<< November 2019 >>

Friday, November 1, 2019

Ethnic Notions

Film - Feature | November 1 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Inspired by and named for a 1982 exhibition of racist memorabilia at the Berkeley Art Center, the Emmy Award–winning Ethnic Notions “became one of Riggs’s most important works because of its direct approach to an unpopular but important subject: cultural racism and its psychological impact on the development of race and race relations in America,” curator Rhea Combs writes. “Riggs’s thorough and...   More >

Taste of Cherry: (Ta’am-e gilas)

Film - Feature | November 1 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A man with a hangdog face circles the scrubby outskirts of Tehran in a dust-colored Range Rover, looking for someone to do a job. We’re left in extended suspense as to the nature of his proposition; when at last we learn what the driver, Mr. Badii, wants—to die—his motivation is never explained, his anguish never explored. Instead the film gives us afternoon light and lengthening shadows, the...   More >

Saturday, November 2, 2019

76 Minutes and 16 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami: (76 daghighe va 15 sanieh ba Abbas Kiarostami)

Film - Feature | November 2 | 3 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Filmmaker Seifollah Samadian was one of Abbas Kiarostami’s closest friends and worked alongside him for over twenty-five years, collaborating on projects such as ABC Africa and Five. In this intimate portrait, which is revealing in subtle and touching ways, Samadian draws upon footage he shot of Kiarostami on location and while traveling in Iran and abroad, showing him at work as a photographer,...   More >

76 Minutes and 16 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami: (76 daghighe va 15 sanieh ba Abbas Kiarostami)

Film - Feature | November 2 | 3 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Filmmaker Seifollah Samadian was one of Abbas Kiarostami’s closest friends and worked alongside him for over twenty-five years, collaborating on projects such as ABC Africa and Five. In this intimate portrait, which is revealing in subtle and touching ways, Samadian draws upon footage he shot of Kiarostami on location and while traveling in Iran and abroad, showing him at work as a photographer,...   More >

Jour de fête

Film - Feature | November 2 | 3:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

This loose series of village vignettes follows the misadventures of a postman (Tati) who, inspired by a hyperbolic newsreel at a traveling fair, attempts to emulate the spectacular speed and efficiency of the American postal service—on his bicycle. The fair’s boisterous energy, in contrast to the lull of village routine, is brilliantly evoked by the controlled cacophony of the soundtrack. The...   More >

The Big Road

Film - Feature | November 2 | 5:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A group of hopeful Chinese youth awaken to their patriotic duty while building a strategic highway in Sun Yu’s stirring socialist agitprop drama, set during the Japanese invasion of the country and starring a who’s-who of legendary Chinese actors, including Jin Yan (the “Chinese Valentino”), Zheng Junli, and Li Lili. The collective body politic may be glorified here, but the body itself is as...   More >

The Watermelon Woman

Film - Feature | November 2 | 8 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“Funky screwball comedy in the key of queer” is how critic B. Ruby Rich characterized The Watermelon Woman, the first feature of video artist/comedienne Cheryl Dunye. In it, Dunye plays a lesbian video-store clerk and would-be filmmaker who becomes obsessed with uncovering the history of a star of the early “race” films, the so-called Watermelon Woman. It develops that this “mammy” was a sister,...   More >

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Judge

Film - Documentary | November 3 |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih became the first female appointed to any of the Middle East’s Shari’a courts in 2009, challenging longstanding traditions and customs regarding women’s roles in society. Constantly battling controversy over her position, Al-Faqih offers guidance, mentorship, and support both in and outside the courts. In this intimate portrait, “we get to see Al-Faqih in her office-like...   More >

Free Screening: Films by Sally Cruikshank

Film - Series | November 3 | 3 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Intrigued by the idea of seeing her drawings move, Sally Cruikshank learned to animate while in college. Her love of surreal 1930s cartoons, as well as her desire to make her own amusement park, is evident in her wildly colorful and wonderfully detailed films. The psychedelic Quasi at the Quackadero, named to the National Film Registry in 2009, and other exuberant vehicles star a recurring cast...   More >

The Judge

Film - Feature | November 3 | 5 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih became the first female appointed to any of the Middle East’s Shari’a courts in 2009, challenging longstanding traditions and customs regarding women’s roles in society. Constantly battling controversy over her position, Al-Faqih offers guidance, mentorship, and support both in and outside the courts. In this intimate portrait, “we get to see Al-Faqih in her office-like...   More >

The Wind Will Carry Us: (Bad mara khahad bourd) (Le vent nous emportera)

Film - Feature | November 3 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Kiarostami’s film of plainspoken poetry is blatantly allegorical in its messages yet mysterious and marvelous in its rhythms. A man identified as an engineer arrives in Siah Dareh, a Kurdish village growing out of the side of a hill. “If anyone asks, say we’re looking for treasure,” he advises his unseen crew; in fact they are here to record a mourning ritual, for a death expected any day. But in...   More >

The Wind Will Carry Us: (Bad mara khahad bourd) (Le vent nous emportera)

Film - Feature | November 3 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Kiarostami’s film of plainspoken poetry is blatantly allegorical in its messages yet mysterious and marvelous in its rhythms. A man identified as an engineer arrives in Siah Dareh, a Kurdish village growing out of the side of a hill. “If anyone asks, say we’re looking for treasure,” he advises his unseen crew; in fact they are here to record a mourning ritual, for a death expected any day. But in...   More >

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Perfumed Nightmare

Film - Feature | November 6 |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Perfumed Nightmare “reminds one that invention, insolence, enchantment, even innocence, are still available to film,” Susan Sontag wrote. It merges reverie and documentary as jeepney driver “Kidlat Tahimik” dreams of a trip to the moon. Tahimik’s surreal ethnography finds wonder and mystery both at home in the Philippines and in Europe, where his ambition guides him. Critic Gene Youngblood...   More >

My Grandmother

Film - Feature | November 6 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Gogol meets Charlie Chaplin in this riotous, scathingly antibureaucratic satire. My Grandmother is a genuine piece of grotesquerie descended from the Soviet Eccentric Cinema (FEKS) of the twenties. For invention, it matches any film of the French avant-garde, taking in all kinds of advanced filmic devices such as stop-motion, bits of puppetry, and animation, as well as expressionist decor and...   More >

Screening and Discussion: “Mouth Harp in Minor Key” with Dr. Hamid Naficy

Film - Documentary | November 6 | 7-9 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall

 Hamid Naficy, Northwestern University; Persis Karim, San Francisco State University

 Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies

Join the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and San Francisco State's Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies for a special screening of "Mouth Harp in Minor Key", a documentary about prolific Iranian-American academic Dr. Hamid Naficy. Following the screening, Dr. Naficy will be in conversation with Dr. Persis Karim, Chair of the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies at SFSU.

Bilingual and...   More >

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Katka’s Reinette Apples

Film - Feature | November 7 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In this mid-twenties comedy-melodrama, a young peasant woman named Katka (Veronika Buzhinskaya) arrives in Petrograd in the first days of the New Economic Policy. She has come to find work and to help save money for her family back home, but this goal becomes unobtainable. Down on her luck, she resorts to selling apples in the street, and it is not long before Katka encounters the city’s...   More >

Wings of a Serf

Film - Feature | November 7 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Directed by the Belarusian Yuri Tarich, this extraordinary feature set in the sixteenth century was influential in the direction of Sergei Eisenstein’s two-part Ivan the Terrible (1944–46). As film historian Jay Leyda has written, “Wings of a Serf (shown abroad as Ivan the Terrible) is a drama of the time of Ivan IV: the unhappy fate of a serf who is so unwisely clever as to invent an apparatus...   More >

Friday, November 8, 2019

Two-Buldi-Two

Film - Feature | November 8 | 3:10 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A father-and-son clown act are separated during the Russian Civil War in this little-seen, energetic gem by the great Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov, best known as the “father of montage” and for his dynamic comedy The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks. Influenced by Hollywood filmmakers like D. W. Griffith yet speeding up their aesthetics exponentially, Kuleshov’s...   More >

Still Raining Still Dreaming

Film - Series | November 8 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Uncanny landscapes and mysterious journeys emerge in these five works by filmmakers who construct surreal worlds by repurposing appropriated materials, including films, engravings, and video games. Joseph Cornell’s Rose Hobart distills the 1931 B movie East of Borneo into an uncanny twenty-minute ode to the eponymous actress. Phil Solomon’s works Last Days in a Lonely Place and Still Raining...   More >

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Familiar Face

Film - Feature | November 9 | 2:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“The story of an enterprising Ukrainian ‘philistine,’ Apollon Shmyhuev (Ivan Sadovskiy), whose peaceful bourgeois existence is upset by the 1917–1921 Civil War. He accidentally joins a Bolshevik military regiment [and what ensues is] an adventure road-movie with touches of the absurd. Featuring a camel as one of the main characters and mocking Bolshevik bureaucracy and fanaticism, as well as the...   More >

Ten

Film - Feature | November 9 | 5:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

It makes sense that if Kiarostami were to create a chamber piece, the “chamber” would be the front seat of a car. It is here, on the crowded streets of Tehran, that a middle-class woman (we never know her name) does her best thinking, engages loved ones on issues of family life, and strangers on religion and the oppression of women. And it was here, we suspect, that she came to the decision to...   More >

Don Diego and Pelageya

Film - Feature | November 9 | 7:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“Protazanov was a master of stylization, adapting new forms and techniques with the flexibility of a chameleon. Examining his films one can easily trace the influence of Bauer, Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Lubitsch, Griffith, the French ‘avant-garde,’ and so forth. Perhaps Don Diego and Pelageya, too, offers a stylization of sorts—but a cleverly concealed one. A comedy of the 1920s is easily...   More >

Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Spring Comes to the Withered Tree

Film - Feature | November 10 | 1 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A critical hit during one of China’s most politically charged periods, Zheng’s follow-up to his 1959 anniversary epics merged Soviet-style socialist realism with his own breakthroughs in film technique, specifically his use of continuous camera movement in the spirit of traditional Chinese scrolls. Tractor-kino at its finest, the film revolves around two rural lovers—one struck with a deadly...   More >

Cain and Artem

Film - Feature | November 10 | 3:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Pavel Petrov-Bytov was an enfant terrible of the highbrow Leningrad Sovkino film factory. He was notorious for his article “We Have No Soviet Filmmaking,” in which he criticized all the achievements of the Soviet avant-garde. In spite of his beliefs and his scandalous struggle with “bourgeois” and “formalist” filmmaking, Petrov-Bytov directed an aesthetically refined work, shot entirely on set...   More >

Sidney Peterson’s San Francisco Surrealism

Film - Series | November 10 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

After collaborating with James Broughton on The Potted Psalm, Sidney Peterson was invited to teach the first-ever filmmaking classes at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute). There, with his Workshop 20 students, he made a series of dazzlingly strange and wonderful films in which poetic intelligence, a spirit of radical experimentation, and the exuberant energy...   More >

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Ash Is Purest White

Film - Feature | November 12 | 6:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

A gangster’s wife stands on her own in Jia Zhangke’s expansive narrative of empowerment and survival, set against the tumultuous political and cultural changes of twenty-first-century China. Jia’s wife and longtime muse Zhao Tao, whose roles in his Unknown Pleasures and Still Life serve as inspiration, stars as a woman saddled with a mobster lover who’s seen one too many John Woo films; she first...   More >

Friday, November 15, 2019

76 Minutes and 16 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami: (76 daghighe va 15 sanieh ba Abbas Kiarostami)

Film - Feature | November 15 | 6:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Filmmaker Seifollah Samadian was one of Abbas Kiarostami’s closest friends and worked alongside him for over twenty-five years, collaborating on projects such as ABC Africa and Five. In this intimate portrait, which is revealing in subtle and touching ways, Samadian draws upon footage he shot of Kiarostami on location and while traveling in Iran and abroad, showing him at work as a photographer,...   More >

76 Minutes and 16 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami: (76 daghighe va 15 sanieh ba Abbas Kiarostami)

Film - Feature | November 15 | 6:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Filmmaker Seifollah Samadian was one of Abbas Kiarostami’s closest friends and worked alongside him for over twenty-five years, collaborating on projects such as ABC Africa and Five. In this intimate portrait, which is revealing in subtle and touching ways, Samadian draws upon footage he shot of Kiarostami on location and while traveling in Iran and abroad, showing him at work as a photographer,...   More >

Saturday, November 16, 2019

10 on Ten

Film - Feature | November 16 | 5:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In this self-portrait of the artist in his natural habitat—the driver’s seat of a car—Kiarostami offers his teachings on movies and on what he makes, which may be something else altogether. Taking his 2002 film Ten, shot with a stationary video camera on the dashboard of a car, as a case in point, he dissects his approach to filmmaking throughout his oeuvre. He has a lesson plan: the film is...   More >

10 on Ten

Film - Feature | November 16 | 5:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

In this self-portrait of the artist in his natural habitat—the driver’s seat of a car—Kiarostami offers his teachings on movies and on what he makes, which may be something else altogether. Taking his 2002 film Ten, shot with a stationary video camera on the dashboard of a car, as a case in point, he dissects his approach to filmmaking throughout his oeuvre. He has a lesson plan: the film is...   More >

The Spring River Flows East

Film - Feature | November 16 | 7:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Part I: Wartime Separation (Ba nian li luan); Part II: Darkness and Dawn (Tianliang qian-hou). Included on the Hong Kong Film Awards list of the greatest Chinese-language films of all time, The Spring River Flows East has been termed China’s Gone with the Wind, a sweeping decades-spanning epic that sums up an entire nation’s history and identity. A married couple in Shanghai are separated during...   More >

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Shiraz: A Romance of India

Film - Feature | November 17 | 2 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Based on the romance between seventeenth-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world’s most iconic structures, the Taj Mahal. Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings—all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive, which features a...   More >

Shiraz: A Romance of India

Film - Feature | November 17 | 2 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Institute for South Asia Studies

Based on the romance between seventeenth-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world’s most iconic structures, the Taj Mahal. Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings—all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive, which features a...   More >

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Boy Soldiers: The Secret War in Okinawa

Film - Documentary | November 19 | 5-8 p.m. | Sutardja Dai Hall, Banatao Auditorium (#310)

 Hanayo Oya, Journalist; Documentary Filmmaker

 Renee Pastel, Film & Media, UCB; Katherine Mezur, Comparative Literature, UCB

 Center for Japanese Studies (CJS)

Heralding the downfall of the Japanese military regime in 1945, the Battle of Okinawa has already been the topic of various documentary and fiction films. However, the history of the guerilla war, fought by Okinawan child soldiers under the command of Japanese officers, is still regarded as taboo. With an acute sense of urgency, this documentary depicts the inhumanity of militaristic...   More >

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Sky on Location

Film - Feature | November 20 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Babette Mangolte, Filmmaker

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Babette Mangolte wrote, “The Sky on Location explores the concept of wilderness that was unknown to me when I was raised in France. The film attempts to construct a kind of geography of the land from North to South, East to West and season-to-season through colors instead of maps. While shooting I wanted to establish the mood of the landscape as in a Turner painting. And as viewers of the film we...   More >

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Routine Pleasures

Film - Feature | November 21 | 7 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Babette Mangolte, Cinematographer

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

“Routine Pleasures is an essay film in which Manny Farber’s work plays an essential role and my closer-than-close relationship to him is abundantly evoked. It is not a documentary on Manny (he never appears in it). It is a meditation on method and work, the American landscape, the male imaginary, the high and low of American culture, the materialist nature of artistic imagination, friendship, the...   More >

Friday, November 22, 2019

ABC Africa

Film - Feature | November 22 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

For his first film shot outside Iran, Kiarostami went to Uganda to document the reality of some 1.6 million orphans left by AIDS. But before you get out your handkerchiefs, hold on: the director of And Life Goes On finds life wherever he goes. The Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans has organized women widowed by AIDS into cells of mutual support and creative entrepreneurship. They are creating...   More >

ABC Africa

Film - Feature | November 22 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

For his first film shot outside Iran, Kiarostami went to Uganda to document the reality of some 1.6 million orphans left by AIDS. But before you get out your handkerchiefs, hold on: the director of And Life Goes On finds life wherever he goes. The Uganda Women’s Effort to Save Orphans has organized women widowed by AIDS into cells of mutual support and creative entrepreneurship. They are creating...   More >

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Homework

Film - Documentary | November 23 | 12:30 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Only Kiarostami could turn a documentary about homework into a delightful, absorbing, and stirring portrait of the “human condition.” The style is simplicity itself: the film consists of a series of interviews with several little boys (and, occasionally, with their parents) about the Iranian school system and its methods of assigning homework. Beleaguered by their rigorous workload, the boys...   More >

Friday, November 29, 2019

Shiraz: A Romance of India

Film - Feature | November 29 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Institute for South Asia Studies

Based on the romance between seventeenth-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world’s most iconic structures, the Taj Mahal. Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings—all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive, which features a...   More >

Shiraz: A Romance of India

Film - Feature | November 29 | 4 p.m. |  Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

 Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

Based on the romance between seventeenth-century Mughal ruler Shah Jahan and his queen, this epic silent film is the ravishing, romantic tale behind the creation of one of the world’s most iconic structures, the Taj Mahal. Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings—all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive, which features a...   More >