O C T O B E R â€” D E C E M B E R
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Film as Art
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O C TO B E R – D E C E M B E R
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Vol. 19 Issue 4
AT-A-GLANCE IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE October 16–19
DIRECTOR of PROGRAMMING At the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, the fall season begins the day after the Closing Night of the Mill Valley Film Festival. This year’s 40th anniversary Festival runs October 5-15 and offers a potent look at several of the movies coming out for the fall and awards season. On October 16, the Rafael reopens for business. To our surprise, we’ve managed to schedule filmmaker appearances for that very date. In Pursuit of Silence, which runs exclusively at the Rafael October 16 to 19, is a fascinating documentary that takes as its subject the detrimental effects of noise and the benefits of silence, while also serving as an eloquently meditative experience in itself. Screenings on the first two evenings are highlighted by discussions with the filmmaking and sound teams. More filmmaker appearances are on the agenda, including Bay Area filmmaker Owsley Brown with his beautiful documentary about a classical music school in Haiti, and experimental film legend Lawrence Jordan, whose career has spanned 60 years, primarily in the Bay Area. I’ve always had a personal interest in the art of collage and, in particular, the work of Joseph Cornell, for whom Jordan, as a young man, worked as assistant. Jordan’s films are animated collages that, like Cornell’s, juxtapose familiar graphics in unexpected ways, in order to achieve dreamlike or surreal effects. Cornell even charged him to finish some of his own films, that he had culled and spliced from preexisting footage. In some ways, isn’t this the essence of filmmaking: taking a basic photographic reality and rearranging it to create art? Several MVFF films are also opening at the Rafael: Jane, Faces Places, Human Flow, The Square, The Divine Order,
The Other Side of Hope and Wait for Your Laugh. Undoubtedly others will be added to our schedule as the season rolls along. On tap we also have some fascinating revivals and restorations. The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra is another personal favorite. As it happened, Rodney Sauer’s quintet played their first Bay Area date at the Rafael the very week that our restored theater opened in April 1999. They played for Buster Keaton then, and they’re playing for Keaton again in December. Now regulars at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, they have also returned to the Rafael over the years, and this appearance (I believe) will be their eighth. They utilize music from the era, mostly from the 1920s, and Rodney’s elegant arrangements are lively and imaginative while remaining respectful of the material on screen. If you haven’t already, you really should experience them in live performance. And anyway, it’s Buster Keaton! We also have two notable restorations of older films. Truly King of Jazz is a musical curiosity. Originally released in early Technicolor and cut and neglected over the years, it has undergone one of the most extensive (and expensive) digital restorations. And in its own category is the silent classic The Passion of Joan of Arc, also recently restored. This new release has two recently composed musical soundtracks, and you’ll have the opportunity to choose between them. (Unless you want to see it twice!) We’re also launching a new series of operas and ballets filmed live at the Royal Opera House in London, and these are spectacular productions. I could go on, but you should start examining what you want to see. Thanks for reading! ~ Richard Peterson
On the cover: FACES PLACES - Opens October 27 - See page 6 Programs subject to change, including opening dates. OTHER PROGRAMS OPEN THAT DO NOT APPEAR HERE. For up-to-date info: rafaelfilm.org Sign up for weekly email at rafaelfilm.org Check daily newspaper Call 415 454 1222
TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON October 16–19 EX LIBRIS: THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY October 16–19 THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST October 16–19 HUMAN FLOW Opens October 20 DINA Opens October 20 The Royal Opera THE MAGIC FLUTE October 22 SERENADE FOR HAITI October 26 JANE Opens October 27 FACES PLACES Opens October 27 K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN November 2 BUGS November 5 THE SQUARE Opens November 10 The Royal Opera LA BOHEME November 12 LAWRENCE JORDAN November 12 SURVIVING SKOKIE November 19 THE DIVINE ORDER Opens November 24 The Royal Ballet ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND November 26 KING OF JAZZ November 26 & 30 WAIT FOR YOUR LAUGH Opens in November AMERICAN YOGI Opens December 1 THE BREADWINNER Opens December 1 Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra SPITE MARRIAGE December 3 NO MAPS ON MY TAPS December 7 & 10 THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE Opens December 8 THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC December 14, 17, 21, 28 The Royal Ballet THE NUTCRACKER December 17 SUNDANCE SHORT FILM FESTIVAL January 5–11
Programs with in-person guests
BAY AREA THEATRICAL PREMIERE
IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE OCTOBER 16-19
This fascinating and meditative film is an exploration of silence and the impact of noise on our lives. Filmed in eight countries, it immerses us in a cinematic journey around the globe—from a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, to the streets of Mumbai, the loudest city on the planet—and inspires us to both experience silence and celebrate the wonders of our world. Other highlights include filming in the anechoic chamber at Orfield Labs in Minneapolis (the “Quietest Place on Earth”), Alaska’s Denali Memorial Park and Trappist and Zen monasteries, as the filmmakers distill our experience of the world and challenge us to see it anew. Camera: Patrick Shen, Brandon Vedder. Producers: Patrick Shen, Andrew Brumme, Brandon Vedder. Director: Patrick Shen. (US 2016) 81 min. Thanks to our Community Partner, the Buddhist Film Foundation. In conjunction with our exclusive limited engagement, the filmmakers are assembling in-person discussion opportunities. Additional appearances may be announced, but at press time, the following dates are confirmed:
© Cinema Guild
MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 7:15 | IN PERSON Screening and discussion with filmmakers Patrick Shen and Brandon Vedder TUESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 7:15 | IN PERSON Screening and discussion with the film’s sound team from Skywalker Ranch: Steve Bissinger, sound designer & supervising sound editor Shaun Farley, dialogue editor Zach Martin, re-recording mixer & additional effects editor Moderator: Michael Coleman of Soundworks Collection
© The New York Public Library
EX LIBRIS – THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY
OCTOBER 16-19 Nonfiction filmmaking legend Frederick Wiseman goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world and reveals it as a place of welcome, cultural exchange and learning. One of the most democratic institutions in the country, the library is committed to being a resource for all of the city’s inhabitants. Wiseman’s epic observational portrait eschews narration and onscreen identification, even when the speakers are Elvis Costello and Patti Smith, and it constantly reminds us that libraries serve as neighborhood hubs where citizens learn from each other. Calling it a masterpiece, critic Manohla Dargis of The New York Times wrote: “Democracy is alive and in the hands of a forceful advocate and brilliant filmmaker.” Camera: John Davey. Sound/Editor/Producer/Director: Frederick Wiseman. (US 2017) 197 min.
© IFC Films
TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON
OCTOBER 16-19 Laird Hamilton is perhaps the greatest big-wave surfer of all time, a living legend who has tamed some of the world’s mightiest waves. In the surf community, he is also one of the most controversial figures, an innovator who has revolutionized the sport, sometimes to the dismay of purists. This thrilling, up-close portrait traces Hamilton’s remarkable journey, from his rebellious childhood to his relentless pursuit of ever-bigger waves, a quest that ultimately led him to conquer what’s been called “the heaviest wave ever ridden.” Blending candid interviews with breathtaking action footage, this is a visceral, white-knuckle look at a life lived on the edge. Producer/Director: Rory Kennedy. (US 2017) 118 min
© Vitagraph Films
THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST
OCTOBER 16-19 Andrew Wakefield has become the public face of the “Anti-Vax Movement,” one of today’s most intense medical controversies. This British doctor was discredited and stripped of his license following his infamous 1998 study suggesting a link between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism spectrum disorder. Filmmaker Miranda Bailey follows Wakefield, now based in Texas, over a period of five years, beginning in 2011, as he fights in several courts during a defamation case against The British Medical Journal and British journalist Brian Deer. This full-access character study includes the members of the autism community who consider him a rock star, as well as the media and medical figures who condemn him. Executive Producer: Jennifer Fox. Director: Miranda Bailey. (US 2017) 93 min.
© Amazon Studios
OPENS OCTOBER 20 Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei explores the global refugee crisis in an epic documentary journey that is both breathtaking and heartbreaking. Over 65 million people have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war, in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Moving across 23 countries, Ai creates a powerful visual expression of this massive migration, but he constantly returns to human faces and invites us to experience their daily lives. As Ai says, “There is no refugee crisis, only a human crisis,” and this dissident artist, who knows what it’s like to be displaced in one’s own land, sets out to inspire our compassion. Rated PG-13. Producer/Director: Ai Weiwei. (Germany 2017) 140 min.
© The Orchard
OPENS OCTOBER 20 Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, this funny yet empathetic portrait of two people on the autism spectrum plays at times like an eccentric rom-com. Dina is a 49-year-old widow in suburban Philadelphia, and her fiancé Scott, a Walmart door greeter, has never had a girlfriend. Dina’s not shy expressing her longing for intimacy, but Scott seems to blanch whenever the topic comes up. One of those films in which you wonder how the filmmakers managed to capture so many significant moments, this absorbing tale follows the neurodiverse couple through their wedding and honeymoon, and we are rooting for them all the way. Producers/Directors: Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini. (US 2017) 101 min.
THE ROYAL OPERA
© Royal Opera House
THE MAGIC FLUTE
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22, 12:00 NOON Mozart’s glorious opera is brought enchantingly to life in director David McVicar’s production, with beautiful sets by John Macfarlane, that embraces both the seriousness and comedy of the great composer’s work. The audience is transported to a fantastical world of dancing animals, flying machines and dazzlingly starry skies. Mozart’s kaleidoscopic score, from the Queen of the Night’s coloratura fireworks to Tamino and Pamina’s lyrical love duets and Papageno’s hearty arias, is conducted by Julia Jones and performed by Mauro Peter, Siobhan Stagg, Roderick Williams and others. Sung in German with English subtitles. Approximate running time is 190 minutes, including one intermission. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
IN PERSON: DIRECTOR OWSLEY BROWN & PRODUCERS CHRISTY McGILL & ANNE FLATTÉ
© Owsley Brown Presents
SERENADE FOR HAITI
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 7:15 Sainte Trinité Music School in the heart of Port-au-Prince, Haiti thrived despite decades of entrenched poverty and political strife. When a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the school in 2010, a stunned and devastated faculty and student body had to pick up the pieces and find a way to move forward. Filmed over a seven-year period that began before the earthquake, this richly detailed documentary by Bay Area director Owsley Brown weaves a story of transcendence and great humanity as it illustrates the incredible power of music, art and education to hold together one community through tragedy, upheaval and uncertainty. Camera: Marcel Cabrera. Producers: Anne Flatté, Christy McGill. Director: Owsley Brown. (US 2017) 70 minutes plus discussion.
© National Geographic
OPENS OCTOBER 27 Including never-before-seen footage from the National Geographic archives, this acclaimed new documentary offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of Jane Goodall, whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Goodall’s story begins in 1960, when the 26-year-old British woman arrives in a remote area of Tanzania to study chimpanzees. Driven by her love of animals but lacking any formal training, she challenges conventional research methods by forming emotional bonds with her subjects and gaining their trust. Set to a rich orchestral score by Philip Glass, this remarkable film honors a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists. Camera: Ellen Kuras. Writer/Director: Brett Morgan. (US 2017) 90 min.
© Cohen Media Group
OPENS OCTOBER 27 A lively road movie centering on a couple of unlikely buddies, this stunning documentary pairs 89-year-old Agnes Varda, leading figure of the French New Wave, with JR, the acclaimed 33-year-old French photographer and muralist. They drive around the French countryside in JR’s photo truck, producing epic-size portraits of locals and applying them to the walls of the villages where they live and work. Houses, barns, storefronts and factories are emblazoned with the oversized portraits, creating a visual spectacle in itself and reflecting Varda and JR’s friendly interaction with the people they encounter. It’s a meeting of mind and spirit between two artists who share a lifelong passion for images and the means to share them with the world. In French with English subtitles. Directors: Agnes Varda, JR. (France 2017) 89 min. CFI FRENCH CINEMA SPONSOR
LIVE REMOTE Q&A WITH FILMMAKER IARA LEE
© Cultures of Resistance Netwrok
K2 AND THE INVISIBLE FOOTMEN
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 7:00 This documentary chronicles the lives of the indigenous porters who make possible the ascent of K2, the second highest mountain in the world. Amid breathtaking scenery, the film depicts the courage and everyday sacrifices of these porters who, through their interactions with international climbers, provide a fresh look into the cultures and traditions of Pakistan. Filmmaker Iara Lee, who founded the Cultures of Resistance Network, illustrates the inequities the porters endure in this risky profession, especially in terms of job protection, safety and medical care. Following the screening, Lee will participate in a live remote Q&A. In Urdu, Balti, Portuguese with English subtitles. Camera/Editor: Jawad Sharif. Producer/Director: Iara Lee. (Pakistan/US/Brazil 2015) Film 60 min. plus discussion. (US 2017) 90 min.
IN PERSON: FILMMAKER ANDREAS JOHNSEN
© Andreas Johnsen
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 4:15 With upcoming food shortages a certainty, forward-thinking chefs, environmentalists and food scientists are turning toward an unexpected (and, for many, unsettling) source of protein: insects. Over a period of three years, Danish filmmaker Andreas Johnsen follows food adventurers from the Nordic Food Lab as they travel the world to learn from the two billion people who already eat insects. Tasting with communities in Europe, Australia, Mexico, Kenya and Japan, they encounter everything from revered termite queens and desert-delicacy honey ants to venomous giant hornets and long-horned grasshoppers. Part travelogue, part nature documentary, part food-porn and part political treatise, Bugs artfully provides a perfect entry point to insect cuisine. Writer/ Director: Andreas Johnsen. (Denmark 2016) 74 min. plus discussion.
© Magnolia Pictures
OPENS NOVEMBER 10 Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, this satirical drama from Swedish filmmaker Ruben Östlund (Force Majeure) stars Claes Bang as Christian, a prestigious curator for a contemporary art museum. While preparing an installation that invites passersby to engage in altruism (thus reminding them of their role as responsible human beings), Christian discovers that his wallet and phone were stolen on the street and proceeds to neglect practicing what he preaches. Co-starring Elisabeth Moss as an American journalist who tries to penetrate Claes’ artistic pretension, The Square is a bracing and edgy comedy-drama that tackles a host of issues and conditions of our modern age. In Swedish with English subtitles. With Dominic West, Terry Notary. Writer/Director: Ruben Östlund. (Sweden 2017) 145 min.
Film as Art
IN PERSON: LAWRENCE JORDAN SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 4:15 Bay Area-based Lawrence Jordan is one of America’s leading experimental filmmakers. A key figure in San Francisco’s avant-garde art scene in the 1950s and 60s, Jordan also played a pivotal role in the growth of the Film Department at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he taught for more than 30 years. In 1967 he was one of the founding filmmakers of the Canyon Cinema Cooperative. Influenced by the artist Joseph Cornell, for whom he worked as an assistant in creating collages and collage boxes, Jordan is best known for his collage films, often animating Victorian engravings to create surrealist effects. One such film, Our Lady of the Sphere, inspired by The Tibetan Book of the Dead, was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2010 as a film that is “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.” Jordan has made more than 50 films, and he also continues to work in collage outside his film work. At the Rafael, Lawrence Jordan will present and discuss a selection of his films, including recent work. The program will include: Waterlight (1957), Gymnopedies (1966), Our Lady of the Sphere (1969), Postcard from San Miguel (1996), Entr’acte III (2017), The Sacred Art of Tibet (1970-72) and Beyond Enchantment (2010). Films approximately 80 minutes plus discussion. Jordan will also present new work November 17-19 at Camera Obscura, the reconstitution of a screening series that he founded with Bruce Conner and others in 1957.
THE ROYAL OPERA
© Royal Opera House
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 12:00 NOON Giacomo Puccini’s romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with memorable music and an unforgettable love story, is one of the world’s most celebrated operas. When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets seamstress Mimi, they fall instantly in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimi is ill. This new production directed by Richard Jones is conducted by Antonio Pappano and stars a superb young cast, including Nicole Car, Michael Fabiano, Mariusz Kwiecien and Nadine Sierra. Stewart Laing designed the stylized 1850s sets. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. Approximate running time is 155 minutes, including one intermission. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
IN PERSON: FILMMAKERS ELI ADLER & BLAIR GERSHKOW
© Clean Slate Productions
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 4:15 Before Charlottesville there was Skokie…Filmmakers Eli Adler and Blair Gershkow will present and discuss a special screening of the powerful documentary they premiered at the 2015 Mill Valley Film Festival, where it was an Audience Favorite. The film focuses on Jack Adler, Eli’s father, a Polish immigrant and concentration camp survivor who built a life for his family in Skokie, Illinois. But the peaceful existence of hundreds of Holocaust survivors was threatened in 1978, when a neo-Nazi group announced a march through the Chicago suburb. Using the elder Adler’s first-person perspective and fascinating historical footage, the filmmakers explore how the community united in the face of the scars and memories that were suddenly exposed. Producers/Directors: Eli Adler, Blair Gershkow. (US 2015) 65 min. plus discussion.
© Zeitgeist Films
THE DIVINE ORDER
OPENS NOVEMBER 24 In 1920 women’s suffrage finally became US law, but in Switzerland women were still denied the right to vote in 1971. Set in that year, this charming drama from filmmaker Petra Volpe stars Marie Leuenberger as Nora, an unassuming and dutiful housewife who is forbidden by her husband to take a part-time job and becomes the poster child of her town’s suffragette movement. Her newfound celebrity brings humiliation, threats and strife in her marriage, but she refuses to back down, convinces the women in her village to go on strike and ultimately makes some startling discoveries about her own liberation. This uplifting, crowd-pleasing film is a time capsule that couldn’t be more timely. In Swiss-German with English subtitles. Writer/Director: Petra Volpe. (Switzerland 2017) 97 min
© Janus Films
THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE
OPENS NOVEMBER 24 This wry, melancholic comedy from Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre) is a cleareyed response to the current refugee crisis, following two people searching for a place to call home. Khaled (Sherwan Haji) is a displaced Syrian who lands in Helsinki as a stowaway. At the same time, middle-aged salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves his wife and job behind and buys a conspicuously unprofitable seafood restaurant. Fortuitously their paths cross, in a drama that is as deadpan and humorously eccentric as Kaurismäki’s best work. Utilizing his ever-reliable stock company, he expresses his empathy for outsiders and the down-and-out, in this bittersweet tale of human kindness in the face of official indifference. In Finnish with English subtitles. Writer/Director: Aki Kaurismäki. (Finland 2017) 98 min
THE ROYAL BALLET
© Royal Opera House
ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 12:00 NOON Tumble down the rabbit hole with The Royal Ballet in choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s exuberant ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s beloved book. With music by Joby Talbot, this production with eye-popping designs by Bob Crowley includes all the familiar characters, including the jittery White Rabbit, the eccentric Mad Hatter, the enigmatic Caterpillar and the ferocious Queen of Hearts. Exuding a girlish charm, British Principal Lauren Cuthbertson dances the role of Alice, in this feast for the senses from The Royal Opera House, bringing to life Carroll’s story with a menagerie of colors, characters and compelling choreography. Approximate running time is 170 minutes, including intermission. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
© Universal Studios
KING OF JAZZ
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 4:15 | THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 7:30 This 1930 Universal musical, released in early Technicolor, has been painstakingly restored by the studio and offers what jazz critic Gary Giddins calls “a Rosetta stone of early American pop.” The “King” is Paul Whiteman, one of the most popular entertainers of the 1920s and the bandleader whose signature piece was Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” a highlight of the film. While it unfortunately reflects its era in underplaying the African-American origins of jazz in favor of an amalgam of European influences, the film impresses as pure spectacle. Musical, comedy and novelty acts include the first Technicolor animation, the first screen appearance of Bing Crosby (as a member of the Rhythm Boys) and the top-hatted Russell Markert dancers (now known as the Rockettes). Director: John Murray Anderson. (US 1930) 105 min.
© Vitagraph Films
WAIT FOR YOUR LAUGH
OPENS IN NOVEMBER Receiving its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival, this charming portrait of Rose Marie pays tribute to a living legend and her 90-year active career. Born in 1923, she became a singing radio star at four, and she went on to work in every area of show business from stage to screen. She called Al Capone “Uncle Al,” opened the Flamingo for Bugsy Siegel and she befriended many of the show business greats. Besides her incredible recollections, other on-camera witnesses include Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner, with whom she made The Dick Van Dyke Show (playing a woman TV writer in 1961), as well as Peter Marshall from Hollywood Squares. Writers: Christina Tucker, Jason Wise. Director: Jason Wise. (US 2017)
U.S. THEATRICAL PREMIERE
© Kino Lorber
OPENS DECEMBER 1 This documentary by Bay Area filmmaker and psychotherapist Steven Newmark tells his own story of love and enlightenment. A young man of the 1960s, Newmark traveled to India after being inspired by Ram Dass and Be Here Now, his 1971 book about the Indian guru Maharajji (Neem Karoli Baba). Following Newmark as he comes face-toface with the miraculous world of ancient India, the film delves into the teachings of Maharajji as told by his students and devotees. Like Be Here Now, the movie sets out to make the wisdom of the East accessible to a wider audience, exploring Hinduism in an entertaining and personal way. Music: Jai Uttal, Krishna Das. Writers: Steven Newmark, Zoe Harber. Director: Steven Newmark. (US 2017) 79 min
LIVE MUSIC FOR SILENT FILM F E AT U R I N G
© Warner Bros.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 3, 4:15
We’re thrilled to welcome back the talented musicians of the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra to accompany Buster Keaton’s Spite Marriage (1929), screened in a 35mm print. Keaton’s final silent before the talkies took over, Spite Marriage stars Keaton as a lovelorn fan obsessed with a stage star played by Dorothy Sebastian. When she impulsively decides to take a husband to make her former lover jealous, Buster happens to be in the right place at the right time. But it’s going to take an encounter with smugglers, some dangerous stunts and incredible acrobatics before the happy ending can come along. The feature will be preceded by a hilarious comedy short from the silent era. Program approximately 90 minutes plus post-screening discussion. $20 general, $18 seniors, $15 CFI members & youth
© Warner Bros.
Based in Louisville, Colorado, the members of Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra enrich the silent film experience with authentic music of the era, performing under the direction of Rodney Sauer, who compiles and arranges the scores. Mont Alto made their Bay Area debut the same week that the restored Rafael opened in April 1999, and they have returned several times over the years. The New York Times wrote “The results are often breathtakingly beautiful and always in the strict service of the film on the screen.”
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Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra will also perform at the Castro on Saturday, December 2 as part of A Day of Silents from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. Check silentfilm.org for details.
OPENS DECEMBER 1 From executive producer Angelina Jolie and the creators of the Academy Award©-nominated The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea comes a thrilling and enchanting animated feature based on Deborah Ellis’ bestselling novel. The Breadwinner tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl living under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, she disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. The resourceful girl draws strength from the stories her father told her and ultimately risks her life to discover whether he is still alive. This is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories and their potential to unite and heal us all. Writer: Anita Doron. Director: Nora Twomey. (Ireland 2017) 93 min.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 7:00 | SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 4:15 Recently restored from the original negatives, these two joyous documentaries, both by filmmaker George Nierenberg (Say Amen, Somebody), helped resurrect the art of tap dancing in the early 1980s. No Maps on My Taps was a landmark film featuring music by Lionel Hampton and the dance artistry of veterans Bunny Briggs, Chuck Green and Harold “Sandman” Sims. Nierenberg made a follow-up short, About Tap, with Gregory Hines and featuring Jimmy Slyde, Steve Condos and Chuck Green. Offering lessons and insights from the masters, these films generated a multitude of new fans and inspired thousands of young dancers to put on tap shoes. Producer/Director: George T. Nierenberg (US 1979/1984) Total running time 84 minutes.
RE ST O RA TI O N
© Milestone Films
NO MAPS ON MY TAPS and ABOUT TAP
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 7:00 SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 3:15 Score by VOICES OF LIGHT / RICHARD EINHORN
DI G ITA L
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21, 7:00 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28, 7:00 Score by WILL GREGORY / ADRIAN UTLEY With its stunning camerawork and striking compositions, Carl Th. Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) helped prove to the world that movies could be art. Made shortly before the sound era, it was an eloquent demonstration of what the silent movie could accomplish, and Renée Falconetti’s performance as Joan is still considered one of the greatest of all time. Filming in France, Danish director Carl Th. Dreyer dramatizes the 1431 trial and execution of the young Maid of Orleans with intense and uncompromising detail. The French cast includes Michel Simon and theater genius Antonin Artaud. 82 minutes. Screened in a beautiful new 2015 digital restoration by Gaumont in association with the Centre national du cinema et de l’image animée, this is a film that has continued to inspire other artists, and our audiences will have a choice between two unique modern soundtracks.
© Janus Films
ABOUT THE SCORES Voices of Light, an oratorio composed by Richard Einhorn for orchestra, chorus and soloists (inspired by Medieval song), was recorded in 1995 and features the vocal ensemble Anonymous 4 and Susan Narucki. Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) and Adrian Utley (Portishead) joined forces in 2010 to create a new score utilizing a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments, incorporating guitar and voices. It was recorded in 2016 under the baton of Charles Hazlewood. CFI FRENCH CINEMA SPONSOR
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THE ROYAL BALLET
© Royal Opera House
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17, 12:00 NOON Young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favorite present- a nutcracker doll. But a mysterious magician is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous, sugar-spun music makes this the most recognizable of all ballet scores, and choreographer Peter Wright’s definitive production for The Royal Ballet (after the Lev Ivanov’s original 1892 version) ranks as one of the most enduring and enchanting versions of The Nutcracker. Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs capture the opulent Victorian setting of the opening party, as well as the fantasy world inhabited by the Sugar Plum Fairy. This is a great production to share with the family. Approximate running time is 135 minutes, including intermission. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
© Zeitgeist Films
BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY
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OPENS IN JANUARY Hollywood star Hedy Lamarr was considered one of the world’s most beautiful women. Born in Austria, and invited to Los Angeles after her notorious nude scenes in the 1933 film Ecstasy, she would soon play opposite the biggest stars of the day. However, her looks and glamour stood in the way of being recognized as an ingenious inventor who helped revolutionize modern communications. During World War II, she and composer George Antheil developed a system that is now used as the basis for secure WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. But nobody knew this at the time. Combining newly discovered interviews with reflections from family, friends and fans (including Robert Osborne and Mel Brooks), this documentary brings her accomplishments to light. Writer/Director: Alexandra Dean. (US 2017) 89 min.
LUCIA, BEFORE AND AFTER
FIVE FILMS ABOUT TECHNOLOGY
On the eve of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, we present a program of seven shorts, including two award winners, from last year’s event. Canadian Peter Huang’s Five Films About Technology hilariously takes on the dumber sides of technology. Francisca Alegria’s Chilean short (in Spanish with English subtitles) And the Whole Sky Fit in the Dead Cow’s Eye (Short Film Jury Award, International Fiction) depicts a woman visited by a ghost. Come Swim is Kristen Stewart’s impressionist diptych of one man’s day. In Anu Valia’s Lucia, Before and After (Short Film Jury Award: US Fiction), a young woman waits out a state-mandated period before her abortion can proceed. Marshall Tyler’s Night Shift looks at a bathroom attendant in a Los Angeles nightclub. Polish animator Renata Gasiorowska’s Pussy depicts a young woman’s thwarted attempts at a solo pleasure session. In Swedish filmmakers Maximilien Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson’s Ten Meter Tower (in Swedish with English subtitles), people who’ve never been up a 10-meter diving tower must choose whether to jump or climb down, in an entertaining study of people in a vulnerable position. Some films contain mature content. (US 2017) Total program 95 minutes.
WE ARE PLEASED TO OFFER A SEASON OF OPERAS AND BALLETS FILMED LIVE AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN, LONDON. THE ROYAL OPERA
THE ROYAL OPERA
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22 (page 5)
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12 (page 8)
THE MAGIC FLUTE THE ROYAL BALLET
ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26 (page 9)
THE ROYAL BALLET
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17 (page 12)
ALL SHOWS AT 12:00 NOON | $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
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THE ACT OF INSPIRING, ENGAGING, AND TRANSFORMING LIVES THROUGH THE ART OF FILM
We thank this vital group of supporters who believe in the power of film to entertain and enrich lives. Your continued support is essential to ensuring that independent cinema continues to thrive in our community. LEADERSHIP CIRCLE Christopher B. and Jeannie Meg Smith
Jennifer Coslett MacCready
Ken and Jackie Broad Family Fund
INVESTOR CIRCLE Jim Boyce Trust and Kris Otis Drusie and Jim Davis, Drusie Davis Family Fund
Gruber Family Foundation Nancy P. and Richard K. Robbins Family Foundation Michael and Susan Schwartz Fund
Sheri Sobrato Fund, Silicon Valley Community Foundation Vickie Soulier
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PRODUCER’S CIRCLE | SILVER Nancy Abodeely Brian and Nina Arellanes The Berry Family Foundation Brad and Liz Bird Leslie Walker Burlock Alice Corning
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PRODUCER’S CIRCLE | BRONZE The Allen Family Fund Anonymous (4) Allen Barr Laurie Bautista Jane Bay Susan and William Beech Kenneth Birdwell Susan Bolle Inez Brooks-Myers Marc and Robin Bussin Joe and Sue Carlomagno Tom Cohen and Kristi Denton Cohen Joel and Justine Coopersmith Carol DiFeo Stephanie DiMarco Gayle Donsky and Morton J. Stein Joanne Dunn
Michael Dyett and Heidi Richardson Julie Erickson and Art Rothstein James G. Eyton Dennis P. Fisco and Pamela Polite Fisco Catherine and Peter Flaxman Janet Fox Gerald L. and Sheree A. Friedman Frank Gaipa Kenneth and Joan Gosliner Michelle Griffin and Tom Parker Maureen Groper Amy Miller Gross Larry and Carie Haimovitch
Ann-Eve Hazen Monica Heredia and Robert Nelson Liz Hume and Jay Jacobs Richard J. Idell and Susan Kornblatt Idell Devorah Jacoby Elisabeth and Howard Jaffe Willa Jefferson-Stokes Don and Donna Kelleher Pat Kendall Dr. Joe Keon Amy Keroes and Jeff Fisher Roxanne Klein Thomas Koegel and Anne La Follette Suzanne LaFetra
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Schedule of programming at the Smith Rafael Film Center, Oct. - Dec. 2017