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 (800 Chestnut Street)
Alain Renais’ HIROSHIMA, MON AMOR (1959, France/Japan)


A French actress falls in love with a Japanese man while filming in post-atom bomb Hiroshima. This nonlinear film is one of the best reflections of the French New Wave with its flashbacks and inter-cutting, making it an inspiration to directors for 60 years.

Why we are showing this film:
At the end of the 50’s French films began taking over the world, created by a group of directors who never went to film school, or even worked their way up the ladder in the industry.  They were mostly film critics who were disgusted with the state of film and thought they could make them better. Rather than working through a studio, the films were controlled from start to finish by these new directors. They were “The French New Wave”. 

The free form use of film technique—jump-cuts, inter-cutting, slow motion—was revolutionary. They often brought a new way of seeing their subject matter. Hiroshima introduces a moving camera combined with inter-cutting (moving between the past and the present) in a way that hadn’t been seen before.  The poetic feel of the dual voice-over created a universe of its own.  In its time it was a completely new take on a love story and remains so today.

About this director:
Resnais, along with Godard and Truffaut, is considered one of the cornerstones of the French New Wave. His thoughtful take on what films can do, especially in terms of time and memory have had an important role in the way modern films have developed. He began in 1946 as a film editor, and began making short films on his own. His first film, Night and Fog, was one of the first films that showed the Nazi concentration camps. His later film Last Year at Marienbad introduced fragmented narrative to a wide public and has had an enormous influence on film makers worldwide.

Friday 13

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Mike Leigh’s MR TURNER (2014, UK)


The life of groundbreaking English artist J.M.W. Turner is realized with loving attention to detail, reveling in his non-conformist approach to art and life. Strapping himself to the mast of a ship in order to paint a storm at sea, Turner shows what it takes to create great art.

Why we’re showing this film:
Each year we try to choose an inspired biography that helps you understand the minds of great artists. Last year it was Campion’s Bright Star about the poet, John Keats, and now it’s a controversial film about one of the greatest painters. Controversial because many people want to see artist’s lives through rose colored glasses. Turner was such a colorful, quirky, difficult person that it is hard to match his personality with his glorious painting. He was rudely candid, anti-social, and communicated mostly in a series of grunts. This film is a total canvas, seen through a prism of realistic authenticity rarely found in historical films. It has many amusing scenes from the perspective of non-conformist thought. A revelation and delight we hope you’ll love.

About the director:
Leigh developed an entirely original way of working with actors in his many television films he made for the BBC. Actors would work for weeks on character development with only the vaguest guides, and once the director was satisfied he would create the scripts. Often actors would never be allowed to look at a finished script ––actors never knew what was going to happen in the next scene. This created an atmosphere of immediacy, and candor seldom seen in films before his. The importance of improvisation, genuine feelings, and spontaneous reactions began to pay off. His film Naked brought him the best director award at Cannes, Secrets and Lies brought him renown in the U.S. and the Palme D’Or at Cannes (top award); Vera Drake won the Venice Film Festival; and all the while he was producing a stream of plays for the theater. Mr. Turner is one of his masterpieces.

Saturday 14

Art Saturday at The Exploratorium

The media department at the Exploratorium will take us though their new exhibit!

11 am
Meet outside the main Exploratorium entrance on Pier 15.

11:15 Gather in the Kanbar Forum for the exhibit. Lunch will be provided.

Friday 20

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Roy Andersson’s SONGS FROM THE SECOND FLOOR (2000)


And now for something completely different! A series of the most bizarre scenes you’ll ever see, connected by brilliant visual concepts, droll humor and a fertile imagination. Come and help us make sense of this film that is as entertaining as it is puzzling.


Why we are showing this film:
Roy Andersson is practically unknown here in the U.S, but this film brought him international acclaim, and it’s so unique, strange, and funny, we couldn’t resist introducing his work to you. His style is all his own, as is his sense of humor—almost morbid, but drawing on a lot of comic timing from silent movies. Andersson’s untraditional thinking tells his stories in bizarre tableaux which always reflect life in unexpected ways. His down-trodden characters moan and groan about the terrible blows life brings them, and the more bleak and horrible the scene the funnier it becomes. Yes, it’s a comedy, just about the most unusual you’ll see – combining elements of Beckett, Chaplin, Ionesco, and the entire surrealist playbook to point out cheerfully just how bleak and ugly life can be. You’ll leave feeling wonderful!

About the director:
Roy Andersson graduated from the Swedish Film Institute and made a fairly realistic film, A Swedish Love Story, which brought him great renown at the Berlin film Festival.

This sweeping success pushed him immediately into a depression, and he retired from features for 25 years, producing hundreds of commercials instead. On his return to serious film making, his personal new style was absurdist comedy using long takes and caricaturing Swedish society.  His short, World of Glory, is on many the top 10 best of all time lists, and the three features, Songs from the Second Floor (Jury Prize at Cannes), We, the Living and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (winner at Venice) has made him a favorite of museums and festivals featuring all his work together. He is considered the most important Nordic director since Bergman.

Friday 27

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute
Francis Ford Coppola’s APOCALYPSE NOW (1979, USA)


We finish the year with one of the most breathtaking war films ever made. Adapting Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness to the Vietnam War, this film follows a special ops officer sent into the jungle to assassinate a renegade colonel. Beautiful, haunting imagery and a poetic narrative bring the tragedy of the war to life.

Warning: drug use and wartime violence

Why we are showing this film:
The Vietnam war brought a decade of trauma to the American political system, and the war itself best illustrates the disastrous result of the ignorance rampant in the foreign policies of our nation. Student’s response to this film in the past has been astounding—it does things to the way one looks at film. It changes some students into film fanatics. It’s not a realistic look at war, but a very truthful one, dedicated to showing the madness apparent everywhere.

About the director:
Coppola was one the most important American directors of the 70’s—with The Godfather and Apocalypse Now considered his masterpieces. He is among the first generation of directors spawned by American film schools at NYU, UCLA and USC (Lucas and Scorcese are others). In the 60’s he began as one of schlock producer Roger Corman’s wonder boys, rising through the ranks to the point where he had enough clout to make his great films. He continues to produce and direct films, but his influence on generations of future filmmakers rests with his films of the 1970’s. He has also encouraged his family to create films: his wife Eleanor (Hearts of Darkness, Paris Can Wait); his daughter Sophia (Beguiled); his son Roman (Mozart in the Jungle) and grand-daughter Gia (Palo Alto).

Saturday 28

Art Saturday @ SFMOMA


We've had so many great shows at SFMOMA this year we haven't had time to take you through their excellent permanent collection! Join us for a refresher on the history of modern art, plus a pair of new works on display in the contemporary art wing.

11 am
Meet inside SFMOMA

11:15 Tour the permanent collection and new shows at SFMOMA.

1:00 pm Picnic lunch in Yerba Buena Gardens