Spring 2015 Schedule



David Gulpilil won the Best Actor prize at this year's Cannes for his role as Charlie, an aging Aboriginal who abandons his remote community in order to live a traditional lifestyle and must find his way back home. Gulpilil (WALKABOUT, THE LAST WAVE) co-wrote this semi-autobiographical film with director Rolf de Heer, their third collaboration together after THE TRACKER (2002) and TEN CANOES (2006). Charlie struggles in vain to find his place in the dominant white society, whose members have claimed his native lands for themselves and imposed laws that strip his people of their identity and power. The film is a meditation on cultural dislocation and the impact of colonialism as much as it is a journey of personal discovery and resilience. Gulpilil gives an authentic, magnetic performance in this melancholy yet uplifting story. (2013, 108 min., in English and Yolngu, w/English subtitles)

Charlie's Country Trailer

BUY Friday, January 23 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, January 25 at 4:00


"In 1945, Hitler ordered General Dietrich von Choltitz (Niels Arestrup) to destroy Paris’s iconic landmarks, from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe to Notre-Dame, before the German surrendered to the Allies. In the film, Raoul Nordling, an urbane Swedish diplomat (André Dussollier) arrives at Von Choltitz’s hotel suite to persuade a man who has built a career on loyalty to disobey the order. Director Volker Schlöndorff adapts Cyril Gely’s play into a magnificent miniature, set almost entirely in one room and playing in real time, as the diplomat appeals to the General’s decency, the futility of war, and Paris’s cherished position in the world’s imagination. Though we know the outcome, the ensuing verbal chess game—as performed by two of Europe’s greatest living actors— unfolds with such astonishing wit and intricacy that we are swept away by the suspense." – Telluride Film Festival (2014, 85 min., in French and German w/English subtitles)

Diplomacy Trailer

BUY Friday, January 30 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, February 1 at 4:00



"SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY is an extraordinary film, a documentary masterpiece." – Roger Ebert
This legendary documentary by the great George Nierenberg celebrates on film one of the deepest and richest movements in native American music – the communal Black church music known as ‘Gospel.’ Featuring Willie Mae Ford Smith, Thomas A. Dorsey The Barrett Sisters and The O’Neal Twins. SAY AMEN, SOMEBODY provides an intimate, well-balanced and celebratory introduction to the environment of music, religion and people truly blessed and possessed. (1982, 100 min.)

Say Amen, Somebody Trailer

BUY Friday, February 6 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, February 8 at 4:00


"Enrico Oliveri (Toni Servillo) is a politician on the verge of a breakdown; heckled before a panel session, he disappears. His long-suffering assistant Andrea (Valerio Mastandrea) finds out from Enrico’s wife that there is a twin brother, Giovanni, whose existence has been kept secret as he’s been in an institution for some time. Andrea’s brainstorm to have Giovanni pose as Enrico takes a shocking turn when the 'crazy' stand-in turns out to have some very sane ideas that are wildly embraced by the populace. VIVA LA LIBERTÀ offers a bold political satire in the vein of BEING THERE spearheaded by the masterful Servillo, who creates two distinct characters with perfectly calibrated shadings of speech and appearance." – San Francisco International Film Festival. (2013, 92 min., in Italian and French w/English subtitles)

Viva la Libertà Trailer

BUY Friday, February 13 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, February 15 at 4:00


Cary Grant and Jean Arthur star in one of the greatest adventure stories ever made. Impeccably well-crafted, Howard Hawks’ marvelous yarn about mail pilots risking their lives above the Andes is one of the landmarks of American cinema. "The most romantic film of Hawks' career! Introduces the latter-day Hawks heroine, [here played by] the tough, wisecracking Jean Arthur… [the film's] pessimistic mood was the director’s last gesture to the spirit of the thirties reflected in the doomed cinema of Renoir and Carné." – Andrew Sarris (1939, 121 min.)

Only Angels Have Wings Trailer

BUY Friday, February 20 at 7:00

Celebarting Women Directors

"This super-stylish and spellbinding Persian take on the vampire genre doubles as a compact metaphor for the current state of Iran. Ana Lily Amirpour’s debut feature guides us on a dreamlike walk on the wild side, into the nocturnal and sparsely populated underworld of “Bad City,” an Iran of the mind that nevertheless rings true. In a cool and brooding scenario that involves just a handful of characters, an alluring female vampire stalks potential victims with a judgmental eye—but isn’t immune to romantic desire when it presents itself in the form of a young hunk who’s looking for a way out of his dead-end existence. With to-die-for high-contrast black-and-white cinematography and a sexy cast that oozes charisma, horror has seldom seemed so hot." – Film Society of Lincoln Center (2014, 99 min., in Farsi w/English subtitles)

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Trailer

BUY Friday, February 27 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, March 1 at 4:00


Celebrating Women Directors

Mariachi is a cultural institution in Mexico. The music is an essential expression that is woven into the city streets, bars, ceremonies, and celebrations of the culture, but for the most part it is still considered the domain of men. QUE CARAMBA ES LA VIDA follows young female mariachi musicians as they break custom and tradition to follow their passion. It also documents the over 50-year legacy of all female mariachi bands (Las Estrellas de Mexico, Las Coronelas, Las Pioneras). There are few moments on this year’s SFI schedule that can offer the same electric charge as watching María del Carmen ecstatically belt out, "I love this [expletive] life." Directed by Doris Dörrie (ENLIGHTENMENT GUARANTEED). (2014, 86 min., in Spanish w/English subtitles) Co-Sponsored by:

Que Caramba es la Vida Trailer

BUY Friday, March 6 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, March 8 at 4:00

Celebrating Women Directors

"PRIVATE BENJAMIN meets M*A*S*H, speaks Hebrew, and keeps kosher. Set in a remote desert military base, a platoon of young women soldiers, all Israeli conscripts, serve out their time playing computer games, singing pop songs, and conspiring to get transferred to Tel Aviv -- while endlessly serving coffee to the men who run the show. Here’s an Israeli film filled with funny, quick-witted, zany women who wield their staple guns like automatic weaponry. If there is a war going on, it’s one against boredom, bad uniforms, dopey rules, and doing everything in triplicate. Debut filmmaker Talya Lavie is Israel’s answer to Lena Dunham: ZERO MOTIVATION has had rave reviews and huge audiences. Winner of the top prize for narrative world cinema at the Tribeca Film Festival." - Film Forum (2014, 101 mins., in Hebrew w/English subtitles)

Zero Motivation Trailer

BUY Friday, March 13 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, March 15 at 4:00

Closed for Spring Break


"Abderrahmane Sissako brings his lucid brilliance and unparalleled artistry to an account of the temporary occupation of northern Timbuktu by militant Islamic Jihadists in 2012. Shot in Mauritania and Mali, Timbuktu opens with a gang of Islamic extremists arriving in a town on motorbikes, toting AK47 rifles and announcing that they are imposing radical Sharia law. Such everyday activities as singing and playing football are now prohibited. We see the impact of the restrictions on a number of characters. A cattle farmer, incensed by the fishermen who kill one of his cows when it becomes trapped in their nets metes out his own justice only to find himself in court. A football team, dispirited that they can no longer play their favorite game, find a way around the new rules by practicing with an imaginary ball. Most moving of all is the plight of Fatou (Fatoumata Diawara), who wails her forbidden songs as she is publicly flogged. Like his magisterial BAMAKO (2006), Sissako’s new film balances the personal and political to stunning effect. This is an important and soulful cinematic experience." - London Film Festival (2014
, 97 min, in Arabic, Bambara, French, English, Songhay, and Tamasheq w/English subtitles) Co-Sponsored by:

Timbuktu Trailer

BUY Friday, March 27 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, March 29 at 4:00



"See it large—a dance musical as antithetical to the small screen as WEST SIDE STORY, whose choreography it emulates and whose star George Chakiris improbably appears here, along with Gene Kelly, Mr. American in Paris himself. In the sleepy town of Rochefort, denizens who somnolently dance sidewise down the street are energized by the arrival of a traveling commercial fair that passes for spectacle. Catherine Deneuve and her talented sister Françoise Dorléac play musical twin sisters who while away the hours in their Barbie Doll outfits until they can hitch a ride to love and fame. In Demy's clever patter set to Michel Legrand's music, their barista mother Danielle Darrieux dreams of a love lost to the silliness of the French language, and everyone around her pines, in rhyme, for a poetic ideal." 

- Judy Bloch, PFA Directed by Jacques Demy. (1967, 124 min., in French w/English subtitles)

The Young Girls of Rochefort Trailer

BUY Friday, April 3 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, April 5 at 4:00


By day, meek Japanese office worker Kumiko (Rinko Kikuchi, BABEL) lives an extremely structured life. In her own time, she obsessively watches a dubbed VHS of the Coen Brother’s film, FARGO, which she believes to be a true story. Meticulously examining the film and creating detailed maps, she finds the location of Steve Buscemi’s buried briefcase and sets off on an absurdist odyssey to Minnesota to alter her destiny. Inspired by an urban legend, filmmaker brothers David and Nathan Zellner create a beautiful, oddly touching character study anchored by a remarkable performance from Kikuchi. (2014, 104 min. in English and Japanese w/English subtitles.)

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter Trailer

BUY Friday, April 10 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, April 12 at 4:00

Orson Welles Centenary

It's easy to think that Orson Welles peaked young with CITIZEN KANE and never made anything quite that good ever again. But it's not true. F FOR FAKE really is that good. In it, self-described charlatan and amateur magician Welles gleefully explores the tenuous line between truth and lies, art and illusion, essentially inventing a new genre of filmmaking in the process. Beginning with portraits of world-renowned art forger Elmyr de Hory and his equally devious biographer, Clifford Irving, Welles creates a brilliant cinematic essay that simultaneously exposes and revels in fakery and fakers of all stripes—not the least of whom is Welles himself. Interweaving anecdotes about Howard Hughes's hidden sandwiches, an entire period of lost Picasso works, his own War of the Worlds broadcast, and the anonymous creators of the Chartres Cathedral, Welles turns the movie itself into an elaborate illusion that speaks to Picasso's famous saying: "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." (1973, 90 min.)
Sonoma State University Hutchins School Professor Dr. Ajay Gehlawat will introduce the film on Friday night only.

F For Fake Trailer

BUY Friday, April 17 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, April 19 at 4:00

Orson Welles Centenary
MAGICIAN: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

"From documentarian Chuck Workman comes an exhaustive look at one of cinema’s greatest masters: Orson Welles. Combining extensive filmmaker interviews with rare archival footage of Welles himself, Workman takes us through the life of the legendarily uncompromising actor and director behind such classics as CITIZEN KANE, THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS and TOUCH OF EVIL. Beginning with Welles’ early career as a dazzling yet intransigent young genius, the film charts his rise and tumultuous collision with the Hollywood studio system, and the toll it would eventually take, leaving him forced to do television commercials in his final years. Nonetheless, it is a portrait of an artist who never stopped developing new material, regardless of under-financing. Featuring clips from Welles’ late-in-life unfinished projects, MAGICIAN is a must-see for all cinema fans." - Lane Kneedler, AFI (2014, 93 min.)

Magician: The Astonshing Life and Work of Orson Welles Trailer

BUY Friday, April 24 at 7:00

BUY Sunday, April 26 at 4:00

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

Supported in part by Instructionally Related Activity Funds