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2016 Fall Cinema Series

Wednesday nights in the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium
SRJC Petaluma Campus, 680 Sonoma Mountain Parkway
Pre-film lecture at 6pm
Film screening at 7pm
Post-screening discussion until 10pm

September 7: INCEPTION

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Christopher Nolan, 2010, USA

The Cinema Series returns with Christopher Nolan’s existential heist thriller Inception. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a highly skilled thief charged with his toughest job to date: navigating the architecture of someone’s dreams not to steal an idea but to plant one. Featuring Oscar-winning cinematography, jaw-dropping action sequences, and an all-star cast including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, Ellen Page, and Marion Cotillard, Inception is a smart, showy blockbuster complex enough to invite multiple viewings. Nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. 148 minutes.

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September 14: SHORT TERM 12

STT

Destin Daniel Cretton, 2013, USA

Destin Daniel Cretton’s semi-autobiographical feature centers around Grace (played by 2016 Oscar winner Brie Larson) who works at Short Term 12, a home for troubled teens. However the more Grace becomes entangled in helping the kids in her care, the more she must face her own repressed issues. Raw, well crafted, and completely absorbing, Short Term 12 was awarded both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the 2013 South by Southwest Film Festival. Writer/Director Destin Daniel Cretton will participate in a live Skype interview following the screening. 96 minutes.

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September 21: Y TU MAMA TAMBIÉN

Y-Tu-Mama-Tambien-NetlfixAlfonso Cuarón, 2001, Mexico 

Alfonso Cuarón‘s love letter to Mexico, Y Tu Mamá También, follows best friends Tenoch (Diego Luna) and Julio (Gael García Bernal) as they embark on a road trip with the object of their desire, Luisa (Maribel Verdú), in search of the illusive beach Heaven’s Mouth. While on the surface the film appears to be a sexy, teen romp through Mexican high society and remote hinterlands, Cuarón cleverly uses the Mexican backdrop to elevate the story into a complex portrait of a country broken by class and poverty. A principal work in the Mexican New Wave, the film was also nominated for Best Screenplay at the 2003 Academy Awards. 106 minutes.

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September 28: STAGECOACH (1939)

stageJohn Ford, 1939, USA

John Ford’s seminal western chronicles a motley group of strangers, including a prostitute, whiskey salesman, and alcoholic doctor, who venture on a treacherous stagecoach journey through Apache territory in the 1880s. Shot in Monument Valley and cementing Ford’s trademark style, the film also catapulted young John Wayne into stardom with his role as the Ringo Kid. Nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Art Direction, and Cinematography. 96 minutes.

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October 5: DEAD MAN

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Jim Jarmusch, 1995, USA

Johnny Depp plays Cleveland accountant William Blake who is forced on the run after murdering the son of the town’s top businessman. After fleeing into the woods, he encounters a Indian shaman named Nobody who prepares him for his journey into the spirit world. This existential, acid western reimagines the poetic image of the American West into an allegorical quest for enlightenment. With stunning cinematography by Robby Müller, an improvised rock score by Neil Young, and exceptional supporting performances by Gary Farmer, Robert Mitchum, John Hurt, Crispin Glover, Iggy Pop, Gabriel Byrne, and Billy Bob Thornton, Dead Man is one of Jim Jarmusch’s most stunning cinematic achievements. 120 minutes.
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October 12: TITUS

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Julie Taymor, 1999, USA/Italy 

What better way to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death than Julie Taymor’s phantasmagoric telling of the Bard’s darkest and most gruesome revenge tragedy, Titus Andronicus. When a Roman general (Anthony Hopkins) executes the son of an enemy Queen (Jessica Lange), they both embark on an epic tale of vengeance and brutality. Reveling in the beauty of the grotesque, Taymor conjures up perhaps the most cinematic adaption of Shakespeare ever to hit the big screen. Begins at 6:30pm. 162 minutes.

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 October 19: HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE

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Taika Waititi, 2016, New Zealand

Taika Waititi follows up his hit comedy What We Do in the Shadows with the tale of a troublesome young orphan who gets placed with an elderly couple in the New Zealand bush. The result is a charmingly offbeat and heartfelt adventure comedy-drama about a defiant outsider’s coming-of-age. One of the most highly acclaimed comedies of 2016, the film stars 13-year-old newcomer Julian Dennison alongside veteran actor Sam Neill as his cantankerous foster uncle. 101 minutes.

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October 26: GOODNIGHT MOMMY

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Veronika Franz & Severin Fiala, 2015, Austria

When a mother of twin boys has facial reconstructive surgery, effectively masking her identity, her boys become increasingly suspicious that she may not be who she claims. Gorgeously designed, drenched in dread, and as smart as it is frightening, Goodnight Mommy is one of the most unnerving high art horror films in recent years. The film was also Austria’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. 100 minutes.

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November 2:  THE BIG LEBOWSKI

big-lebowski

Joel Coen, 1998, USA

This Coen cult classic stars Jeff Bridges as “the Dude,” a laid-back, easygoing burnout who gets caught up in a case of mistaken identity that sends him spiraling into the Los Angeles underworld. A genre-bending comedy crime caper, Lebowski combines stunning visual and aural design with hilarious performances from its top-notch supporting cast including John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and John Turturro. Based loosely on the work of Raymond Chandler, the film has inspired its own annual festival honoring Dudeism, a religion devoted largely to spreading the philosophy and lifestyle of the film’s main character. 117 minutes.

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November 9:  VIDEODROME

videodrome

David Cronenberg, 1983, Canada

When Max Renn goes looking for edgy new content for his sleazy cable TV station, he stumbles across the pirate broadcast of Videodrome, a hyperviolent torture show that transfixes its audience. As he struggles to unearth the origins of the program, he embarks on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of right-wing media conspiracies, sadomasochistic sex games, and bodily transformation. Starring James Woods and Deborah Harry in her first major film role, Videodrome is one of writer/director David Cronenberg’s most prescient and provocative works, fusing relevant social commentary with shocking elements of sex and violence to create his own unique brand of body horror. 89 minutes.

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November 16: SON OF SAUL

Son-of-Saul

Làszló Nemes, 2015, Hungary

Winner of the Grand Prix at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival as well as the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Academy Awards, Son of Saul follows a Jewish worker at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II as he tries to find a rabbi to properly bury a child. Hungarian filmmaker László Nemes offers a wholly original take on the Holocaust genre by telling Saul’s story through long-take follow shots and claustrophobic framing in almost real time. The result in an unforgettable and thoroughly rewarding cinematic experience. 107 minutes.

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November 30: 3 WOMEN

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Robert Altman, 1977, USA

Inspired by a dream as well as Ingmar Bergman’s Swedish masterpiece Persona, writer/director Robert Altman crafts an experimental and impressionistic story about three women whose identities blur, shift, and merge casting a constant shadow of mystery over the audience’s ability to interpret the film. Starring Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Janice Rule, 3 Women is one of the most daring and enigmatic films to come out the 1960s & 70s renaissance in American filmmaking. The film was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or and Duvall picked up the Best Actress award at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival. 124 minutes.

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December 7: HE WHO GETS SLAPPED

hewhogetsVictor Sjöström, 1924, USA

In perhaps the greatest melodrama of the silent era, Lon Chaney plays an esteemed scientist who is betrayed and subjected to an epic fall from grace that results in a new life as a bitter clown renown for the humiliating act of being repeatedly slapped. The film will be accompanied live by the internationally acclaimed Alloy Orchestra, who have written and recorded dozens of silent film scores around the globe. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience one of film history’s greatest cinematic triumphs with one of the world’s leading musical ensembles. Not to be missed!
80 minutes.

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 December 14:  CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Matt Ross, 2016, USA

Viggo Mortensen stars as Ben Cash, a hippie/intellectual/survivalist father raising six children deep in the wilderness of Washington State. Reveling in their ability to live off the grid, free from technology and consumerism, Cash subjects his children to rigorous mental and physical training until a tragedy strikes that plunges them all into a world with which they have nothing in common. Few films are as comedically and emotionally satisfying as writer/director Matt Ross’s sophomore feature making Captain Fantastic our pick for one of the best films of year. 118 minutes. Writer/director Matt Ross will participate in a live Skype Q & A following the 7pm feature. Matt Ross has been acting in film and television for over 25 years. Prominent film credits include American Psycho, The Aviator, and Good Night and Good Luck as well as the television series Big Love and American Horror Story. He currently plays Gavin Belson on the hit HBO series Silicon Valley.

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