THE AMERICAN Film Institute Theater continues its European Film Festival Friday night at 6 with the second screening of the new French epic Adieu, Bonaparte, starring Michel Piccoli. At 8:15, Belgian director Marc Didden will introduce the two Belgian entries in the festival, Andre Delvaux's passionate drama Benvenuta (with Fanny Ardant and Vittorio Gassman) and Didden's own Brussels by Night (the former is in French, the latter in Flemish, both with English subtitles).

Starting Saturday at 3, the rest of the day is consumed by the American premiere of Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira's new seven-hour epic The Satin Slipper. Don't worry -- there's a one-hour intermission. Oliveira will introduce the screening.

Finally, Greek Minister of Culture and Sciences Melina Mercoui will appear Sunday at 4 p.m. at the AFI Theater to introduce the American premiere of Theo Angelopoulos' drama of the Greek Civil War, Voyage to Cythera.

(Mercouri, who is in town as part of The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program's 20th anniversary celebration, will also help inaugurate an eight-week course on Greece Sunday night at 8 in the Natural History Museum's Baird Auditorium. Call 357-3030 for details).

Elsewhere on the AFI schedule, a program Monday at 8:30 will kick off Saving America's Film Heritage: A Tribute to the National Endowment for the Arts on its 20th Birthday. Featured will be the world premiere of caricaturist Ralph Barton's 1925 "home movie" Camille, with performances and cameos by, anong others, Paul Robeson, Sinclair Lewis, Anita Loos (who co-wrote the spoof of Dumas' story with Barton), Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, Clarence Darrow, Charles Chaplin and even the then-Sultan of Morocco as himself.

Also screening Monday night are selections from the AFI's Black Film Collection, plus a hand-colored Georges Melies film from 1902, Lon Chaney's first surviving appearance (1914's The Oubliette) and the only known fragment from Laurel and Hardy's only color feature, the Lionel Barrymore-directed 1930 film The Rogue Song. (The three-minute clip is a complete gag directed by Hal Roach).

Other films to be shown later in the two- week series include the Washington premiere of the restored version of Rouben Mamoulian's Becky Sharp (Tuesday at 7) and the tinted 35mm print of the 1924 silent version of Peter Pan (Wednesday at 6:30). For a schedule and information, call the AFI box office at 785-4601.

The latest program of free films at the Hirshhorn Museum begins Friday at 8 with a screening of the gentle art-world spoof The Impersonation, in which two intrepid filmmakers search for a reclusive "contemporary English primitive painter."

Thursday and next Friday at 8, Hotel New York, Jackie Raynal's no-budget autobiographical tale of a French filmmaker's adventures in New York, will be shown. For the complete schedule, call the Hirshhorn at 357- 2700.

The Biograph Theater in Georgetown begins its new program, Soviet Cinema: Yesterday and Today, with the Washington premiere of Nikita Mikhalkov's 1977 film, An Unfinished Piece for Player Piano, based on Anton Chekhov's first published play, "Platonov." Screening Friday through Tuesday, it will be accompanied by a 1925 short called Chess Fever, directed by legendary film theoretician Vsevolod Pudovkin on location at Moscow's Hotel Metropol during that year's international chess tournament. The series, which runs through November 13, continues Wednesday and Thursday with Andrei Konchalovsky's sweeping 1982 epic, Siberiade. For a schedule and showtimes, call 333-2696.

The Biograph will also be the site of the Washington premiere of Bayan Ko ("My Country"), the controversial new film by the equally controversial Philippine director Lino Brocka. The screenings, Saturday at noon and again at 3, are being held to benefit the Washington chapter of The Ninoy Aquino Movement, a non-profit group working for the restoration of democracy in the Philippines. Tickets are $10; for more information, call 452- 0544.

As part of the Corcoran Gallery of Art's new exhibit "L'Amour fou: Photography and Surrealism," New York-based film curator Herbert Reynolds has organized a seven-week retrospective beginning Saturday at 11 am. Billed as a " 'proto-surrealist' program of commercial and dada footage," Saturday's installment will feature Reynolds' opening lecture and films by Mack Sennett, Rene Clair and Hans Richter. The day's program concludes with a screening of Luis Bunuel and Salvador Dali's Un Chien Andalou. Tickets for the complete series are $11 for Corcoran members, $18 for the public, with individual sessions going for $2 to Corcoran members and $3 for non- members.

In a separate program, a day-long symposium on the surrealist movement will be held Sunday from 9 to 4:30 at the Corcoran and feature two film screenings: Man Ray's 1928 short L'Etoile de Mer and the rarely seen 1929 Belgian short La Perle, which was still in doubt at presstime because of a problem with print availability. Registration fee for the symposium is $25 for Corcoran members and $30 for the general public. (The fee includes something called a "surreal bag lunch").

To register or find out more about either program, call 638-3211 (extensions 320 or 322).

Local filmmaker Robert Starbird has come up with a new slant on film education courses: Beginning September 30, Starbird will preside over six three-hour evening sessions and one all-day shoot to create a music video for "I'm Not Lonely," the new single by the Chasville-based band Johnny Sportcoat and the Casuals. The course will offer as many as 10 participants the chance to create a music video from the ground up, shooting in 16mm and transfering the finished product to video at Bethesda's Phase II Productions. The cost of the whole course is $300 (including a personal VHS copy of the finished product). The video will be submitted to MTV's Basement Tapes program. You must register by this Monday; call Starbird at 385-7074 or 234-3754.

The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program has two film programs of note this coming week:

On Monday at 8, Jack Arnold's 1957 science fiction film The Incredible Shrinking Man will kick off a two-part "Cosmic Visitors" series. The second film, Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still, will be screened September 30 at the same time. Tickets are $7 for the series for members and $10 for non-members, with individual tickets going for $4 and $5.50.

On Thursday at 8, the Resident Associates will present an encore of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute, which enjoyed a brief Washington run this summer. Tickets are $4 and $5.50. Both programs will be shown in the American History Building's Carmichael Auditorium. You can reserve by calling 357-3030.

The Baltimore Film Forum has begun a new season of screenings. The next attraction is David Lean's 1947 adaptation of Dickens' "Great Expectation," which will show Thursday at 8 at the Baltimore Museum of Art, on Art Museum Drive at the corner of Charles and 31st streets in Baltimore. Tickets are $2.50 for film forum and museum members, $3.50 for non-members. Call the forum at 301/685-4170 or the museum at 301/396- 6314 for details and directions.

According to the Washington-based Motion Picture Information Service, the area's 10 top- grossing pictures for the week ending September 12 were, in descending order, Back to the Future (still the clear leader on 18 screens in its 10th week of release); Compromising Positions (holding at 13 houses in week two); Pee-wee's Big Adventure (adding a screen to 17 in its fifth week); Silverado (losing a house to 12 in week nine); Teen Wolf (moving from 16 to 15 screens in its third week); Cocoon (at 15 screens in three full months of release); American Ninja (staying on at 14 screens in week two); Kiss of the Spider Woman (still in a two-screen exclusive after one month); Year of the Dragon (dropping from 19 to 13 houses in four weeks of release); and Volunteers (moving from 12 to 9 screens in a full month).

Do you go out of your way to meet anybody involved in the movies? If so, you'll want to be at the Roth's Tysons Corner Eight complex (1961 Chain Bridge Road in McLean) Friday at 7 for festivities surrounding the return of Godzilla to the big screen. To celebrate the opening of New World's Godzilla 1985, the Roth chain and DC 101 have enticed the beast to the opening with the promise of an oversized sushi dinner, which should stop him from eyeing the monuments. He'll spend half an hour posing for pictures and chatting with fans before the 7:30 show.

In international production news (gleaned from various trade papers): Stanley Kubrick is now officially in production in England with his Vietnam war drama, Full Metal Jacket, which now stars Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin and Dorian Harewood . . . Prince has begun filming his first feature since "Purple Rain," Under the Cherry Moon, at the Victorine Cote d'Azur studios in Nice, France . . . Sophia Loren and Peter O'Toole will co-star in Leaving Home, adapted from Arthur Cavanaugh's 1975 novel; the film, set to roll in Stockholm, will also co-star Loren's son, Carlo Ponti Jr.

Frank Oz, a former associate of Muppet creator Jim Henson and the man who operated Yoda in "The Empire Strikes Back," will make his directorial debut with Horrors, a big-budget film based on the off- Broadway play, which was in turn based on Roger Corman's 1960 horror cheapie. Rick Moranis will play the hapless schnook Seymour, and Steve Martin will play the sadistic dentist.

That Was Then . . . This Is Now, the Emliio Estevez vehicle adapted by the actor from S.E. Hinton's novel, has finally been picked up for domestic release; Paramount Pictures has scheduled the film for an early November bow . . . Cast of the Week: Hanna Schygulla and Joey Bishop have joined the cast of The Delta Force, the Chuck Norris vehicle now in production in Israel for Cannon . . . Title of the Week: a tie between Morons From Outer Space (written by and starring Griff Rhys-Jones of the British comedy troupe "Not the Nine O'Clock News") and Girls School Screamers, which just finished filming.

PAGES OF FILM HISTORY -- A happy birthday this date to Fernando Rey, comedienne Anne Meara and Sophia Loren. It was on September 20, 1946 that the Cannes Film Festival launched its first program.

Those marking birthdays on Saturday include actress Larry Hagman, Henry Gibson, Bill Murray and Hamilton Jordan. The first Technicolor film, "The Gulf Between," premiered in New York on September 21, 1917. "Monday Night Football" turns 15 on September 21; the first game featured the Cleveland Browns playing the New York Jets.

John Houseman, Debby Boone and Joan Jett are all celebrating birthdays on Sunday. The ice cream cone was patented on that date in 1903.

Eddie Cockrell is a freelance film consultant and teacher. His "Insights on Film" is heard Mondays at 5:30 p.m. on WGMS AM & FM.