2024 SPRING CINEMA SERIES
Films screen Wednesday nights at 7pm* in the Carole L. Ellis Auditorium on the SRJC Petaluma Campus (*exceptions marked below). Guests are invited to attend an optional pre-show program at 6pm. Click here for pricing, directions, and additional information.
February 14: CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE.
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, 2011, USA
It’s Valentine’s Day so why not celebrate Crazy, Stupid, Love? Cal (Steve Carell) faces a mid-life crisis when his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) asks him for a divorce. Desperate and lost, Cal resorts to drinking until a suave ladies man (Ryan Gosling) takes an interest and helps him turn his life around. With slick production design, impeccable comedic timing, and a master class in acting that also features Emma Stone, Josh Groban, Kevin Bacon, and Marisa Tomei, Crazy, Stupid, Love is a throwback to the classic screwball comedy with a hilarious and heartwarming modern-era twist.
February 21: MUSTACHE
Imran Khan, 2023, USA
13-year-old Ilyas feels defined by one thing: his dark, anxiety-inducing, inescapable, prepubescent mustache that his religion forbids him to shave. To make matters worse, his parents have decided he must leave the comforts of his private Muslim school and attend public school. Set in the 90s through a Pakistani-American lens, Mustache is a clever and sweet fish-out-of-water coming-of-age story told with aesthetic precision and emotional resonance. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival. Writer/Director Imran J. Khan will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and answer questions following the 7pm screening.
February 28: POOR THINGS
Yorgos Lanthimos, 2023, Ireland/UK/USA
When a brilliant but unorthodox scientist (Willem Dafoe) resurrects Bella Baxter (Emma Stone) with the brain of her unborn child, she is forced to confront the charms and dangers of the world with the mind of a child and the body of an adult. Extravagantly beautiful, wildy imaginative, strangely touching, and totally unhinged, Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, The Favourite) once again pokes fun at the line between social rules and decorum and the dirty, messy nature of human behavior in this phantasmagoric post-modern Frankenstein story. Nominated for eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actress (Stone), Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo), Screenplay, Production Design, Cinematography, Editing, and Score. Begins at 6:30pm!
March 6: THE UNREDACTED (JIHAD REHAB)
Meg Smaker, 2022, USA
Meg Smaker’s captivating and controversial documentary, formerly titled Jihad Rehab, follows a group of former Guantanamo Bay detainees who were held without a trial or charge for their associations with Al Qaida or the Taliban. After 15 years of detention, the US Government handed the men over to Saudi Arabia to undergo a ‘deradicalization’ program for terrorists in the world’s first rehabilitation center for extremists. Expertly crafted and featuring extraordinary access to the men as well as the Saudi center, the film examines the men’s personal histories and contemporary world views in a way that will both illuminate and provoke the film’s viewers. Debuting in competition at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, the film has become a lightning rod on the international festival circuit and generated significant debate in the global press. Director Meg Smaker will participate in an onstage conversation at 6pm and answer questions following the 7pm screening.
March 13: AMERICAN FICTION
Cord Jefferson, 2023, USA
When Monk (Jeffrey Wright), a frustrated novelist fed up with the establishment profiting off tired racist tropes, decides to teach his publisher a lesson by writing an outlandish ‘Black’ book of his own, it propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain. Cord Jefferson’s hilarious debut film satirizes the media machine as well as every artist’s desire to get ahead, often at any cost. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Actor, and Screenplay.
March 27: DREAM SCENARIO
Kristoffer Borgli, 2023, USA
College professor and family man Paul Matthews finds his life turned upside down when millions of strangers start seeing him in their dreams. But just when Paul begins to benefit from his newfound stardom, the dreams take a very dark turn. Nicolas Cage delivers one of the best performances of his career in this surreal, provocative, and awkwardly funny satire of cancel culture and the cult of celebrity. Official selection of the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.
April 3: THE ZONE OF INTEREST
Jonathan Glazer, 2023, USA/UK/Poland
Jonathan Glazer’s unnerving portrait of Rudolf Höss, the commandant of Auschwitz, and his wife Hedwig, as they strive to build a dream life for their family in a house and garden next to the camp is a provocative examination of the banality of evil. He captures the family with an almost clinical approach, dispassionate and observational, never allowing the audience to bear witness to the horrors that lie on the other side of the fence line. The result is a powerful and ruthless indictment of our complicity in the atrocities of the world that remain just out of view. Nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Sound Design.
April 10: JOHNNY GUITAR
Nicholas Ray, 1954, USA
Set in an Arizona frontier town, Johnny Guitar chronicles the struggles of Vienna (Joan Crawford), a hard-nosed saloon owner who must contend with local gangs, drifters, and high-stakes railroad politics. Hailed for its subversion of classic genre conversions and gender roles, the film is a strange and highly-stylized revisionist western that surprises the viewer at every turn. Although critics were divided upon its initial release, it is now widely considered an important cultural and historical marker in the history of cinema, not to mention a cult classic.
April 17: THE MONK AND THE GUN
Pawo Choyning Dorji, 2023, Bhutan/USA
Chasing a rumor that a rare civil war rifle ended up in the Kingdom of Bhutan, an American arms dealer journeys through one of the most beautiful (and allegedly happiest) countries in the world. Serendipitously, his quest coincides with the transformation of the country into one of world’s youngest democracies. Filmmaker Pawo Dorji juxtaposes Eastern and Western values as well as the age-old tension between tradition and modernity in this smart satirical fable full of humor and joy. A favorite on the global festival circuit, the film received the Norwegian Peace Prize at the Tromso International Film Festival.
April 24: HUMANIST VAMPIRE SEEKING CONSENTING SUICIDAL PERSON
Ariane Louis-Seize, 2023, Canada
When a young vampire in search of a meal refuses to kill others, a unique opportunity arises upon the discovery of a boy with suicidal tendencies. Featuring a hilarious script, top-notch performances, and incredible production design, director Ariane Louis-Seize mixes up genres in this dark romantic comedy with shades of horror. Picking up more than a dozen Audience Awards at festivals around the globe, Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person is a charming coming-of-age film with an undead twist. Director Ariane Louis-Seize will participate in an onstage conversation at 6pm and answer questions following the 7pm screening.
May 1: WALL-E
Andrew Stanton, 2008, USA
In the distant future, a small and lonely waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space adventure that not only helps him find love but ultimately decides the fate of mankind. Featuring extraordinary visuals and incredible sound design, WALL-E is a feast for the senses and a delight for audiences of all ages. Nominated for five Academy Awards including a win for Best Animated Feature. Academy award winning sound designer Ben Burtt will participate in an onstage interview at 6pm and answer questions following the 7pm screening. This event is presented in cooperation with AVFest, hosted April 26 – May 5 across Sonoma County.