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 6

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Gillo Potecorvo's BATTLE OF ALGIERS (1966, Italy)


This film takes you inside the fight for independence fought by Algerians against their French occupiers. Filmed on location just after the end of the war, the cast and crew were filled with people who experienced its events firsthand. Dynamic, powerful and timely.

Warning: guerrilla war violence

Why we show this film:

The first thing that’s remarkable about this film is how real it looks. It isn’t a documentary, but you would swear it is. The building of suspense, and the handling of the many different characters and situations is masterful. The cast of thousands who had just lived through the revolution and knew what it felt like and how to reproduce it. Sometimes your mouth hangs open in disbelief. How did they do it? How did they make it so very real?

The power of this film is only magnified by recent events around the world. A timely example of how great art can help us reflect on and understand the most difficult aspects of humanity.

About the director:
Pontecorvo made his career in film directing political films, films about war and oppression, particularly colonial oppression.  He frequently made use of Italian neo-realist techniques to make the subjects as real and present as possible. The Battle of Algiers was his most successful film and is still studied, both for the way it was made and for it's subject matter, even being screened at the Pentagon on the eve of the 2003 invasion as a warning of "how to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas."


Friday 13

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Kar Wai's CHUNGKING EXPRESS (1994, Hong Kong)


Two young policemen in parallel lives search for love through a chain of lonely women in a film filled with charm, humor and irony. A delightful example of the unique style and vision that has made Wong Kar-wai an internationally celebrated director.

Why we show this film:
Chungking Express was made in just six weeks during a lull in which a film he was directing stalled while waiting for some equipment to arrive. He made it fast and cheap and it was completed and released before the earlier film which was a commercial flop. Stylish, fun and energetic, Chungking Express went on to win Best Film and Best Director at the Hong Kong Film Awards, which was enough to bring it to an international audience.

About the director:
Wong Kar Wai is another director with a terrific track record in film. His early films from the 80’s and early 90’s captured an international audience of young enthusiasts—his mixture of romance and gangster violence, of an unusual color palette, radical framing, marvelous movement has made him one of the most influential of the film makers to come out of Hong Kong. He is a master of visual style and every film he makes is full of his singular vision. A favorite of Quentin Tarantino (who helped Chunking Express get distributed in America), his later films—2046, My Blueberry Nights and The Grandmaster—illustrate his evolving technical brilliance.

Friday 20

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Billy Wilder's SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950, USA)


The film opens on our narrator floating face-down in a movie star’s pool. The rest of the film tells us how he got there. Old Hollywood glamour and excess radiate from the screen with larger than life performances and snappy dialogue written by people who knew the business inside and out. Are you ready for your close-up?

Why we show this film:
Billy Wilder is one of Hollywood’s most prolific directors. We showed his brilliant comedy Some Like it Hot  starring Marilyn Monroe last year. This film noir is one of his most famous films and a great study of Old Hollywood. A former star lives her life in isolation in a decaying mansion, longing for a comeback. She's played by Gloria Swanson, a real life aging star who could identify with Norma Desmond's plight all to well. Watching her flail around and descend into madness is a hoot. Spiffy dialogue and memorable scenes (burying a monkey in the garden for example) make this film the classic it’s become!

About the director:
Billy Wilder was a German director who fled the Nazis and became a U.S. citizen in 1934. His Hollywood career began as a scriptwriter. His first American film Double Indemnity set a standard for film noir, and he became one of the most successful directors of the Hollywood studio system during the 50’s. He produced a number of thoughtful films which remain classic staples. His reputation begin to wane after The Apartment (1960), though he kept making films through the seventies.

Friday 27

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Antonioni's BLOW UP (1966, UK/Italy)

The story of a fashion photographer who casually photographs a pair of lovers in an empty park and finds himself the subject of mystifying intrigues, including a mysterious woman and a dead body. This is a thriller that forces you to think! 

Why we show this film:
 This film throws us into London's swinging sixties, mixing all the mystery and angst of his earlier films with a free form style that investigates the way imagination works.

About the director:
Antonioni is an example of a director who became famous in his own country but who chose to work abroad.  He hit world cinema with L’Aventura (1961), a film about a woman who disappears on an island and is never found. His Italian work centers on lost souls in a world of fashionable angst, but as his interests expanded he started making films in English.

Apart from Blowup, his later films, Zabriskie Point and Passenger, developed cult followings but were commercial failures. Antonioni turned to experiments with electronic color, video and sound, but in 1985 a stroke left him paralyzed and unable to speak. He bravely continued to make films until his death, dying the same day as legendary director Ingmar Bergman.