7. Sun Nov 23 – ROCKS IN MY POCKETS – 1 hr 28 min – Not Rated. In this new animated gem, Latvian-born artist and filmmaker Signe Baumane tells five fantastical tales based on the courageous women in her family and their battles with madness. With boundless imagination and a twisted sense of humor, she has created daring stories of art, romance, marriage, nature, business, and Eastern European upheaval-all in the fight for her own sanity. Employing a unique, beautifully textured combination of papier-mâché stop-motion and classic hand-drawn animation (with inspiration from Jan Svankmajer and Bill Plympton), Baumane has produced a poignant and often hilarious tale of mystery, mental health, redemption and survival. “Boasting a narrative of extraordinary complexity and density, stuffed with irony, humor and tales-within-tales, this imaginative animated memoir is a modern milestone in animated storytelling.” –Alissa Simon, Variety. Watch the Trailer
8. Sun Nov 30 – I AM ELEVEN – 1 hr 34 min – Not Rated. Do you remember when you were 11? Australian filmmaker Genevieve Bailey travelled the world for six years talking with 11-year-olds to compose this insightful, funny and moving portrait of childhood. From an orphanage in India to a single-parent household in inner-city Melbourne, to bathing with elephants in Thailand, I AM ELEVEN explores the lives and thoughts of children from all around the world. It weaves together deeply personal and at times hilarious portraits of what it means to stand on the cusp between childhood and adolescence. These young minds, still unguarded and remarkably honest, offer a powerful insight into the future of our world. “There's something exhilarating about the movie's reach and quiet ambition, and the thoughtful, bold, confident, wide-eyed and expressive 11-year-olds at its centre. –Sydney Morning Herald. “This effective crowdpleaser has gathered tremendous box office and critical momentum in Australia.” –Variety.
1. Sun Dec 7 – AWAKE: THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA – 1 hr 27 min – PG. Indian Swami Paramahansa Yogananda brought yoga and meditation to the U.S. in the 1920s and wrote the spiritual classic “Autobiography of a Yogi,” which has sold millions of copies worldwide and is a go-to book for seekers, philosophers and yoga enthusiasts today. This documentary examines how Yogananda, by personalizing his own quest for enlightenment and sharing his struggles along the path, made ancient teachings accessible to a modern audience, attracting many followers and ultimately helping millions of seekers today to turn their attention inwards, bucking the temptations of the material world in pursuit of self-realization. “The movie tapped into Yogananda’s humanity in a way that was profoundly moving and inspiring to me.” –Ram Dass Watch the Trailer
2. Sun Dec 14 – THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY – 1 hr 37 min – PG13. Based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel, it features Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst as Chester and Colette MacFarland, a glamorous American couple who have just arrived in Athens in 1962. While sightseeing at the Acropolis, they encounter Rydal (Oscar Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette's beauty and impressed by Chester's wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. All is not as it seems with the MacFarlands; Chester's affable exterior hides darker secrets. One thing leads to another and soon Chester’s jealousy and paranoia leads to a tense and dangerous battle of wits between the two men. Their journey takes them from Greece to Turkey, and to a dramatic finale played out in the exotic back alleys of Istanbul's Grand Bazaar. “With striking visuals, complex characters, and Hitchcockian plot twists, The Two Faces of January offers a pleasantly pungent treat for fans of romantic thrillers.” Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus. Watch the Trailer
3. Sun Dec 21 – DIPLOMACY – 1 hr 25 min – Unrated – In French and German with English subtitles. As the Allies march toward Paris in the summer of 1944, Hitler gives orders that the French capital should be completely destroyed. The person assigned to carry out this barbaric act is Wehrmacht commander of Greater Paris, General Dietrich von Choltitz. However, at dawn on 25 August, Swedish Consul General Raoul Nordling steals into German headquarters and there starts a tension-filled game of cat and mouse as Nordling tries to persuade Choltitz to abandon his plan. Academy Award Winning Director for The Tin Drum, Volker Schlöndorff has created a fascinating thriller, filled with twists and turns, as two men, who have their orders, determine the fate of one of the world’s most beloved cities. “4 STARS (Highest Rating!).
GRIPPING AND EXTREMELY SATISFYING...
Keeps up the suspense and pulls off surprises.”
—Leba Hertz, San Francisco Chronicle Watch the Trailer
4. Sun Dec 28 – AWAKE: THE LIFE OF YOGANANDA. One more showing of one of the most popular movies we’ve shown recently. See #1 above.
Watch the Trailer
5. Fri, Sat & Sun Jan 2-4 – PELICAN DREAMS - 1 hr 20 min – G. Start the new year off right by bringing your kids and grandkids to this delightful new film about Bay Area pelicans by Sundance-and-Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker Judy Irving ("The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill"). Judy’s first film since “Parrots” follows a wayward California brown pelican from her "arrest" on the Golden Gate Bridge into care at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and from there explores pelicans' nesting grounds, Pacific coast migration, and survival challenges. The film is about wildness: how close can we get to a wild animal without taming or harming it? Pelican Dreams, stars "Gigi" (for Golden Gate) and Morro (a backyard pelican with an injured wing). A rare 100% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer!!! “Whatever you think you know about pelicans, "Pelican Dreams" will surprise you.” – Betsy Sharkey, L.A. Times. Watch the Trailer
6. Fri, Sat & Sun Jan 9-11 – GLEN CAMPBELL: I’LL BE ME – 1 hr 56 min – PG. In 2011, music legend Glen Campbell set out on an unprecedented tour across America. They thought it would last 5 weeks instead it went for 151 spectacular sold out shows over a triumphant year and a half. What made this tour extraordinary was that Glen had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He was told to hang up his guitar and prepare for the inevitable. Instead, Glen and his wife went public with his diagnosis and announced that he and his family would set out on a "Goodbye Tour." The film documents this amazing journey as he and his family attempt to navigate the wildly unpredictable nature of Glen's progressing disease using love, laughter and music as their medicine of choice. Special appearances include Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Steve Martin, and Bill Clinton among many others. “’I'll Be Me’ is an elevating experience, inviting the audience to bear witness to Campbell's courage, humor and spiritual strength.” –Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. Watch the Trailer
7. Sun & Mon Jan 18 & 19 –WINNERS & HIGHLIGHTS - 2015 WILD & SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL - Two different programs to benefit SYRCL. Sunday's Program - SYRCL presents a selection of the 2015 Wild & Scenic Film Festival award winning films at these two special showings. In addition, the winner of the People’s Choice award will be announced at this event. Monday's Program - Join SYRCL for a “locals appreciation night” featuring 2015 Wild & Scenic award winning films to wind down your holiday weekend. Films will be different than Sunday night’s films screened. Films to be shown at both programs will not be announced in advance – the lineups will be a surprise! Tickets are available in advance for both programs at www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org and at the SYRCL office Dec 1-Jan 15 and at Fest HQ Jan 16-18. Both of these programs are likely to sell out in advance, so purchase early. For Sunday’s program all tickets are $25 and for Monday’s program all tickets are $20. Festival passes do not include entry to this event. Watch the Trailer
8. Sun Jan 25 – FORCE MAJEURE – 2 hrs - R – In Swedish with English subtitles. A critical favorite and word-of-mouth sensation at this year's Cannes Festival, this droll and precisely observed psychodrama tells the story of a model Swedish family - handsome businessman Tomas, his willowy wife Ebba and their two blond, pre-teen children - on a skiing holiday in the French Alps. The sun is shining and the slopes are spectacular but, during lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. With panicked diners fleeing in all directions, Ebba calls out for her husband as she tries to protect their children. Tomas, however, makes a decision that will shake the family's world to its core. Although the anticipated disaster fails to occur, his marriage now hangs in the balance as he struggles to reclaim his role as family patriarch. “3 ½ Stars. Thoroughly captivating. Both weighty and wickedly funny, it hits the viewer like an emotional avalanche.” –Claudia Puig, USA Today. Watch the Trailer