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: 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…

MVFF35: Argo dir. Ben Affleck

Mr. Affleck’s film wonderfully captures claustrophobia: in Teheran, where its residents spy and betray each other; at the Canadian ambassador’s home, where the six American hostages pace day and night; the Hollywood lot, where the closed creation of worlds is quick routine. This is an admirable attempt at the political thriller – tense, grainy, precise,…

MVFF35: Reality dir. Matteo Garrone

Reality is one of the most unusual films I’ve seen this year. I wanted to derive some (bourgeois) pleasure from it, but I couldn’t. And pleasure is definitely not Mr. Garrone’s intention. In Reality, the merest possibility of starring in a major TV reality show drives Luciano (the talented Aniello Arena). As these stories go,…

MVFF 35: Aquí y Allá dir. Antonio Mendez Esparza

In a particularly heartbreaking scene, Pedro scrambles on foot all over town, looking for expensive medicines which will save his wife, in danger of dying in childbirth. As he walks through the streets in a state of quiet anxiety, we hear the exhortations of protesting revolutionaries in the background, urging on the proletariat. With this…