The Sonoma Film Institute at Sonoma State University announces its fall slate of screenings, ranging from lively documentaries to international features and rarely shown classic cinema.
The season kicks off with the beginning of a semester-long tribute to documentary filmmaker, Les Blank, who died in April. Though widely admired by critics and other filmmakers, Blank's films were not widely known by moviegoers.
Combining his twin loves of authentic music and good food, he sought out traditional cultures where music and food provided spiritual nourishment and continuous rhythms for daily life. Films to be shown include his zesty, lip-smacking praise of garlic, "Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers" (8/23 & 25), the pulsating, joyous celebration of "Mardi Gras Always for Pleasure" (10/11 & 13), and "Yum! Yum! Yum!" (11/22 & 24), about the music and food Cajun and Creole cultures of Southern Louisiana.
Award-winning filmmakers Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, will make an appearance with their recent documentary, "Trust: Second Acts in Young Lives" (9/20), about a youth theater project in Chicago that transforms the lives of immigrant, underserved teenagers.
The season also includes the restored version of Shirley Clark's astonishing and courageous LGBT film "Portrait of Jason" (9/6 & 8); "Hollywood Hair" (10/4 & 6), about a hair salon on Hollywood Boulevard that caters to the down-and-out who came to Los Angeles in hopes of a better life; and Andre Gregory: "Before and After Dinner" (11/1 & 3), a film portrait of the groundbreaking actor, director and artist who remains most famous for his work with Wallace Shawn in Louis Malle's "My Dinner with Andre."
Current international features to be shown include, "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," the most recent film by 90-year-old French filmmaker Alain Resnais; "Key of Life" (8/30 & 9/1), a wry, Japanese comedy that explores identity issues, and "Enlightenment Guaranteed" (11/15 & 17), a German film that follows two brothers who make a pilgrimage to Japan where they hope to find enlightenment as guests in a Buddhist monastery.
SFI will also present rare revival screenings of two films by Japanese director Kenji Mizoguchi, "The Life of Oharu" (10/18 & 20) and "Women of the Night" (10/25 & 27); and Peter Bogdanovich's "They All Laughed" (11/8 & 10) about the intertwining professional lives of three private detectives who find it impossible to disguise their feelings for their female quarries.
The comical, heartfelt and personal picture has risen in stature over the last few years, with filmmakers like Quentin Tarantion, Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach all noting their personal affection for it. The outstanding cast includes Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara and John Ritter.
All screenings are in Warren Auditorium, Ives Hall on the Sonoma State University campus in Rohnert Park. Admission is $7, $6 for non-SSU students and senior citizens, $5for SFI members and children under 12, and free for SSU students. There is a $5 parking fee on all Sonoma State University lots.
For more information, or to receive a complete schedule of SFI events, visit www.sonoma.edu/sfi or call (707) 664-2606.