By Allie Pape
There's just something about French cinema. Stunning Parisian cityscapes, handsomely roguish men, gorgeous women in incredibly chic ensembles: it's all the good stuff about Hollywood, minus the tacky Kardashian types. If you're an aficionado of Gallic film or a novice looking to learn more, consider hitting up one of the Tuesday movie nights at the Alliance Francaise in the Tenderloin. While most San Franciscans know the Alliance as the place to go for brushing up on their high-school French or taking a crash course before that big trip to Paris, it's also a center for celebrating French culture (even if you don't parlez-vous), and French cinema is a big part of that. With a comfy 74-seat theater in the basement, the Alliance Francaise might be SF's littlest-known movie palace.
Every month, the screenings at the AF have a theme: this month's is Paris, and the movies have included Paris, je t'aime and 36th Precinct. Tonight's film is Louis Malle's classic Zazie dans le metro, which is the namesake of Cole Valley's most popular brunch spot. Previous months have revolved around certain types of films (action movies, biopics), notable actors and actresses (Audrey Tautou, Romain Duris), and eras (French New Wave). The $5 suggested donation gets you access to the screening, a short lecture beforehand, discussion afterwards, and a glass of French wine and some popcorn to enjoy while you watch. It's a killer cheap date, even if your only date is yourself. And if you don't speak a lick of French, no worries: they show every film with English subtitles.
The final screening in the Paris series is (shocker) the film Paris, which will play next Tuesday. The theme for May hasn't been announced yet, but interested parties can check the Alliance's website for updates. Each showing begins with a lecture at 6:45, followed by the main event at 7.