January 15: Berlin & Beyond festival and other SF events 

click to enlarge Two Lives
  • courtesy photo
  • The 2014 Berlin & Beyond festival, featuring films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, begins. Opening feature: “Two Lives,” an espionage drama.
Who’s in town

Brazilian music star Gusttavo Lima, a singer of sertaneja, a Brazilian form of country music, appears at the Regency Ballroom. [9 p.m., 1300 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Lectures

James Carville and Mary Matalin: The husband-and-wife political consultants and co-authors of “Love and War” appear in an onstage conversation. [7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F.]

Goran Montan: The member of the Swedish parliament and the Nordic Council gives a talk titled “Sweden and the Case for Liberal Conservatism.” [7:30 p.m., Los Altos Youth Center, 1 South San Antonio Road, Los Altos; www.worldaffairs.org]

Jane Mahakian: The president of Aging Matters Inc., discusses the ins and outs of how to validate an older person with dementia. [5:15 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Literary events

Barry Gifford: The author, screenwriter and poet, best known for his “Sailor and Lula” novels, presents “The Roy Stories.” [6 p.m., Mechanics’ Institute, 57 Post St., S.F.; RSVP: (415) 393-0100]

Gary Shteyngart: The Russia-born novelist talks about “Little Failure,” a memoir. [7 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

John C. Ralston: The program director of the Los Altos Hills Historical Society discusses “Fremont Older and the 1916 San Francisco Bombing: A Tireless Crusade for Justice.” [7 p.m., Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View]

At the colleges

String quartet: The Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet performs a program featuring newly commissioned works by Philip Glass and Valentin Silvestrov. [7:30 p.m., Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University, 327 Lasuen St., Stanford]

Cancer talk: Cancer researcher James P. Allison, whose areas of focus include the mechanisms that govern T-cell responses, speaks at UCSF. [4 p.m., Byers Auditorium, Genentech Hall, UCSF, 600 16th St., S.F.]

At the public library

Avant-garde films: The program features films by poet and pioneer avant-garde filmmaker James Broughton (1913-1999). [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Book group: The Noe Valley Book Discussion Group meets. January’s selection: “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven” by Sherman Alexie. [7 p.m., Noe Valley Branch, 451 Jersey St., S.F.]

German cinema

The 2014 Berlin & Beyond festival, featuring films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland, begins. Opening feature: “Two Lives,” an espionage drama. [7 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.; www.berlinbeyond.com]

Local activities

Opening night: American Conservatory Theater presents “Major Barbara,” George Bernard Shaw’s comic satire about business, faith, family and philanthropy. [8 p.m., 415 Geary St., S.F.]

Drink and think: Nerd Nite, a beer-and-brainpower event, presents its January edition. Speakers discuss privatized space exploration, the Science League of America and neuro-optimization. [7 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St., S.F.]

Comedy show: Comedian Paul Mecurio, seen on “Comedy Central Presents” and “The Late, Late Show With Craig Kilborn,” performs stand-up. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Fringale Restaurant: The Roquefort and spinach ravioli is a recommended appetizer today. For an entree, look for the traditional duck confit, with lentils “Du Puy,” potato Landaises, garlic, bacon and red-wine sauce. [570 Fourth St., S.F.; (415) 543-0573]

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