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2016 Spring 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

February 10: PRIDE

pride-2014-002-group-on-march-1000x750_0Matthew Warchus, 2014, UK

Pride chronicles the exhilarating true story of an unlikely political alliance between striking British miners and the LGBT community during the 1980s Thatcher administration. Full of humor, drama, and historical insight, the film offers a crowd-pleasing look at what can be accomplished when we bridge the political divide. The film earned top prizes at the British Independent Film Awards and the British Academy of Film & Television Arts in 2014. 120 minutes.

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February 17: ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL

meandearl_001Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, 2015, USA

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl examines the relationship between two high schoolers: Greg Gaines, an awkward aspiring filmmaker, and Rachel Kushner, a quirky leukemia patient. Inspired by Rachel’s situation, Greg and his friend Earl attempt to make their magnum opus, dedicated to her, and in the process learn more about life than filmmaking. A master class in film form, director Gomez-Rejon pays homage to 100 years of cinema craft with this exquisitely designed indie classic. 105 minutes.

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February 24: THEEB

THEEB3Naji Abu Nowar, 2015, United Arab Emirates/Jordan 

Set in the middle eastern theatre of World War I, a young Bedouin boy, Theeb, must embark on a perilous journey across the wide open Wadi Rum desert that will test his will to survive. With a cast of nonprofessional actors and breathtaking cinematography, this deeply resonant coming-of-age story grabs hold of its audience and never lets go. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at 2016 Academy Awards. 100 minutes.

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March 2: AFTER THE WEDDING

jacobhelSusanne Bier, 2006, Denmark 

When the manager of an orphanage in India travels to Copenhagen to pursue a new financial partnership, he learns a life-altering family secret. Expertly crafted and clearly influenced by the Danish Dogme Movement, the story unfolds with surprising twists and turns. Susanne Bier’s confident direction distinguishes her as one of the most talented female filmmakers on the world stage. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2006. 120 minutes.

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March 9: STRANGERS ON A TRAIN

strangers_on_a_train_1951-image-493101Alfred Hitchcock, 1951, USA

The grand master of suspense delivers this Oscar-nominated tale of murderous intrigue and heart-pounding action about a chance meeting on a train between famed tennis star Guy Haines and an obsessive psychopath named Bruno Antony. Captivating cinematography and compelling suspense drive this classic thriller based on the Patricia Highsmith novel. With Hitch at his very best, Strangers on a Train is a once-in-a-lifetime gem of a film. 101 minutes.

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March 16: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE

ThankYouForYourServTom Donahue, 2015, USA

Thank You For Your Service takes aim at our superficial understanding of war trauma and the failed policies that result. Director Tom Donahue interweaves the stories of four struggling Iraq War veterans with candid interviews from a wide array of top military and civilian leaders, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Admiral Mike Mullen, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and General David Petraeus. The result is a stunning indictment of systemic neglect and an incisive set of solutions that offer hope for the future. 89 minutes. Director Tom Donahue will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and answer questions following the 7pm screening.
 

March 30: SLOW WEST

SLOW-WEST_web_2John Maclean, 2015, UK 

Writer/director John Maclean breathes new life into the Western genre with his debut film about a Scottish boy, Jay, who traverses the wild west looking for his lost love. When he hires a morally dubious bounty hunter (Michael Fassbender) to protect him from the fine folk of 19th century America, his quest suddenly becomes more than he bargained for. Beautifully shot in New Zealand and perfectly melancholy, Slow West won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. 84 minutes.

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April 6:  MULHOLLAND DRIVE

mulholland-drive-2David Lynch, 2001, USA

Cryptic yet profound, Mulholland Drive is David Lynch’s sensational love letter to Los Angeles. Naomi Watts plays a young aspiring actress newly arrived in Hollywood who befriends an amnesiac woman steeped in some shady goings-on. Both the film and the city are sprawling, seedy, sexy, sickening, sad, silly, stylish, and staggeringly stupefying. The film earned Lynch the Best Director prize at the 2001 Cannes and Toronto Film Festivals. 146 minutes. Begins at 6:30pm!

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April 13:  BLOW OUT

blowout5Brian De Palma, 1981, USA

John Travolta stars in this Brian De Palma thriller about a movie sound technician searching for the perfect scream for a slasher film he’s working on. While recording audio at a park, he inadvertently captures an accident on tape that may unravel an explosive government conspiracy. Inspired by Antonioni’s Blow Up and Hitchcock’s high gloss suspense, Blow Out is De Palma’s greatest homage to cinema and cynicism in America. 108 minutes.

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April 20: A PIGEON SAT ON A BRANCH REFLECTING ON EXISTENCE

a-pigeon-sat-on-a-branch-reflecting-on-existenceRoy Andersson, 2015, Sweden

Master Swedish director Roy Andersson returns with another exquisitely crafted and indelibly original exploration of what it means to be human. Combining troupe l’oeil, the long take, and deadpan performances, Andersson serves up a series of absurdist episodes loosely following a hapless pair of novelty item salesmen. This dreamlike black comedy picked up the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and Best Comedy at the European Film Awards in 2015. 100 minutes.

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April 27: ROOM

room2015Lenny Abrahamson, 2015, USA

8-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay’s remarkable performance as Jack anchors our point-of-view in Room, a story about a captive child and his mother (Brie Larson), limited in space but not in imagination. Highly suspenseful and deeply emotional, this coming-of-age story examines the human capacity to adapt in extreme situations. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Larson. 117 minutes.

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May 4: THE AUTOMATIC HATE

AutomaticHateJustin Lerner, 2015, USA

When Davis Green’s alluring young cousin Alexis shows up on his doorstep, he discovers a side of his family that had never known. As the two get closer, they set out to uncover the shocking secret that tore their families apart.​ Part mystery, part awkward black comedy, Lerner skillfully leads a strong cast through difficult terrain in this indie favorite from the festival circuit. 97 minutes. Director Justin Lerner will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and be joined by his composer and STS9 front man Hunter Brown to answer questions following the 7pm screening.

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 May 11:  ANOMALISA

maxresdefault-1Charlie Kaufman, 2015, USA

Anomalisa follows a disillusioned self-help author who, while on tour, meets a woman who reinvigorates his passion for life. Enacted with stop motion puppets and voiced by David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Tom Noonan, director Charlie Kaufman has crafted a stunningly inventive and deeply resonant tale of one man’s mid-life crisis and his search for joy. Nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2016 Academy Awards. 90 minutes.

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May 18: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

forceawakensJ. J. Abrams, 2015, USA

The epic conflict between the Dark Side and the Light continues in what is quickly becoming the highest grossing film of all time. Star Wars: The Force Awakens reunites the iconic characters of the original trilogy with a new generation of talented young actors including John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Adam Driver. Director J.J. Abrams remixes vintage nostalgia and familiar tropes with a few surprises in a way that is sure to leave audiences coming back for more. Nominated for 5 Oscars, including music, editing, visual effects, and sound. 135 minutes.

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