. For tickets, click here.

Indie Theater Roundup: 7 Movies to See This Week

With more rain on the horizon and thousands of comic-book fans descending on the city for this weekend's Wondercon at Moscone Center South, it might be an ideal time to curl up with a good book or escape to your local indie theater for a cinematic escape. Here's a sampling of the best movies currently in rotation.

Celebrating a Decade of Great Cinema: Counting Down the Best of the Best

The final days of December are not just an excuse to eat, drink and be merry, but also to organize our most beloved cultural offerings into a series of lists. Who am I to buck the trend? With 2009 winding to a close, the time is right to reflect on the past decade and the movies that made it great. Among those honored: Michel Gondry, the French-born auteur whose Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Science of Sleep proved two of the most poignant romances in recent memory, and Jake Gyllenhaal, the quietly effective star of Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain and Zodiac.

Werner Herzog Soldiers on with 'Bad Lieutenant' and 'My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done'

At 67, Werner Herzog shows no sign of slowing down. If anything, the famously feisty German auteur, an Oscar nominee for Encounters at the End of the World, his 2008 documentary about Antarctica’s rarely seen landscape, is doing his best impression of a workaholic.

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