Friday 3

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Marius Holst's KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND (2011, Norway)


This stunning tale of a boy’s prison, its cruel staff and desperate inmates is based on true events. As conditions in the island prison deteriorate, the boys are left with little choice but to rise up against their captors. It’s absorbing, honest and ultimately moving.

Warning: Graphic Violence

Why we show this film:
There are not very many genuinely realistic films about prisons and reformatories. The most popular ones are usual filled with souped-up melodrama.  The King of Devil’s Island  does a sensational job of not only giving you an overall sense of a punishing system, it puts you in the shoes of its two protagonists and what they feel. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as conditions on the island become increasingly alarming. You often can’t predict what’s coming, and the powerful images, the strong actors, and the atmosphere make this one of the finest modern classics about young people. You may not have heard of the film, but we can almost guarantee you’ll remember it.

About the director:
The Norwegian film director Marius Holst is not a familiar name in the USA, though he has been making thoughtful and powerful films for almost 10 years. He studied film in England, and now produces his own. His films often champion outsiders who defy the system, including Dragonfly, Bastard and Mirush.

Friday 10

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Ernst Lubitsch's TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932, USA)

A high-class thief and a beautiful pickpocket team up to great success, but their plans hit a snag when love becomes a factor. This is early Hollywood at its suave and sophisticated best. They don’t write dialogue like this anymore!

Why we show this film:
Great comedies are hard to come by; we consider this one of the best. Ernst Lubitsch had considerable success with his light frothy romances in Germany. They were so popular he was invited to Hollywood and from that moment on he set a standard for high, sophisticated fare. His impeccable sense of timing, his use of language as a comic element (some of the film makes great fun of Italian); the unorthodox values his characters hold on to and their wild, often realistic modern take on life and love make the plot surprising and delightful at every turn!

About the director:
Lubitsch began his film career as an actor, appearing in thirty films before 1920. He came to America as a director contracted to Mary Pickford, the reigning movie queen. After one film of discord with her, he was left a free agent and established his reputation for stylish comedies. He thrived with the first sound films, making The Love Parade, Monte Carlo and the Smiling Lieutenant. Trouble in Paradise was made just before the draconian Production Code censorship was enacted, and was pulled from circulation afterward, due to its scandalous themes Lubitsch continued to make films until his heart attack in 1947, but none of his later films had the critical acclaim of his earlier work.

Saturday 11

Art Saturday @ Potrero Hill Art Galleries

11 am Meet outside Coffee Bar at Mariposa and Florida Streets.

11:15 Walking tour of downtown art galleries (Jack Fisher, Catherine Clark, Hosfelt)

1 pm Picnic lunch at Franklin Square Park

Friday 17

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut)
Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL (1958, USA0


A dark and devilish tale of vengeance and corruption along the US/Mexico border with an all-star cast. This classic of film noir was taken away from its director, Orson Welles, and hacked to pieces by the studio only to be restored to Welles original vision 40 years. A miracle of filmmaking!

Why we show this film:
This has to be one of the most unusual films ever. The original version was taken away from the director and butchered into a B-movie film no one wanted to remember. Welles wrote a detailed letter begging the studio to reconsider. This letter sat at the studio for years until, after Welles’ death, a producer asked the famous editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) to reconstruct the film and return it as much as possible to Welles original intent. Come see what editing and sound can make of a wonderfully conceived noir. 

About the director:
Orson Welles was a boy wonder; as a child he wrote poetry, painted, played the piano, made puppets, acted, and performed magic shows.  In his playroom he used to stage Shakespeare plays. His father died when he was twelve and he became the ward of a Chicago doctor. Later, instead of going to college, he chose a drawing tour of Ireland.

While in Dublin bluffed himself into an interview with the director of the famous Gate Theater and won a lead in their current production. He stayed on to act and direct in several productions.  He returned home, secured a role in a famous touring theater company,  married a Chicago socialite and hooked up with a producer named John Houseman. Together they formed the Mercury Theater.

By 1936 he was the American wunderkind of the theater. His sensational War of Worlds radio show threw the nation in to chaos, and got him a contract in Hollywood where he made his great masterpiece: Citizen Kane. He was on a roll until he got too big for his britches, took on too many projects, and began to believe his own hype... not to mention the little issue of being blacklisted for having communist sympathies. The rest of his career is one battle after the other to find money for his films. A sad tale of a great talent crippled early that never quite recovers.