Spring 2014 Schedule



January

KING: A FILMED RECORD...FROM MONTGOMERY TO MEMPHIS

NEW RESTORATION! The landmark documentary that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and culminating with his assassination in Memphis in 1968. Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970, KING: A FILMED RECORD combines dramatic readings by Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones and Paul Newman, among others, with newsreel and archival footage to create a powerful and comprehensive record of Dr. King's legacy and the American Civil Rights movement. (1970, 185 min.)

King - Trailer

Friday, January 17 at 7:00 and Sunday, January 19 at 4:00

John Sayles’ GO FOR SISTERS

Indie giant John Sayles' latest feature was shot in 18 days on a shoestring budget (reportedly less than $1,000,000). GO FOR SISTERS, which stars Yolonda Ross and LisaGay Hamilton as childhood friends who were once so close they could "go for sisters." After losing track of each other for two decades, the women are reunited by chance in a parole office, with Bernice (Hamilton) now a no-nonsense parole officer and Fontayne (Ross) an ex-convict trying to clean up her life. When Bernice's son goes missing, she enlists the help of Fontayne and a retired detective (Edward James Olmos) on a journey that takes them across the Mexican border and into a world of danger. “Sayles gives us vibrant, complex characters inhabited by actors who burrow deep - a reminder of how scarce classical, involving human drama is at the movies nowadays.”- Scott Foundas, The Village Voice (2013, 123 min.)

Go For Sisters - Trailer

Friday, January 24 at 7:00 and Sunday, January 26 at 4:00

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH
(U.S. Title STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN)

Michael Powell’s visually ravishing film, in which an elaborate stairway connects a Technicolor Earth with a monochrome Heaven. David Niven plays a downed bomber pilot in WWII who senses that his having eluded a fiery death was arbitrary at best. On the operating table he finds himself suspended between Heaven (where he is summoned to argue his case in the celestial courts) and Earth (where he has fallen in love with a heavenly WAC in the person of Kim Hunter). This is existential fantasy at its finest. “The doctor who befriends him diagnoses a ‘highly organized hallucination’ and much the same could be said of the film… A stunning, subversive masterpiece.” – British Film Institute (1946, 104 min.)

Friday, January 31 at 7:00 and Sunday, February 2 at 4:00

CHASING SHAKESPEARE

Told in flashback from his wife’s deathbed, CHASING SHAKESPEARE recounts the beginning, end and rebirth of a love affair between William (Danny Glover) and Venus (Tantoo Cardinal) in rural Arkansas. William dives under the gloomy waters of his memory to recall the love story of his life with Venus, a girl belonging to the Lighting Clan, a peculiar Native American family living in Arkansas with a strange communion with electricity. Though society, circumstance and familial pressures conspire to keep them apart, William finally makes his way to New York City, joining Venus in a traffic-stopping, impromptu performance of the Bard’s The Tempest. The cast includes Graham Greene and Chelsea Ricketts. Directed by Norry Niven. (2013, 116 min.)

Chasing Shakespeare - Trailer

Friday, February 7 at 7:00 and Sunday, February 9 at 4:00


February

WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?

"Straitlaced optometrist Weichung is finding the typical married life difficult, as his wife, Feng, unfulfilled by her white-walled office job and spurred on by her mother, pushes him for a second child. Then he bumps into an old friend from his gay past, setting off an unexpected array of dormant emotions. Meanwhile, his sister Mandy flees her sad sack fiancé San-San, coping via comfort food and the fantastical appearance of a soap opera star on her couch. Arvin Chen’s sophomore feature is a fresh and playful comedy about the brave fronts put forward in the search for a satisfying family life and job…. Outstanding performances by Richie Ren and singer Mavis Fan as the central married couple help Chen find a true emotional core, especially in the heartrending moment when Feng realizes the truth about her husband’s dalliances, inspiring a charming look at what happens in a traditional society when you seek a big change." –Tribeca Film Festival (2013, 101 min., in Korean and Mandarin w/English subtitles)

Will You Love Me Tomorrow - Trailer

Friday, February 14 at 7:00 and Sunday, February 16 at 4:00

THE CHESS PLAYERS

“Satyajit Ray’s acerbic comedy of manners remains one of cinema’s finest dissections of colonialism. Using an exquisite economy of language, Ray tacks between two stories: the East India Company’s maneuverings to remove the sybaritic yet artistically prodigious king of Oudh, and the game-playing of two indolent Lucknowi noblemen who are obsessed with chess. Marrying elegant Technicolor visuals with subtly modulated pacing, Ray’s ironic elegy ultimately serves as an impartial witness to the unfolding games, domestic and international.” - Film Society of Lincoln Center (1977, 129 min., in Urdu/Hindi with English subtitles)

Sonoma State University Hutchins School Professor Dr. Ajay Gehlawat will introduce the film.

Friday, February 21 at 7:00

ANATOMY OF A MURDER

Otto Preminger’s sensational courtroom drama is long overdue for revival. James Stewart is the crafty country lawyer faced with the impossible task of finding sympathetic witnesses for his client. Ben Gazarra is the insolent army officer accused of murdering a man who may or may not have raped his wife (Lee Remick). George C. Scott is the hotshot prosecutor, and part of the pleasure of the film is watching the different acting styles. The courtroom is presided over by Joseph Welch, the real-life attorney who once reminded Joseph McCarthy about decency. Shot on the Upper Peninsula, the film features Duke Ellington playing in an unlikely Michigan nightspot and a vibrant Ellington score. The stunning title sequence is by the legendary Saul Bass. (1959, 160 min.)

Anatomy of a Murder - Trailer

Friday, February 28 at 7:00

FOLLOWING THE NINTH:
In the Footsteps of Beethoven's Final Symphony

Filmed on five continents and in 12 countries, FOLLOWING THE NINTH is the story of four people whose lives have been transformed, repaired and healed by the message of Beethoven's Ninth's: Alle Menschen werden Bruder (All Men Will Be Brothers). At Tiananmen Square in 1989, students played the Ninth over loudspeakers as the army came in to crush their protests for freedom. In Chile, women under the Pinochet dictatorship sang the Ninth at torture prisons, and those inside took hope when they heard the music. In Japan each December, the Ninth is performed hundreds of times, often with 10,000 people in the chorus, and now with a concert for the victims of the earthquake and Tsunami. The Berlin Wall, symbol of division and oppression, comes down in December, 1989, as Leonard Bernstein performs Beethoven's Ninth as an "Ode To Freedom." Part road trip, part adventure story, FOLLOWING THE NINTH is about the power of music to liberate us, to heal us, and to provide resilience for all people in dark times. Directed by Kerry Candaele. (2011, 80 min.)

TRAILER: Following the Ninth - Trailer

Bill Moyers on Following the Ninth

Co-sponsored by:
Numina Center for Spirituality & the Arts

Friday, March 7 at 7:00 and Sunday, March 9 at 4:00

March

BOUDU SAVED FROM DROWNING

"Despite the problems of sound recording in 1932, Jean Renoir went out of the studio and shot this film on the streets of Paris and along the banks of the Seine, so it is not only a lovely fable about a bourgeois attempt to reform an early hippie (Michel Simon is the shaggy bearded tramp who spills wine on the table and wipes his shoes on the bedspread) but a photographic record of an earlier France." – Penelope Gilliatt (1932, 87 min., in French w/English subtitles)

Boudu Saved From Drowning - Trailer

Friday, March 14 at 7:00 and Sunday, March 16 at 4:00

BIG JOY:
The Adventures of James Broughton

"James Broughton was a trickster. He had a way of getting at the serious by focusing on the silly, and that’s very seductive." So opines Armistead Maupin at the start of this ebullient documentary that traces the artistic explorations and romantic romps of the great gay Renaissance man―poet, filmmaker, and sexual liberator―of San Francisco counterculture. Years before the Beats arrived in San Francisco, the city exploded with artistic expressions – painting, theatre, film, and poetry. At its center was the groundbreaking filmmaker and poet James Broughton. Co-directors Eric Slade, Stephen Silha, and Dawn Logsdon vividly follow the course of Broughton's deeply intertwined creative and personal lives through his involvement with a wide array of artists, activists and spiritual guides. Among them figure movie critic Pauline Kael, choreographer and dancer Anna Halprin, filmmaker Sidney Peterson, designer Suzanna Hart, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Eastern philosopher Alan Watts. (2013, 83 min.)

Big Joy - Trailer

Friday, March 28 at 7:00 and Sunday, March 30 at 4:00

CHILD'S POSE

The top prize winner at the Berlin Film Festival, Călin Peter Netzer’s sharply crafted CHILD’S POSE pivots on a riveting performance by Luminita Gheorghiu as a steely, well-to-do Bucharest architect determined to keep her 30-something deadbeat son out of jail after a deadly car crash. How far will she go to convince the police, eyewitnesses and even the victim’s family that her son was not recklessly speeding? A spellbinding drama of social commentary and psychological realism, this caustic look into the corrupt heart of the Eastern European bourgeoisie twists into a brilliantly ambiguous study of obsessive motherly love. Savagely witty, surprisingly compassionate and utterly engrossing. (2013, 112 min., in Romanian w/English subtitles)

Child's Pose - Trailer

Friday, April 4 at 7:00 and Sunday, April 6 at 4:00

April

JUST A SIGH

“In the short break between performances in Calais, stage actress Alix, played by the stunning Emmanuelle Devos, makes a quick escape to Paris. On the train, she meets a mysterious English stranger. Drawn toward him, she follows him, loves him, for a few hours, before facing what could be a new life. With masterful performances by Devos and her acclaimed co-star Gabriel Byrne, JUST A SIGH is an imaginative and lushly filmed Parisian romance. Young and versatile director Jérôme Bonnell tells a real-time story with a particular sense for detail… The film captures vivid insights of a burning love evolving between two characters, wonderfully brought together by Bonnell’s down-to-earth approach. JUST A SIGH captures an irrational, sentimental encounter balanced between the extremes of elopement and routine, with breathtaking psychological intrigue.” - Frédéric Boyer, Tribeca Film Festival (2013, 104 min., in French w/English subtitles)

Just a Sigh - Trailer

Friday, April 11 at 7:00 and Sunday, April 13 at 4:00

MANDELA: Son of Africa, Father of a Nation

More than 65 years ago, when Bolinas filmmaker Jo Menell was a kid on a bike, he met Africa's most famous man, Nelson Mandela, under circumstances that left an indelible mark. In 1996, he made what many consider the definitive documentary on the South African president. “Mandela's story is followed in clear, concise detail, from childhood to his 27-year prison stay to the presidency. Mandela himself speaks frankly about his own past—the circumcision ritual he (and all boys of his day) went through, for instance, or working in the lime quarry during his long years on Robben Island. The film details Mandela's life as a controversial trial lawyer and radical political activist, becoming in the process a primer on South Africa’s struggle for one man, one vote. But the filmmakers never lose sight of the human elements of their subject. We see the landscape Mandela grew up in, beautiful but rife with poverty. We see him shaving in a hotel room, choosing the right tie for his inauguration. It all adds to the man's dynamic personality, and mirrors his open, honest interaction with the men and women of the country he gave up a good portion of his life to help.”

—Kurt Wolff, San Francisco International Film Festival (1996, 118 min.)

Mandela - Trailer

Friday, April 18 at 7:00