2023 SPRING CINEMA SERIES
Most films screen Wednesday nights at 7pm in the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium on the SRJC Petaluma Campus. Guests are invited to attend an optional pre-show program at 6pm. Click here for pricing, directions, COVID protocols, and additional information.
February 15: THE FABELMANS
Steven Spielberg, 2022, USA
Steven Spielberg looks inward in this autobiographical account of a young boy who becomes enamored with the magic of motion pictures. Set in Arizona against the backdrop of his parents’ marital problems, the film tracks his amateur filmmaking career through his first experience on a studio backlot where he meets the iconic film director John Ford (played by David Lynch). Featuring an all-star cast that includes Paul Dano, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan, and Judd Hirsch, the film is nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Michelle Williams), and Best Score (John Williams). 151 minutes. The film begins at 6:30pm
February 22: THE INSPECTION
Elegance Bratton, 2022, USA
The Inspection is writer-director Elegance Bratton’s remarkable debut feature chronicling his own incredible story of pulling himself out of homelessness by entering the US Marine Corps. Set in the era of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Ellis French (Jeremy Pope) faces hazing and homophobia as he struggles to stay true to himself and win the approval of his combatant and volatile mother. The Inspection is another powerhouse drama from red-hot production company A24 that features a breakout performance from Pope and demonstrates that Bratton is an important new voice in American independent cinema. 95 mins.
March 1: PARASITE
Bong Joon Ho, 2019, South Korea
Parasite is a masterful tale about a struggling working-class family who infiltrates the wealthy household of a tech-savvy businessman, leading to a whirlwind of unexpected events and surprises. Bong Joon-Ho, the acclaimed director of Snowpiercer and Okja, delivers another visually stunning dark comedy filled with tension and searing social commentary. Parasite won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes as well as four Acadamy Awards. It was also the first foreign language film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. 132 mins.
March 8: EO
Jerzy Skolimowski, 2022, Poland/Italy
Born in the Polish circus, a grey donkey named EO travels across Europe experiencing the joys and pains of the world. Bizarre, beautiful, moving, and playful, this film festival favorite invites us to see the oddities of the natural world and humankind from EO’s point-of-view. Inspired by Robert Bresson’s 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar, Jerzy Skolimowski delivers stunning visuals and incredible authenticity in a way that is both absurd and profound. EO won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes and is nominated for Best International Feature at this year’s Academy Awards. 96 mins.
March 15: BODY PARTS
Kristy Guevara-Flanagan, 2022, USA
In this incisive, clip-rich documentary, Kristy Guevara-Flanagan traces the evolution of sex on screen and the dominance of the heterosexual male gaze. Featuring candid interviews with industry insiders from Jane Fonda to Rosanna Arquette, the film is both an exposé on the frequent perils of being female in Hollywood as well as a clarion call for employing intimacy coordinators across the industry. Body Parts demystifies the often invisible process of creating intimacy for film and television and sheds light on some of the most closely guarded secrets of an industry now at a crossroads. This film is presented in cooperation with the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, taking place March 16-20, 2023. Sarah Scott, the Intimacy Coordinator featured in the film, will be in conversation at 6pm. She will be joined by Producer Helen Hood Scheer and Cinematographer Frazer Bradshaw for a Q & A following the screening. 86 mins.
March 29: AFTERSUN
Charlotte Wells, 2022, UK
Aftersun follows 11-year-old Sophie as she goes on holiday with her loving but troubled father, Calum. Writer-director Charlotte Wells edits her first feature with a thought-provoking experimental flair ultimately delivering an unforgettably sweet and intimate look at a parent’s emotional struggles through the eyes of their child. With star-making performances from Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal (who earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor this year), the film is a fascinating meditation on memory and the past and present perceptions of the ones we love. Winner of the Critics Prize at Cannes and Best First Feature at the 2023 Independent Spirit Awards. 102 mins.
April 5: SOUND OF METAL
Darius Marder, 2019, USA
When Ruben Stone (Riz Ahmed), a heavy-metal drummer, begins to lose his hearing, he is forced to leave behind the world that he has built for himself and the music that defines him. Utilizing startling and innovative sound techniques, director Darius Marder takes audiences inside Ruben’s experience to vividly recreate his journey into a rarely examined world. The result is an astonishing debut feature that explores the intersection of our personal identity and the ‘tribal’ communities we live within. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Actor. It picked up wins for Best Editing and Best Sound Design. 120 mins.
April 12: I AM NOT A WITCH
Rungano Nyoni, 2017, Zambia/UK
When 8-year-old Shula is accused of being a witch after a banal accident occurs in her village, she is put on trial and ordered to serve the Zambian government. Combining magical realism with political satire, filmmaker Rungano Nyoni offers an absurd and spellbinding allegory of a young girl’s struggle to find her own way. A favorite at the Cannes Film Festival, the film won the British Academy Award for Best Debut Film. 90 mins.
April 19: AMERICAN GRAFFITI
George Lucas, 1973, USA
American Graffiti, a nostalgic and coming-of-age classic, follows a group of teenagers as they navigate the end of their high school years and the threshold of adulthood. Shot in Petaluma and set in the early 1960s, the film celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Legendary director George Lucas creates a vibrant and energetic world filled with memorable characters, classic rock ‘n’ roll tunes, and a tender look at youth, friendship, and the search for identity. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. 110 mins.
April 26: CAIRO CONSPIRACY
Tarik Saleh, 2022, Egypt/Sweden/Turkey
When Adam, the son of a fisherman, is offered the privilege of studying at Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the center of power in Sunni Islam, he quickly becomes a pawn in a conflict between Egypt’s political and religious elites. Swedish-Egyptian director Tarik Saleh crafts a timely, beautifully photographed, labyrinthian drama that reveals a world full of conspiracies, paranoia, and murder. Both a political thriller and a biting satire, Cairo Conspiracy is a suspenseful and unsparing look at corruption and hypocrisy at the highest levels of Egyptian society. 126 mins.
May 3: OUR FATHER, THE DEVIL
Ellie Foumbi, 2023, USA/France
Marie, an African refugee, enjoys a simple life in a small French village as the head chef at the local retirement home. When a charismatic new priest arrives to counsel the elderly, it triggers a flood of memories and emotions from her traumatic past that she hoped to leave behind. What follows is a tense and provocative exploration of how we heal from past injustices and whether redemption is possible for the most heinous of crimes. With extraordinary performances and masterful filmmaking, Our Father, The Devil is an emotionally-charged thriller of extraordinary power from a rising new talent in American cinema. Writer/director Ellie Foumbi will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and participate in a Q & A following the screening.107 mins. This special preview screening is presented in cooperation with AVFest, taking place April 28 – May 7.
May 10: THE MENU
Mark Mylod, 2022, USA
When a group of rich foodies travel to a remote island to eat at one of the world’s most exclusive restaurants, they quickly become aware that the chef has prepared more than a lavish menu for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Part satire/part thriller/part horror film, The Menu is a deliciously pleasing dark comedy that skewers elitist traditions in the contemporary art and culinary scenes. The film features standout performances from Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor Joy, food stylings by one of San Francisco’s top chefs, Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), and a surprising array of twists and turns that are likely to make you hungry for more. 107 mins.