Film Screening

Multiple Dates
Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 5

Part of Richard Avedon: Notes on "Nothing Personal"

Richard Avedon Film Series: Program 5

Date + Time

Thursday, July 30, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays, August 1 and 8, 2009, 3:00 p.m.


Phyllis Wattis Theater


The Atomic Cafe
Jayne Loader, Kevin Rafferty, Pierce Rafferty, 1982, 86 min., video

The Family Fallout Shelter
Edward English, ca. 1960; 14 min., 16mm

After discovering a catalogue of U.S. government films in a San Francisco bookstore, director Pierce Rafferty worked with his co-directors Kevin Rafferty and Jayne Loader for more than five years to assemble the collage film The Atomic Cafe. Bringing together archival film clips of atomic bomb tests, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and civil defense films of the cold war, the film highlights the absurdity of our nation's nuclear "education." At one time, it seemed, "duck and cover" might save us from the atomic end of the world.

The Family Fallout Shelter is a lighthearted narrative short that recounts a young boy's wish to get a nuclear fallout shelter for Christmas. English received a Director's Guild award for the film in 1962.

Admission + Ticketing

$5 general; free for SFMOMA members or with museum admission (requires a free ticket, which can be picked up in the Haas Atrium). Double features: films offered on the same date are included in one ticket.

Buy tickets

Image: Jayne Loader, Pierce Rafferty & Kevin Rafferty, The Atomic Café, 1982. Photo courtesy of Libra Films/Photofest

SFMOMA thanks Alex Cherian, San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive film archivist, for his assistance and support of this program.