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2011 Spring Cinema Series

February 2nd - May 18th

February 2:   GROUNDHOG DAY

Harold Ramis, 1993, USA

When hundreds of people gather in Punxsutawney, PA to watch the groundhog emerge from his hole, self-important TV weatherman Phil Connors makes no secret of his disdain for the festivities of February 2.  However, when Phil is forced to cover the holiday for a fourth time, his scorn backfires as he awakens the next morning to find that he is forced to live through Groundhog Day again…and again…and again.

 

 

February 9:  JOURNEY FROM ZANSKAR

Frederick Marx, 2010, USA

Bay Area filmmaker Frederick Marx bravely follows an impassioned Buddhist monk as he escorts the children of Zanskar on a perilous journey over the Himalayas in search of an education. This moving and suspenseful portrait of heartbreak and heroism is an eye-opening account of the danger, uncertainty, and sacrifice that Tibetan Monks endure to preserve the threatened Tibetan culture. Director Frederick Marx will be in conversation at the screening.

 

 

February 16:MOOLAADÉ

Ousmane Sembene, 2004, Senegal

Moolaadé tells the extraordinary tale of a brave West African woman who decides to shelter four little girls from the torturous (and sometimes fatal) procedure of female circumcision, a traditional rite of passage in her village. This sumptuously shot and thought-provoking film, directed by the African continent’s most internationally acclaimed filmmaker, elegantly addresses one of the most controversial issues of our age.

 

 

February 23:  Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN

Alfonso Cuaron, 2001, Mexico

Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna star in this sexy coming-of-age road movie. Acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron explores the sensual and chaotic relationships between the three central characters as well as the socio-political changes taking place in Mexico itself, ultimately offering the viewer powerful lessons concerning life, love, and growing up.

 

 

March 2:  THE BLUE ANGEL

Joseph Von Sternberg, 1930, Germany

Joseph Von Sternberg’s 1930 expressionist classic uses memorable performances and extraordinary visual design to tell the story of a pretentious professor (Emil Jannings) and the seductive cabaret singer (Marlene Dietrich) who manipulates him into despair and shame. A relentless, twisted tragedy of repression and moral degradation, The Blue Angel is a milestone in the expressionist canon and a portrait of crumbling Weimar Germany.

 

 

March 9: MONSOON WEDDING

Mira Nair, 2001, India

Cultures and families collide in Mira Nair’s exuberant Bollywood tale of five interweaving love stories set against the background of an arranged Indian marriage. Cathartic and colorful, this entertaining crowd pleaser has warmed the hearts of audiences around the world and become one of India’s biggest global box office sensations.

 

 

March 16:  GOODNIGHT NOBODY

Jacqueline Zünd, 2010, Switzerland

Goodnight Nobody chronicles four protagonists, each living on a different continent, who all share the same affliction: they can’t sleep.  Zünd takes viewers on a hypnotic journey through night, space, and time as each insomniac struggles to exist in the strange world between reality and dreams. The film has been selected to open this year’s Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival.  Director Jacqueline Zünd will be in conversation at the screening.

 

 

March 30: A PLACE IN THE SUN

George Stevens, 1951, USA

When an old flame threatens young George Eastman’s efforts to climb into a new social sphere, he must make a harrowing decision that will either grant him a perfect new life or shatter everything he’s built for himself. Nominated for nine Academy Awards, A Place in the Sun features extraordinary performances from Montgomery Clift, Shelley Winters, and seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Taylor.

 

 

April 6:  RAGING BULL

Martin Scorsese, 1980, USA

Based on the life and career of boxer Jake La Motta, Martin Scorsese’s seminal and elegiac masterpiece explores the rage and violence that made La Motta virtually unstoppable in the ring. Robert DeNiro, who won the Oscar for perhaps the finest performance of his career, gained a record 60 pounds to play La Motta in the final sequences of the film.  The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards.

 

 

April 13:  THE CONVERSATION

Francis Ford Coppola, 1974, USA

When a secretive, obsessed surveillance expert listens in on a conversation between a young couple that may have deadly consequences, he is forced to confront his own dark and complex past. An examination of guilt, paranoia, and the psychology of voyeurism, the film features a virtuoso performance by Gene Hackman and groundbreaking sound design work by legendary editor Walter Murch.  Murch will be in conversation at the screening.

 

 

April 20:  THE BIG ANIMAL

Jerzy Stuhr, 2000, Poland

This gorgeously photographed black and white fable of a man who finds a camel abandoned by the circus in a small Polish village becomes a striking parable about individuality under a repressive Communist regime. Written by the great Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski, the film is quiet and beautiful with the camel illuminating every frame.

 

 

April 27:  DOUBLE INDEMNITY

Billy Wilder, 1944, USA

When a successful insurance salesman meets the seductive wife of one of his clients, he quickly becomes embroiled in a plot of conspiracy, corruption, and manipulation.  With witty dialogue and a dark, expressionistic design, Billy Wilder crafts a stylish crime thriller exploring misguided morality and feminine danger. Nominated for seven Oscars, the film remains one of the greatest film noirs ever made.

 

 

May 4:  FANTASTIC MR. FOX

Wes Anderson, 2009, USA

Visionary filmmaker Wes Anderson adapts Ronald Dahl’s classic tale of the Fantastic Mr. Fox, who tries to outwit the neighboring farms of Boggis, Bunce, and Bean to pull off the greatest chicken heist the world has ever seen.  Exquisitely designed and photographed in stop motion animation, this film for all ages features the vocal stylings of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, and Bill Murray.

 

 

May 11:  YOU, THE LIVING

Roy Andersson, 2007, Sweden

This vignette-style tragicomedy from Sweden relies on stunning cinematography, non-professional actors, and deadpan humor to portray the absurdity and poignancy of everyday existence. Critically acclaimed and winner of multiple international awards, You, the Living is a unique ode to humanity that is sad, perplexing, beautiful, and hilarious all at the same time.

 

 

May 18:   ANNIE HALL

Woody Allen, 1977, USA

The Cinema Series closes with the Woody Allen classic Annie Hall, which chronicles the romantic adventures of New York neurotic Alvy Singer and his newest love interest Annie Hall.  This experimental and layered comedic narrative won Oscars for best picture, director, screenplay, and actress for Diane Keaton in the title role.