San Francisco Art & Film for Teens


Free cultural programs for teens, including Friday night film screenings, Saturdays art walks and free seats to cultural events. Open to all Bay Area students, middle school through college. Established 1993. 


Friday 1

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Orson Welles' TOUCH OF EVIL (1958, USA)


A dark and devilish tale of vengeance and corruption along the US/Mexico border with an all-star cast. This classic of film noir was taken away from its director, Orson Welles, and hacked to pieces by the studio only to be restored to Welles original vision 40 years. A miracle of filmmaking!

Why we show this film:
This film has one of the most unusual histories ever. The original version was taken away from the director and butchered into a B-movie film no one wanted to remember. Welles wrote a detailed letter begging the studio to reconsider. This letter sat at the studio for years until, after Welles’ death, a producer asked the famous editor Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather) to reconstruct the film and return it as much as possible to Welles original intent. Come see what editing and sound can make of a wonderfully conceived noir.

About the director:
Orson Welles was a boy wonder; as a child he wrote poetry, painted, played the piano, made puppets, acted, and performed magic shows.  In his playroom he used to stage Shakespeare plays. His father died when he was twelve and he became the ward of a Chicago doctor. Later, instead of going to college, he chose a drawing tour of Ireland.

While in Dublin bluffed himself into an interview with the director of the famous Gate Theater and won a lead in their current production. He stayed on to act and direct in several productions.  He returned home, secured a role in a famous touring theater company,  married a Chicago socialite and hooked up with a producer named John Houseman. Together they formed the Mercury Theater.

By 1936 he was the American wunderkind of the theater. His sensational War of Worlds radio show threw the nation in to chaos, and got him a contract in Hollywood where he made his great masterpiece: Citizen Kane. He was on a roll until he got too big for his britches, took on too many projects, and began to believe his own hype... not to mention the little issue of being blacklisted for having communist sympathies. The rest of his career is one battle after the other to find money for his films. A sad tale of a great talent crippled early that never quite recovers.

Saturday 2

Art Saturday @ A Day Of Silents

A full day of silent films! Join us and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival at the Castro Theater for any of the 5 silent films with live musical accompaniment beginning at noon. We'll break for a quick dinner at 6pm.

Students should email Ronald at to reserve their tickets. A schedule of the day is available at the Silent Film Festival website.

Friday 8

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Bertolucci's THE LAST EMPEROR (1987, Italy/China)

Note: Due to length, this film starts at 6:30

A dazzling epic from China filmed by a brilliant Italian director. This is the true story of China’s last emperor, following him from his coronation at the age of 2, through both World Wars and the Cultural Revolution that ended the empire. A real-life riches-to-rags tale.

Why we show this film:
Here is one of the grandest films about China. Often operatic in its sweep and tone, it is the famed Italian director's last masterpiece.  There is no one in film that knows as much about the moving image, breathtaking art direction, a feeling of place and time and can shape large scenes memorably.  Come bask in the presence of a master.

About the director:
Bertolucci received his training by working with Piero Pasolini (Mama Roma) and with his first films quickly gained a sturdy reputation. Cine Club regularly shows one of his great achievements, The Conformist, a searing inditement of complacency in the face of fascism. He is also well known for Last Tango In Paris, 1900 and The Dreamers.

Friday 15

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Buster Keaton's ONE WEEK and SHERLOCK JR (1920/1924, USA)


Sherlock Jr. is one of the most imaginative comedies of silent film! A movie projectionist is accused of theft so he escapes by diving right into the detective movie on the screen. Come watch the king of physical comedy (performing all his own stunts) as he leaps off buildings and dodges speeding trains to save the girl he loves.  

Because the film is so short we're pairing it with the delightful short, One Week, in which Buster and his new wife make a valiant attempt to build their own house from a mail-order package. It's an Ikea worst-case scenario in the hands of a master of physical comedy!

About the director:
It has taken a long time for Buster Keaton to be considered the most talented and inventive genius silent comedy, but in the opinion of many critics he has finally out stripped the reputation of his rival Charles Chaplin.  Much of this has to do with his lack of sentimentality, and his comic inventiveness which sports more than a dash of existential angst. This reflects his less than triumphant life. He began in medicine road shows as the wonder child of a family of acrobats. We would now describe his childhood as abusive, as the beatings from his alcoholic father didn’t come near the savagery of the stage beatings he went through (one act had his father sweeping the floor with his child’s body).  But by the time he was ten he had learned such a bag of tricks, including dangerous acrobatic falls and a deadly sense of comic timing.  Audiences were convinced he was a small adult masquerading as a child.

Saturday 16

Art Saturday @ Downtown Art Galleries


11 am Meet at Yerba Buena Gardens outside Metreon.

11:15 Walking tour of downtown art galleries (Gagosian, Berggruen, 49 Geary)

1 pm Picnic lunch in Yerba Buena Gardens