Cine Club by Rae Dox Kim

San Francisco Art & Film for Teenagers holds a weekly showing of a film at the picturesque SF Art Institute. The hike up the hill to the building is the ultimate test of faith, but makes for a great view. Prior to the film, you can watch the sun setting over the tourist district or look for stray cats under the bushes in the courtyard. There is always sparking water to sip as the lights go down in the theater, and an oatmeal cookie. The movie is paired with an animated short–often Looney Tunes, which aptly sets the stage for the war film or deep inspection of our human experience that follows. You are instructed to spend five minutes, not a moment less, meeting your fellow moviegoers.

The great joy of Cine Club is that I will see movies there that I would not see otherwise, in different languages, set in the past and even the future. Many of the high-budget blockbusters in the American theaters of today are limited to one perspective. The movies shown at Cine Club are more than drawn-out plot progression and attractive CGI action scenes. They demonstrate powers of cinematography, well-written dialogue (or lack thereof… some of the films are more silent than not) and immaculate design. They do not lean on the guarantee of a happily-ever-after conclusion. These are films recognized as classics, critical to an education in media. Sitting in that theater, I have learned more about movies and about life than in any class.

Attending Cine Club is an assignment for Creative Writing, but once I sit down and torture the little tables on the armrests into a horizontal position, I can’t help but feel content. I am surrounded by people who aren’t just there to see a movie, but to find some kind of meaning in art. And later, while churning out a reflection on the movie I have seen, I feel that contentment again.

Rae Dox Kim, class of 2020

The Army of Shadows

 
Friday 17: Cine/Club: Randall Museum

Jean Pierre Melville’s THE ARMY OF SHADOWS (1995, France)

Another film that fills you in on some of the fascinating events of WWII that may not be covered in your social studies class. In this case, the French Resistance: a group of unusual French citizens working to sabotage the Nazis any way they can in occupied France. Unfortunately, the Nazis are slowly reducing their numbers. Who is giving them away to the enemy? Could it be one of their own?

   
WHY WE CHOSE THIS FILM:

The Army of Shadows gives you a tremendous context in which to place your knowledge of WWII. Lots of ordinary citizens gave their lives to resist the Nazis, and the group of people in the film come from real life. The film acts like a thriller, but also is filled with carefully etched personalities, and a great suspenseful plot. All the major people in the film lived through these events, so they can nautrually bring them vividly to life. You’ll be on the edge of your seats.

   
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:

Jean Pierre Melville adopted the last name of his favorite writer, Herman Melville (Moby Dick). Much of his life follows the same unsual pattern. During WW II he worked in the French Resistance against the Nazis. Refused in his attempts to work in film, he decided to make his own films with his own money, and eventually owned his own studio. His friendship with Godard (another film maker associated with the French “new wave”) led to his habit of filming on location—but his fondness for America gangster films can be found in all his early films—the weapons,coats, fedoras dot many of his “film noirs” like Le Samurai and Le Circle Rouge. He is not very well known in the U.S.

Cine/Club – Art&Film for Teenagers

For all the new students coming in, Art&Film is a great, free program for teens that we’re required to attend twice per marking period. Hosted by Ronald Chase, it offers screenings of classic, foreign, and art films, along with either a short film or a cartoon before the movie and a group discussion after. Cookies and sparkling water are offered in the lobbies before we enter the theater.

Art&Film is hosted at either the Randall Museum (199 Museum Way) or the Dolby Screening Room (100 Potrero Ave). Arrival at 6:30, film at 7:00, unless otherwise specified.

Subscribe to the Art&Film email for updates on the next CineClub screening and opportunities of free tickets for the SF Symphony, Opera, and many other shows. To subscribe, visit the Art&Film website or simply fill out a card on your next CineClub visit.

-Midori