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CFI B OARD O F DIRECTO RS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / FOUNDER
Mark Fishkin CFI BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Maida Brankman Kenneth Broad (Vice President)
Lynne Hale Richard J. Idell (Secretary)
Amy Keroes Caroline Labe Jennifer Coslett MacCready (Vice President)
Cathy Nourafshan Maggie O’Donnell Jonathan Parker (President)
Susan Schwartz Dr. Joel Sklar
Steve Weinswig Zach Zeisler (Treasurer)
Rita Cahill Sid Ganis Bruce Katz Gary Meyer Gordon Radley Christopher B. Smith Henry Timnick
Rita Cahill Mark Fishkin Lois Kohl Shore ADVISORY BOARD
The Honorable Barbara Boxer Stewart Boxer Drusie Davis Jeff Fisher Peter Flaxman Robert Greber
Linda Gruber Peggy Haas Jessica Igoe Michael Klein Roxanne Klein KC Lauck Andrew McGuire Mary Poland Eric Schwartz Michael Schwartz Skip Whitney
R AFAE L QUARTERLY STA F F R I C H A R D P E T E R S ON Director of Programming | Editor
SHEL L EY SPICER Director of Marketing & Publicity
L EAH L OSCHIAV O Marketing Coordinator
D A N Z A S T R OW Rafael General Manager
JAN KL INGEL HOF ER Program Consultant
BRIAN LEHMAN Quarterly Layout/Production
JONAT HAN MARL OW CFI Releasing / Rafael Film Club
Smith Rafael Film Center is owned and operated by the California Film Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that also produces the annual Mill Valley Film Festival, DocLands Documentary Film Festival and CFI Education programs throughout the year. © Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. No portion of the Rafael Quarterly may be duplicated in any form without written consent from the Smith Rafael Film Center and/or the California Film Institute.
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Vol. 20 Issue 3
FIVE SEASONS Continuing from June
DIRECTOR of PROGRAMMING What kinds of movies do you like to watch? That simple question could inspire as many responses as there are people to respond. For most of us, our answers will vary. On the one hand, there are our personal preferences for subject, genre and the people that we like working before and behind the camera. On the other hand, there is one’s mood, the weather, time of day or another equally “significant” reason. At the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, we are fortunate to have an intelligent and responsive audience as our “dancing partners” in the continuing give-and-take of presenting films and events. For instance, as we prepare this new quarterly schedule, the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG is still going strong after almost two months on screen, even as the Fred Rogers portrait Won’t You Be My Neighbor? began to take flight. California Film Institute has long supported the exhibition of documentaries, through four decades of the Mill Valley Film Festival and the more recent DocLands Documentary Film Festival. And several of the Rafael’s most successful theatrical presentations have been nonfiction films. (Think Buena Vista Social Club, Rivers and Tides, Winged Migration and March of the Penguins, as well as the recent Jane.) Since nonfiction movies are not traditionally associated with “big box office,” our circumstances are a tribute to the discernment of our audiences.
AT-A-GLANCE TROUBLE IN PARADISE
and as we enter the summer season (the time of year that studios tend to release “lighter” fare), the Rafael’s nonfiction films run the gamut of moods, from serious and challenging issues to experiences that will elevate your spirit or warm your heart. At any rate, this summer’s gamut is one with range. We’re pretty confident that you will love Pick of the Litter, but we also hope that a number of our patrons will be attentive to more issue-oriented fare like Dark Money and Bisbee ’17. It’s your decision; all we can do is ask you for the next dance. That goes for our narrative slate as well. Along with noteworthy new releases, we enjoy offering some retrospective subjects. We celebrate Leonard Bernstein on the occasion of his centenary. How wonderful an experience is it to see and hear West Side Story on the big, wide screen! And then there are Stan and Ollie. When I was a kid, the classic 1930s Laurel and Hardy shorts were ubiquitous on television, but they’ve been away from TV and movie theaters for a long time. Only recently have they started to undergo the restoration work to get them back on the big screen, and September will see the second batch presented at the Rafael. I don’t know what mood you’re in, but I’m ready to renew my love for Sons of the Desert. As Mr. Hardy might declare in his mellifluous manner: “That’s a good idea!” ~ Richard Peterson
Of course, there is as much variety in documentaries as in narrative films,
Films marked with this logo are part of CFI’s gender equity initiative, Mind the Gap, launched at the 2015 Mill Valley Film Festival. CFI is dedicated to actively working towards closing the gender gap in Hollywood and the rest of the global film industry. On the cover: PICK OF THE LITTER - See page 10 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
THE KING Opens July 6 (Filmmaker in Person July 8) The Royal Ballet SWAN LAKE
IAN MCKELLEN: PLAYING THE PART July 12 THE GARDENER
Opens July 13
DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT Opens July 20 Royal Shakespeare Company MACBETH
Deconstructing the Beatles: THE BIRTH OF THE BEATLES July 26 & July 29 DARK MONEY
Opens July 27
RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA July 29 & Aug. 2 SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD Opens in August SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL August 3-5 LOVE, CECIL
Opens August 6
OLOMPALI: A HIPPIE ODYSSEY August 9 Royal Shakespeare Company ROMEO & JULIET August 12 ON THE TOWN
ON THE WATERFRONT August 19 WEST SIDE STORY
August 26 & 30
Deconstructing the Beatles: 1963 YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! August 23 & 26 THE WIFE
Opens August 31
BERNARD AND HUEY
PICK OF THE LITTER
Opens Sept. 7
RESTORED LAUREL AND HARDY Sept. 13, 16, 23, 27 SHATTERED FAMILIES
Opens Sept. 21
Sept. 28 - Oct. 3
Programs with in-person guests
FIVE SEASONS: THE GARDENS OF PIET OUDOLF
CONTINUING FROM JUNE Revolutionary landscape designer Piet Oudolf is known for designing public works like New York’s popular High Line and the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park, projects that redefine our conception of gardens as works of art themselves. This gorgeous, meditative documentary immerses viewers in his work, taking us inside Oudolf’s creative process. From his aesthetic theories to his strikingly abstract sketches to the ecological implications of his ideas, the film poetically reveals how Oudolf upends conventional notions of nature, public space and, ultimately, beauty itself. In English and in Dutch with English subtitles. Camera/Producer/Director: Thomas Piper. (US/Netherlands 2017) 75 min.
TROUBLE IN PARADISE
SUNDAY, JULY 1, 4:15 IN PERSON: AUTHOR JOSEPH MCBRIDE This masterpiece of sexy and sophisticated comedy from director Ernst Lubitsch will be presented and discussed by film historian Joseph McBride, who will also sign copies of his new book How Did Lubitsch Do It?, available for sale at the Rafael. Known in his day for the “Lubitsch Touch,” this German-born filmmaker invented the Hollywood romantic comedy, challenged American attitudes toward sex and employed innuendo to circumvent the censors. One of his finest films, Trouble in Paradise stars Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins as two high-class thieves whose plan to fleece beautiful perfume heiress Kay Francis morphs into a triangular escapade. Also starring Charlie Ruggles and Edward Everett Horton. Joseph McBride is a professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University. (US 1932) 83 min. plus discussion.
OPENS JULY 6 IN PERSON: FILMMAKER EUGENE JARECKI, SUNDAY, JULY 8, 6:30 40 years after the death of Elvis Presley, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki (two-time winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize) takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas and beyond, the journey shows clips of Elvis’ life, movies and music, and takes stock of the current state of the American Dream. Commentators along for the ride include Alec Baldwin, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Mike Myers and Dan Rather, among many others. There are also stirring live performances from Nashville phenomenon EmiSunshine, the Stax Music Academy and bluesman Leo Bud Welch. Rated R. Executive Producer: Steven Soderbergh. Writer/Director: Eugene Jarecki. (US 2017) 109 min.
THE ROYAL BALLET
SUNDAY, JULY 8, NOON Tchaikovsky’s first ballet score has arguably become the most beloved of all classical ballets. Choreographer Liam Scarlett mounts a new production, adding to the standard 1895 text by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov and bringing fresh eyes to the staging, in collaboration with designer John Macfarlane. While out hunting, Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman, Odette, he is enraptured. But she is under a spell that holds her captive, allowing her to regain her human form only at night. Anticipated running time is 180 minutes, including intermissions. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
SUNDAY, JULY 8, 4:15 The animated classic starring The Beatles returns to the big screen for its 50th anniversary in a beautiful new restoration from Apple Corps Ltd. with remixed stereo sound. In this extravagantly designed pop-art fantasy, John, Paul, George and Ringo (or at least their animated avatars) help defend Pepperland from invasion by the Blue Meanies, with a little help from their friends and an arsenal of hit songs, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “All You Need Is Love” and several others, including the title tune. Inspired by the era’s trends in art, production designer Heinz Edelmann conjured up a dazzling parade of styles and techniques and helped create a landmark movie for people of all ages. Director: George Dunning. (UK 1968) 85 min. $13 general, $11 seniors/youth, $9 CFI members
ONE NI G HT ON LY! IAN MCKELLEN: PLAYING THE PART
THURSDAY, JULY 12, 7:15 This new film uncovers the story of actor Ian McKellen, from his upbringing living through World War II, working through repertory and starring in West End theater, to his coming out and being a leader in the campaign for equality, and his mainstream success as Magneto and Gandalf. His influence transcends generations. This film features unprecedented access to private photo albums, a wealth of never-before-seen archival material (including diaries written when he was 12) and backstage looks at his stage shows and films. Director: Joe Stephenson. (UK 2018) 96 min. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
OPENS JULY 13 Sébastien Chabot’s film reflects on the meaning of gardening and its impact on our lives through the perspective of horticulturalist Frank Cabot of Les Quatres Vents, his 20-acre English style garden and summer estate in Quebec. In interviews filmed shortly before Cabot’s passing in 2011 at the age of 86, we hear about his personal quest for perfection as he created an enchanted place of beauty and surprise. Through the words of Cabot and his family, and with the participation of gardening experts and writers, the film looks back at this remarkable man’s personal story and the artistic philosophy that gave birth to a horticultural masterpiece of the 21st century. Director: Sébastien Chabot. (Canada 2016) 88 min.
DON’T WORRY, HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT
OPENS JULY 20 Based on a true story, this Sundance Film Festival sensation stars Joaquin Phoenix as John Callahan, a Portland, Oregon native with a talent for off-color jokes and an awful drinking problem. When an all-night bender ends with a catastrophic car accident that paralyzes him, Callahan reluctantly enters rehab and gradually discovers a gift for creating edgy, irreverent cartoons. A return to form for filmmaker Gus Van Sant (to whom Robin Williams had pitched this project two decades ago), it’s a funny, poignant and ultimately inspiring drama about the healing power of art. Rated R. With Jonah Hill, Rooney Mara, Jack Black, Carrie Brownstein. Music: Danny Elfman. Writer/ Director: Gus Van Sant. (US 2018) 113 min.
THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
SUNDAY, JULY 22, NOON “Something wicked this way comes…” Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder. The Royal Shakespeare Company’s contemporary production of William Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller marks both Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and the return of Niamh Cusack to the company, in the role of Lady Macbeth. Please note this production contains loud noises and strobe effects. Director: Polly Findlay. (UK 2018) Approximate running time 153 minutes. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES: BIRTH OF THE BEATLES
THURSDAY, JULY 26, 7:30 & SUNDAY, JULY 29, 2:00 We’re happy to premiere the latest editions in musicologist Scott Freiman’s ongoing multimedia presentations about the Fab Four. Reaching back to their beginnings in the late 1950s, Freiman looks at four Liverpool teenagers, having neither formal training nor ability to read and write music, and analyzes the path that brought them to superstardom as The Beatles, from their early days as the Quarrymen to their transformation in Hamburg. Directors: Sean Gallagher, Justin Drobinski. (US 2018) 88 min. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
OPENS JULY 27 A documentary that takes on qualities of a political thriller, this incisive film examines one of the greatest threats to American democracy: the influence of “anonymous” and untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. When the Supreme Court announced its Citizen United decision in 2010, the only state to fight back was Montana, which had on its books a 100-year-old law barring corporate money from elections. As a result, Montana became the first major target of dark money. However, the state was also prepared to fight back on a grassroots level, with citizen outrage crossing the aisle between Democrats and Republicans. It’s a fascinating story, clearly recounted in this important film. Director: Kimberly Reed. (US 2018) 98 min.
RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA
SUNDAY, JULY 29, 4:15 & THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 7:00 Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a prolific musical career over four decades, from techno-pop stardom to Oscar-winning film composer, and his music’s evolution has coincided with his life journeys. Pursuing a solo career after his work with the Japanese electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra, he created a spectacular score for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (in which he also co-starred opposite David Bowie) and won an Oscar for The Last Emperor (shared with David Byrne). Recently he scored The Revenant. An avid environmentalist, Sakamoto became an iconic figure in Japan’s social movement against nuclear power following Fukushima. As he returns to music following a cancer diagnosis, his haunting awareness of life crises inspires a resounding new masterpiece. Director: Stephen Nomura Schible. (US/Japan 2017) 102 min.
The 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (SFJFF) returns July 19 – August 5, 2018 in San Francisco, the East Bay, Palo Alto and San Rafael. More information is available at sfjff.org. In Marin, SFJFF will return to the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, August 3 – 5. Marin Passes ($100 JFI members / $125 general public) will be available for purchase beginning June 19. Become a member at jfi.org/membership.
Sammy Davis Jr.
Memoir of War
The San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, presented by the Jewish Film Institute, is the largest and longest-running festival of its kind and a leader in the curation and presentation of new film and media celebrating the diversity of Jewish life around the world. SFJFF attracts more than 40,000 filmgoers and industry professionals to its annual three weeks of inspiring films, events, panels and parties. Rafael passes, CFI Fast Passes or CFI members’ discounts are not valid for these screenings. The Rafael will not sell advance tickets, and any remaining tickets will be available at the Rafael on day of show.
MEMOIR OF WAR FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 1:20
TO DUST SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 6:35
In Nazi-occupied Paris, the young writer Marguerite Duras strikes up delicate, high-stakes entanglement with a Vichy collaborator who promises preferential treatment for her imprisoned husband in exchange for her attention and collaboration. Subtitles. Director: Emmanuel Finkiel. (France/ Belgium/Switzerland 2017) 127 min.
A match made in deadpan heaven, Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul) and Matthew Broderick shine as a Hasidic cantor and an under-equipped biology professor who become blasphemously obsessed with understanding how a human body decomposes. Director: Shawn Snyder. (US, 2018) 90 min.
SIMON & THÉODORE FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 4:00
BUDAPEST NOIR SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 8:40
Soon-to-be father Simon and soon-to-be bar mitzvahed Théodore both are a little bit rebel and a little bit outsider. Over the course of one night in the streets of Paris they set out to learn how to accept themselves. Subtitles. Director: Mikael Buch. (France, 2017) 84 min.
SATAN & ADAM FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 6:00
This classically styled hardboiled detective yarn explores the cultural identity of Hungary in the 1930s and how the nation reacted—or didn’t—to the rise of the Third Reich. Subtitles. Director: Éva Gárdos. (Hungary, 2017) 95 min.
This heralded doc captures the story of a young Jewish harmonica player and a grizzled Black blues street musician who form an unlikely, but phenomenally successful, duo after meeting on the streets of Harlem in 1986. Director: V. Scott Balcerek. (US, 2018) 78 min.
THE INTERPRETER SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 11:45am Slovak interpreter Ali Ungar wants to find out the circumstances of his parents’ death at the hands of a Nazi officer during World War II. When Ungar finds the officer’s son, the expectations become unexpected. Subtitles. Director: Marin Sulík. (Slovakia, 2018) 113 min.
WAJIB FRIDAY, AUGUST 3, 8:20
CROSSROADS SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 2:05
Shadi, an architect who lives in Italy, returns to Nazareth for his sister’s wedding. When his father invites a Jewish friend who is Israeli military, we see the conflict through the eyes of two different generations of Palestinians. Subtitles. Director: Annemarie Jacir. (Palestine, 2017) 97 min.
SHALOM BOLLYWOOD SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 11:30am In Shalom Bollywood: The Untold Story of Indian Cinema, award-winning filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe tells the lively and compelling tale of a quartet of Jewish actresses who became a dominant presence in Indian cinema for over forty years. Director: Danny Ben-Moshe. (India/Australia, 2017) 75 min.
They are the most improbable teenagers to take up the preppy game of lacrosse, but their story is inspiring: meet the determined young African American high schoolers in Charlotte whose lives change when they encounter an inspiring coach. Director: Ron Yassen. (US, 2018) 77 min.
SAMMY DAVIS JR: I’VE GOTTA BE ME SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 4:10 Featuring excerpts from Sammy Davis Jr.’s exhilarating performances and star-studded interviews, director Sam Pollard’s riveting documentary presents a very full and very human portrait of this complex, courageous and conflicted man. Director: Sam Pollard. (US, 2017) 100 min.
PROMISE AT DAWN SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 1:20
WINTER HUNT SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 6:25
In this adaptation of his eponymous autobiographical novel, the late Lithuanian-French writer and statesman Romain Gary is plagued by the long shadow cast by the ambitions of his mother (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Subtitles. Director: Eric Barbier. (France, 2017) 131 min.
A young girl goes to a house in the woods to hold the old man, a former Nazi, and his adult daughter hostage. Secrets will be revealed and emotions will explode before the shocking end. Subtitles. Director: Astrid Schult. (Germany, 2017) 74 min.
THE WALDHEIM WALTZ SATURDAY, AUGUST 4, 4:05
RED COW SUNDAY, AUGUST 5, 8:30 This stunning chronicle of former United Nations Secretary General Kurt When the beautiful Yael arrives in an East Jerusalem settlement, Benny Waldheim’s 1986 election bid to become Austria’s president following discovers her suppressed lustful desires. Subtitles. Director: Tsivia Barkai revelations of his history as a Nazi army officer scrutinizes the past and Yacov. (Israel, 2018) 90 min. its impact on the present. Subtitles. Director: Ruth Beckermann. (Austria, 2018) 100 min. — —
SCOTTY AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF HOLLYWOOD
OPENS IN AUGUST This fascinating documentary tells the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, an ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidant and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male (and female) stars. In the 1940s and 50s, Scotty ran a gas station, in the shadow of the studios, where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities. Scotty first shared his secrets in the 2012 publication of his memoir Full Service, and here he tells his story to the camera, presenting eye-opening takes on Golden Age icons including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more. Producer/Director: Matt Tyrnauer. (US 2017) 97 min.
OPENS AUGUST 6 Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was a photographer, writer, painter, Tony-winning and Oscar-winning designer: a dazzling chronicler, but also an arbiter of his time. Filmmaker Lisa Immordino Vreeland (Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel and Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict) blends archival footage and photographs with Beaton’s famed diaries (read by Rupert Everett) to capture his legacy as a complex and unique creative force. This dynamic and lyrical documentary covers Beaton’s life and occasional scandals, examining his singular sense of the visual that resonate in his photographs and in his Oscar-winning sets and costumes for My Fair Lady. Producer/Director: Lisa Immordino Vreeland. (US 2017) 99 min.
THE ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
ROMEO & JULIET
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, NOON What if your first love was someone you’d been told you must hate? Set in a world very much like our own, this Royal Shakespeare Company production of Romeo & Juliet is about a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents. The most famous story of love-at-first-sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change, but leads all too quickly to heartbreaking consequences. (UK 2018) Running time TBD. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
DOCLANDS E NCORE ! OLOMPALI: A HIPPIE ODYSSEY
THURSDAY, AUGUST 9, 7:00 IN PERSON: FILMMAKERS GREGG GIBBS & MAURA MCCOY A highlight of this year’s DocLands Documentary Film Festival comes to the Rafael for a special encore. In the late 1960s, wealthy businessman Don McCoy dropped out and started a commune at an estate in northern Marin called Rancho Olompali. Dubbed by the local press “the White House of Hippiedom,” Olomapali becomes a hip mecca. But McCoy’s dream of a utopian society is short-lived, and Olompali’s blissful first year is followed by a series of shocking tragedies that threaten its very existence. Narrated by Peter Coyote, this riveting true story explores the concept of the hippie ideal and its impact on American culture. Producer: Maura McCoy. Director: Gregg Gibbs. (US 2018) 85 min. plus discussion. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
L. Bernstein arr by Jasmine Pickering
Walter Strate, New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives
from West Side Story
6 8 6 8
6 THE TOWN 8 ON
August would have marked the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). This American composer, conductor, pianist, author and educator is one of the greatest figures in 20th century music. Although Bernstein embraced television with his Young People’s Clarinet Concerts and charismatic lectures (especially during his lengthy tenure at the New York Philharmonic), his involvement in filmmaking represented only a small portion of his accomplishments. However, his contributions to movies were significant, and so we pay tribute to him with this three-film-salute.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 12, 4:15 & 6:45 The directorial debut for both Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (they’d later co-direct Singin’ in the Rain), this delightful movie musical was a less joyful experience for Leonard Bernstein, who found some of his music (from the stage version) excised and replaced by studio composer Roger Edens. Still, it was an innovative production, with numbers actually staged on location in New York City. Three sailors—Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin—make the most of their 24-hour shore leave, painting the town red with Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller. Writers: Adolph Green, Betty Comden. Directors: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen. (US 1949) 98 min.
ON THE WATERFRONT
SUNDAY, AUGUST 19, 4:15 & 6:45 Leonard Bernstein earned an Academy Award® nomination for his music for this American classic, the only score he wrote solely for the screen. Marlon Brando stars as longshoreman Terry Malloy, an ex-boxer determined to stand up to his corrupt union boss (Lee J. Cobb), with the help of a priest (Karl Malden) and a murdered worker’s sister (Eva Marie Saint), and against the advice of his brother (Rod Steiger), who is the boss’ right-hand man. Winner of eight Academy Awards®. Camera: Boris Kaufman. Writer: Budd Schulberg. Director: Elia Kazan. (US 1954) 108 min.
WEST SIDE STORY
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 4:15 & THURSDAY, AUGUST 30, 7:00 Based on the hit Broadway musical (which in turn was inspired by Romeo and Juliet), this Academy Award®-winning movie has stood the test of time, even with a few actors who didn’t sing their own roles. Richard Beymer is Tony, co-founder of the New York street gang the Jets, and Natalie Wood is Maria, sister of the leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks. Even with love at first sight, can they bridge the racial divide? Leonard Bernstein’s dynamic songs have lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and the first-rate direction is a collaboration between choreographer Jerome Robbins and Hollywood veteran Robert Wise. With Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn. (US 1961) 153 min. plus intermission.
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DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES: 1963 YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 23, 7:00 & SUNDAY, AUGUST 26, 1:00 Musicologist Scott Freiman’s new filmed lecture in his continuing series about The Beatles starts in 1962, when the Fab Four stepped into EMI studios for the first time, meeting producer George Martin and beginning an unparalleled recording career. Over the next 18 months, they would release four number-one singles (including “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”) and two number-one albums while becoming international superstars. Come explore the music that launched Beatlemania! (US 2018) 80 min. $15 general, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI members
OPENS AUGUST 31 Early one morning in 1993, Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce) answers the phone to hear that he has been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His wife Joan (Glenn Close) receives the news with her customary poise and support. As they embark for Stockholm, the story reveals the beginnings of their lives together, with young Joan (played by Annie Starke, Close’s daughter) helping Joe (Harry Lloyd) get published. Back in the present day, unscrupulous journalist Nathaniel (Christian Slater) follows the couple to Sweden, determined to write Joe’s definitive biography, whether it’s authorized or not. The terrific duet by Close and Pryce anchors a touching story with many secrets to expose. Writer: Jane Anderson, from the novel by Meg Wolitzer. Director: Björn Runge. (Sweden/UK/US 2017) 100 min.
PICK OF THE LITTER
OPENS SEPTEMER 7 Filmed extensively in San Rafael, home of Guide Dogs for the Blind, this sweet and soulful documentary follows a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their quest to become guide. The film follows these pups through an intense two-year odyssey and, along the way, these remarkable animals rely on a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human. The stakes are high, and not every dog can make the cut… only the best of the best, the pick of the litter. Producers/Directors: Dana Nachman, Don Hardy. (US 2018) 81 min.
BERNARD AND HUEY
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 7:15 IN PERSON: DIRECTOR DAN MIRVISH Based on a previously unproduced screenplay by cartoonist/playwright Jules Feiffer (Carnal Knowledge, Little Murders, Popeye), this film is a timely story of two men behaving badly and the smart women who rein them in. Jim Rash is Bernard and David Koechner is Huey, two college buddies who reunite three decades later, still fixated on their sexual conquests and needing to grow up. Feiffer originally created the characters of Bernard and Huey in 1957, in his brilliantly acerbic cartoons for The Village Voice, and filmmaker Dan Mirvish performed extensive detective work to locate the lost screenplay. With Mae Whitman, Sasha Alexander, Bellamy Young, Richard Kind, Nancy Travis. Writer: Jules Feiffer. Producer/Director: Dan Mirvish. (US 2018) 91 min. plus discussion.
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new restorations! Two years ago we presented some Laurel and Hardy comedies beautifully restored for the big screen. Now we happily offer you “another nice mess,” in the form of a new batch of restorations to savor. Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were the most beloved double act in the movies. Laurel (1890-1965) was English, a talented mime who understudied Charlie Chaplin in the music hall troupe that brought them both to America. Hardy (1892-1957) was an actor-singer from the American South. Both knocked around in silent comedy shorts for several years until 1927, when producer Hal Roach made them a pair. Stan was thin and innocent, Oliver heavyset and haughty. In their movement, dialogue and childlike behavior, they complemented each other perfectly. Of all the silent comics, Laurel and Hardy made the smoothest and most successful transition to sound, and our presentations focus on several talkies and one extremely rare silent. The films were restored by Jeff Joseph in conjunction with the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and it’s safe to say they haven’t looked this good since they were first released. (Photos: Randy Skretveldt Collection)
SONS OF THE DESERT Preceded by HOG WILD
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 7:30 & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 4:30 Acclaimed by many as Laurel and Hardy’s finest feature film, Sons of the Desert (1933) finds The Boys as loyal members of the eponymous fraternity who have to deceive their wives (Mae Busch and Dorothy Christy) to attend the annual convention in Chicago. From such a basic sitcom premise, Laurel and Hardy could spin comedy gold, and this terrific little gem deserves renewed appreciation. Featuring Charley Chase, a fellow Hal Roach star. Director: William A. Seiter. Preceded by Hog Wild (1930), one of the best of their early sound shorts, in which Mr. Laurel assists (?) Mr. Hardy in installing a radio antenna on the roof. Program approximately 85 min.
RESTORED LAUREL AND HARDY SHORTS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 4:30 (ART HOUSE THEATER DAY!) THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 7:00 This program of four Laurel and Hardy shorts opens with an authentic rarity: Battle of the Century (1927), a “lost” silent classic only recently found and repaired, which climaxes in an epic pie fight. Berth Marks (1929), one of their first talkies (with a restored Vitaphone soundtrack), finds the two traveling musicians trying to share the upper berth of a Pullman car. In Brats (1930, with restored Vitaphone soundtrack), Stan and Ollie play themselves and their own children, thanks to clever optical work and oversized sets. In The Chimp (1932), their threadbare circus goes belly up, and instead of back pay, The Boys are given “Ethel the Human Chimpanzee” (played by Hollywood gorilla specialist Charles Gemora). Program approximately 85 min.
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SHATTERED FAMILIES: THE COLLAPSE OF AMERICA’S MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 7:00 SCREENING & PANEL DISCUSSION At this special benefit program, Stephen B. Seager, MD will present a special screening of his film Shattered Families: The Collapse of America’s Mental Health System, which he based in part on his critically-acclaimed book Street Crazy: America’s Mental Health Tragedy. The film looks at the struggles of mentally ill individuals living on our streets, examining the system that has allowed this to happen and initiating a conversation about solutions. Following the screening, Dr. Seager will be joined by other speakers for a panel discussion. Producers: Nicole Forston, Stephen Seager. Director: Stephen Seager. (US 2016) 50 minutes plus discussion. Marin County’s award-winning Homeless Outreach Team (HOT), launched in 2016, seeks to house the most vulnerable chronically homeless individuals in our community. $25 - Benefits Marin Homeless Outreach Team & CFI Education
OPENS SEPTEMBER 21 This affectionate documentary about Gilda Radner utilizes her private audio recordings to help narrate her story, from childhood through the Saturday Night Live years, to her ultimate happiness with Gene Wilder and the cancer that tragically cut her life short. Packed with great clips of her SNL characters, including Roseanne Rosannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner, the film features interviews with many of her contemporaries, including Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Paul Schaffer and Martin Short, as well as later SNL generations inspired by Gilda: Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong. It’s a moving tribute, filled with honesty and whimsy, like its subject. Producer/Director: Lisa D’Apolito. (US 2018) 86 min.
SEPTEMBER 23 (TIME TBD) Celebrating Art House Theater Day, we are pleased to offer this film previously featured at the DocLands Documentary Film Festival. Saving Brinton tells the story of Mike Zahs, an eccentric collector in rural Iowa who discovered a cache of old nitrate film prints that represented the forgotten legacy of William Franklin Brinton, a showman who introduced Washington County (as well as other areas of the Midwest) to moving pictures, beginning in the late 1890s. As Zahs contacted archives and set out to restore Brinton’s name, he discovered that the collection included two by film pioneer Georges Méliès that had been considered lost, as well as rare footage of Theodore Roosevelt and much more. Camera: John Richard. Directors: Tommy Haines, Andrew Sherburne. (US 2017) 87 min.
SEPTEMBER 28 - OCTOBER 3 This remarkable, genre-bursting documentary focuses on Bisbee, Arizona, a copper-rich mining town in 1917, when the workers attempted to unionize, and armed townspeople gathered up 2,000 strikers (most of them immigrants), herded them onto cattle cars and shipped them into the New Mexican desert to die. On the 100th anniversary of this long-suppressed tragedy, citizens of the now-impoverished town, several of them descendants from both sides of the conflict, stage a recreation of the Bisbee Deportation and the town’s darkest hour. It’s fascinating to observe the townspeople playing their own ancestors and staging dramatic scenes (even Brechtian musical numbers) that culminate in a large-scale recreation of the deportation on its precise anniversary. Director: Robert Greene (US 2018) 112 min.
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MILL VALLEY FILM FE
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