Spring 2016 Schedule


Cuban Films!

THE MOLE’S DEN (La guarida del topo)

Friday, January 22 at 7:00 and Sunday, January 24 at 4:00

Daniel, a middle aged hermit, is forced to give overnight shelter to Ana, his neighbor’s niece. The need for human connection and warmth between these two damaged people slowly begins to emerge. Writer/director Alfredo Ureta uses very little dialogue and builds his powerful tale with a masterful accretion of emotional detail. “I want people to leave the cinema taking a story home, and internalizing the complexities of each character. Maybe the solitudes, the silences, the slower tempo may allow us to get more involved in the situations they are going through. I wanted to detach from a quintessential Cuban cinema excessively focused on the everyday life to lay more emphasis in the characters and their conflicts.” – Alfredo Ureta (2011, 95 min., in Spanish w/English subtitles)

La Guarida del Topo (The Mole's Den) - Trailer


A Program of Short Documentary Films

Friday, January 29 at 7:00 and Sunday, January 31 at 4:00

Tentatively scheduled films include Searching for Chano Pozo on the jazz scene of Havana and New York; works by experimental filmmaker Nicolás Guillén Landrián from Cuba's national film institute; In an Old Barrio features a glimpse of an old Havana neighborhood proffered through the filmmaker's languid lens; Ociel of the Toa River, a poignant portrait of an adolescent for whom the revolution seems confusing and distant; and Coffea Arábiga: one of Landrián's most celebrated works, combines fast-paced montage with innovative sound juxtapositions to narrate the history of coffee. (Approximately 2 hours; in Spanish w/English subtitles)



Friday, February 5 at 7:00 and Sunday, February 7 at 4:00

Filmmaker Shirley Clarke uses various techniques to chronicle the life of Ornette Coleman from his childhood in segregated Texas through his career as a multi-instrumentalist and composer and one of free jazz’s foremost inventors, innovators, and legends. The film features interviews with William Burroughs, Buckminster Fuller, Don Cherry and Yoko Ono. “A funky, nonfiction tribute to the great avant-garde saxophonist…ORNETTE upends the staid portrait-of-the-artist formula, and it tinkers with and discards the conventions of the bio documentary just as its pioneering musician subject exploded those of jazz.” – Melissa Anderson (1984, 85 min.)

Ornette: Made in America - Trailer



“A sweet, reflective, back-alley movie about three aging hoofers in Harlem – how they live and, when they can manage to get a gig, how they work. Chuck Green, Bunny Briggs, and Howard (Sandman) Sims are all former headliners…all three men are fine dancers still. The film shows that, and it depicts them as the last in a great line – artists who would like to pass along their tradition but know there are no takers.” – Arlene Croce, The New Yorker “A funny, moving, slightly quixotic study that returns tap to its urban roots on the street corners of Harlem, and allows us to know and care deeply about three gifted men.” - Gary Giddins, Village Voice (1979, 58 min.)

No Maps on My Taps - Trailer

BLIND CHANCE (Przypadek)

Friday, February 12 at 7:00 and Sunday, February 14 at 4:00

“Every generation needs to know or believe that the world can be a better place,” claims a character in Krzysztof Kieslowski's examination of will, destiny, and chance, a fascinating precursor to the concerns of his Three Colors trilogy and a biting condemnation of the complex choices (or lack thereof) of individuals in a totalitarian regime. Made during the beginning of the Solidarity period but banned after the declaration of martial law, BLIND CHANCE is a trilogy-in-one, following three possible life paths of its main character. In one, he becomes a Party member, but his youthful idealism is quickly co-opted by the state. In the second, he instead joins a dissident movement, and in the third he decides “not to be involved in either.”Highlighting the interconnected nature of fate, secondary characters from one segment turn up in another, while the ending unites them in a final tragedy.” – Pacific Film Archive (1981/87, 120 min., in Polish w/English subtitles)

Blind Chance (Przypadek) - Trailer


Friday, February 19 at 7:00

Stunned by the innovations of Roberto Rossellini’s OPEN CITY, Ingrid Bergman famously offered him the services of “a Swedish actress who spoke English well.” The first result of their artistic collaboration was this demanding story of a Lithuanian refugee (Bergman) who accepts the marriage offer of a Sicilian fisherman she barely knows, and finds herself transported to a harsh and primitive landscape (the volcanic island of the title). (1950, 106 min, in Italian w/English subtitles)

Stromboli Terra Di Dio - Scene

PATHER PANCHALI (The Song of the Little Road)

Friday, February 26 at 7:00

Satyajit Ray’s first in his Apu Trilogy is an acknowledged masterpiece of world cinema. “A study of a Bengali village family, it manages to touch emotional and psychological levels common to every spectator, and although the main focus of the film is upon Apu, the young son, the characters of his mother, father, sister and aunt are vividly portrayed…This is more than film, it is an outcry from the heart.” – Albert Johnson, Pacific Film Archive (1954, 115 min. in Bengali w/English subtitles)
Sonoma State University Professor Dr. Ajay Gehlawat will introduce the film.

Apu Trilogy - Trailer



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

“Originally published in 1966, French director François Truffaut’s book-length interview with his filmmaking idol offered the first serious appraisal of Hitchcock as not just a mere “master of suspense” but rather as a sophisticated artist, a status critics had denied him, labeling him a commercial entertainer. The book became an invaluable primer, dissecting Hitchcock’s artistry film by film... Critic and historian Kent Jones’ beautifully crafted essay film weaves excerpts from Truffaut’s original audio tapes, which take us behind the scenes of this remarkable meeting of the minds, with commentary from a who’s-who of leading world filmmakers: Wes Anderson, Olivier Assayas, David Fincher, James Gray and Martin Scorsese. Jones illuminates the ways in which filmmakers directly and indirectly speak to one another in the universal language of cinema.” -Telluride Film Festival (2015, 80 min.)

Hitchcock/Truffaut - Trailer


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

Francois Truffaut’s stylish and suspenseful homage to Hitchcock stars a stone-faced Jeanne Moreau tracking down and killing (each in a unique way) the five men responsible for her husband’s accidental death. The film features an eerie, atmospheric musical score from Bernard Herrmann, and is beautifully photographed by Raoul Coutard. (1968, 107 min., in French w/English subtitles)

The Bride Wore Black - Trailer

Spring Break

Ousmane Sembene Films


Friday, March 25 at 7:00 and Sunday, March 27 at 4:00

“Whether it’s DeMille, Hitchcock, the Senegalese filmmaker Sembene … we’re all walking in their footsteps every day…”Martin Scorsese

In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. SEMBENE! documents the unbelievable true story of the father of African cinema, the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a 50-year battle to return African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized. (2015, 86 min., in English, French and Wolof w/English subtitles)

Sembene! - Trailer


MANDABI (The Money Order)

Friday, April 1 at 7:00 and Sunday, April 3 at 4:00

Ousmane Sembene’s second feature was the first African film to receive international recognition. “MANDABI is a folk-comedy with satirical overtones, and with all of the rich visions for the spectator to behold, there are deep observations of character involved. The story concerns Dieng, a middle-aged Moslem, his two wives, and their seven children. One day he receives a money order from his nephew in Paris, with specific instructions about its division. However, news of the money order soon spreads throughout the entire neighborhood... The very unpretentiousness of MANDABI fills one with great optimism about the future of African cinema.” – Albert Johnson, Pacific Film Archive The film received the International Critics' Prize at the Venice Film Festival. (1968, 90 min., in Wolof w/English subtitles)

Mandabi (The Money Order) - Opening Scene


Friday, April 8 at 7:00 and Sunday, April 10 at 4:00

One of the greatest working filmmakers, Chilean documentarian Patricio Guzmán provides a dazzling and haunting companion piece to his 2010 masterpiece NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT (SFI, 2011) Using water as a central prism, THE PEARL BUTTON explores the interconnectedness of humanity and a nation marred by colonial and political upheaval. Despite stretching over 2,600 miles, Guzmán asserts that contemporary Chileans have virtually no relationship to their vast coastline. Beginning with a single drop enclosed in a block of quartz, the film flows with the sea through its various incarnations--as the home of the now nearly extinct “water tribes” of the Patagonian archipelago, as the vehicle for the arrival of the European colonialists, and as the dumping ground for the victims of the Pinochet regime. Guzmán has commented “I make films that are metaphorical and poetic; I interpret reality through my own personal way of looking. I'm a film-maker who was very marked by the ways of the dictator. It has remained with me forever, I cannot leave it behind.” Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Script at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival (2014, 82 min., in Spanish w/English subtitles)

The Pearl Button - Trailer


Friday, April 15 at 7:00 and Sunday, April 17 at 4:00

“The new film by the great Philippe Garrel is a close look at infidelity—not merely the fact of it, but the particular, divergent ways in which it’s experienced and understood by men and women. Stanislas Merhar and Clotilde Courau are Pierre and Manon, a married couple working in fragile harmony on Pierre’s documentary film projects, the latest of which is a portrait of a resistance fighter (Jean Pommier). When Pierre takes a lover (Lena Paugam), he feels entitled to do so, and he treats both wife and mistress with disengagement bordering on disdain; when Manon catches Pierre in the act, her immediate response is to find common ground with her husband. Garrel is an artist of intimacies and emotional ecologies, and with IN THE SHAOW OF WOMEN he has added narrative intricacy and intrigue to his toolbox. The result is an exquisite jewel of a film.” - New York Film Festival (2015, 73 min., in French w/English subtitles)

In the Shadow of Women - Trailer

Gregory Peck and Horton Foote Centenary


Friday, April 22 at 7:00 and Sunday, April 24 at 4:00

Actor Gregory Peck and writer Horton Foote were born within three weeks of each other in the early spring of 1916 and they both won Oscars for their work on this film in 1963. Robert Mulligan’s adaptation of the beloved Harper Lee novel has everything going for it, great performances all the way around (Brock Peters, child actors Mary Badham and Philip Alford, and first-timer Robert Duvall), a sensitive score by Elmer Bernstein, and evocative cinematography by Russell Harlan. A tale told from a child’s point of view, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is set in a fictional Alabama town in 1931. The story centers on an attorney, Atticus Finch, appointed to defend a black man who is accused of raping a white woman. (1962, 129 min.)

To Kill a Mockingbird - Trailer

Do we have your email address?

We can save money (and paper) by offering our flyers in pdf format to those on our mailing list. If you are interested in receiving future mailings in electronic form, please send us your name, address, and email to nicholse@sonoma.edu.

STAFF: Eleanor Nichols, Director; Aidan Humrich, and Ruth King.

Supported in part by Instructionally Related Activity Funds