FEBRUARY


Friday 3

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Stanley Kubrick's PATHS OF GLORY (1957, UK)

A dynamic and complex film about the soldiers in the trenches during WWI.  Kubrick was a great American director who worked in England, and this film brought him his international following. It remains one of a handful of great anti-war films.

Why we show this film:
After making several film noirs which were fairly ignored by critics, Paths of Glory brought Kubrick the international attention he deserved.  This look at the trenches of WW 1 is a dazzling achievement and shows his ability to orchestrate large scenes involving hundreds of performers.  He also brings a humanity to individual soldiers while keeping his themes of injustice and the hypocrisy of the officer class clear. The frustrations of dealing with overwhelming odds and brutal solutions is one that reflects the currents of our modern world. 

About the director:
Stanley Kubrick has also a golden track record in film, producing a hefty list of classic films. He began as a talented photographer for Look magazine, then a maverick film maker, financing his own debut, Fear and Desire, followed by two noir films, Killer’s Kiss and The Killing, and a WWI film Paths of Glory

He was involved in number of difficult film shoots.  He worked on One-Eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando and Brando fired him.  He was then asked by Kirk Douglas to direct Spartacus, a huge epic, which turned into a grueling affair because of disagreements with the star.  He left for England to make Lolita and never returned, producing a steady line of classics including Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon.  He preferred working in England, and made his life there.


Friday 10

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Jane Campion's THE PIANO (1993, New Zeland/Australia)

A widow arrives on the untamed shores of rural New Zealand with a daughter, a piano, and a self-willed deafness to marry a man she’s never met. The wild outside and the wild inside feed off each other until it threatens to destroy them all. The performances from Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin are some of the best you’ll ever see.

WARNING: Nudity, sex and violence.

Why we show this film:
This marvel of a film moves in the way that great 19th century novels move—a strong heroine moves into an alien world filled with repressed sexual desires and stirring passions. Its heroine is mysteriously mute with a self-willed daughter. The clash of cultural values between the native Maori and the English settlers is etched in telling detail as is the clash between man and woman. The film reflects the terrible struggle strong women had to make to survive in the 19th century, and it does it with striking imagery and great performances. It is one of the best examples of a film that uses imagery in place of dialogue: it tells its story through all of the techniques that make film making different from the other arts. Remarkable in every way.

About the director:
Jane Campion grew up in New Zealand, daughter to theater directors. Her very first professional film won the award for best short film at Cannes. Early on she cemented her status as a brilliant pioneering director with films such as An Angel at my Table (1990) and The Piano (1993). After the Piano won the Palme d'Or and 3 Oscars, Campion struggled, releasing several films in a row that received middling reviews and worse ticket sales, but recently has returned to form with Bright Star (2009) about the poet John Keats, and the critically acclaimed TV series "Top of the Lake".
 


Saturday 11

Art Saturday @ The Minnesota Street Project

Meet at 11 at Philz Coffee at Minnesota and 24th Streets.

11:15 Tour the galleries at the Minnesota Street Project

12:20 Picnic Lunch at Esprit Park


Friday 17

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Terrence Malick's BADLANDS (1973, USA)

The director’s first film, which began the avalanche of road films about rebellious youth who terrorize the countryside.  Based on a true story it mixes horror with a cool style that only Malick could create.

Why we show this film:
This film is unusual and special for a number of reasons, most of which relate to what it isn’t rather than what it is. Films about love on the run and killing sprees tend to revel in gratuitous violence (Wild at Heart, Natural Born Killers) or become torn and twisted trying to come up with a “reason” their heroes went bad. Malick does the opposite here, keeping his hero and heroine sexually repressed, emotionally stunted and pitifully inarticulate. In other words, more chilling and true to life. The killing spree they carry across middle America is horrifying in its ordinariness and convoluted logic.

The film contains an incredible eye for the landscape, a brilliant use of imagery, visual composition and light. There are also flicks of tragic cruelty (totally missing from American films of the time) Malick creates a world of his own. Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacheck give some of the strongest and most subtle performances

About the director:
Terence Malick is a maverick director, following his own instincts. He only made four films in the first 35 years of his career. His first two, this one and Days of Heaven, were so stark and gorgeous they gave him a legendary status in Hollywood, mainly for a reluctance to compromise, his reclusive nature and dark vision. He then went on to produced The Thin Red Line, The New World and Tree of Life.
 


Friday 24

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Werner Herzog's AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (1972, Germany)

In the 1560, a ruthless and insane conquistador leads a Spanish expedition deep into the Amazon in search of the “City of Gold”. Filled with astounding images and a great performance by the unhinged Klaus Kinski, this is one of the jewels of art-house cinema.

WARNING: violence.

Why we show this film:
The history of the Spanish conquest of South America is one of the most gruesome in history, and has seldom been captured on film. Certainly the conflict between faith and avarice has never been so clearly drawn: The Catholic church’s goal of civilizing the natives conflicted with the explorer’s bloodlust for gold –aggravated by the legends of El Dorado, the city of gold.

Aguirre is filled with startling images, made possible by the ambitions of a tenacious director. On very little money, after nine months of pre-planning the cast and crew undertook 5 weeks of unprecedented film making.  They hacked through jungles, climbed mountains, endured a lightening storm and flood that destroyed their camp and equipment as well as a raging river, where they were strapped to homemade rafts. The result is an authentic looking historical film like no other.

About the director:
Werner Herzog is considered one of the most important German directors associated with the “New German Cinema". His remarkable output (over 20 dramas, and 28 documentaries since the late sixties) separates him from most.  He iis recognized for his refusal to compromise, for his often startling style and vision, and for often making films under extremely harrowing conditions.

Some of the most famous, Aguirre and Fitzcaraldo feature heroes with impossible dreams, often reflecting the trials Herzog has had to battle in his own career. In recent decades he has be lauded as a master of the documentary for films with highly controversial subjects or simply unusual takes on their subject matter, winning prizes throughout the world. He is also popularly known for his narration and distinct German accent.

 


SATURDAY 25

ART SATURDAY CANCELLED

No new shows. Join us on March 11 at The Legion of Honor.