Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

A multi-generational story of love and marriage, Love Is Strange depicts the delicate nature of any two people trying to build a long life together, and the possibility for love to grow deeper and richer with time. After 39 years together, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) take advantage of the new marriage laws and tie the knot in a City Hall wedding in lower Manhattan. On the return from their honeymoon, however, and on account of their vows, Ben gets fired from his longtime job as a choir director for a co-ed Catholic school. Suddenly, with no real savings to count on, the couple finds that they can't afford the rent on their small Chelsea apartment. Only days after they have gathered to celebrate the nuptials, this tight-knit community of family and friends now has to come together again to help figure out how to help their two friends. Also starring Marisa Tomei, Love Is Strange is directed and co-written by Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On, Married Life, Forty Shades of Blue). Official Web Site
Filmmaker Ira Sachs on the bond between his actors and their characters
Walter Addiego's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema


Michael Winterbottom's largely improvised 2010 film The Trip took comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon—or semifictionalized versions thereof—on a restaurant tour around northern England. In this witty and incisive follow-up, Winterbottom reunites the pair for a new culinary road trip, retracing the steps of the Romantic poets' grand tour of Italy and indulging in some sparkling banter and impersonation-offs. Re-whetting our palates from the earlier film, the characters enjoy mouthwatering meals in gorgeous settings from Liguria to Capri while riffing on subjects as varied as Batman's vocal register, the artistic merits of "Jagged Little Pill," and, of course, the virtue of sequels. Winterbottom trains his camera to capture the idyllic Italian landscape and the gastronomic treasures being prepared and consumed while keeping the film centered on the crackling chemistry between the two leads. The Trip to Italy effortlessly melds the brilliant comic interplay between Coogan and Brydon into quieter moments of self-reflection, letting audiences into their insightful ruminations on the nuances of friendship and the juggling of family and career. The result is a biting portrait of modern-day masculinity. Official Web Site
Chris Nashawaty's Entertainment Weekly review...


New Digital Restoration!
Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema


In master writer/director Eric Rohmer's A Summer's Tale, being shown theatrically in the U.S. for the first time, Gaspard (Melvil Poupaud, Time to Leave), a recent university graduate, comes to the seaside in Brittany for three weeks' vacation before starting a new job. He's hoping his sort-of girlfriend, the fickle Léna (Aurélia Nolin), will join him there; but as the days pass, he welcomes the interest of Margot (Amanda Langlet, from Rohmer's Pauline at the Beach), a pretty waitress. Things start to get complicated when the spoken-for Margot encourages Gaspard to have a summer romance with her friend, Solène (Gwenaëlle Simon), and he complies. When Léna turns up, and scheduling complications abound, Gaspard will have to make a choice…. Rohmer's characteristically light touch allows his characters to discourse on love and friendship, even as their body language complicates and even contradicts their words; he conveys the openness of a world of possibilities faced by these young people. Official Web Site
G. Allen Johnson's San Francisco Chronicle article...




Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood by writer/director Richard Linklater (director and co-writer of Before Midnight) is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (a breakthrough performance by Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, Boyhood charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's "Yellow" to Arcade Fire's "Deep Blue." Boyhood is both a nostalgic time capsule of the recent past and an ode to growing up and parenting. It's impossible to watch Mason and his family without thinking about our own journey. Official Web Site
Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Based on the bestselling novel by John le Carré and directed by Anton Corbijn (The American), this modern-day thriller begins when a mysterious man on the run (Grigoriy Dobrygin) arrives in Hamburg, Germany's Islamic community desperate for help. Nothing about this young man seems to add up; is he a victim or a thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction? Drawn into this web of intrigue are a banker (Willem Dafoe) and a young lawyer (Rachel McAdams) determined to defend the defenseless. All the while, they are being watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who fights to put the pieces together as the clock ticks. In an adrenaline-laced and heart-rending escalation of tension and collision, it's not long before he becomes everyone's most wanted man. A cerebral tale of intrigue in the vein of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, A Most Wanted Man is also deeply human, touching themes in love, rivalry and politics we live with every day. Official Web Site
Director Anton Corbijn on adapting John le Carré’s book for the screen
Jeff Labrecque's Entertainment Weekly review...


Now Playing at the Clay Theatre

Set in the 1920s on the opulent Riviera in the south of France, Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight is a romantic comedy starring Colin Firth (The King's Speech) as Stanley Crawford, a master magician who tries to expose psychic medium Sophie Baker (Emma Stone) as a fake. Persuaded by his life-long friend (Simon McBurney), Stanley goes undercover on a mission to a Côte d'Azur mansion in order to debunk the alluring young clairvoyant, who is staying there with her mother (Marcia Gay Harden). From his very first meeting with Sophie, Stanley dismisses her as an insignificant pip-squeak who he can unmask in no time. To his great surprise and discomfort, however, Sophie accomplishes numerous feats of mind-reading and other supernatural deeds that defy all rational explanation, leaving him dumbfounded—and wondering whether Sophie's powers could actually be real. Official Web Site
Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Acclaimed Irish director Lenny Abrahamson creates a wildly quirky comedy about a naïve young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson, About Time), who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde rock band led by the mysterious Frank (Michael Fassbender, conquering the ultimate acting challenge), an unstable but charismatic musical savant who wears a large, round fake head with crudely painted-on features all the time—like Daniel Johnston hidden behind a cartoon smile. Frank's closest musical collaborator is the forbidding Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Donnie Darko); part caretaker, part jailer, Clara is the antithesis of all things mainstream. For Jon, this is the break he's been waiting for, his chance to climb through the looking glass and into the world of artistic collaboration, real music-making, and rock 'n' roll adventure that he's always dreamed of. But does he have the talent to make it? Written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare at Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), based on the memoir by Ronson. Official Web SiteDownload Your Own Official Frank Cutout Mask!
Director Abrahamson finds Frank trickier to describe than it was to make
Thomas Lee's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema

A Five Star Life is the sophisticated story of one woman's quest for personal and professional fulfillment set against some of the most stunning cities and opulent hotels of the world. Stylish and independent, Irene (Margherita Buy) is a single career woman in her forties with a job to die for. As a luxury hotel critic, she checks into the world's finest establishments incognito to assess their standards. Her elegant, unattached lifestyle affords her the freedom to jet around the globe at a moment's notice to experience a world of luxury, but doesn't leave her with much of a personal life. On the rare occasions she's not working, Irene's world revolves around her absent-minded sister Silvia (Fabrizia Sacchi), two lively young nieces, and best friend—and former lover—Andrea (Stefano Accorsi). But when Silvia begins to deal with marital problems and Andrea faces an unexpected life change, Irene's small support network is fractured and she struggles to balance a glamorous career with the growing desire for something more. (Partially subtitled) Official Web Site




Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema

All's fair in love and war, especially when the battles are dangerously delicious and terribly tantalizing! In the new comedy Le Chef, fate brings two chefs together and helps them along a journey through the intoxicating world of French haute-cuisine. Self-taught, aspiring chef Jacky (Michaël Youn) has the talent—but not the luck. Star chef Alexandre Lagarde (Jean Reno) is in danger of losing his reputation—along with his beloved restaurant. A legend in his own time, Lagarde is in serious conflict with Stanislas Matter (Julien Boisselier), the new CEO of the group that owns his restaurant. Matter is plotting to destroy Lagarde’s reputation so that he’ll have grounds to fire him and move the restaurant away from classic French cuisine towards trendy molecular gastronomy. Desperate to cling to his status as a Three Star chef (a rarity in the world of fine dining), Lagarde teams up wsith Jacky and together they try to find the balance between tradition and trend, as well as between family life and food obsession. Written and directed by Daniel Cohen. Official Web Site
Leba Hertz's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema

For aspiring comedian Donna Stern (Jenny Slate), everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own. It's allowing herself to accept the support and love of others. Never failing to find the comedy and humanity in each awkward situation she encounters, Donna finds out along the way what it means to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Anchored by a breakout performance from Slate, Obvious Child is a winning discovery, packed tight with raw, energetic comedy and moments of poignant human honesty. Written and directed by Gillian Robespierre. Official Web Site
Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Starts Friday, September 5
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Errol Flynn (Kevin Kline), the swashbuckling Hollywood star and notorious ladies man, flouted convention all his life, but never more brazenly than in his last years when, swimming in vodka and unwilling to face his mortality, he undertook a liaison with an aspiring actress, Beverly Aadland (Dakota Fanning). The two had a high-flying affair that spanned the globe and was enabled by the girl's fame-obsessed mother, Florence (Susan Sarandon). It all came crashing to an end in October 1959, when events forced the relationship into the open, sparking an avalanche of publicity castigating Beverly and her mother—which only fed Florence's need to stay in the spotlight. The Last of Robin Hood is a story about the desire for fame and the price it exacts. Official Web Site
Filmmakers Richard Glatzer & Wash Westmoreland discover their holy grail


One Week Only! Starts Friday, September 5
at the Opera Plaza Cinema


At the height of World War II, amid bombing and starvation in the city, a desperate mother takes her twin 13-year-old sons to live with her estranged mother at a rundown dump of a farm. The old woman, called "the Witch" by the villagers who suspect she poisoned her husband, treats the boys like dogs and makes them work for their food. The twins, who are inseparable and seem to uncannily communicate without words, devise their own shocking strategy to cope with the cruelty around them. They set out to systematically harden themselves to become unfeeling and merciless. When deprived of a meal they declare they will fast for four days; when slapped they ask the grandmother to hit them again, and they practice killing bugs to learn how to kill. All the while they dutifully record their experiences in the notebook their father gave them when he went off to fight. Startling and profoundly disturbing, with mesmerizing performances by real-life twins Andras and Laszlo Gyemant, The Notebook at times recalls Lord of the Flies. With starkly beautiful wide-screen cinematography by Christian Berger (The White Ribbon); directed and co-written by János Szász. Official Web Site


One Week Only! Starts Friday, September 5
at the Opera Plaza Cinema
In English-Dubbed & English-Subtitled Versions!


The second film by Hiroyuki Okiura (director of Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade and animator on Ghost in the Shell and Akira) is a wonderfully expressive, beautifully hand-drawn tale that combines whimsy and kinetic humor with deeply felt emotion and drama. The last time teenager Momo saw her father before his sudden death they had a fight—and now all she has left to remember him by is an unfinished letter with only the words "Dear Momo." Moving with her mother to a remote but beautiful island, Momo at first suspects their house is haunted. She soon discovers three goblin spirits living in the attic, mischievous creatures that only she can see who, constantly hungry, create mayhem as she tries desperately to keep them hidden. But these funny monsters have a serious side and may hold the key to helping Momo discover what her father had been trying to tell her. Seven years in the making, A Letter to Momo builds to a bravura finale—a frantic chase featuring thousands of squirming, morphing ghosts and spirits that is the best cinematic flight of supernatural fancy in many years. Official Web Site


Fri & Sat, Sep 5 & 6 at Midnight at the Clay Theatre!

By turns violent and very funny, this blistering black comedy weaves together three lurid tales of small-time criminal life in Hollywood. Inspired by popular crime fiction of the '30s and '40s, director Quentin Tarantino (Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs, Jackie Brown) introduces us to a pair of thick-witted hit-men (John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson), a double-crossing prizefighter on the run (Bruce Willis), his absent-minded girlfriend (Maria de Medeiros), the hit-men-hiring mob boss (Ving Rhames), his exotic but drug-addled wife (Uma Thurman), and two young lovers contemplating a career change—namely whether to start sticking up restaurants instead of liquor stores (Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer).


Midnight Movies at the Clay Theatre!
Download PDF

Sep 5 & 6: Pulp Fiction, a film by by Quentin Tarantino, 20th anniversary!
Sat, Sep 13: The Room, can you ever really trust anyone?
Sep 19 & 20: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, starring Michael Cera.
Sat, Sep 27: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with live shadow cast The Bawdy Caste!
Oct 3 & 4: Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.


One Show Only!
Wed, September 10 at 7:00pm at the Clay Theatre

Duran Duran: Unstaged showcases iconic British rock band Duran Duran's concert at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles, which was part of their All You Need Is Now album and world tour. The band performs 18 songs, including "Hungry Like the Wolf," "A View to Kill," "Ordinary World" and "Rio." Also appearing are Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance, The Gossip's Beth Ditto, Kelis and long-time collaborator Mark Ronson. Directed by David Lynch (Mulholland Dr., Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet) with a kinetic visual intensity that makes it easily recognizable as his unique creation, Duran Duran: Unstaged is quite unlike any concert-doc experience ever put on screen. It is a dream collaboration that presents the band's energy and Lynch's playful interventions on the grand scale they so uniquely merit. Official Web Site


Starts Friday, September 12 at the Clay Theatre

Filmed on location in a ravishing Paris of quiet back streets and familiar locales, My Old Lady is a touching romantic drama about inheritance and past secrets coming home to roost. Mathias Gold (Kevin Kline) is a down-on-his-luck New Yorker who inherits a Parisian apartment from his estranged father. But when he arrives in France to sell the vast domicile, he's shocked to discover a live-in tenant. His apartment is a viager—an ancient French real estate system with complex rules pertaining to its resale—and the feisty Englishwoman Mathilde Girard (Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"), who has lived in the apartment with her daughter Chloé (Kristin Scott Thomas) for many years, is not prepared to budge. With no place to go, Mathias strikes a tentative lodging arrangement with Mathilde, instantly clashing with suspicious, lovelorn Chloé over his private dealings with a rapacious property developer. With its unique blend of comedy, drama and ultimately romance, My Old Lady marks the directorial debut of internationally celebrated playwright Israel Horovitz, adapting his own hit play. Official Web Site
Writer/director Israel Horovitz on transforming his play for the screen


One Week Only! Starts Friday, September 12
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema


The new documentary Take Me to the River celebrates the inter-generational, inter-racial, inter-gender musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. The film brings multiple generations of award-winning Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians together, following them through the creative process of recording a historic new album, to re-imagine the utopia of racial, gender and generational collaboration of Memphis in its heyday. Hip-hop artists such as Snoop Dogg, Lil P-Nut, Hustle & Flow's Oscar-winning Frayser Boy, Al Kapone and Yo Gotti are paired with Grammy-winning soul and R&B legends, including Mavis Staples, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Booker T. Jones, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, William Bell, Otis Clay and the incomparable session musicians of Stax and Hi Records. Journey inside these creative collaborations to share the struggles, the joy and the inspiration of some of America's most talented master musicians, who have influenced and inspired the world's popular music. Hosted by Oscar nominee Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow). Official Web Site


Starts Friday, September 12
at the Opera Plaza Cinema

A whimsical meditation on modern romance, The Man on Her Mind charts the unusual courtship of two lonely people, each of whom has a very active fantasy life. Nellie (Amy McAllister) is a prim young woman who is having a clandestine affair with Jack, a super-suave lawyer. It doesn't matter that they seem mismatched because Jack doesn't really exist; he is a figment of Nellie's imagination—someone she dreamed up out of bits and pieces of Leonard (Samuel James), a man with whom she had a blind date months earlier. Meanwhile, Leonard also has an imaginary love, one he has concocted out of things he likes about Nellie. When the two characters are brought together again they are forced to compare their ideal (but nonexistent) "lovers" with their flesh and blood counterparts—in other words, their real selves. The question is, will Nellie prefer the man on her mind to the man in her arms? Official Web Site


Sat, Sep 13 at Midnight at the Clay Theatre!

The Room is an electrifying American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies, starring writer/director Tommy Wiseau as a successful banker with a great respect for—and dedication to—the people in his life, especially his future wife Lisa (Juliette Danielle). As the film depicts friendships and relationships in the lives of its five major characters, it raises life's real and most-asked question: "Can you really trust anyone?" A midnight cult sensation, this quirky black comedy has been running for over 10 years in Los Angeles and has now taken the rest of the country by storm. You'll want to be there for the devastation it will leave in its wake! Official Web Site


One Show Only! Tue, September 23 at 7:00pm
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

A documentary film of the groundbreaking exhibition created by London's Victoria and Albert Museum, David Bowie is is described by The Times as "stylish & outrageous" and The Guardian as "a triumph." The exhibition features a remarkable collection of photographs, stage costumes, and other rare possessions from the David Bowie Archive. The film takes the audience on an extraordinary journey through the David Bowie is exhibition with special guests, including legendary Japanese fashion designer Kansai Yamamoto, Pulp front man Jarvis Cocker, and other collaborators, to explore the stories behind some of the key objects that document Bowie's artistic career. The exhibition curators, Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, provide fascinating insight into the most memorable music videos and original costumes, as well as more personal items such as never-before-seen handwritten lyrics, album cover artwork, set designs and diary entries, which reveal the creativity and evolution of Bowie's ideas. Official Web Site


One Week Only! Starts Friday, September 26
at the Opera Plaza Cinema
Filmmaker Rory Kennedy In Person
Friday, September 26 at 7:20pm!


Award-winning independent filmmaker Rory Kennedy (Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Ethel) dares to reopen the books on a war that scarred our national psyche. Chronicling a story few of us know, Kennedy's potent documentary may both shock you and restore your faith in humanity. During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbles. The United States has only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country. As Communist victory becomes inevitable and the U.S. readies to withdraw, some Americans begin to consider the certain imprisonment and possible death of their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers and friends. Meanwhile, the prospect of an official evacuation of South Vietnamese becomes terminally delayed by Congressional gridlock and the inexplicably optimistic U.S. Ambassador. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, a number of heroic Americans take matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many South Vietnamese lives as possible. Official Web Site
Landmark Theatres’ President & CEO interviews filmmaker Rory Kennedy


Sat, Sep 27 at Midnight at the Clay Theatre!
With The Bawdy Caste LIVE!

The longest-running midnight movie of all time stars Tim Curry as the kinky yet endearing “transsexual from Transylvania” Dr. Frank N. Furter, Susan Sarandon and Barry Bostwick as his hapless guests Brad and Janet, Meat Loaf as motorcycle-riding rough trade and author Richard O’Brien as the hunchbacked butler Riff Raff. It’s harmless musical fun—a delightful spoof of Hollywood horror movies and Old Dark House melodramas. The Rocky Horror Picture was the first—and is still the best—interactive movie experience! Official Web Site


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