Free film – Sonoma Film Institute at Sonoma State University

Fri, December 6, 2019, 7:00 pm

The Sonoma Film Institute (SFI), located on the Sonoma State University campus, is the oldest film repertory organization in the North Bay Area.
These screenings – ranging from silent cinema to the avant-garde, from contemporary American fare to films from the Third World – expand the educational opportunities to students, as well as providing cultural benefit to the campus and surrounding community.

Free Admission. The Sonoma Film Institute is no longer selling tickets for film screenings. Suggested donation is $5 and all donations are tax deductible.



Poster for Black Narcissus
Friday, October 25, 2019 – 7:00pm
Sunday, October 27, 2019 – 4:00pm

Rumer Godden Screen Adaptations

Co-sponsored by The Sitting Room Community Library, which all this Fall is enjoying reading the still seductive writings of Rumer Godden.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s resplendent adaptation of Rumer Godden’s novel about a group of nuns struggling to establish a mission in the remote Himalayas. The film is a psychologically acute, powerful study of the conflict between Christianity and the forces of nature. As the nuns do battle with the rigors of climate, they must also confront the forces of mysticism, madness and sexual frustration. Deborah Kerr won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress, and Jack Cardiff won a well-deserved Oscar for his outstanding Technicolor cinematography.

Terry Ebinger will introduce BLACK NARCISSUS and lead a discussion after the screenings.

Released: 1947
Run time: 100 min.


Poster for The River
Friday, November 1, 2019 – 7:00pm
Sunday, November 3, 2019 – 4:00pm

Rumer Godden Screen Adaptations

Co-sponsored by The Sitting Room Community Library, which all this Fall is enjoying reading the still seductive writings of Rumer Godden.

Jean Renoir’s first film in color was shot in India and is based on a Rumer Godden novel about a young girl’s growing up in a foreign land. “The river is a potent image for Renoir – remember BOUDU and A DAY IN THE COUNTRY – but in India, Renoir learned its value as a mystical symbol of continuity in the face of all local, human tragedy. – David Thomson (1951, 99 min.)

Eleanor Nichols will introduce THE RIVER on Friday night ONLY.

Released: 1951
Run time: 99 min.


Poster for What You Gonna Do
Friday, November 8, 2019 – 7:00pm
Sunday, November 10, 2019 – 4:00pm

Italian-born, American South–based filmmaker Roberto Minervini’s follow-up to his Texas Trilogy is a portrait of African-Americans in New Orleans struggling to maintain their unique cultural identity and to find social justice. Shot in very sharp black and white, the film is focused on Judy, trying to keep her family afloat and save her bar before it’s snapped up by speculators; Ronaldo and Titus, two brothers growing up surrounded by violence and with a father in jail; Kevin, trying to keep the glorious local traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians alive; and the local Black Panthers, trying to stand up against a new, deadly wave of racism. This is a passionately urgent and strangely lyrical film experience.

Released: 2018
Run time: 123 min.


Poster for Gumshoe
Friday, November 15, 2019 – 7:00pm
Sunday, November 17, 2019 – 4:00pm

(Albert Finney 1926-2019)

In 1971, the late, great Albert Finney played Eddie Ginley, a bingo caller in Liverpool who dreams of being a private detective. Eddie gives himself a birthday treat by placing a newspaper ad for a private detective: “SAM SPADE. Ginley’s the name, Gumshoe’s the game, Private Investigations. No Divorce Work.” From there a dark mystery unfolds as Eddie receives a gun in an envelope. Gumshoe, a criminally overlooked movie, marked Stephen Frears’ debut as a director. The stellar supporting cast includes Billie Whitelaw and Frank Finlay.

Released: 1971
Run time: 86 min.


Poster for Blindspotting
Friday, November 22, 2019 – 7:00pm
Sunday, November 24, 2019 – 4:00pm

“Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal wrote and star in this earnest and anguished comedic drama, set in Oakland and centered on black Americans’ mind-bending fear of prejudiced and trigger-happy police officers, but the movie’s substantial observations are dispersed in theatrics. Collin (Diggs), a black man in his last three days of probation nearly a year after his release from prison, and his best friend, Miles (Casal), who’s white, work together as furniture movers. Returning home at night, Collin witnesses a white police officer shooting an unarmed black man in the back. Meanwhile, Miles buys a gun, unbeknownst to his girlfriend, Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), putting both his relationship and Collin’s freedom at risk. The gentrification of Oakland is a recurring theme, but the film pivots on Miles’s hotheaded behavior, for which Collin pays the price. Directed by Carlos López Estrada.” — Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER

Released: 2018
Run time: 95 min.




Poster for Funny Face
Friday, December 6, 2019 – 7:00pm

Stanley Donen (1924-2019)

Directed by the legendary Stanley Donen, who died this year at age 94, Funny Face is one of the most visually dazzling movies of the 1950s, a Paris-set musical featuring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire at their most charming. Featuring gowns by Hubert de Givenchy and a selection of beloved songs by George and Ira Gershwin (including “S’wonderful” and “How Long Has This Been Going On?”), Funny Face follows the transformation of Hepburn’s demure bookstore girl into a fashion icon, with the help of Astaire’s photographer (a character inspired by Richard Avedon). Funny Face continues to enchant audiences more than 60 years after its premiere.

Released: 1957
Run time: 108 min.

Sonoma Film Institute – Sonoma State University

1801 East Cotati Ave

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