alright bros, a new season, a new renewal of my commitment to updating this blog. i swear this is it! we’re back for good. thanks to everyone who’s been coming out to the screenings in the meantime…they’re still happening!
this next film though, i mean, was basically the reason i started this thing in the first place. ozu is a dude, okay, by now you’ve probably got a good handle on my proclivity for meditative cinema. as far as that goes, this dude is the patron saint. this dude is the alpha and omega. over the course of his career he made fifty-three films, and they’re all basically about the same two or three things. most of them use the same actors. to say the dude was focused would be an understatement.
but ozu was anything but repetitive. rather, he understood the staggering complexity of the most minute details of everyday life, and understood that a hundred lifetimes of films would not be enough to truly capture it. like james joyce he understood that in the simplest glances, a walk down the street, a tree moving in the wind, there was contained the entirety of the universe and all of its secrets.
join us on sunday, november 10, at the yolo pleasure dome (1401 pole line rd in davis) as we screen ozu’s final film (and my favorite), “an autumn afternoon”. you know how this works: doors at 7:30, film starts at 8:00, coffee, tea, and popcorn provided. $2 recommended donation.
lux, sonus, tempus, cor
it’s weird, maybe, to attach any feelings of nostalgia to this film, a film about decay, stasis, the rise of fascism, the nature of fact and fiction, and hell, among other things. but still, when i get homesick for los angeles, this is one of the films i often find myself coming back to. la is a hell of a lot of things, and this movie nails a lot of them so perfectly it always makes me miss the old shithole. when brainstorming our slate of summer films for hot summer nights (days of heaven, tropical malady, taste of cherry), this one was a unanimous choice.
fantastic performances from john goodman, steve buscemi, john mahoney, and john turturro helped this film pull off a rare sweep of best actor, best director, and a palme d’or at the cannes film festival. don’t miss it! sunday, august 11, at the pleasure dome in davis (1401 pole line rd). doors at 7:30, screening at 8:00 sharp! $2 recommended donation, coffee, tea, and popcorn (and maybe ice cream if you’re good!) provided. see you kids there!
alright dudes, it’s summer time, and as you can tell from the lack of posts for the last few screenings we here at the ycfs have been a little drunk on the lazy summer vibes going around here at the pleasure dome. but never fear, we haven’t gone anywhere, and we’re not going anywhere. so apologies for the lack of posts, but let’s put it behind us. onward!
this week’s screening…i mean, come to all of them, for sure, but if you absolutely were only going to attend one, this would be the one i’d hope you’d choose. apichatpong weerasethakul is making, truly, the most exciting, most important, most essential films being made in the world today. this one is his masterpiece, one of the great love stories of all time, a tale of two lovers and a hunt for a mythical tiger in the jungle, two stories that end up being one and the same. i’m cutting myself off there because i’ll never do this film justice here. just come and see for yourself.
you know the drill: sunday, july 28, 7:30 pm. $2 recommended donation, coffee, tea, and popcorn provided (we’re currently accepting applications for head popcorn chef…apply at the p dome sunday). all going down at the yolo pleasure dome, 1401 pole line rd. in davis.
lux, sonus, tempus, cor,
Not a lot of time this week for a proper blurb, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. This classic of Italian Neorealist cinema is not a film to miss. Possibly the most heartbreaking movie I’ve ever seen (though, having just seen “Amour”, it may have lost that title. But still).
Join us on Sunday, May 12, 7:00 PM here at the Pleasure Dome (1401 Pole Line Rd. in Davis). You know the drill: $2 donation, coffee and tea provided otherwise BYOB. Also: Popcorn of the week from the incomparable Mlle Skierlo.
Woody Allen’s is a career marked by insanely high highs and similarly low lows. Years ago, my foray into his filmography began, begrudgingly, at my father’s insistence, with “Annie Hall.” My dad is a dude who gets geeked about some seriously terrible films (recently he insisted that I watch “Just Like Heaven” with him), so I wasn’t expecting much. Needless to say, my expectations were shattered. Following that, “Manhattan”, “Crimes and Misdemeanors,” and “Hannah and Her Sisters.” At that point I was convinced he was the greatest cinematic genius to have ever lived, and amazed that such a standard could be maintained throughout a career.
Many, many films later, my opinion of Allen isn’t quite so rosy…for every masterpiece it seems there are two or three unremarkable films and a disaster thrown in here and there for good measure. Maybe it’s the price paid for those masterpieces, that a manic creative mind such as Allen’s must work its way through to the diamonds. I may be reaching here, but it seems entirely fitting that Allen’s career is not the unmitigated winning streak I originally imagined it to be, that the journey from one to the next is marked by failures and stutters, overreaches, grasping, and ultimately the most humanistic of triumphs. It seems like the way he would have written it.
Having seen the lion’s share of his films, “Hannah and Her Sisters” remains the sentimental favorite for me. Not as crisp as “Manhattan”, not so virtuosic as “Annie Hall,” but warm, comfortable, Beethoven’s 4th to Manhattan’s 3rd and Annie Hall’s 9th. Come join us Sunday, April 28th, here at the Yolo Pleasure Dome (1401 Pole Line Rd. in Davis) as we screen this classic of American cinema. 7:00 PM, $2 recommended donation. As always, coffee, tea, and popcorn are on the house, but feel free to BYOB.
“This is the work of the rarest kind of filmmaker, the kind who knows precisely what he is doing and where he is going. The film’s every effect is entirely intentional,” – Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian.
The Yolo County Film Society’s eclectic programme has hitherto comprised films of a largely ‘vintage’ nature, with our selection increasingly delving into the latter half of the 20th century. This week’s offering sees us leap to both this side of the millennium and the other side of l’Atlantique with Jacques Audiard’s 2009 French-prison biopic “Un Prophète”.
Audiard’s seventh feature film – and, arguably, his most renowned on a par with “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” – scooped the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2009. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Malik el Djebena, we become immersed into a powerful depiction of a broken rehabilitation system, one that is characterized by violence, narcotics, corruption, and racial tension.
We first meet Malik as a newly incarcerated 19-year-old: bewildered, vulnerable and, lacking acquaintances on both the inside and outside, hopelessly alone. A sharp turn of events sees him compelled among the denizens of the criminal underworld, and he is forced to bridge the gulf demarcating the Arab-Corsican conflict that dictates much of the prison’s politics. The film’s gritty and brutal realist portrayal of prison life is tempered only through the use of religious and mystical symbolism. Ultimately, “Un Prophète” appears as Audiard’s commentary on a judiciary system falling woefully short of its responsibility to rehabilitate its inmates back into society.
Join us on Sunday April 14th, 7:00 pm at the Yolo Pleasure Dome (1401 Pole Line Rd, Davis) to share in Malik’s astronomical rise through the criminal ranks. Billed as the French answer to the likes of “The Godfather” and “Scarface”, this isn’t one to miss. $2 recommended donation, in exchange for which coffee, tea and light refreshment – in the form of French-infused popcorn à la chef de cuisine Mme Skierlo – will be provided, otherwise BYOB.
Ross McElwee has been making films for almost forty years now, and in that time frame he has turned out exactly eight feature films. That’s one every five years, for those scoring at home. Of those eight, only five are even remotely accessible to those not lucky enough to be in attendance at one of his rare festival screenings (I’ve tried to find them, believe me). Short films? Three. He has a website, but it makes no mention of his two latest films, and when you click on “news” you just get an error. The last detail in the “biography” section is from 2005. To say the least, dude is flying under the radar. I honestly cannot tell you how frustrating this is to me.
Maddeningly, though, it may be essential to the magic of Ross’ filmmaking. Ross McElwee makes films about nothing in particular, about the mundane, portraits of the simplest facts of everyday life. Generally with films like this, the word “meditative” gets thrown around pretty recklessly, but in this case it’s warranted: he treats the tiniest and most seemingly insignificant details with the utmost respect, devotion, patience, and piety, and I always leave his films feeling challenged to meet each day in my own life with that same reverence. If a level of hermeticism practically unheard of in the internet age is what it takes to craft such delicate paeans to everyday magic, then so be it. It’s worth the wait.
Join us for a screening of McElwee’s autobiographical epic, “Sherman’s March,” Sunday, March 24th, 7:00 pm at the Yolo Pleasure Dome (1401 Pole Line Rd. in Davis). $2 recommended donation, coffee, and tea provided, otherwise BYOB. Also featuring a special popcorn of the week from internationally renowned movie snack chef, Amanda Skierlo.
See you Sunday!