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J U L Y — S E P T E M B E R

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MR. MITCHUM

CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL OF ROBERT MITCHUM AUGUST 13–SEPTEMBER 3 CFI B OARD O F DIRECTO RS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR / FOUNDER

Mark Fishkin

Caroline Labe Jennifer Coslett MacCready (Vice President)

CFI BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kenneth Broad

Cathy Nourafshan Jonathan Parker (President)

(Vice President)

Susan Schwartz Dr. Joel Sklar

Jim Davis Lynne Hale Richard J. Idell

EMERITUS BOARD

FOUNDING BOARD

Rita Cahill Sid Ganis Bruce Katz Gary Meyer Gordon Radley Christopher B. Smith Henry Timnick

Rita Cahill Mark Fishkin Lois Kohl Shore

(Vice President)

Jann Stanley Zach Zeisler

(Secretary)

Amy Keroes

(Treasurer)

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

PLEASE SUPPORT THE CALIFORNIA FILM INSTITUTE

SHARING THE POWER OF STORYTELLING THROUGH FILM SUPPORTCFI.ORG

415.526.5838

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 2017. 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.


J U LY – S E P T E M B E R

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Vol. 19 Issue 3

From the

THE LAST DALAI LAMA? Birthday Event Thursday, July 6

DIRECTOR of PROGRAMMING For most American film programmers, the bumper crop of new movies begins with the Sundance Film Festival in January. Sundance is very important for the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, and in the handful of months since its latest edition, we’ve already played a number of titles that debuted in the snow-packed mountains of Park City, Utah. On the other hand, for the Mill Valley Film Festival, which takes place October 5-15, the sweet spot for new discoveries is the Festival de Cannes, where programmers may fish for the freshest catch. In May I had the opportunity to attend Cannes, along with Zoë Elton, MVFF director of programming, and Mark Fishkin, executive director and founder of the California Film Institute. What Sundance is for American independent film, Cannes is for world cinema. Celebrating its 70th this year, Cannes is the biggest and most important of them all, but primarily when you consider the entirety of the experience. What you see on television or online are the coiffed and tailored celebrities facing banks of photographers while they ascend the red carpet, but those are the primetime presentations of “official selections.” In reality, there are hundreds of different screenings going on. The Official Selection consists of juried Competition films (all world premieres) and out-of-competition screenings taking place in the largest cinema, the 2,300-seat Lumière, the destination of that celebrity-populated carpet you always see on TV. There is another official section, called Un Certain Regard, with its own jury and theater, the Debussy (more than 1,000 seats), located in the same Palais des

AT-A-GLANCE

Festivals as the Lumière. The Palais also accommodates three other significant theaters, a large press center and access to the Marché, the enormous market area where many thousands of buyers and sellers participate. There are two “parallel festivals” that take place during the 12-day event: the Directors’ Fortnight and the International Critics’ Week, which have their own organizations, theaters and slates of films, but coexist with the main festival. In addition, the market utilizes several smaller theaters that host hundreds of screenings leased by the companies selling movies throughout the world. Whew! I tried to condense it as much as possible, but you can imagine the challenge of keeping your venues and schedules straight. What might be most surprising for those of us in the United States (where the arts are expected to pay for themselves) is that there is no box office. You can’t buy tickets; admission to various screenings depends on your credentials. There are some attendees who might go to one or two screenings the entire festival, but for programmers and distributors on the prowl, it can be quite a spectacle. One friend in distribution likened Cannes to Disneyland, and that comparison particularly applies to those among us who have to go on as many rides as possible, even to the detriment of pausing for a proper meal. We tend to eschew the formal redcarpet events for quicker entry-and-exit opportunities. For film obsessives, it could be the best of times (movie-wise) and the worst of times (sleep-wise), but it’s an experience like no other. ~ Richard Peterson

On the cover: THE FENCER - Opens August 25 - See page 9 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 LAST DALAI LAMA? Opens July 7 THE LITTLE HOURS Opens July 7 DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES RUBBER SOUL July 7, 8, 9 DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE July 13 LOST IN PARIS Opens July 14 DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES REVOLVER July 14, 15, 16 FUNNY BONES: THE COMEDY OF CHARLIE CHAPLIN July 20 MARIE CURIE: THE COURAGE OF KNOWLEDGE Opens July 21 HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY Opens July 21 DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES SGT. PEPPER July 21, 22, 23 U2 3D July 27 THE MIDWIFE Opens July 28 DECONSTRUCTING THE BEATLES WHITE ALBUM July 28, 29, 30 DAVE MADE A MAZE August 3 SAN FRANCISCO JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL August 4–6 PEACE IS EVERY STEP August 10 WALK WITH ME Opens August 11 ROBERT MITCHUM August 13–September 3 ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS August 16 THE TRIP TO SPAIN Opens August 18 THE FENCER Opens August 25 RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD Opens September 1 DOLORES Opens September 8 THE FORCE Opens September 15 ART HOUSE THEATER DAY THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO September 24

Programs with in-person guests


deconstructing

the beatles FOUR FILMED PRESENTATIONS.

Over the past several months, our presentations of these recently filmed lectures have garnered increasing interest, and we are pleased to offer another opportunity to catch them. Filmed on stage at the Jacob Burns Film Center in New York, these lively multimedia presentations by music expert Scott Freiman take fans young and old into the studio with The Beatles, exploring their compositions, performances and recording techniques.

RUBBER SOUL

SGT. PEPPER

REVOLVER

WHITE ALBUM

FRIDAY, JULY 7 | SATURDAY, JULY 8 | SUNDAY, JULY 9 In October 1965, The Beatles were asked to produce a new album of original music for Christmas release. One month later, they emerged with Rubber Soul, which hit number one on the charts, along with the singles “We Can Work It Out” and “Day Tripper.” This educational journey explores the creation of these songs, as well as “Norwegian Wood,” “In My Life,” “Nowhere Man” and other classics. Writer/Presenter: Scott Freiman. (US 2016) 95 min.

FRIDAY, JULY 14 | SATURDAY, JULY 15 | SUNDAY, JULY 16 Often called one of the top albums of all time, Revolver launched a period of studio experimentation for The Beatles that coincided with their decision to stop performing live. With such memorable songs as “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yellow Submarine” and “Good Day Sunshine,” they pushed popular music to a place it had not been before. Writer/Presenter: Scott Freiman. (US 2016) 95 min.

FRIDAY, JULY 21 | SATURDAY, JULY 22 | SUNDAY, JULY 23 One of the most influential albums of our time, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band was described by Rolling Stone as “the most important rock ‘n’ roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock ‘n’ roll group of all time.” This multimedia presentation explores the album from multiple angles. Writer/Presenter: Scott Freiman. (US 2016) 90 min..

FRIDAY, JULY 28 | SATURDAY, JULY 29 | SUNDAY, JULY 30 The Beatles released their White Album in 1968, and it contained 30 songs spanning almost every style of music. This fascinating multimedia presentation transports us into Abbey Road Studio for a look at the innovative techniques used during the production of “Revolution,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Blackbird” and many other songs. Writer/Presenter: Scott Freiman. (US 2016) 90 min.

ALL SHOWS AT 1:00

$15 ($10 CFI Members) Series Tickets for all four programs: $40 (CFI members $32)

© Gunpowder & Sky

THE LITTLE HOURS

—4—

OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 7 Based loosely (very loosely) on stories from Boccaccio’s The Decameron, and filmed in beautiful Tuscan locations, this bawdy and irreverent medieval farce features a who’swho of contemporary comic talent. In the 14th century, peasant Masetto (Dave Franco) flees his brutal master (Nick Offerman) and hides in a convent, pretending to be mute to prevent contact with the resident nuns–Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Kate Micucci–who pray under the guidance of their abbess (Molly Shannon) and priest (John C. Reilly). Hormones rage, but they’d better get their act together before the arrival of Bishop Bartolomeo (Fred Armisen). With Jemima Kirke, Paul Reiser, Paul Weitz. Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content and language…especially language! Writer/ Director: Jeff Baena. (US 2017) 90 min.


DALAI LAMA BIRTHDAY SCREENING!

THE LAST DALAI LAMA?

IN PERSON: Filmmaker MICKEY LEMLE, Musician TSERING DORJEE BAWA & Others THURSDAY, JULY 6, 7:30 On July 6, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama turns 82. With Mickey Lemle’s new film premiering theatrically on July 7 (see descriptive copy below), we decided to begin our run one day early with a screening and birthday tribute. Filmmaker Lemle will be there, and musician/actor Tsering Dorjee Bawa will perform Tibetan music. We anticipate other guests to be announced. Program approximately 2 hours. $15 general, $13 seniors, $10 CFI members ___ Co-Presented by California Film Institute & Buddhist Film Foundation ___

THE LAST DALAI LAMA?

© Lemle Pictures, Inc.

THEATRICAL PREMIERE OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 7 In his 1992 documentary Compassion in Exile, filmmaker Mickey Lemle created a groundbreaking portrait of the 14th Dalai Lama. His new film takes a fresh look at what is important for His Holiness: the historic confrontation between Tibet and China; his influence in political, spiritual and educational spheres; his work with neuroscientists; and his personal feelings on aging, dying and whether he will be the last Dalai Lama. His impact on the West has grown over the 25 years since the earlier film, and we see some of his influence at work in classes and scientific studies. Artfully weaving interviews and accounts from family, friends and people he inspired, this film vibrantly conveys the Dalai Lama’s humor, wisdom and compassion. Music: Philip Glass, Tenzin Choegyal. Writer/Producer/Director: Mickey Lemle. (US 2016) 81 min.

© Janus Films

DAVID LYNCH: THE ART LIFE

THURSDAY, JULY 13, 4:15 & 6:30 With the new Twin Peaks going strong, we thought it would be fun to take a peek at this fascinating new documentary about David Lynch’s life in art. Looking at his artwork, music and early films, it shines a light into the dark corners of his unique world and offers us a better understanding of the man and the artist. We’re invited into Lynch’s Hollywood Hills compound and given private views of his painting studio, as he tells personal stories that unfold like scenes from his films. Strange characters come into focus, only to fade again into the past, but leaving an indelible mark. We discover how his art and films reflect ideas and moods from his personal experiences. Directors: Jon Nguyen, Rick Barnes, Olivia Neergaard-Holm. (US/Denmark 2016) 93 min.

© Oscilloscope

LOST IN PARIS

OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 14 In their whimsically funny films, Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon frequently invoke the spirits of Buster Keaton, Jacques Tati and other greats of visual comedy. Gordon stars as a gangly Canadian who journeys to Paris to assist her aunt Martha, only to discover that the elderly woman is missing. An oddly egotistical vagabond named Dom (Abel) offers Fiona help, whether she likes it or not, and the pair traverse Paris in inventive scenes of slapstick and dance. Aunt Martha is one of the final performances of Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima Mon Amour and Oscar® nominee for Amour), and she seems to be having a ball shedding her serious side, particularly in a charming duet with veteran French comic Pierre Richard. In French with English subtitles. Writers/Directors: Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon. (France/Belgium 2016) 84 min.

—5—


THURSDAY, JULY 20, 7:15

More than 100 years after his film debut, Charlie Chaplin is still making audiences laugh, and Dan Kamin, physical comedian and Chaplin expert, is here to show us why. In a funny and insightful presentation incorporating live performance, Kamin will screen a restored version of Chaplin’s 1916 gem The Pawnshop and then lead the audience in peeling away its layers to reveal surprising secrets. You’ll learn all about Chaplin’s remarkable body language and brilliant visual comedy, and you’ll enjoy some terrific physical comedy and sleight-of-hand from Kamin himself. Dan Kamin is a theatrical comic who performs internationally in solo shows and as prankster-in-residence with symphony orchestras. He trained Robert Downey Jr. for his Oscar-nominated performance in Chaplin and created Johnny Depp’s comedy moves for Benny and Joon. He won’t just change the way we look at Chaplin’s world, but also the way we look at our own, in this family-friendly program. Come help Dan Kamin unearth Charlie Chaplin’s Funny Bones. Program approximately 2 hours. $15, $13 seniors/youth, $10 CFI Members)

“Dan’s insights are amazing!”

Robert Downey Jr.

© Big World Pictures

MARIE CURIE: THE COURAGE OF KNOWLEDGE

OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 21 Karolina Gruszka stars as Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize (as well as the first person to win it twice), in this sweeping biographical film that is as much an intimate portrayal of her private struggles as of her legendary scientific accomplishments. Born in Warsaw, she moved to Paris at 24 and launched her career. With husband Pierre (Charles Berling), Curie experimented with radioactivity (a term they coined) and its effect in treating cancer. This visually inventive film covers the period between 1905 and 1911, years that encompass a tragic accident, personal scandal, perseverance in battling the male academic establishment and the path to her second Nobel. In French with English subtitles. Music: Bruno Coulais. Writers: Marie Noelle, Andrea Stoll. Director: Marie Noelle. (France/Poland 2016) 95 min.

© Adama Films/Zeitgeist Films

HAROLD AND LILLIAN: A HOLLYWOOD LOVE STORY

—6—

OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 21 Two unsung heroes of Hollywood’s Golden Age finally receive their due in this fascinating and moving account of the romantic and creative partnership of storyboard artist Harold Michelson and film researcher Lillian Michelson. They worked on hundreds of renowned films, including The Apartment, The Birds, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Graduate, Rosemary’s Baby, Fiddler on the Roof, Scarface, Full Metal Jacket and many more. While they were responsible for several iconic examples of visual storytelling, their contributions have remained largely uncredited. In this film, we hear from Harold and Lillian, as well as some of the filmmakers who loved them and used their work: Mel Brooks, Danny DeVito, Francis Ford Coppola and others. Writer/Director: Daniel Raim. (US 2016) 94 min.


© Michaâl Crotto/Courtesy Music Box Films

© National Geographic

U2 3D

THURSDAY, JULY 27, 4:30 & 7:00 U2 are currently traveling the world on “The Joshua Tree” tour, and we thought this was a fitting occasion to present a rare screening of the fantastic 3D concert movie that they produced during their global “Vertigo” tour in 2007. Filmed at seven different shows, this production used the largest collection of 3D camera technology for on a single project, and it was edited to deter viewers from experiencing motion sickness or eyestrain. This critically acclaimed and stylistically innovative film reflects Bono’s determination to “go somewhere magical” with a completely immersive theatrical experience that intensified the already ecstatic feelings evoked by U2’s live concerts. Directors: Catherine Owens, Mark Pellington. (US 2008) 85 min.

THE MIDWIFE

OPENS FRIDAY, JULY 28 Filmmaker Martin Provost (Violette, Séraphine) wrote his funny and moving new film specifically for stars Catherine Frot and Catherine Deneuve. Frot is Claire, a talented but tightly wound midwife and single mother, whose small maternity clinic is about to be overtaken by a “baby factory.” Béatrice (Deneuve) is the estranged, free-spirited but broken-down mistress of Claire’s deceased father. When Béatrice returns to Claire’s life after decades away, Claire doesn’t want any part of her. Although polar opposites in every way, the two women will come to rely on each other to cope with the unusual circumstances that bring them together. With Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire. In French with English subtitles. Writer/Director: Martin Provost. (France 2017) 117 min.

DAVE MADE A MAZE

THURSDAY, AUGUST 3, 7:15

© Dave Made An LLC

IN PERSON: Producer JOHN CHARLES MEYER Producer John Charles Meyer will present and discuss a screening of this fantastical new independent film. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at Slamdance, this surreal adventure-comedy concerns a frustrated artist (Nick Thune) who builds a cardboard fort in his living room and proceeds to get lost in it. Dave’s girlfriend Annie (Meera Rohit Kumbhani) leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission, but once inside, they are threatened by booby traps and a fearsome Minotaur, all creations of Dave’s imagination. The handmade fantasy world comes to life with puppetry, stop-motion animation and in-camera optical illusions. Also starring James Urbaniak, Adam Busch. Writers: Steven Sears, Bill Watterson. Producer: John Charles Meyer. Director: Bill Watterson. (US 2017) 81 min. plus discussion.

PEACE IS EVERY STEP

MEDITATION IN ACTION: THE LIFE AND WORK OF THICH NHAT HANH

© Simon Chaput

IN PERSON: Filmmaker GAETANO KAZUO MAIDA

THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 7:15 In advance of our theatrical run of Walk With Me (see page 9), filmmaker Gaetano Kazuo Maida will present and discuss a 20th anniversary screening of his own film portrait of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen teacher nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr. during the thick of the Vietnam War. Maida began filming him in 1990, when he was little known outside of Buddhist circles, following him from his Plum Village community to public demonstrations against the then-impending “Desert Storm” conflict with Iraq. Maida is the director of the Buddhist Film Foundation and has collaborated with the Rafael on several programs. Music: Bill Evans. Narrator: Ben Kingsley. Producer/Director: Gaetano Kazuo Maida. (US 1997) 52 min. plus discussion.

—7—


san francisco jewish film festival 37

sfjff.org july 20– august 6, 2017

The 37th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival returns July 20–August 6, 2017 in San Francisco, the East Bay, Palo Alto and San Rafael. SFJFF comes to the Rafael August 4–6. Marin Passes ($100 JFI members / $120 general public) will be available beginning June 20. More information at jfi.org/ sfjff37 and sfjff.org. Become a member at jfi.org/membership. (Please note: Rafael passes, CFI passes and CFI members’ discounts are not valid for these screenings. The Rafael will not sell advance tickets, and any remaining tickets will be available on day of show.) 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 exploring the complexities 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.

FUTURES PAST FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 1:40 The high-stakes world of futures trading is the backdrop for this moving documentary about a filmmaker who returns home to better understand his famous and inscrutable father, the former chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Director: Jordan Melamed. (US 2016) 91 min.

PARADISE FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 3:50 Three lives fatefully intersect after a Russian countess is arrested for sheltering two Jewish boys in Nazi-occupied France. A compelling tale of loss and redemption, this bold drama won the Venice Film Festival’s Silver Lion award. English Subtitles. Director: Andrei Konchalovsky. (Russia 2016) 130 min.

PERSONAL AFFAIRS FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 6:30 Director Maha Haj doesn’t shy away from the messiness of family ties, moving deftly amongst members of a Christian/Arabic family in Nazareth perfectly encapsulating the different paths family members often take. In Arabic with English subtitles. (Israel 2016) 90 min.

PLANETARIUM FRIDAY, AUGUST 4, 8:35 Two young and luminous séance-conducting sisters from America (Natalie Portman and Lily-Rose Depp) meet an enchanting French film producer who vows to capture their communions with the dead on his own cinematographic medium. English subtitles. Director: Rebecca Zlotowski. (France 2016) 106 min.

THE 90 MINUTE WAR SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 12:05 In this sharp-edged political mockumentary, a century of intractable conflict between Israel and Palestine is going to be settled once and for all . . . on the soccer field. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Director: Eyal Halfon. (Israel 2016) 83 min.

—8—

THE YOUNG KARL MARX SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 2:05 Activist director Raoul Peck’s finely crafted period drama vividly brings to life events surrounding the August, 1844 meeting between Friedrich Engels, the rebellious son of a wealthy factory owner and the radical philosopher Karl Marx. English subtitles. (France/Germany 2017) 118 min. FANNY’S JOURNEY SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 4:35 Riveting from the first frame to the last, this is the true story of a 13-yearold girl who is separated from her parents in Nazi-occupied France and leads a group of Jewish children to safety during WWII. In French with English subtitles. Director: Lola Doillon. (France 2016) 94 min.

KEEP THE CHANGE SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 6:45 Under the guise of a New York romantic comedy, Keep the Change does something quite radical: In a refreshingly honest, poignant and funny way, it portrays two adults on the autism spectrum trying to have a relationship. Director: Rachel Israel. (US 2017) 94 min.

MR. PREDICTABLE SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, 8:55 In this endearing comedy, Adi is such a steady and reliable husband and father that everyone in his life takes him for granted—until he’s misdiagnosed with cancer and told that he has only weeks to live. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Director: Roee Florentin. (Israel 2016) 103 min.

HARMONIA SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 12:00 This understated, moving backstage musical drama is a modern-day adaptation from the Book of Genesis and centers around an enigmatic Palestinian musician who offers to have a child for an Israeli harpist and her orchestra conductor husband, Abraham. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Director: Ori Sivan. (Israel 2016) 97 min.

1945 SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2:10 August, 1945. The arrival of two Orthodox Jews in a rural Hungarian village sets off a spate of paranoid rumors that speak to the collective guilt and anti-Semitism of postwar Hungary in this evocative and nuanced drama. In Hungarian with English subtitles. Director: Ferenc Török. (Hungary 2017) 91 min.

BOMBSHELL: THE HEDY LAMARR STORY SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 4:15 Hedy Lamarr was a sex symbol for the ages and achieved top stardom in Hollywood in the 1930s. But she wanted to benefit mankind, and her inventions were the predecessors of wi-fi, bluetooth and cell phones. Director: Alexandra Dean. (US 2017) 90 min.

BYE BYE GERMANY SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 6:20 “After WWII approximately 4,000 Jews stayed in Germany. Later, none of them could explain to their children why,” we learn in Sam Gabarski’s Bye Bye Germany. This stylized, humor-laced drama devotes itself to answering this question. In German with English subtitles. (Germany 2017) 101 min.

HOME PORT SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 8:35 Aharon, who drops anchor in his old hometown to head up the local port’s Marine Department, immediately butts heads with unscrupulous strongman Azulay, ultimately threatening Aharon’s safety and that of his loved ones. In Hebrew with English subtitles. Director: Erez Tadmor. (Israel 2016) 95 min.


© Speakit Productions Ltd.

WALK WITH ME

OPENS FRIDAY, AUGUST 11 Narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch, this beautiful new documentary is a cinematic journey into the world of mindfulness and the Zen Buddhist master Thich Nhat Hanh. With unprecedented access to Plum Village in rural France, this visceral film is a meditation on a community of people who have given up all their material possessions for the monastic life. Intimate interviews and observational scenes offer rare insight into monastic life and the deeply personal reasons why Thich Nhat Hanh’s monks and nuns decided to leave their families and follow in his footsteps. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu calls it, “A moving and wonderful film that captures the essence, depth and poetry of Thich Nhat Hanh–a great work full of love.” Directors: Marc J. Francis, Max Pugh (UK 2017) 94 min.

LONG LIVE THE KING

© Warner Bros.

ELVIS: THAT’S THE WAY IT IS

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 16, 4:15, 6:30 Elvis Presley died 40 years ago, on August 16, 1977. We remember him on this date with a theatrical presentation of one of his best concert films. This was his first non-dramatic film, made shortly after his return to live performances in 1969, and here, during six concerts at his 1970 “Summer Festival” shows at the Las Vegas Hilton, Elvis is at his best, both vocally and physically. In addition, several of the numbers were never performed again. Share the songs and the memories on the big screen! Rated PG. Camera: Lucien Ballard. Director: Denis Sanders (US 1970) 95 min.

© Rory Mulvey/IFC Films

THE TRIP TO SPAIN

OPENS FRIDAY, AUGUST 18 After their previous jaunts through the restaurants and sights of northern England and Italy, actor-comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on yet another deliciously deadpan culinary road trip. Whether or not the third time’s the charm, this new Trip is certainly charming, as the two raconteurs conduct their hilariously off-the-cuff banter through Spain’s castles and historical monuments and accompany plates of pintxos and paella with their dueling celebrity impressions. Coogan tries to micromanage his projects from the road, and both reflect on love, family and settling into middle age. As always, there are breathtaking locales and cuisine to die for. And what other film offers a master class on the meanings of the song “The Windmills of Your Mind?” Director: Michael Winterbottom (UK 2016) 110 min.

© CFI Releasing

THE FENCER

OPENS FRIDAY, AUGUST 25 CFI Releasing presents a warmhearted cold-war drama based on a true story and set in Estonia in the early 1950s. Endel (Märt Avandi) arrives in a small town, finds work as a teacher and organizes a sports club in which he instructs his young charges, many of whom are orphans from the Russian occupation, in the art and skill of fencing. The children love him, but tension with his envious principal exposes a past that poses danger when he and his hardscrabble kids are invited to a tournament in Leningrad. This beautifully crafted movie was a Golden Globe nominee for Foreign Language Film and was shortlisted for the 2016 Academy Awards. In Estonian with English subtitles. Writer: Anna Heinämaa. Director: Klaus Härö. (Finland 2015) 99 min.

—9—


MR. MITCHUM CELEBRATING THE CENTENNIAL OF ROBERT MITCHUM

“He is a master of stillness. Other actors act. Mitchum is. He has true delicacy and expressiveness, but his forte is his indelible identity. Simply by being there, Mitchum can make almost any other actor look like a hole in the screen.” David Lean Robert Mitchum (1917-1997) would have turned 100 this month. Was any screen actor cooler than he was? When he was still a freshly minted star, a 1948 conviction for marijuana possession—a scandal that would have destroyed many a Hollywood career—seemed only to enhance his outlaw image. Approached by a reporter after a stretch in county jail, he described it as “like Palm Springs, but without the riff-raff.”

© Park Circus

That sense of irony informed a screen presence that made him ideal for film noir, but his laconic manner also led many to undervalue his skill as an actor. Calling him “one of the best actors in the movies,” critic David Thomson cites the “intriguing ambiguity in Mitchum’s work, the idea of a man thinking and feeling beneath a calm exterior that there is no need to put ‘acting’ on the surface. And for a big man, he is immensely agile, capable of unsmiling humor, menace, stoicism and, above all, of watching other people as though he were waiting to make up his mind.” Early circumstances sent him on the road in his teens, and he began in Hollywood in bit parts and B-westerns. After a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for Story of G.I. Joe (1945), his career took off and rarely slowed down. As a sidebar, he also had a recording career, and his graceful, melodic singing voice was occasionally featured in his films.

© Warner Bros.

OUT OF THE PAST 35MM PRINT!

— 10 —

SUNDAY, AUGUST 13, 4:30, 7:00 Robert Mitchum is a private eye hired by racketeer Kirk Douglas to track down the mistress who absconded with a fortune. He finds Jane Greer in Acapulco and falls in love with her himself. Considered a “B” movie in its time, it’s now regarded as a great film noir, perhaps the greatest. All the ingredients are here: cynical banter, a femme fatale, low-key photography, flashbacks with voiceover and a fatalistic mood. A must-see. With Rhonda Fleming. Camera: Nicholas Musuraca. Writer: Daniel Mainwaring (as Geoffrey Homes). Director: Jacques Tourneur. (US 1946) 97 min.


© 20th Century Fox

RIVER OF NO RETURN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 17, 4:30, 7:00 Otto Preminger’s only western, filmed in sumptuous Technicolor and spectacular CinemaScope, is set in the American Northwest and stars Robert Mitchum as a widower recently released from prison and seeking out the 10-year-old son (Tommy Rettig) he hardly knows. Rising star Marilyn Monroe is the dance-hall singer who had taken care of the child, and Rory Calhoun, a gambler without scruples, is her purported fiancé. (US 1954) 91 min.

© Park Circus

THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER

SUNDAY, AUGUST 20, 4:30, 7:00 The only movie Charles Laughton directed, this singular masterpiece was criminally ignored in its day. Written by James Agee from the novel by Davis Grubb, with extraordinary photography by Stanley Cortez, it is a poetic, even hallucinatory, gem of Southern Gothic, set in the Great Depression and starring Robert Mitchum (at his best) as a charismatic, self-styled preacher who’s really a psychopathic killer of lonely widows. In a tale of almost biblical import, this “false prophet ” pursues two children fleeing with a fortune, only to encounter “the mother of us all,” embodied by the great Lillian Gish. With Shelley Winters. (US 1955) 92 min.

© Universal Studios

CAPE FEAR

THURSDAY, AUGUST 24, 4:30, 7:00 The Night of the Hunter didn’t contain the only psychotic villain up Robert Mitchum’s sleeve. In this tense thriller (remade in 1991 by Martin Scorsese), Mitchum plays Max Cady, an obsessive brute who exits prison only to stalk the lawyer (Gregory Peck) who sent him away and threaten his family (Polly Bergen, Lori Martin). With Martin Balsam. Music: Bernard Herrmann. Writer: James R. Webb, from The Executioners by John D. MacDonald. Director: J. Lee Thompson. (US 1962) 106 min.

© Paramount Pictures

THE FRIENDS OF EDDIE COYLE

SUNDAY, AUGUST 27, 4:30, 7:00 In one of his best performances, Robert Mitchum is an aging delivery truck driver who is also a low-level gunrunner for a Boston criminal organization. Also starring Peter Boyle and Richard Jordan, this tough, gritty neo-noir is rich in regional atmosphere, and Mitchum is, as Roger Ebert raved, “A weary middle-aged man, but tough and proud; a man who has been hurt too often in life not to respect pain; a man who will take chances to protect his own territory.” Music: Dave Grusin. Writer: Paul Monash, from the novel by George V. Higgins. Director: Peter Yates. (US 1973) 103 min.

© Warner Bros.

RYAN’S DAUGHTER

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 4:30 Director David Lean’s penultimate screen epic is a lush romantic drama, set in 1916 Ireland in the wake of the Irish Republicans’ Easter Rebellion, while the First World War rages on the continent. In a village on the Dingle Peninsula, Robert Mitchum is a mild-mannered schoolmaster who marries young Sarah Miles, but her need for excitement drives her into a scandalous affair with wounded British officer Christopher Jones. Written by Robert Bolt and also starring Trevor Howard, John Mills and Leo McKern, it features spectacular cinematography by Freddie Young and music by Maurice Jarre. (UK 1970) 206 minutes plus intermission.

— 11 —


© Kino Lorber

RUMBLE: THE INDIANS WHO ROCKED THE WORLD

OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 Acclaimed at our inaugural DocLands Documentary Film Festival, this revelatory documentary explores the role of Native Americans in popular music history. Focusing on such icons as Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson and Randy Castillo, the film illustrates the distinctive mark that artists with indigenous heritage have made on the music of our lives. Their stories are told by some of America’s greatest music legends who knew them, played music with them and were inspired by them, including Buddy Guy, Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Stevie Van Zandt, among others. American popular music has always had Native American influence, but these contributions have been left out of the story…until now. Directors: Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana. (Canada 2017) 102 min.

© George Ballis

DOLORES

OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 Among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history, Dolores Huerta was an equal partner with Cesar Chavez in co-founding the first farm workers’ unions. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the 20th century, and at age 87, she continues the fight to this day. This long-overdue film portrait is an eye-opener, as we witness Huerta’s career spanning not only the labor movement, but also the fight for civil rights and the evolution of feminism, all the while raising 11 children. Executive producer Carlos Santana lends some great music to this stirring film. In English and in Spanish with English subtitles. Producers: Brian Benson, Peter Bratt. Writer/Director: Peter Bratt. (US 2017) 98 min.

© Kino Lorber

THE FORCE

OPENS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Winner of the Directing Award for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, this strong piece of cinema vérité is an intimate look at the Oakland Police Department as it struggles to navigate: federal demands for reform; popular uprisings following events in Ferguson, Missouri; and finally an explosive scandal. Filmmaker Peter Nicks (The Waiting Room) and his collaborators received unprecedented access to the department’s activities, following officers from academy graduation through staff meetings, on routine (and not so routine) patrols, and all the way up to the Chief of Police Sean Whent. Two years of observant filming yield a number of dramatic twists and surprising turns in this terrific film. Camera/Director: Peter Nicks. (US 2017) 93 min.

© Park Circus

THE PURPLE ROSE OF CAIRO 35MM PRINT!

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SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 Art House Theater Day, now in its second consecutive year, is an occasion to celebrate the work of community-based cinemas across the continent and the globe. The Rafael will participate with special programs that day, including a rare 35mm screening of Woody Allen’s The Purple Rose of Cairo, itself a love-letter to the moviegoing experience. So check the listings and check out Art House Theater Day!.


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— 13 —


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Smith Rafael Film Center Quarterly | July - September 2017  

Programming at the Smith Rafael Film Center, San Rafael CA

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