Film Schedule - Spring 2019

SFI Spring 2019 Newsletter

Free Admission

The Sonoma Film Institute is no longer selling tickets for film screenings. Suggested donation is $5 and all donations are tax deductible.

THE GREAT BUSTER: A Celebration

THE GREAT BUSTER: A Celebration
Friday, January 25, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, January 27, 2019 - 4:30pm

“Wildly ambitious, visionary, fearless and more physically gifted than any comedian before or since, Buster Keaton is revered and beloved, an enduring icon. Peter Bogdanovich’s soulful tribute pulls us close. First, he reveals Keaton’s too-strange-to-imagine childhood—he was treated as a projectile as an infant, and as a toddler was a veritable vaudeville star. We follow Buster’s unstoppable rise to fame. And then we see the cruel late decades of obsolescence and commodification. In a brilliant twist, Bogdanovich then takes a third-act backtrack to Keaton’s 1920 highlight reel: an unimaginably fertile nine-year creative burst rivaling that of any artist, in any medium, in any era. Bogdanovich weaves an exquisite, bittersweet epic, pulling equally from heartache and pleasure; each crystalline moment connects us to the purest, most enduring of performers.” – Telluride Film Festival (2018, 102 min.) 

SHALOM BOLLYWOOD: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema

SHALOM BOLLYWOOD: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema
Friday, February 1, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 3, 2019 - 4:30pm

SHALOM BOLLYWOOD celebrates the all singing, all dancing history of the world’s largest film industry, revealing the unlikely story of the 2,000-year-old Indian Jewish community and its formative place in shaping the world’s largest film industry. When Indian cinema began 100 years ago it was taboo for Hindu and Muslim women to perform on screen, so Indian Jewish women took on female lead roles, which they then dominated for decades. SHALOM BOLLYWOOD focuses on the lives of Indian cinema’s Jewish icons at the heart of Bollywood from the turn of the 20th century to the present day. Directed by Danny Ben-Moshe. (2017, 76 min.)

THE SHELTERING SKY

THE SHELTERING SKY
Friday, February 8, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 10, 2019 - 4:30pm

(Bernardo Bertolucci 1941-2018)

Bertolucci’s 1990 drama sends an American couple deep into the Sahara Desert, where they discover the transporting power of landscape and culture and learn the distinction between being a tourist and a traveler. Kit (Debra Winger) and Porter (John Malkovich) put themselves in unknown territory in an attempt to inject passion into their 10-year marriage. Bertolucci’s cinematic preoccupations with travel and sexual pluralism converge in this rich and haunting film, which brings to life the intimate details of longing and loneliness. Based on the novel by Paul Bowles, and gorgeously photographed by Vittorio Storaro. (1990, 138 min.)

WALKABOUT

WALKABOUT
Friday, February 15, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 17, 2019 - 4:30pm

(Nicolas Roeg 1928-2018)

Roeg's 1971 coming-of-age fable is set in the Australian Outback, where a 14-year-old city girl (Jenny Agutter) and her six-year-old brother (Roeg's son Luc) find themselves stranded when their father suddenly abandons them. Lost in the wilderness, they encounter an Aboriginal youth (the amazing David Gulpilil, in his first screen appearance) who is performing the ritual solo wandering that will mark his entrance into manhood. Roeg uses hallucinatory editing to provocatively contrast the modern world with the natural realm, while Agutter and Gulpilil both astonish with their mesmerizing, completely unguarded performances. (1971, 100 min.)

MEMOIR OF WAR

MEMOIR OF WAR
Friday, February 22, 2019 - 7:00pm

“Emmanuel Finkiel's haunting and hypnotic adaptation of seminal author Marguerite Duras’ autobiographical novel The War: A Memoir. In 1944 Nazi-occupied France, Marguerite Duras (Mélanie Thierry) is an active Resistance member along with her husband Robert Antelme. When he is deported to Dachau by the Gestapo, she dives into a desperate struggle to get him back, and enters into a high-risk game of psychological cat and mouse with French Nazi collaborator Rabier (Benoît Magimel). But as the months wear on without word of the man she loves, Marguerite must begin the process of confronting the unimaginable. Through subtly expressionistic images and voiceover passages of Duras’s writing, Finkiel evokes the inner world of one of the 20th century’s most revolutionary writers.” – Film Forum (2017, 127 min., in French w/English subtitles)

Co-Sponsored by the United Nations Association of Sonoma County

DO THE RIGHT THING

DO THE RIGHT THING
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, March 3, 2019 - 4:30pm

Spike Lee’s landmark film celebrates its 30thanniversary this year. The hottest day of the year explodes on-screen in a vibrant portrait of a day in the life of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast that includes Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Robin Harris, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Nunn, Rosie Perez, John Turturro, and Roger Guenveur Smith.  Lee’s powerful portrait of urban racial tensions sparked controversy while earning popular and critical praise. (1989,120min) Actor Roger Guenveur Smith will appear for a Q&A after the Friday screening.

 

Roundtable on DO THE RIGHT THING

Saturday, March 2, 2019 - 10:00am
Roundtable on DO THE RIGHT THING 
Student Center, Ballroom C 
 

In conjunction with the 30th anniversary of Do the Right Thing, a roundtable featuring SSU scholars and Roger Guenveur Smith will explore the legacy of Spike Lee’s film today, in light of current movements and events, including Black Lives Matter, Charlottesville and the rise of racial tensions and hate crimes in the U.S. Free and open to the public.

Roger Guenveur Smith – Frederick Douglass Now

Sunday, March 3, 2019 - 7:00pm
Roger Guenveur Smith – Frederick Douglass Now
Green Music Center Event, Schroeder Hall

 

Roger Guenveur Smith presents his internationally acclaimed solo performance, Frederick Douglass Now, a work the Los Angeles Times calls “a personal benchmark for this remarkable artist.” Smith delivers a monologue that mixes Douglass' 19th-century editorials, speeches, and letters with his own original writing. Standing in front of an American flag and using poetry, music, and rap, Smith riffs on not only slavery but modern-day racism, blurring the lines between history and right now. Tickets at https://gmc.sonoma.edu

KUSAMA: INFINITY

KUSAMA: INFINITY
Friday, March 8, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 4:30pm

Yayoi Kusama is the top-selling female artist in the world, best known for her colorful polka dot and pumpkin-themed designs and her massively popular mirrored Infinity Rooms. Leaving her native Japan and traveling to the U.S. armed only with supportive words from Georgia O'Keefe, Yayoi Kusama exploded onto the late-'60s art scene. Fighting racism and sexism in an industry dominated by men who unapologetically pilfered from her remarkable body of work, Kusama eventually returned home to voluntarily retire to a mental institution. Luckily, the rest of the world has finally caught up to Kusama's incredible vision, celebrating her massive colorful installations while bringing her newfound acclaim with younger generations. Produced and directed by Heather Lenz. (2018, 80 min.)

THE WILD PEAR TREE

THE WILD PEAR TREE
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, March 17, 2019 - 3:00pm

(note time change for this screening) 

“Palme d’Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s THE WILD PEAR TREE is an achingly beautiful portrait of an ambitious young writer returning home after college. Hoping to enjoy momentary solace in the company of nature’s calming indifference and with parents whose lives are already settled, Sinan finds only guilt in confrontations with the too-early failures of his past acquaintances and a loaded sense of responsibility toward his father’s worsening gambling addiction. This need to see his life as separate from those he left behind incites a rich and sprawling metanarrative on the self-centeredness essential to pursuing a life of creativity. At once languid and rhapsodic, THE WILD PEAR TREE is a profound and poetic look at youth misspent grasping at a maturity that, once attained, is revealed as the ultimate disappointment.” – Malin Kan, AFI Film Festival (2018, 188 min., in Turkish w/English subtitles)

Closed Spring Break

closed
Monday, March 18, 2019 - 12:00pm

Closed For Spring Break

MIDNIGHT COWBOY

MIDNIGHT COWBOY
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, March 31, 2019 - 4:30pm

50thAnniversary Screenings! “‘Everybody’s talkin’ at cowboy-geared, straight-from-the-sticks stud wannabe Jon Voight, while seedy tenement squatter Dustin Hoffman is “walkin’ here” as he storms at a pushy cabdriver; but they form their own alliance within the grubby underside of Times Square. Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay (Waldo Salt), among seven nominations.” – Film Forum Directed by John Schlesinger. (1969, 114 min.) 

THE THIRD MURDER

THE THIRD MURDER
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 7, 2019 - 4:30pm

“Master director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s latest film is a tour-de-force examination of guilt and justice. A young defense attorney is called in to help with what seems like the straightforward case of an admitted killer. Misumi (the incomparable Koji Yakusho) genially claims responsibility for the murder of a wealthy factory owner but his story shifts with alarming frequency. His odd behavior raises doubts for the pragmatic lawyer who begins to suspect that Misumi is hiding a more complicated truth.” - SFIFF (2017, 124 min., in Japanese w/English subtitles)

THE GLEANERS AND I

THE GLEANERS AND I
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 14, 2019 - 4:30pm

Agnès Varda made 2000's most acclaimed non-fiction film - a self-described "wandering-road documentary." Beginning with the famous Jean-François Millet painting of women gathering wheat left over from a harvest, she focuses her ever-seeking eye on gleaners: those who scour already-reaped fields for the odd potato or turnip. Her investigation leads us from forgotten corners of the French countryside to off-hours at the green markets of Paris, following those who insist on finding a use for that which society has cast off, whether out of necessity or activism. Varda's own ruminations on her life as a filmmaker (a gleaner of sorts) give her a connection to her subjects that creates a touching human portrait that the L.A. Weekly deemed "a protest film that's part social critique, part travelogue, but always an unsentimental celebration of human resilience." (82 min., in French w/English subtitles)

CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7

CLÉO FROM 5 TO 7
Friday, April 19, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 4:30pm

“The film that established Agnès Varda’s international reputation, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a classic work of the French New Wave… Presenting events that appear to unfold in real time, Cléo chronicles two hours in the life of a pop singer (Corinne Marchand), who is waiting to learn if she has cancer. Shot entirely on location in the streets of Paris, the film features a score by Michel Legrand (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) and cameos by Legrand, Jean-Luc Godard, and Anna Karina… In the New Yorker, Pauline Kael credited Varda’s work with ‘an unsentimental yet subjective tone that is almost unique in the history of movies.’” – Susan Oxtoby,Pacific Film Archive (1961, 93 min., in French w/English subtitles)

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 4:30pm

“‘The American stranger knows Blackness as a fact—even though it is fiction,’ says writer-director RaMell Ross. For his visionary and political debut feature, which premiered to great acclaim at Sundance in 2018, Ross spent five years intimately observing African American families living in Hale County, Alabama. It’s a region made unforgettable by Walker Evans and James Agee’s landmark 1941 photographic essay Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which documented the impoverished lives of white sharecropper families in Alabama’s Dust Bowl during the Great Depression. Ross’s poetic return to this place shows changed demographics, and depicts people resilient in the face of adversity and invisibility. HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING introduces a distinct and powerful new voice in American filmmaking.” – New Directors/New Films (2018, 76 min.)

Director RaMell Ross will appear to introduce the film and for Q&A after the Friday screening.