The Restoration Of The Last Masterwork Of Andrei Tarkovsky

A restoration of the last film made by Andrei Tarkovsky highlights this week of special screenings. Folks who can head to San Rafael can sample the best of the foreign film Oscar submissions.

Low-minded gorehounds, on the other hand, will flock to the Alamo Drafthouse screening of the space coffee beans of death movie.


You’ve got to love Italian films “inspired” by Hollywood blockbusters. Luigi Cozzi’s film is “inspired” by Alien and features enough gore to make goremeister Lucio Fulci’s jealous. The film has music from Dario Argento’s musical collaborator Goblin. For those who care about the plot, think “New York City is threatened with extinction thanks to the space coffee beans of death.”

Screens January 9 at the Alamo Drafthouse, but you might not be able to get in.

David Bowie Double Feature

Celebrate what would be David Bowie’s 71st birthday with two of his most beloved film performances. Bowie is charmingly evil as the Goblin King in Jim Henson’s Labyrinth. And in The Hunger, Bowie plays the male half of a vampire couple. Catherine Deneuve plays the female half while Susan Sarandon plays a doctor involved with the couple.

Screens January 8 at the Castro Theatre

For Ahkeem

This acclaimed documentary presents two years in teenager Daje Shelton’s life. The teen’s last chance to earn a high school diploma rests with attending Innovative Concept Academy. But staying focused in school proves just one of Daje’s challenges. She also has to deal with friends killed around her, a classmate slowly drawn into the criminal justice system, and her own pregnancy. Ferguson, Missouri is also just four miles away from Daje’s home, and Michael Brown’s fatal shooting lies in Daje’s future.

Screens January 10 at the Roxie Theatre

For Your Consideration: A Selection Of Oscar Submissions From Around The World

The 15th edition of this annual Smith Rafael program brings together a curated selection of international films submitted for Oscar consideration. Some of these selections are festival award-winners or will eventually be commercially released. But others are rarities that you might only catch here. Among the offerings are: Lucrecia Martel’s Argentine historical drama Zama, the Russian divorce drama Loveless from Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev, and John Trengove’s multiple award-winning South African-set gay drama The Wound.

Screens January 6-11 at the Smith Rafael Film Center

The Sacrifice

The final masterpiece from director Andrei Tarkovsky gets a 4K theatrical restoration. On a remote Baltic island, a wealthy family’s celebration of their patriarch Alexander’s (Erland Josephson, Cries And Whispers) birthday soon turns to horror. World War III has broken out. As other family members sink into emotional devastation, the philosophical and spiritual Alexander is spurred to action. What price will Alexander pay for the devil’s bargain he makes with God to save his loved ones from their fears? Bergman cinematographer Sven Nykvist worked with Andrei Tarkovsky on this film while the latter was dying of cancer.

Screens January 11 at the Roxie Theatre and January 12 and 28 at the Pacific Film Archive

About the Author

I’m a film reviewer for the Beyond Chron blog. Agnes Varda and Hirokazu Kore-eda are among my favorite filmmakers. I occasionally break down and watch a good action film…but don’t tell anyone.

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