Film Schedule - Fall 2022

For your safety and that of other guests, masks are strongly recommended, but no longer required indoors. All screenings take place in Warren Auditorium in Ives Hall on the Sonoma State University campus.

Admission is free, but we suggest a $5 donation.

In these challenging times, we are grateful to all Sonoma Film Institute attendees and supporters. To continue as a unique cultural resource in the North Bay Area, SFI needs contributions from the community we serve. With your support, we will continue to program the incredible variety of movies you can’t find anywhere else. Thank you!

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Paris Blues Film Poster
Friday, September, 9, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, September, 11, 2022, 4:00pm

Remembering Sidney Poitier

Eddie Cook (Sidney Poitier) and Ram Bowen (Paul Newman) are two expatriate jazz musicians living in Paris where, unlike America at the time, jazz musicians are celebrated and racism is a non-issue. When they meet and fall in love with two young American girls (Joanne Woodward, Diahann Carroll) who are vacationing in France, Ram and Eddie must decide whether they should move back to America with them, or stay in Paris for the freedom it allows them. A virtual love letter to both jazz and the city of Paris, Martin Ritt’s sensitive depictions of romance and friendship between Black and white characters across the Atlantic, offers a tender, moving rebuke to the specter of American racism.  With its Oscar-nominated Duke Ellington score, excellent cast, and a breathtaking “Battle Royal” with Louis Armstrong, PARIS BLUES is a must-see film for any jazz lover.

Released: 1961
Run time: 98


I Married the War Film Poster
Friday, September, 16, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, September, 18, 2022, 4:00pm

California Premiere!

Betty and Ken Rodgers’ brilliant new documentary, I MARRIED THE WAR, focuses on eleven devoted military wives from various war eras who have had to deal with their husbands’ emotional and physical wounds of war. The women in the film share their personal struggles while not losing sight of their own hopes and desires. Their heroically candid stories expose the emotional cost of war and its impact on the lives of spouses and children. Betty Rodgers is an award-winning filmmaker, photographer, writer, and storyteller who has a longtime affiliation with veterans and their families. Ken Rodgers is also an award-winning filmmaker and photographer as well as a Vietnam veteran.

Betty and Ken Rodgers, as well as composer Sarah Baker, will be present for discussion after the screenings.

Released: 2021
Run time: 94


Victim Film Poster
Friday, September, 23, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, September, 25, 2022, 4:00pm

“‘I wanted him!’ With these words Dirk Bogarde consigned his matinee idol alter-ego to history, and a gripping landmark in gay cinema was born. Bogarde’s closeted, married lawyer Melville Farr is drawn into exposing a terrifying blackmail ring when an admirer (Peter McEnery) commits suicide rather than implicate him. Supporting the recommendations of the Wolfenden Committee, director Basil Dearden, producer Michael Relph and screenwriter Janet Green denounced the poisonous, institutionalized homophobia gay men of all classes faced, and cleverly packaged the politics within an accessible crime-thriller. VICTIM, and Bogarde’s courageous appearance in it, helped propel public discourse towards the 1967 Act and beyond – changing lives in the process.” – British Film Institute

Dr. Bryan Burton, Assistant Professor in Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies will introduce the film and lead a discussion after the Friday night screening.

Released: 1961
Run time: 100


The Conformist Film Poster
Friday, September, 30, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, October, 2, 2022, 4:00pm

Bernardo Bertolucci’s unforgettable adaptation of Alberto Moravia’s novel takes us behind the facade of its lead character, unforgettably essayed by Jean-Louis Trintignant (who died earlier this year at the age of 91), a weak-willed and banal man who becomes a pawn of Fascists with the greatest of ease. A visual masterpiece, and one of the greatest films ever made. Richly designed by Ferdinando Scarfiotti to reflect the fashions and imposing architecture of the Mussolini era, the film is stunningly shot by Vittorio Storaro, whose gleaming, dynamic cinematography later proved an inspiration to American directors such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, the Coen Brothers and Woody Allen. (in Italian w/ English subtitles)

Released: 1970
Run time: 113


The Reader Film Poster
Friday, October, 7, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, October, 9, 2022, 4:00pm

Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial. Kate Winslet (who won the Academy Award for her role) delivers a dynamic performance in this tale of eroticism and secrecy, set in turbulent post-Nazi Germany. Bringing to life the celebrated novel by Bernhard Schlink, Winslet is riveting as Hanna Schmitz – a lonely, working-class woman who experiences a brief but intense affair with a teenage boy. Years later they meet again: Hanna now a defendant in a notorious case and her ex-lover, now a law student, holding the secret to her salvation. Directed by Stephen Daldry, and featuring Ralph Fiennes as the grown man still reeling from Hanna’s influence, THE READER is a moving, romantic and poignant story about the difficult distance between truth and reconciliation.

On Friday night, Dr. Michaela Grobbel, Professor of German in Modern Languages and Literature, will introduce the film and lead a discussion after the screening.

Released: 2008
Run time: 124


The Secret of the Grain Film Poster
Friday, October, 14, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, October, 16, 2022, 4:00pm

"The winner of four César awards, including best picture and director, Abdellatif Kechiche’s THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN is a stirring drama about the daily joys and struggles of a bustling French-Arab family. It has the texture of a documentary but a classic, almost Shakespearean structure: when patriarch Slimane acts on his wish to open a portside restaurant specializing in his ex-wife’s couscous and fish, the extended clan’s passions and problems explode, leading to an engrossing, suspenseful climax. With sensitivity and grit, THE SECRET OF THE GRAIN celebrates the role food plays in family life and gets to the core of contemporary immigrant experience." – The Criterion Collection (in French and Arabic w/ English subtitles)

On Friday night, Dr. Suzanne Toczyski, Professor of French in Modern Languages and Literature, will introduce the film and lead a discussion after the screening.

Released: 2007
Run time: 154


Alamo Bay Film Poster
Friday, October, 21, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, October, 23, 2022, 4:00pm

French director Louis Malle seems to have an extraordinary gift to capture the spirit and ethos of American society. As in his earlier ATLANTIC CITY, this film features a great cast of accomplished actors who are offered the opportunity to develop richly complex characters. A young Vietnamese refugee attempts to find work in a Texas fishing town. His arrival is the catalyst for ugly confrontations between European and Asian Americans. Though the business owners are only too happy to exploit the labor of the refugee community, this creates tension between the Vietnamese and American workers, who feel that their livelihood is threatened by immigrant labor. The film unflinchingly portrays the ugliness of racism, but it does not resort to reducing people or events to stereotypes. By focusing on the experiences of Asian Americans, ALAMO BAY shows how the racist underpinnings of white Southern society affect all human relationships in the country. The outstanding cast includes Ed Harris, Amy Madigan and Ho Nguyen. The evocative music is by Ry Cooder.

Released: 1985
Run time: 98

Closed Friday, October 28 and Sunday, October 30

Friday, October, 28, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, October, 30, 2022, 4:00pm
Released: 2022


How to Successfully Fail in Hollywood Film Poster
Friday, November, 4, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, November, 6, 2022, 4:00pm

Special event and screening of HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY FAIL IN HOLLYWOOD, a witty, poignant film about friends, fantasies and fails. An ode to struggling artists trying to make it against all odds, on their terms, while navigating truth, fantasy and identity in outrageous Tinseltown. Ellie (C.M. Conway) is a bottom-feeder actress at the end of her rope in Hollywood, when a life-changing event happens with her gay, Latinx friend, Ben (Adrian Gilbert). A surreal twist unfolds with comedic results, blurring the lines of fantasy and reality, as she unwittingly becomes the key to a new take on Tinseltown where failure is the star. This female-led indie was produced, directed, written and edited by Sonoma County's C.M. Conway (she/her), inspired by her years in Hollywood; with Sonoma County, Bay Area and Los Angeles locations. Inclusive of the LGBTQIA+ and BIOPOC communities, and a champion of gender equity.

Completed: 2022 (not publicly released yet).

Q&A with filmmaker C.M. Conway after the screenings (Nov. 4th virtually, Nov. 6th in person). Also, fun photo ops and attendees have a chance to win gifts and prizes.

Run time: 116


They All Laughed Film Poster
Friday, November, 11, 2022, 7:00pm
Sunday, November, 13, 2022, 4:00pm

Remembering Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich’s hectic comedy centers on three detectives (Ben Gazzara, John Ritter, Blaine Novak), their various romantic entanglements and the women they fall in love with whom they have been hired to follow (Audrey Hepburn, in her penultimate big-screen role, Colleen Camp, Dorothy Stratten and a fetching Patti Hansen). While poorly received at the time, the comical, heartfelt and personal picture has risen in stature over the last few years, with filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach all noting their personal affection for it. This Bittersweet (lower case b for bittersweet) roundelay is shot entirely on location and captures a New York rarely seen in movies. “Peter Bogdanovich’s THEY ALL ALUGHED is a gem. A minor miracle of a movie that is so delicate, so perfectly put together, and yet somehow so fragile that if you remove one element, one take even, the entire thing would unravel. It’s a whodunit. I suppose, with various characters running around New York following each other and spying on one another, but Bogdanovich seems to think that is the secondary plot of THEY ALL LAUGHED, the first being just putting all these crazy people into the same movie and seeing what would happen.”- Sheila O'Malley

Released: 1981
Run time: 115