While you’re planning your July 4th celebrations, also save time for some quality film time—including some tidbits of Americana. There are a few throwbacks to the 60s, 70s, and 80s, and tributes to PBS TV’s kid favorite Mister Rogers, as well as Saturday Night Live’s superstar Gilda Radner. Also up this month, Diana Ross provides the glamour while the original Shaft brings the soundtrack at the SFMOMA, while the vibrant Beatles’ Yellow Submarine gets a reboot in celebration of its 50th Anniversary.


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Various times and theater locations

Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers to most kids back in the day) is having a resurgence via this documentary. In case you’re not familiar, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was a TV show on PBS from 1968 to 2001. And Morgan Neville, the director of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, also directed a portrait of Keith Richards in Keith Richards: Under the Influence. Therefore, don’t expect a kiddy-oriented tribute to the ever-so-neighborly and welcoming Fred Rogers. In fact, as you’ll learn through this moving documentary, Rogers wasn’t one to sugarcoat issues, and he was even considered quite controversial in his day.


Yellow Submarine 50th Anniversary (4K Restoration)
July 15- July 18, Nightly 6pm, 8pm
Castro Theatre

It’s hard to believe its been 50 years since the Beatles were transformed into animated heroes and set to journey across seven seas to free Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And still, the 1968 animation stands the test of time with its wildly different styles and techniques. In honor of the anniversary, Yellow Submarine has been hand-restored in digital 4K, frame by frame, a labor of love worth the revisit.


Black Powers: Reframing Hollywood
July 12–29
SFMOMA • Phyllis Wattis Theater

For the sixth season of Modern Cinema, SFMOMA and SFFILM showcase some revolutionary films by African-American Hollywood filmmakers. Some of the films are really classics that can, and have already, inspired people across cultures and eras.

July 19, 6 pm

This 1971 selection, is about John Shaft, a New York private detective, portrayed by a stylish Richard Roundtree, whose moves look even cooler when surrounded by the soundtrack of Isaac Hayes. The theme song hit the Billboard charts and actually won Hayes a Best Original Song Academy Award. A remake of this film is in the works and due for release in June 2019. And if you’re asking why they are remaking this old movie…it’s because it’s that good.


July 19, 8:15 pm

Diana Ross is an iconic singer but her acting roles have been equally supreme. There were some powerful women role models in the 70s and Mahogany is at the top of that list. Diana Ross stars as Tracy, an aspiring but financially-struggling-fashion-designer from Chicago who puts herself though fashion school. She ends up modeling in Rome and finding success, but she’s continually drawn back to man she left behind.


The 38th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
July 19 to August 5

In its 38th year, the SF Jewish Film Festival is expecting over 40,000 movie fans, with film screenings in San Francisco, Albany, Oakland, Palo Alto, and San Rafael. Their aim and continued success remains to be the voice for Jewish film and media. Here are three films from the series that are not to be missed.

Love, Gilda
July 19, 6:30 pm
Castro Theatre, SF

Followed by the Opening Night Bash, 9pm at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, SF

This is the Bay Area Premiere of Love, Gilda, with a one-time-only showing, on opening night of the festival. The director, Lisa D’Apolito, assembled this tribute to Gilda Radner, who is best known from Saturday Night Live (SNL). Sources for this film were taken from Gilda Radner’s personal recordings and journals, home movies, and interviews with SNL cast mates. The clips from SNL are evidence of her talent and in honor of her character both on and off stage. Director Lisa D’Apolito and original SNL cast member Laraine Newman will be in attendance.

July 27, 4:05pm
Castro Theatre, SF

This is the West Coast Premiere of Netizens and is a part of the Academy of the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the California Arts Council special initiative to address the #MeToo movement. Cynthia Lowen, the director of this documentary, shines a spotlight on three women, an Internet privacy attorney, a media critic and activist, and a financial trader who faced cyber harassment. It brings to light the challenge of civil rights on the Internet and where its all headed. Director Cynthia Lowen and film subject Anita Sarkeesian will be in attendance.


Where Heroes Fly
Hebrew w/ English Subtitles
July 23, 6:30pm
Castro Theatre, SF

July 25, 8:45pm
CineArts, Palo Alto

August 3, 6:10pm
Piedmont Theatre, Oakland

When Heroes Fly took the top prize for best series at the CanneSeries awards and is the story of four soldiers, still affected by their time serving in the war eleven years earlier, and how they rally together to rescue a family member that has been abducted.