Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Eric (Colin Firth, The King's Speech, A Single Man), a WWII vet and train fanatic, meets attractive divorcee Patti (Nicole Kidman, Stoker, Cold Mountain) on a train, and love blossoms. Only after they marry does she discover that Eric is tormented by his past in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. When they learn that the Japanese interpreter responsible for much of his brutal treatment is still alive, she urges him to go and confront the man, and his haunting past, in this powerful and inspiring tale of heroism, humanity and the redeeming power of love. Based on the remarkable bestselling autobiography by Eric Lomax. Official Web Site


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Only Lovers Left Alive is the best film in years by writer/director Jim Jarmusch (Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Mystery Train, Down By Law). Stylish, hip and droll, it's the nocturnal tale of two vampires in love, and their quest for amusement and an untainted supply of blood. Tom Hiddleston (Loki in Marvel's The Avengers and the Thor films) and the ageless Tilda Swinton (I Am Love, Michael Clayton) play Adam and Eve, vampires who have been lovers for centuries. He's a reclusive underground musician hiding out in the ruins of Detroit; she's a lover of knowledge residing in Tangier—but they're soulmates. Adam's music is eagerly received by the zombies (i.e. humans) such as rock promoter Ian (Anton Yelchin, Star Trek), whose adulation threatens his need for solitude. Sensing Adam's growing angst and despair, Eve makes a transatlantic journey to see him, despite the difficulties of travelling by day. Their joyful reunion is interrupted by the uninvited arrival of Eve's carefree and uncontrollable little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland, The Kids Are All Right), who brings trouble in her wake. Driven by sensual photography, trance-like music by Jarmusch's band Squrl, and sly humor, Only Lovers Left Alive is a hypnotic meditation on art, science, memory, and the mysteries of everlasting love. With John Hurt and Jeffrey Wright. Official Web Site


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema
Filmmaker/Photographer/Artist Edward Burtynsky
In Person Friday, April 18 at 4:30 & 7:00pm!


Award-winning filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, who together made 2007's acclaimed documentary Manufactured Landscapes, return with a spectacular film about man's troubled relationship with life's most precious resource, water. Packed with startling, breathtaking and unforgettable images, Watermark is a visual feast. We see the colossal construction site in China of the world's largest dam, six times the size of Hoover Dam; the geometric intricacies of ancient "step wells" in Rajasthan, where mazes of stairs lead deep into the earth; the barren desert where the mighty Colorado River no longer flows into the ocean; the water-intensive tanneries of Dhaka, Bangladesh, spewing poison; the mass river-bathing ceremony in the "Mother Ganges" that draws 30 million Hindu faithful in one day; the ingenious terracing of steep slopes for rice paddies in China—and the peasant who patrols the borders of his fields on the watch for water thieves. The viewer is immersed in a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted—until it's gone. Official Web Site




Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema


Cinema legend Catherine Deneuve has had a lustrous career (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Belle de Jour, Tristana, Repulsion, The Last Metro, Thieves, A Christmas Tale, Potiche). In On My Way she gives a subtle yet commanding performance, tender and generous, as former beauty queen Bettie, owner of a struggling restaurant in a small town in Brittany, who finds herself jilted by her lover and left alone to face financial woes. Taking a quick drive to clear her head and get away from the mess, Bettie finds herself instead embarking on a full-fledged road trip; along the way there are chance meetings, an ex-Miss France gala reunion, renewed ties with her estranged daughter and grandson (Nemo Schiffman), and possibly, at the end of the road, love.... Directed and co-written by Emmanuelle Bercot. Official Web Site
Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Clay Theatre


Who is Vivian Maier? Now considered one of the 20th century's greatest street photographers, Vivian Maier was a loner who worked as a nanny most of her life, and shot photos constantly everywhere she went, taking over 100,000 photographs that went unseen during her lifetime. Amateur historian John Maloof bought the contents of her storage locker by chance at an auction, and soon became obsessed with trying to learn more about the mysterious recluse. The first trace he was able to find of her was her recent obituary. Since then Maloof has organized many acclaimed exhibits of her work, and is crusading to put this prolific photographer into the history books. In Finding Vivian Maier, Maloof and co-director Charlie Siskel's captivating documentary, Maier's strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her. Official Web Site
Directors Siskel & Maloof on discovering the hidden gifts of Vivian Maier
Walter Addiego's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema


Darwin meets Hitchcock in this true-crime tale of paradise found and lost, a fascinating documentary portrait of a 1930s murder mystery as strange and alluring as the famous archipelago itself. Fleeing conventional society, a Berlin doctor and his mistress start a new life on uninhabited Floreana Island, but soon come into conflict with other settlers—including a self-styled Swiss Family Robinson and a gun-toting Viennese baroness and her two handsome lovers. Filmmakers Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller (Ballets Russes) skillfully interweave newly unearthed home movies of these original settlers; testimonies of modern day islanders; stunning footage of native flora and fauna; and powerful voice performances by Cate Blanchett, Diane Kruger, Connie Nielsen, Sebastian Koch, Thomas Kretschmann, Gustaf Skarsgård and Josh Radnor. Macabre yet inspiring, The Galapagos Affair is a gripping parable of Robinson Crusoe adventure and utopian dreams gone awry. Official Web Site
Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Lindsay Duncan (Mansfield Park) give exquisite performances as Nick and Meg, a long-married British couple revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. During a two-day escapade, diffident, wistful Nick and demanding, take-charge Meg careen from harmony to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock of half a lifetime of deep tenderness—and even deeper regret. A surprise invitation from Nick's old friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), an amusingly boorish American academic with a fancy Parisian address, soon leads them to an unexpectedly hopeful vision of what their love and marriage might still become. This magically buoyant, bittersweet comedy-drama is a new peak in the ongoing collaboration between Notting Hill director Roger Michell and screenwriter Hanif Kureishi (Venus, The Mother). Official Web Site
Director Roger Michell on the challenges of the first day of shooting
Walter Addiego's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema

In the romantic drama The Lunchbox, middle-class housewife Ila (Nimrat Kaur) is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that a new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, Saajan (Irrfan Khan, Life of Pi), a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day's lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery. This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the mere comfort of communicating with a stranger anonymously soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Gradually, their notes become little confessions about their loneliness, memories, regrets, fears, and even small joys. In the big city of Mumbai that so often crushes hopes and dreams, Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities. Co-written and directed by Ritesh Batra. Official Web Site


Now Playing at the Embarcadero Center Cinema


In 1975 Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose cult films El Topo and The Holy Mountain launched and ultimately defined the midnight movie phenomenon, began work on his most ambitious project yet. Obtaining rights to Frank Herbert's global science fiction phenomenon Dune, he set about assembling his dream cast and crew. Starring his own 12-year-old son Brontis alongside a cast that would include Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most visionary talents of the era, including H.R. Giger (who went on to create the monster in Alien) and Jean 'Moebius' Giraud, Jodorowsky's Dune was poised to change cinema forever. For two years, Jodo and his team of "spiritual warriors" worked night and day on the massive task of creating the fabulous world of Dune: over 3,000 storyboards, numerous paintings, incredible costumes, and an outrageous, moving and powerful script. In the words of Jodorowsky's producer, Michel Seydoux, "It should have been enough. But it wasn't." Jodorowsky is both passionate and very funny as he tells the epic story of the hallucinatory masterpiece that was not to be. Directed by Frank Pavich. (Partially subtitled) Official Web Site
Walter Addiego's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema
Stanford University Researcher Surjeet Rajendran (Appearing in the Film) In Person Saturday, April 19 at 7:15pm!


Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity. For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist? Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, and masterfully edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, The Godfather trilogy), Particle Fever is a celebration of discovery, revealing the very human stories behind this epic Machine. Official Web Site
Walter Addiego's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema


Of the great ballerinas, Tanaquil Le Clercq may have been the most transcendent. She mesmerized viewers and choreographers alike—her elongated, race-horse physique became the new prototype for the great George Balanchine. The muse to both Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, they loved her as a dancer and a woman. Balanchine married her and Robbins created his famous "Afternoon of a Faun" for her. She was the foremost dancer of her day until it suddenly all stopped. At age 27, Tanny was struck down by polio overnight and paralyzed; she never danced again. Award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski ("The Loving Story") brings to the screen for the first time the magnificent and tragic story of a woman who was the nexus of inspiration, beauty and invention. With a soul-stirring soundtrack and exquisite visuals, Afternoon of a Faun reveals how one woman so passionately influenced an entire art form and two of its most prolific and renowned creators. With Jacques d'Amboise. Official Web Site
Leba Hertz's San Francisco Chronicle review...


Now Playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema


Nymphomaniac Volume II picks up where Volume I leaves off, with the story of Joe's (Charlotte Gainsbourg) adulthood, where her journey of self-discovery leads to darker complications. The film also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth and Jean-Marc Barr. Nymphomaniac marks Lars von Trier's follow-up to his critically acclaimed film Melancholia, and is his third consecutive collaboration with Gainsbourg. A groundbreaking filmmaker for more than two decades, von Trier's other film credits include Antichrist, Dogville, Dancer in the Dark and Breaking the Waves. Note: Nymphomaniac contains graphic depictions of sexuality to a degree unprecedented in a mainstream feature film. NO ONE UNDER 18 WILL BE ADMITTED. Official Web Site


Three Nights!
Fri - Sun, April 18 - 20 at Midnight at the Clay Theatre!

From the Academy Award-winning Coen Brothers (Fargo, No Country for Old Men) comes a hilariously quirky comedy-thriller about bowling, avant-garde art, nihilistic Austrians and a guy named...The Dude. Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) doesn't want any drama in his life...heck, he can't even be bothered with a job. But, in a case of mistaken identity, a couple of thugs break into his place and steal his rug (you gotta understand, that rug really tied the room together). Now, The Dude must embark on a quest with his crazy friends to make things right and get that rug back! Co-starring John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro and Philip Seymour Hoffman.


Midnight Movies at the Clay Theatre!
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Apr 18, 19 & 20: The Big Lebowski, 3 nights! All hail the Dude!
Sat, Apr 26: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with live shadow cast The Bawdy Caste!
May 2 & 3: The NeverEnding Story, in a land beyond imagination!
Sat, May 10: The Room, "You are tearing me apart, Lisa!"
Sat, May 17: Dirty Harry, "Do you feel lucky, punk?"
May 23, 24 & 25: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 3 nights! The man in the hat is back!
Sat, May 31: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with live shadow cast The Bawdy Caste!
Jun 6 & 7: Mean Girls, starring Lindsay Lohan.
Sat, Jun 14: The Room, can you ever really trust anyone?


Starts Friday, April 25
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Patagonia, 1960. A German doctor (Àlex Brendemühl) meets an Argentinean family and follows them to a small town where the family will be starting a new life. The parents welcome the doctor into their home and entrust their 12-year-old daughter to his care, not knowing that they are harboring one of the most dangerous criminals in the world. At the same time, Israeli agents are desperately looking to bring the German doctor to justice. Adapted from Wakolda, writer/director Lucía Puenzo's (XXY) speculative novel based on true events, this historical thriller follows "Angel of Death" Josef Mengele—a German SS officer and a physician at the Auschwitz concentration camp—in the years he spent "hiding" along with many other Nazis in South America following his escape from Germany. Argentina's Official Submission for Best Foreign Language Film consideration at the Academy Awards, and winner of 10 Argentinean Academy Awards, including Best Film, Director and Actor (Brendemühl). Official Web Site


Starts Friday, April 25
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Multi-talented Steve Coogan (The Trip), nominated for an Academy Award for co-writing Philomena in which he also stars, is one of the funniest men around. Over the past twenty years he has been honing the cringe-worthy persona of smarmy egomaniacal radio host Alan Partridge on BBC-TV. Now, in Alan's long-awaited feature film debut, mayhem and hijinks abound. Alan's tottering radio station is taken over by a giant corporation who plan to make lots of changes, such as laying off many of the staff, including Alan's best friend Pat (Colm Meaney), who goes ballistic and takes over the station at gunpoint, creating a hostage standoff that Alan ineptly tries to exploit for self-promotion, mediating between Pat and the crowd of police surrounding the station. With an able screenwriting assist from Armando Iannucci (In the Loop); directed by Declan Lowney. Official Web Site


One Week Only!
Starts Friday, April 25 at the Opera Plaza Cinema


Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion and dedicated teacher, returns to the city of his birth, Jaffa, after decades abroad. He wants to give something back to his homeland and has an impossible dream: to teach Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance together. Enlisting the support of teachers and parents, Pierre persuades 150 reluctant eleven-year-olds from several schools to give his program a try. At first the dance "partners" don't want to touch—or even look at—each other, but Pierre persists, determined to impart the hidden ballroom skills of decorum, etiquette and, ultimately, respect and trust. Soon the children are two-stepping and tangoing, looking forward to the climactic team dance contest. What occurs is magical and transformative, making Pierre's dream seem almost possible. With Yvonne Marceau; directed by Hilla Medalia. Official Web Site


One Week Only!
Starts Friday, April 25 at the Opera Plaza Cinema


Teenagers didn't always exist. Before the idea was invented, there was no second stage of life: you were either a child or you went to work as an adult. Matt Wolf's kaleidoscopic Teenage is a hypnotic rumination on the genesis of youth culture from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th, giving voice to young people in America, England and Germany—from party-crazed Flappers and hip Swing Kids to zealous Nazi Youth and frenzied Sub-Debs. Inspired by punk author Jon Savage's book, Teenage creates a living collage from a treasure trove of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and diary entries read by Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw and others. Set to a shimmering contemporary score by Bradford Cox (Deerhunter), Teenage is a mesmerizing trip into the past, and a riveting look at the very idea of "coming of age." Official Web Site
Filmmaker Wolf sees teenagers at the front of major political and cultural change


Sat, Apr 26 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


Starts Friday, May 2
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema

Writer-director John Turturro gives Woody Allen his best on-screen role in years, as an unlikely pimp. Turturro himself stars as the title character, in this hilarious yet heartfelt comedy about the endless quest for happiness through sex and love. Murray (Allen), a going-out-of-business New York bookseller, is pals with Fioranvante (Turturro), who runs a modest florist shop. When Murray's beautiful dermatologist Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone) mentions she's looking for a man to participate in a threesome with her and her equally gorgeous friend Selima (Sofia Vergara), Murray recognizes the financial potential of this proposal and sets about convincing Fioravante to consummate the deal. While Fioravante is at first understandably hesitant, he needs the cash and comes to believe that there are worse ways to make a living than by making two attention-starved women happy. Meanwhile Murray has come across an unusual second client for Fioravante: Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), the lonely widow of a revered Hasidic rabbi. Avigal's every move is watched by the suspicious and jealous Dovi (Liev Schreiber), which makes assignations with her hazardous. As Fioravante makes his rounds through the bedrooms of Dr. Parker and Selima, as well as his more chaste meetings with Avigal, Murray discovers it's not so easy to be a pimp and finds out that the clash between the secular and the Orthodox must be faced sooner or later. Official Web Site
Filmmaker John Turturro on the many sources of his human comedy


Starts Friday, May 2
at a San Francisco Area Landmark Theatre

Driven by an unforgettable performance by Tom Hardy (Lawless, Warrior, Inception), Locke is a thrillingly unique cinematic experience of a man fighting to salvage all that is important to him. Ivan Locke (Hardy) has worked diligently to craft the life he has envisioned, dedicating himself to the job that he loves and the family he adores. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job, and soul. All taking place over the course of one absolutely riveting car ride, Locke is an exploration of how one decision can lead to the complete collapse of a life. Written and directed by Steven Knight (screenwriter of Eastern Promises, Amazing Grace and Dirty Pretty Things). Official Web Site
Filmmaker Steven Knight experiments with an odd phenomenon of modern life


One Week Only! Starts Friday, May 2
at the Embarcadero Center Cinema


Johnny Depp pays a call on his friend and hero Ralph Steadman, the last of the original Gonzo visionaries, in this high-spirited, lyrical and soulful look at the life and works of one of the most important British artists of our time. Best known for his work with Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas writer Hunter S. Thompson, as well as his political cartoons and social caricatures, Steadman rose to prominence in the early 1970s when his impassioned and stirring artworks gained recognition for their bold comment on world politics and human rights infringements. For No Good Reason is a riot of stories and images as we take a trip through the wild and dark days of Steadman’s time with Thompson, the Rumble in the Jungle, gun fights with literary giant William S. Burroughs and his fiercely heartfelt politics. Insightful, humorous, and visually stunning, the film also includes contributions from Terry Gilliam, Richard E. Grant and Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner. Directed by Charlie Paul. Official Web Site


Fri & Sat, May 2 & 3 at Midnight at the Clay Theatre!

The first English-language film from acclaimed director Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, The Perfect Storm, Air Force One) takes us on a fairytale ride to the land of Fantasia, where a little boy is literally drawn into the pages of the book he is reading. Outstanding special effects and a pulsating score by Giorgio Moroder and Klaus Doldinger compliment the magical adventure and fantastic creatures.


One Show Only!
Sunday, May 4 at 11:00am at the Clay Theatre

A story of power and plotting, Richard II is the first of Shakespeare's four plays about the House of Lancaster. Richard (David Tennant) is King, ordained by God to lead his people. But he is also a man of very human weakness—a man whose vanity threatens to divide the great houses of England and drag his people into a dynastic civil war that will last 100 years. Recorded live from the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the sellout production of Richard II is directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran.


One Show Only!
Thursday, May 8 at 7:00pm at the Clay Theatre

Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. Farmland takes an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their twenties, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming businesses. Academy Award-winning director James Moll (The Last Days) traveled across the country meeting young farmers and ranchers, giving audiences a rare opportunity to step inside the world of farming for a first-hand glimpse into their lives. Learn about their high-risk/high reward jobs and passion for a way of life that has been passed down from generation to generation, yet continues to evolve. Official Web Site


Sat, May 10 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


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