Mill Valley Film Festival 38: Leonine Films Picks

MVFF 38 celebrates this year the women of film with many of its highlighted events and films: Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan; spotlights on and tributes to Sarah Silverman, Brie Larson, Catherine Hardwicke; and, a very special exhibition honoring screen icon Ingrid Bergman on the centennial of her birth. In addition, the festival’s cleverly-named “Mind the…

MVFF37: Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House)

The tension between personal memory and public history is quietly observed in the prolific Yoji Yamada’s Chiisai Ouchi, based on Kyoko Nakajima’s award-winning novel. When young Takeshi encourages his elderly great-aunt Taki to write her autobiography, he doesn’t believe she is writing the “truth” about her life as a young maid in a bourgeois Tokyo…

MVFF37: The Music and México

It is entirely fitting that the Mill Valley Film Festival, which has always had a strong rock music affiliation, includes in its ¡Viva El Cine¡ section two music documentaries of Mexican musicians. And what an interesting juxtaposition it is: first is the joyful and contemplative Que Caramba Es la Vida, which features the personal and…

MVFF37: Ciencias Naturales by Matias Lucchesi

This stunning and spare feature-length début by Matias Lucchesi is a wonderful exploration on the nature and the drive for truth. Two females, a 12-year old student (Lila)  and her natural sciences teacher, set out on a road trip in the dead of winter to find Lila’s father, who abandoned them before Lila was born.…

Mill Valley Film Festival and the Gender Gap

On the last weekend of the Mill Valley Film Festival, I attended two back-to-back Saturday workshops. The first, Variety Focus on Directors, included JC Chandor (All is Lost); Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station); Scott Cooper (Out of the Furnace); Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave); and, John Wells (August: Osage County). The second, Scaling Up: Breaking…