2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival opens 

click to enlarge Silent cinema: The 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival opens with festivities. The feature attraction is William Wellman’s “Wings” (1927), winner of the first Oscar for best picture. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Silent cinema: The 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival opens with festivities. The feature attraction is William Wellman’s “Wings” (1927), winner of the first Oscar for best picture.

Who’s in town

Spanish classical guitarist Pablo Sainz Villegas joins the San Francisco Symphony for “My Classic Spanish Flair.” [7:30 p.m., Davies Symphony Hall, 201 Van Ness Ave., S.F.]

Lectures

Julia Ross:
The educator in the fields of addiction and eating-disorder treatment talks about sugar addiction and low-calorie dieting’s contribution to the overeating epidemic. [6 p.m., Commonwealth Club, 595 Market St., S.F.]

Jay Xu: The Asian Art Museum director talks about the museum’s “Phantoms of Asia” exhibition. [6:30 p.m.,Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin St., S.F.]

Literary events

Steven Saylor:
The novelist talks about “Seven Wonders.” [7:30 p.m., Books Inc., 2275 Market St., S.F.]

Alex Stone: The journalist and former physics graduate student talks about “Fooling Houdini: Magicians, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Powers of the Mind.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.]

Epicenter series: The Litquake program presents readings by novelists Joe Meno (“Office Girl”), Nathan Larson (“The Nervous System”) and Josh Mohr (“Damascus”). [7 p.m., Tosca Cafe, 242 Columbus Ave., S.F.]

John Curl: The poet, activist and historian talks about “For All the People: Uncovering the Hidden History of Cooperation, Cooperative Movements and Communalism in America.” [7 p.m., Green Arcade, 1680 Market St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Chamber music:
American Bach Soloists’ summer festival presents an all-Bach program of chamber music. [8 p.m., San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak St., S.F.]

At the public library

Poet tribute:
Poets, including Gary Snyder and Joanne Kyger, celebrate the work of 20th-century poet Lew Welch on the occasion of the re-release of his “Ring of Bone.” [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium,  Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

‘Thursdays @ Noon Films’: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958) is the feature attraction. [Noon, Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

Local activities

Silent cinema:
The 2012 San Francisco Silent Film Festival opens with festivities. The feature attraction is William Wellman’s “Wings” (1927), winner of the first Oscar for best picture. [7 p.m., Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., S.F.]

Stand-up show: Comedian Jake Johannsen, seen frequently on “The Late Show” with David Letterman, performs. [8 p.m., Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery St., S.F.]

Storytelling celebration: The Porchlight storytelling program kicks off a two-night celebration of 10 years of Porchlight. Featured story­tellers include author Tamin Ansary. [8 p.m., Verdi Club, 2424 Mariposa St., S.F.]

Mini-memoirs: Eight Bay Area Jewish personalities present “Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life,” a live version of the “Six-Word Memoir” project. [6:30 p.m., Contemporary Jewish Museum, 736 Mission St., S.F.]

Gypsy jazz: Gaucho, a band specializing in Gypsy jazz, with improvisational and swing elements added to the mix, performs at Yerba Buena Gardens. [12:30 p.m., 770 Mission St., S.F.]

Dining out

Ana Mandara:
A recommended entree today is “Paradise Found,” a dish containing wasabi-dust salmon, sauteed brussels sprouts, tempura green tomatoes and chili-honey mustard sauce. [891 Beach St., S.F.; (415) 771-6800]

Movies

Anniversary screening:
“Singin’ in the Rain” celebrates 60 years with a  Turner Classic Movies original production featuring TCM host Robert Osborne in a specially produced interview with star Debbie Reynolds. [7 p.m, Century 9, 835 Market St., S.F.; Cinearts Empire 3, 85 W. Portal Ave., S.F.; and other locations; www.FathomEvents.com.]

Indie flicks: The three-day 2012 Windrider Bay Area Film Forum, featuring the in-progress independent film “Rising for Ashes” followed by a question-and-answer session with filmmaker T.C. Johnstone, opens. [7 p.m., Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton]

Music films: The bill includes “Songs Along a Stony Road,” George Csicsery and Chris Teerink’s 2011 documentary about musicologist Zoltan Kallos and Transylvanian folk musicians, and “Sprout Wings and Fly,” Les Blank’s  short film from 1983 about Appalachian fiddler Tommy Jarrell. [7 and 9 p.m., Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., S.F.]

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