Film Schedule - Spring 2018

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Free Admission

The Sonoma Film Institute is no longer selling tickets for film screenings. Suggested donation is $5 and all donations are tax deductible.

Dawson City: Frozen Time

Dawson City Frozen Time movie poster
Friday, January 12, 2018 - 3:30pm
Sunday, January 14, 2018 - 5:00pm

North Bay Premiere! "Bill Morrison’s new film is a history in still and moving images charting the transformation of the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in fishing camp at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, into the epicenter of the Yukon gold rush at the turn of the last century. It is also a history of the 35mm film prints that were shipped to Dawson between the 1910s and 1920s, then hidden away and forgotten for 50 years until they were unearthed in the initial stages of a construction project. Images from those films play a key role in Morrison’s cinematic mosaic. Like all of Morrison’s work, DAWSON CITY is a haunting experience that takes place in suspended, nonlinear time." - New York Film Festival  "Wondrous, almost indescribable. A complete astonishment from beginning to end." – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Released: 2016
Run time: 120 min.


California Typewriter movie poster
Friday, January 26, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, January 28, 2018 - 4:30pm

Sonoma County Premiere! "In this magnificent filmic essay, director-photographer-editor Doug Nichol explores the mythology attached to the endangered typewriter…Nichol includes testimony from David McCullough, Tom Hanks and John Mayer, who rely on typewriters for their creative work, as well as cultural historians, collectors and various obsessives who celebrate the physicality of the typewriter both as object and as a means of concretizing the creative process. “You can see the ink flying onto the surface of the paper,” says Sam Shepard (who also prefers horses to cars). Can anything keep typewriters from drifting toward obsolescence? Can we imagine the cult of typewriter-users growing in number and importance? Nichol’s fascinating combination of history and aesthetic analysis plunges us into the mysterious, bittersweet moment in which a beloved technology faces extinction." - Telluride Film Festival

Director Doug Nichol will be present to introduce the film and answer questions after the Friday screening.

Released: 2016
Run time: 103 min


Friday, February 2, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 4, 2018 - 4:30pm

New Restoration Print! “BLESS THEIR LITTLE HEARTS represents the closure and pinnacle of a neorealist strand within the L.A. Rebellion. Billy Woodberry’s film chronicles the devastating effects of underemployment on a family. Nate Hardman and Kaycee Moore deliver gut-wrenching performances as the couple whose family is torn apart by events beyond their control. If salvation remains, it’s in the sensitive depiction of everyday life, which persists throughout. The film remains an unforgettable landmark in American cinema.” – Ross Lipman  Written and photographed by Charles Burnett, who is receiving an Honorary Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement this year.

Preceded by THE POCKETBOOK, Billy Woodberry’s 1980 short from a Langston Hughes story. (13 min.) 

Released: 1984
Run time: 84 min


Friday, February 9, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 11, 2018 - 4:30pm

"The 88-year-old Agnès Varda teamed up with the 33-year-old visual artist JR for this tour of rural France that follows in the footsteps of Varda’s groundbreaking documentary THE GLEANERS AND I  as it celebrates artisanal production, workers’ solidarity, and the photographic arts in the face of mortality. Varda and JR wielded cameras themselves, but they were also documented in their travels by multiple image and sound recordists. Out of this often spontaneous jumble, Varda and her editor Maxime Pozzi-Garcia created an unassuming masterpiece (the winner of this year’s L’Oeil d’or at Cannes) that is vivid, lyrical, and inspiringly humanistic." - New York Film Fesitval  Agnès Varda is receiving an Honorary Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement this year. 

Released: 2017
Run time: 89 min


Obit. movie poster
Friday, February 16, 2018 - 4:00pm

North Bay Premiere! “Within the storied walls of The New York Times, a team of writers is entrusted with reflecting upon the lives of luminaries, icons, and world leaders of our day. Often hours before newspaper hits doorstep—and the world's eyes devour words marking the end of a momentous life--endless detail is gathered and impossible choices must be made. Vanessa Gould's fascinating documentary, OBIT., introduces us to the unseen women and men responsible for crafting the unequaled obituaries of the NYT. As we're taken through their painstaking process of digging through years of accomplishments, we learn about the particular pressures that accompany a career spent trying to elegantly and respectfully shape the story of a life for an audience of millions. From notorious politicians and beloved musicians to unknown personalities who have advanced the worlds of science, literature, and sports, the obit writers are in the unique and often unenviable position of spotlighting individuals whose impact and influence is near impossible to measure.” – Liza Domnitz, Tribeca Film Festival

Released: 2016
Run time: 95 min.

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE (Toivon tuolla puolen)

THE OTHER SIDE OF HOPE  movie poster
Friday, February 16, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 4:30pm

Sonoma County Premiere! Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlin International Film Festival. "Leave it to Aki Kaurismäki, peerless master of humanist tragicomedy, to make the first great fiction film about the 21st century migrant crisis. Having escaped bombed-out Aleppo, Syrian refugee Khaled (Sherwan Haji) seeks asylum in Finland, only to get lost in a maze of functionaries and bureaucracies. Meanwhile, shirt salesman Wikström (Sakari Kuosmanen) leaves his wife, wins big in a poker game, and takes over a restaurant whose deadpan staff he also inherits. These parallel stories dovetail to gently comic and enormously moving effect in Kaurismäki’s politically urgent fable, an object lesson on the value of compassion and hope that remains grounded in a tangible social reality." – Film Society of Lincoln Center “It’s a deeply humane film, as well as a quietly hilarious one.” – Dave CalhounTime Out

Released: 2017
Run time: 100 min


IN A LONELY PLACE  movie poster
Friday, February 23, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 4:30pm

With the recent release of the Gloria Grahame bio-pic FILM STARS DON'T DIE IN LIVERPOOL, starring Annette Bening, we thought it might be a good time to take another look at this unique and formidable actress. Grahame stars with Humphrey Bogart in Nicholas Ray's tale of mistrustful lovers based on Dorothy B. Hughes pathological novel. Dix Steele (Bogart) is a faltering Hollywood scriptwriter with anger management problems who falls in love with his neighbor (Grahame). 

Released: 1950
Run time: 94 min


Friday, March 2, 2018 - 7:00pm

Bay Area Filmmaker Connie Field’s critically acclaimed documentary on the wartime experiences of women workers. Juxtaposing old photographs and newsreel footage with reminiscences of five former Rosies, the film forms a bittersweet statement about American attitudes and hypocritical doctrines. “These were no tap-dancing girls swaying rhythmically at Lockheed, as Hollywood imaged them, but earnest individuals who had their dreams of economic survival, who really did praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.” - Albert Johnson  Selected by the Library of Congress to be preserved in the United States National Film Registry. 

Director Connie Field will be present to introduce the film and answer questions after the screening.

Released: 1980
Run time: 65 min


78/52  movie poster
Friday, March 9, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 4:30pm

Sonoma County Premiere! The screeching strings, the plunging knife, the slow zoom out from a lifeless eyeball: in 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho changed film history forever with its taboo-shattering shower scene. With 78 camera set-ups and 52 edits over the course of 3 minutes, Psycho redefined screen violence, set the stage for decades of slasher films to come, and introduced a new element of danger to the moviegoing experience. Aided by a roster of filmmakers, critics, and fans—including Guillermo del Toro, Bret Easton Ellis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Eli Roth, and Peter Bogdanovich—director Alexandre O. Philippe pulls back the curtain on the making and influence of this cinematic game changer, breaking it down frame by frame and unpacking Hitchcock’s dense web of allusions and double meanings. The result is an enthralling piece of cinematic detective work that’s nirvana for film buffs. 

Director Alexandre Philippe will introduce the film and answer questions after the Friday screening.

Released: 2017
Run time: 91 min


LOST IN PARIS movie poster
Friday, March 16, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 4:30pm

North Bay Premiere! "Fiona (Fiona Gordon), a shy and nerdy librarian, visits Paris for the first time to assist her myopic octogenarian Aunt Martha (Emmanuelle Riva). All manner of comic catastrophes ensue, mainly involving Dom (Dominique Abel), a gently anarchic homeless man who has yet to have an emotion or thought he was afraid of expressing, or an appetite he hasn’t tried to immediately satisfy. Gordon and Abel, the writer-directors of cult classics L’ICEBERG and THE FAIRY, and contemporary heirs apparent to Keaton and Tati, again construct a quietly dizzying succession of chance meetings, mistaken identities, impossible coincidences and elaborate stunts and gags. In their eccentric alternate universe, a backpack, old photos and some stray bottles of champagne somehow become magical erotic talismans. And you won’t want to miss the film’s main theme song, written by Loudon Wainwright III and sung by Kate and Anna McGarrigle." - Telluride Film Festival. 

Released: 2016
Run time: 85 min

Closed March 19 – April 5

Monday, March 19, 2018 - 12:00pm


THE KILLING  movie poster
Friday, April 6, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 8, 2018 - 4:30pm

Stanley Kubrick’s all-time great caper film is a taut, fast paced thriller with a wonderfully seedy cast (Elisha Cook, Jr., Marie Windsor and Vince Edwards). Lucien Ballard’s fluid camerawork uses the tiny sets to best advantage, creating a claustrophobic, low-budget masterpiece. Sterling Hayden is the stoic race-track heist mastermind “finally dismayed by the dollar bills winnowed in aircraft slipstream.” – David Thomson 

Released: 1956
Run time: 83 min


Friday, April 13, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 15, 2018 - 4:30pm

North Bay Premiere! The international press calls MISS KIET’S CHILDREN: “a jewel,” “subtle but powerful,” and “tender and shrewdly observed.” In the Dutch countryside, a gaggle of refugee children, mostly from Syria, are students in Miss Kiet’s classroom. Smart, compassionate, keenly aware of the problems they’ve already lived through – she teaches them to speak Dutch, to talk the talk -- but more importantly, to walk the walk.  Trust, patience, compassion, and humor are part of the lesson plan. For a refugee child anywhere in the world, Miss Kiet’s class must be the closest thing to dying and going to heaven. The movie is a revelation to anyone who reads the headlines but has no idea how delightful, confounding, and thoroughly surprising “refugees” can be. Directed by Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster. 

Released: 2016
Run time: 114 min


Friday, April 20, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 22, 2018 - 4:30pm

The late, great Jeanne Moreau was vaulted to cinematic stardom in Louis Malle's first feature, an elegant Hitchcockian thriller that was made when the director was just 24. The improvised score is by Miles Davis. "Maurice Ronet and Moreau star as an ex-paratrooper and his lover who plot to murder her industrialist husband. Things do not go exactly as planned…. Adroitly bringing in the wider issues of the Indochina war, industry, and runaway machinery, Malle creates a milieu for his frantic, frustrated lovers." - Pacific Film Archive

Released: 1958
Run time: 92 min


LOVER FOR A DAY movie poster
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 4:30pm

North Bay Premiere! LOVER FOR A DAY is an exquisite meditation on love and fidelity that recalls Philippe Garrel’s previous films, JEALOUSY (SFI 2014) and IN THE SHADOW OF WOMEN (SFI 2016). After a painful breakup, heartbroken Jeanne (Esther Garrel) moves back in with her university professor father, Gilles (Eric Caravaca), to discover that he lives with optimistic, life-loving student Ariane (newcomer Louise Chevillotte), who is the same age as Jeanne. An unusual triangular relationship emerges as both girls seek the favor of Gilles, as daughter or lover, while developing their own friendship, and finding common ground despite their differences. Gorgeously shot in grainy black and white by Renato Berta (AU REVOIR LES ENFANTS), LOVER FOR A DAY perfectly illustrates Garrel’s poetic exploration of relationships and desire. 

Released: 2017
Run time: 76 min


TWO FOR THE ROAD movie poster
Friday, May 4, 2018 - 7:00pm

"Welcome to one of the funniest, saddest, most brittle and brutal American comedies ever made about the long, long road of wedded ambivalence, with Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn as your unassailably glamorous guides. Stanley Donen’s TWO FOR THE ROAD, an alternately sweet and wrenching set of scenes from a marriage was one of the first unsuitable-for-children movies ever to play at Radio City Music Hall. The film was not taken as the act of épater-la-bourgeoisie rebellion that many of 1967’s more famous movies were felt to embody, but the sting of Frederic Raphael’s Oscar-nominated screenplay is as acute as any movie of the era, and the sophistication of its structure remains remarkable." - Mark Harris, Film Comment 

Released: 1967
Run time: 111 min