The Bishop’s Wife

The Bishop’s Wife

Dear Cinephiles, Julia: “You seem to be able to make me feel as if everything’s going to be alright.” Dudley: “Well it could be if people could only learn to behave like human beings.” I love the holidays. In particular, I love the feeling of hope that they engender...

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Ice Age

Ice Age

Dear SBIFF Family! Bundle up! Today we are travelling back to prehistoric times for this week’s Family Fun Film, Ice Age! To avoid the dangerous frost, a woolly mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger, a sloth and an ancient combination of squirrel and rat team up and face the...

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The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man

Dear Cinephiles, Cecilia: “There’s nothing left for you to take. You’ve already taken it all.” By far, one of the best films of 2020 is “The Invisible Man.” It was released in late February - coincidentally or appropriately - during the same week of the sentencing of...

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Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Dear Cinephiles, “I know about losing things. But the magic isn’t just in what you’ve lost. It’s in what you still have.” The above lines are spoken in the totally needed new holiday adventure and spectacle “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (2020). I didn’t know...

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Little Woods

Little Woods

Dear Cinephiles, Ollie: “Your choices are only as good as your options are.” The Western is one of my favorite genres in movies. I like the classic period of it, representing the spirit of a new undomesticated American frontier with its open landscape mountain ranges,...

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A Woman Under the Influence

A Woman Under the Influence

Dear Cinephiles, “Mabel is not crazy, she's unusual. She's not crazy, so don't say she's crazy.” I don’t know about you, but I have found myself in the last nine months in certain emotional and mental situations that have made me question my own sanity. There was an...

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My Left Foot

My Left Foot

Dear Cinephiles, “It would not be true to say that I am no longer lonely. I have made myself articulate and understood to people in many parts of the world, and this is something we all wish to do whether we’re crippled or not. Yet like everyone else, I am acutely...

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The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

Dear Cinephiles, Dorothy: “…and it's that if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own backyard; because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with.” One of my fondest memories of childhood is when my mom took my...

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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Greetings SBIFF Family! Join the feast and festivities this weekend as Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving. Watch Charlie try to create a special holiday while all of the friends learn what is most important about...

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Die Hard

Die Hard

Dear Cinephiles, "If this is their idea of Christmas, I gotta be here for New Year's." “Die Hard” (1988) is hands down one of the best action movies. Since it takes place on Christmas Eve, it has become a great alternative to the classic holiday fare we will soon be...

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Hannah and Her Sisters

Hannah and Her Sisters

Dear Cinephiles, “The heart is a very, very resilient little muscle.” Throughout the years, the line above has caused me to get very emotional – and on this special day – it’s the perfect summation of how some of us may feel. They’re uttered towards the end of Woody...

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The Farewell

The Farewell

Dear Cinephiles, “You guys moved to the west long ago. You think one’s life belongs to oneself. But that’s the difference between the East and the West. In the East, a person’s life is part of a whole. Family. Society.” On this eve to what I consider to be my favorite...

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Platoon

Platoon

Dear Cinephiles, “I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy, we fought ourselves. The enemy was in us.” I hadn’t seen “Platoon” (1986) since its release. Oliver Stone’s pulverizing take on our war in Vietnam which went on to win the Oscar for best picture...

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Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Dear Cinephiles, “No growth without resistance. No action without reaction. No desire without restraint. Now give yourself up and find yourself again.” Could those lines be more appropriate to describe this infamous year? In the past months we’ve been tested. I...

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Citizen Kane

Citizen Kane

Dear Cinephiles, Thatcher: “You always used money to buy things.” Kane: “If I hadn’t been really rich, I might have been a really great man.” “Citizen Kane” (1941) never gets old. When I first started teaching at Santa Barbara City College seventeen years ago, I would...

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Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Hello SBIFF family! “If you want it, you must will it, and if you will it, it will be yours!” We hope you are ready to dance your way into the weekend with this weekend's Family Fun Film, “Happy Feet”! Waddle into the world of Emperor Penguins who find their soulmates...

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Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Dear Cinephiles, “I found a new book which only tells the truth. It’s called Facebook. I learn so many facts there.” – Sandra Jessica Parker Sagdiyev Underneath all of the shock and vulgarity in “Borat Subsequent Film” (2020) there’s a determination from the artist to...

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Time

Time

Dear Cinephiles, “Time is what you make of it. Time is unbiased. Time is lost. Time flies. This situation has just been a long time. A really long time,” Justus Rich says about his family’s twenty year wait for dad to be freed from incarceration. Last week the...

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Orlando

Orlando

Dear Cinephiles, “I am coming, I am coming. Here I am. Neither a woman nor a man. We are joined. We are one with a human face. I am on earth, and I am in outer space. I’m being born and I am dying.” Those words are sung towards the end of Sally Potter’s “Orlando”...

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Deliverance

Deliverance

Dear Cinephiles, “You can’t judge them by the way they look.” The big mistrust and division between our two political parties has been at the forefront of the news, alongside Georgia's sudden, extreme political importance – and all year we’ve been hearing about and...

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A Hard Day’s Night

A Hard Day’s Night

Dear Cinephiles, “Look it, I thought I was supposed to be getting a change of scenery, and so far, I’ve been in a train and a room, and a car and a room, and a room and a room. Well maybe that’s alright for a bunch of powdered geegaws like you lot, but I’m feeling...

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Cléo from 5 to 7

Cléo from 5 to 7

Dear Cinephiles, “There’s always something wrong with you” says Cleo’s lover. “It’s your imagination. People’s minds are crammed full of cancer and heart trouble. My disease is phone calls and appointments.” Agnès Varda’s “Cléo from 5 to 7” (1961) is a film that ought...

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Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

Hello SBIFF Family! "Oh this is the night, it's a beautiful night, and we call it Bella Notte" Join Lady and the Tramp under the stars as they (em)bark on their journey of love and family. Lady is a cocker spaniel that grows up in a loving home while Tramp is a mutt...

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La La Land

La La Land

Dear Cinephiles, “Here’s to the ones who dream, foolish as they may seem. Here’s to the hearts that ache; here’s to the mess we make.” There’s an interconnection of career aspirations, fate, and love blended in with the sleight-of-hand quality of cinema in the...

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Uncorked

Uncorked

Dear Cinephiles, “My whole life I’ve been told what my future was gonna look like. I just wanna find my own thing.” Those words are spoken by Elijah – a young African American in Memphis who dreams of being a Master Sommelier - in “Uncorked” (2020). It’s an unassuming...

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Best in Show

Best in Show

Dear Cinephiles, “God Loves A Terrier!” Six weeks ago, I was rescued by a Frenchie terrier mix named Sophia. It’s one of the most wonderful things that has happened to me in 2020. Now I have someone to look after me, and make sure I don’t get too anxious. With that in...

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The Philadelphia Story

The Philadelphia Story

Dear Cinephiles, “I’m contemptuous of something inside of you you either can’t help, or make no attempt to; your so-called ‘strength,' your prejudice against weakness, your blank intolerance. You’ll never be a first-class human being or a first-class woman, until...

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The Trial of the Chicago 7

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Dear Cinephiles, Richard Schultz: “Sir, there are people who will see this as the Justice Department restraining free speech, and there were people who see these men as martyrs.” One of the best movies of 2020 hands down is Aaron Sorkin’s head-spinningly timely and...

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8 ½

8 ½

Dear Cinephiles, “I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. I thought I had something so simple to say. Something useful to everybody. A film that could help bury forever all those dead things we carry within ourselves.” “8...

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Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Ahoy There SBIFF Family! “Now, think of the happiest things. It’s the same as having wings!” – Peter Pan Prepare to take flight with this week's Family Film Fun, “Peter Pan.” Venture with Peter and Wendy as they fly away to Neverland and immerse yourself in all things...

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A Fish Called Wanda

A Fish Called Wanda

Dear Cinephiles, Wanda Gerschwitz: “Let me correct you on a couple of things, okay? Aristotle was not Belgian. The central message of Buddhism is not every man for himself.” I hadn’t laughed like this in a long time. Maybe ever. I literally couldn’t catch my breath. I...

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The Untouchables

The Untouchables

Dear Cinephiles, “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That’s the Chicago way!” Sean Connery exemplified the cinema of my childhood. One of my first memories of the movies was when my dad took me...

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Rashomon

Rashomon

Dear Cinephiles, “Thanks to you I can keep my faith in men.” “Rashomon” (1950) is indispensable cinema. What other movie do you know whose very title has become part of our lexicon? It’s now used to describe when an event is given multiple contradictory explanations...

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All the President’s Men

All the President’s Men

Dear Cinephiles, Ben Bradlee: “We’re under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing’s riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country.” “All the President’s Men” (1976)...

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Casablanca

Casablanca

Dear Cinephiles, “I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” In this week where I feel tethered to uncertainty, I turned to my old friend “Casablanca”...

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The Exorcist

The Exorcist

Dear Cinephiles, Karras: “Why her? Why this girl?” Merrin: “I think the point is to make us despair. To see ourselves as... animal and ugly. To make us reject the possibility that God could love us.” My earliest memory of being scared at a movie was watching the witch...

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Boo, SBIFF Family! Today's Halloween family film fun is "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Let's get spooky with Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, as he tries to bring the joy and the spirit of Christmas to Halloweentown... AND as he accidentally puts Santa in...

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Hereditary

Hereditary

Dear Cinephiles, “My mother was a very secretive and private woman. She had private rituals, private friends, private anxieties.” I saw “Hereditary” in the movie theatre when it first came out in 2018 – three times in a row. That’s how impressed I was with Ari Aster’s...

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American Psycho

American Psycho

Dear Cinephiles, “I have all the characteristics of a human being: flesh, blood, skin, hair; but not a single, clear, identifiable emotion, except for greed and disgust. Something horrible is happening inside of me and I don’t know why.” I have been amused to see how,...

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Little Shop of Horrors

Little Shop of Horrors

Dear Cinephiles, “Tell me this feeling lasts till forever Tell me the bad times are clean washed away Please understand that it’s still strange and frightening For losers like I’ve been it’s so hard to say.” There’s so much to love about “Little Shop of Horrors”...

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The Shining

The Shining

Dear Cinephiles, Dick Hallorann: “Well, you know, Doc, when something happens, you can leave a trace of itself behind. Say like, if someone burns toast. Well, maybe things that happen leave other kinds of traces behind. Not things that anyone can notice, but things...

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Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead

Dear Cinephiles, “Now get the hell down in the cellar. You can be the boss down there, but I’m the boss up here!” The horror genre has always been my favorite. As any student of mine will tell you, my syllabus always includes a handful of scary movies. When you think...

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Rosemary’s Baby

Rosemary’s Baby

Dear Cinephiles, Rosemary: “This isn’t a dream! This is really happening!” “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) is one amazing film. It’s so sturdily constructed. It can be taken at face value – and you can get creeped out by the possibility of a coven of witches impregnating...

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The Book of Life

The Book of Life

Hola SBIFF Fam! "The world keeps spinning, and the tales keep turning, and people come and people go, but they're never forgotten. And the one truth we know, it held true one more time... That love, true love, the really, really good kind of love never dies." – La...

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V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta

Dear Cinephiles, V: “People should not be afraid of their government. Government should be afraid of their people.” "V for Vendetta" (2006) is a stimulating and eerie watch given the world today. This swashbuckling dystopian thriller takes place in 2020. A virus...

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All In: The Fight for Democracy

All In: The Fight for Democracy

Dear Cinephiles, “The greatest moments of progress are followed by the most intense periods of retrenchment. That’s what happened after the civil war. Reconstruction was a high point for voting rights, and it was followed by nearly a hundred years of Jim Crow,”...

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The Seventh Seal

The Seventh Seal

Dear Cinephiles, Jons: “Why do you paint such nonsense?” Church painter: “To remind people they’re going to die.” Jons: “It’s not going to cheer them up.” Church painter: “Why try to cheer them up? Why not scare them a bit?” I had been hesitant to recommend “The...

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Love and Friendship

Love and Friendship

Dear Cinephiles, “Dear, our present comfortable state is at the most precarious sort. We don’t live, we visit.” Those words are spoken by Lady Susan in the wickedly good “Love and Friendship” (2016). It is based on a posthumously published novella by my unofficial...

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Training Day

Training Day

Dear Cinephiles, “To Protect The Sheep You Gotta Catch The Wolf, And It Takes A Wolf To Catch A Wolf.” That motto used by corrupt policeman Alonzo Harris summarizes his situation in the ferocious crime thriller “Training Day” (2001) which - seen under the new...

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Les Diaboliques

Les Diaboliques

Dear Cinephiles, “It’s been insane since the beginning. Actually, it’s a kid’s game. You took off of your word problems with leaking taps, and tanks that fill up and empty, and you planned a murder from it. In real life this kind of thing does not exist. Taps that you...

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