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 (800 Chestnut Street)
Wes Anderson's MOONRISE KINGDOM (2012, USA)

Two misfit teenagers fall in love and run away from their dreary lives. Can their love keep them together against apathetic parents, Child Protective Services, and an armed troupe of boy scouts? A story full of charm and wonder told in Anderson’s wholly unique style.  

Why we show this film:
This film is a highly imaginative, stylized caricature of the adolescent experience that draws you in with its wonderful sense of style, comically serious performances, and atmosphere of wonder and magic.

His earlier animated film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and his later smash hit, The Grand Budapest Hotel, show off his talents as a visual magician. This film emphasizes his singular grasp of music and the way it can add a whole other dimension of irony and comment to the narrative. This film is self aware in all the right ways. We think you’ll love it.

About the director:
Wes Anderson is one of the maverick film directors whose unique style is immediately recognizable and sets him apart, much like David Lynch and Jim Jarmusch. Raised in Houston he aspired to become a writer and studied philosophy in college (a great choice for future filmmakers). He has produced a steady line of unusual films since 1996 beginning with Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. His most recent film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, was his most ambitious and successful.

Friday 8

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Stanley Kubrick's DR. STRANGELOVE (1964, UK/USA)


A savagely funny satire about America and Russia on the brink of nuclear warfare. When a rogue American plane carrying atomic bombs flies into Russian airspace, it’s up to the president and his advisors to prevent World War III. Take a look at today’s paper to get an idea of how well that works out. A truly dark comedy!

Why we show this film: Stanley Kubrick is one of the finest directors of all time. He was equally at home directing sci-fi epics and period dramas. This film, a vicious social satire on the military and government trying to prevent world war, comes from the 1950’s when Cold War paranoia was the rule and many believed that a missile attack from Russia was imminent. It took place over 50 years ago but it reflects the current news headlines much more than we’d like it to.

It is also simply one of the funniest comedies of its genre you’re likely to see, and it encourages you to think as well. It’s been a popular hit with all our students. 

About the director: Stanley Kubrick began as a talented photographer for Look magazine. He financed his own debut film, Fear and Desire, which he followed with two sucessful noir films, Killer’s Kiss and The Killing, and a WWI film Paths of Glory.

He was then involved in number of difficult film shoots. He worked on One-Eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando and Brando fired him. He was asked by Kirk Douglas to direct Spartucus, a huge epic which turned into a grueling affair because of disagreements with the star. He left for England to make Lolita and never returned, producing a steady line of classics including Dr. Strangelove, 2001, A Clockwork Orange and Barry Lyndon. He preferred working in England, and made his life there.

Friday 15

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Akira Kurosawa's SEVEN SAMURAI (1954, Japan)

This screening has been generously sponsored by Guerrino De Luca.

One of the greatest adventure films of all time! A desperate village hires a band of out-of-work Samurai to defend them against an army of bandits. Every aspect of this film—character, story, cinematography—set a standard that’s seldom been equaled.

Why we show this film:
This film is a staple with Cine Club because not only is it an entertaining adventure, but it also opens your mind to what’s lacking in most action movies: believable plots and realistic characters.  Most action films ask few questions other than "will the good guys win?"   This film asks really important questions—what is real heroism?  How is it measured and how does it count? 

This film also skillfully deals with the conflicts between the villagers and the Samurai—and between the seven samurai themselves. They may all be fighting on the same side, but no one outcome is going to satisfy everyone equally.

We’ve learned from experience most of you will come away with a sense of wonder, and with a wider appreciation of what an action film can do. This film is not to be missed!

About the director:
Kurosawa began as a painter, and then worked in film as an assistant director and writer for years before he took the director's chair. His first film was made during World War II. He began working with his star actor, Toshiro Mifune, in 1947 with Drunken Angel.  His tale of competing narratives, Roshomon, won the Venice Film Festival in 1951 and brought him international fame. Kurosawa then produce a long series of classic films including Iriku, Seven Samauri, Yojimbo, Throne of Blood and Ran, working right up until his death in 1998. 

He is rightfully considered one of the most important and influential directors in film history. He was frequently influenced by American films, and in turn has had an effect on them. Seven Samurai was adapted into the classic western The Magnificent Seven, and the first Star Wars film was heavily influenced by his Hidden Fortress.

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

Friday 22

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Spike Lee's DO THE RIGHT THING (1989, USA)


In this slice of 1980’s Brooklyn life, on the hottest day of the year anger and bigotry simmer to a boil. This film illustrates the issues of race in America in a way that is as vital and troubling today as it was nearly 30 years ago.

Warning: violence

Why we show this film:
We see many, often conflicting, perspectives from within one community and yet the film empathizes with all of its characters.  It doesn’t preach, but illustrates the complexity of attitudes and emotions about race in this country and how they can lead to violence.  

What appears to be a relatively quiet and peaceful neighborhood is able to erupt into violence because underlying tensions are left unaddressed fueling minor frustrations to grow into anger.  The neighborhood it takes place in may have gentrified over the last decade, but the issues the film tackles haven't gone anywhere.

About the director:
Spike Lee Was born in Atlanta but his family moved to Brooklyn when he was a child. He studied film at the Tisch School at NYU. His made first film (She’s Gotta Have It) in 1986, which brought him a great deal of attention and allowed him to fund Do the Right Thing in 1989, followed by Malcolm X in 1992.  His films often deal with political and social issues, and his comments off screen have embroiled him in controversies over gun control, government oppression; and the absence of black characters in WWII films, among others.


Saturday 23

Art Saturday @ SFMOMA

11 am Meet inside SFMOMA (the Howard Street entrance by the Richard Serra sculpture)

11:15 Tour the Soundtracks exhibit at SFMOMA, a large-scale group exhibition centered on the role of sound in contemporary art. Includes kinetic sculptures, audio video installations and performance art.

1:00 pm Picnic lunch in Yerba Buena Gardens

Friday 29

Cine Club @ SF Art Institute (800 Chestnut Street)
Jean-Luc Goddard's BREATHLESS (1960, France)


Here is one of the jewels of “The New Wave,” which brought a breath of fresh air to film in the 1960’s.  An expat American girl hooks up with a young French crook in Paris.  Their brief relationship, shown in quick cuts and cool detachment, still manages to surprise and entertain.

Why we show this film:
The French New Wave brought a flurry of film techniques from silent films into modern usage including hand held camera, use of non actors, natural settings, and stories about people who mainstream cinema had long neglected.

Here every thing, especially the dialogue and loopy way the characters relate (or don’t relate) to each other seem fresh and original.  The characters have such charm and appeal, they made stars of the actors who played them.  We think you’ll love this unusual look at Parisian life.

About the director:
Like a variety of French specialties (think escargot or a pungent cheese) Godard can be a bit of an acquired taste but with the right attention his films are a delight. Beginning in 1960 he produced a number of agile, free-form comedies and genre films that defined the French aesthetic for years. Later he turned to political polemics that never managed to be quite as popular.  Later, his idea of a great film would be a housewife doing dishes while someone reads the Communist Manifesto (1970's British Sounds).