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Film Events During the Fall Semester

Some of the most unique facets of the San Francisco Bay Area are its diverse film community and the accessibility to cinema. Please don’t tell my parents, but the reasons I ultimately decided to attend Mills wasn’t its stellar academics or hefty financial aid packages. — It was because of movies. As someone who’s been interested in movies since they could mispronounce François Truffaut, I needed to live somewhere where I’d have access to the films I wanted to see and my tiny town in Arizona wasn’t cutting it. During my first year here, I went to nine different theaters and saw something like 20 movies, a majority of them independent, and I don’t think I could live anywhere else now.

I tell you this not to coax you into seeing some dingus art house film with me, but so you know that if you’re even the tiniest bit interested in movies, the Bay Area has something — a festival, a theatre — for you to fall in love with.

Without further ado, here’s a far-from-definitive list of movie-related things that are happening in the Bay Area during the fall semester:

1. Festivals by San Francisco Film Society

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Film Society.

From Hong Kong to France to right here in the Bay, the fall season of San Francisco Film Society celebrates filmmakers from all over. You can find out more about SFFS’s fall season here.

2. Seven by Rainier Werner Fassbinder (October 4th – 10th, The Roxie)

still from RW Fassbinder’s Lola (Moviemail)

Fassbinder is one of the world’s greatest filmmakers and you have the amazing opportunity to experience seven of his films on the big screen in 35mm. Go to this! You won’t regret it.

3. The Roxie
Located in the Mission, you can always catch a neat flick at The Roxie. They’re screening a ton of great-looking films this fall like Peaches Does Herself (with Peaches herself going to the premiere), After Tiller, Vinyl, and The Visitor. They’re throwing a Slumber Party Nite for da ladies on October 25th with a surprise movie lineup which seems like a very Mills event. The Roxie will also be home to the SF Art & Film For Teenagers Fest on October 24th.

4. Berkeley Underground Film Society
Berkeley Underground Film Society is “an all ages club for collectors, researchers, and film enthusiasts in the East Bay and San Francisco area” where they play 8mm, Super 8, or 16mm films every Sunday. Check out their blog for more specific details on screenings.

5. Pacific Film Archive
This semester, Pacific Film Archive is running several series: Yang Fudong’s Cinematic Influences, Alternative Visions, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Endless Summer Cinema, and Moumen Smihi: Poet of Tangier, just to name a few —  and at least one of them will be up your alley, I promise. Student tickets are only $6.50 and  Pacific Film Archive is just short walk from where the Mills shuttle drops you off in Berkeley.

6. Boogie Nights and Thank God It’s Friday Double Feature (September 28th, Castro Theatre)


How could you possibly say no to seeing P.T. Anderson’s second film and one of the best disco-era movies starring Jeff Goldblum on the big screen all in the same day? You have to go and that is final.

7. Castro Theatre
Brilliantly programmed, Castro Theatre’s schedule of screenings for October is able to mesh contemporary films with the classics to create well-rounded double features. There will also be sing-alongs of Annie and R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet (!!!) and a new print restoration of The Wicker Man.

8. Oddball Films
Appropriately named, Oddball Films screens experimental films that are exceptionally strange and incredibly rare every Thursday and Friday at 8p.m. on Capp Street in San Francisco. Don’t miss out on their Homoneurotica: Sublimating Sexuality program on Sept 26 and 27.

9. Punk Jews (Oct 10, Contemporary Jewish Museum)

Photo courtesy of the Contemporary Jewish Museum.

“Profiling Hassidic punk rockers, Yiddish street performers, African American Jewish activists, and more, Punk Jews explores an emerging movement of provocateurs and committed Jews who are asking what it means to be Jewish in the twenty-first century (2012, 60 min). A discussion with filmmakers Evan Kleinman and Jesse Zook Mann follows the film.”

10. Film in the Fog
Catch a family-friendly movie for free in the Presidio and grab some grub from Off the Grid’s food trucks. This series runs a little haphazardly, but I’m sure it’s a lot of fun.

If none of these caught your eye, you can find more film events here!