Approaching movies as an active viewing experience, staff in the Cinema Arts Program view the projection screen as a portal to investigation. We engage with filmmakers who create works that inspire the imagination and instigate conversation. Animation, documentary, poetic observations, and abstract visuals serve a broad spectrum of curious audiences while blending the methods and aesthetics of artists and scientists. Through our programming, we aim to provide an opportunity for visitors to explore the compelling people, places, and ideas that extend through the museum and beyond. Our collection of films and events offer a rich resource for public audiences, and also provide an important research collection for both our teaching programs and exhibit development teams.
The Cinema Arts Program is active on select Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons; it also collaborates with our galleries and with community partners year round. Read more about the cinema arts and other arts program staff.
Learn the novel and nefarious uses of phosphorus at Everything Matters, or take a look at revolutionary visual storytelling from the ’60s and ’70s in the Cinema Arts program Seasons of Unrest: Activist Filmmaking in the Vietnam Era. Also, enjoy our pitch-black Tactile Dome, hundreds of exhibits, and an array of demonstrations.
Explore optical mechanisms through our classic Explainer-led demonstrations—creating your own pinhole camera and viewing a cow eye dissection—and a short film that revels in the aesthetic wonder of light and sight.
Join us for a Cinema Arts shorts program—outside on the Embarcadero. And if you’ve ever wondered where your flying car is, find out at Full-Spectrum Science. Also, explore our pitch-black Tactile Dome and an array of demonstrations.
Crafted from the four reels of Michael Snow’s three-hour masterwork of structuralist cinema La Région Centrale, La Région Decentrale condenses, reframes, and restructures Snow’s work into an expanded cinema experiment.
Join us as Cinema Arts presents Attention!, a world premier of new work by Pamela Z with the Del Sol Quartet. Also tonight, cultivate a taste for science through food at Pairings, which focuses on olives. Plus, explore our pitch-black Tactile Dome, hundreds of exhibits, and an array of demonstrations.
See Occupy the Farm, a film about the controversy surrounding a publicly owned local research farm. Also tonight, be in your elements at Everything Matters: Sulfur. Follow tales of intrigue and invention and uncover fascinating connections between sulfur and our collective human experience. Plus, have dinner and drinks by the Bay, crawl through our Tactile Dome, play with exhibits, and explore.