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 5

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Fritz Lang's M (1931, Germany)

A serial killer who hunts children (chillingly portrayed by Peter Lorre) tries to avoid suspicion as the police (and the criminal underworld) circle ever closer. This film’s expressionist style and dramatic lighting gave birth to the film-noir style. It’s the grand-daddy of them all!

Why we show this film:
M was the very first film Art & Film students went to see when our program began in 1993. It left such a huge impact on them, we immediately realized it was one of those films we needed to repeat again and again. Why? It’s visual power is stunning, it’s a chase film with high stakes and lots of excitement, and its performance from Peter Lorre is not easy to forget. It was one of the earliest sound films in Germany, and its imaginative use of sound is also remarkable.

About the director:
Fritz Lang gained a strong reputation in 1920's Germany for films like Metropolis, M and Die Nibelungen. He epitomized the stereotype of the tyrannical German director and was notoriously difficult to work with. He had high expectations of his cast and crew, going as far as throwing Peter Lorre down a flight of stairs in order to make him appear more realistically beat up.

Lang's visual style laid the foundations for film noir—dark dramatic lighting, moral ambiguity, paranoia, fate—and he had a real flair for visual concepts. He fled Nazi Germany for Hollywood where he created films about social justice, including Fury, and a number of film about doomed ex-cons. He continued to direct through the 1950’s, but his later films never equaled the force of his early work.

Friday 12

Cine Club @ CCA
Wong Kar Wai's 2046 (2009, China)

This story takes place both in the past and future, using exceptional style to tell the story of a young journalist and the women he falls in love with, each of whom live in room 2046. A stunningly beautiful film from one of the most important contemporary filmmakers.

WARNING: Nudity, and mild sex scenes.

Why we show this film:
2046 is an excellent example of what makes Wong Kar Wai one of the most important filmmakers working today, and of how much he's grown as a director. His characters grow more nuanced and sympathetic with each film (as in his recent masterpiece, The Hand). 2046 is one of his most beautiful films, and though it was practically ignored by Americans critics when it opened here we think you’ll be in awe of its style and gorgeous composition, to say nothing of it’s emotional depth and rich storytelling across multiple timelines.

About the director:
Wong Kar Wai developed a cult following from his very first feature, and it has grown with every release since. He is the real thing: bold, daring and stylish to a fault. His early films from the 1990’s captured an international audience of young enthusiasts with a mix of poetic romance, gangster violence and existential despair. His heroines and heroes can’t relate to or communicate with other people, but they can mope and suffer with the best of them.  Still, this ambitious director wanted more than mere cult status, and the past few years have seen him grow toward a deeper emotional terrain, mirroring many of the same philosophical strains of Kieslowski’s late films, not to mention the new-wave films of Alain Renais (especially Hiroshima, Mon Amor). His use of unusual color palettes, radical framing and marvelous camera movement has turned him into one of the most influential filmmakers to come out of Hong Kong. He now holds a niche in film history all his own.

Friday 19

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Pawel Pawlikowski's IDA (2013, Poland)

An Academy Award winning film about a young novice nun who is being forced to meet with an aunt she has never met before she can take her vows. When she does, she discovers truths that take her back to the Nazi occupation of Poland. Exquisitely filmed, acted and written.

Why we show this film:
Seldom does a film come along that immediately qualifies as a classic.  This film brings an extraordinary sense of beauty, and a clarity and simplicity, but it is its imagery that sets it apart from its contemporaries. It is remarkable in every sense, and we think it will have a big effect on you.

Friday 26

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Krzysztof Kieslowski's THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE (1991, Poland)

Is you identity uniquely your own or might you have a double whose life mirrors yours? Two women: Veronique and Weronika — one in France, the other in Poland, completely unaware of each other and yet sharing a subtle bond that connects and influences them. Visual poetry of lasting power from one of Poland’s greatest filmmakers.

Why we show this film:
Every year we show a film by Keislowski because we feel that he is one of the most important directors of the 20th century.  This film is filled with visual poetry and haunting imagery; paired with an enchanting double performance by the incomparable Iréne Jacob making it a gem of a film.

Keislowski's films are often about connections between people, especially ones that seemingly defy explanation. This film is full of coincidence, exploring the way fate weaves an unseen pattern in people's lives, the way events large and small change the path we walk. What is remarkable about this film is how it makes us think about our own lives.

About the director:
Kieslowski came out of film school in Poland and worked a number of years within a communist system that kept banning or shelving his films. With his 10 hour mini-series, Dekalog—ten one-hour episodes based on the ten commandments—he created a masterwork that won him numerous international honors.

This film, The Double Life of Veronique, turned him into a national icon in France, and his trilogy, Red, White, and Blue, based on themes from colors in the French flag, made him famous world over. It was the pressures brought on by fame and enormous homage that contributed to his anxieties and led to his early death by heart attack.