DECEMBER


Friday 1

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Michael Roemer's NOTHING BUT A MAN (1964, USA)

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This film, made in the midst of the turbulent Civil Rights Movement, is the most honest and sensitive portrait of black Americans in the 1960s and the pressures that they experienced. It’s a thoughtful and moving love story, both familiar and yet unlike any film that came before it.

Why we show this film:
This film is made 25 years earlier than Do The Right Thing, shows a different side of the African American experience. This film is about everyday life in the best sense, and it’s amazing to see a film so authentic and fresh. It touches on the injustice experienced and the anger felt by its characters but is focused primarily on their aspirations and their daily struggles.


About the director:
Roemer was Jewish and born in Germany during the rise of the Nazi party. At 11 was transported out of Germany in what was called the Kindertransports, where Jewish children were educated as refugees in England. He emigrated to the US in 1945 and received his degree from Harvard where he also produced his first film, A Touch of the Times.

Nothing But A Man won two awards at the Venice Film Festival but had spotty distribution in the US and left his film career dormant. He only produced two more films, though he spent much of his time directing a series of educational films for the Ford Foundation. He later taught film at Yale.


Saturday 2

Art Saturday @ A Day Of Silents

A full day of silent films! Time and location will be updated as soon as we receive a schedule from the Silent Film Festival.


Friday 8

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Bertolucci's THE LAST EMPEROR (1987, Italy/China)

Note: Due to length, this film starts at 6:30

A dazzling epic from China filmed by a brilliant Italian director. This is the true story of China’s last emperor, following him from his coronation at the age of 2, through both World Wars and the Cultural Revolution that ended the empire. A real-life riches-to-rags tale.

Why we show this film:
Here is one of the grandest films about China. Often operatic in its sweep and tone, it is the famed Italian director's last masterpiece.  There is no one in film that knows as much about the moving image, breathtaking art direction, a feeling of place and time and can shape large scenes memorably.  Come bask in the presence of a master.

About the director:
Bertolucci received his training by working with Piero Pasolini (Mama Roma) and with his first films quickly gained a sturdy reputation. Cine Club regularly shows one of his great achievements, The Conformist, a searing inditement of complacency in the face of fascism. He is also well known for Last Tango In Paris, 1900 and The Dreamers.


Friday 15

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Buster Keaton's ONE WEEK and SHERLOCK JR (1920/1924, USA)

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Sherlock Jr. is one of the most imaginative comedies of silent film! A movie projectionist is accused of theft so he escapes by diving right into the detective movie on the screen. Come watch the king of physical comedy (performing all his own stunts) as he leaps off buildings and dodges speeding trains to save the girl he loves.  

Because the film is so short we're pairing it with the delightful short, One Week, in which Buster and his new wife make a valiant attempt to build their own house from a mail-order package. It's an Ikea worst-case scenario in the hands of a master of physical comedy!

About the director:
It has taken a long time for Buster Keaton to be considered the most talented and inventive genius silent comedy, but in the opinion of many critics he has finally out stripped the reputation of his rival Charles Chaplin.  Much of this has to do with his lack of sentimentality, and his comic inventiveness which sports more than a dash of existential angst. This reflects his less than triumphant life. He began in medicine road shows as the wonder child of a family of acrobats. We would now describe his childhood as abusive, as the beatings from his alcoholic father didn’t come near the savagery of the stage beatings he went through (one act had his father sweeping the floor with his child’s body).  But by the time he was ten he had learned such a bag of tricks, including dangerous acrobatic falls and a deadly sense of comic timing.  Audiences were convinced he was a small adult masquerading as a child.


Saturday 16

Art Saturday @ SFMOMA

11 am Meet at SFMOMA by the Richard Serra sculpture (Howard Street entrance)

11:15 Tour of the new SFMOMA

1 pm Picnic lunch in Yerba Buena Gardens