The West meets Islam on the Mill Valley Film Festival’s penultimate day

I saw three films Saturday at the Mill Valley Film Festival - all at the Rafael. Two were narratives, one was a documentary. All three dealt with the line between Islam and the West. A- Northern WindThis essentially serious film offers flashes of humor while studying the universality of working-class struggle. Two blue-collar men, who … Continue reading The West meets Islam on the Mill Valley Film Festival’s penultimate day

Comedy Weekdays at the Mill Valley Film Festival

I saw one Mill Valley Film Festival screening on Monday, and another two on Wednesday. Oddly, not a single documentary. Even odder, all three movies were comedies - a genre generally considered too frivolous for film festivals. In the order I saw them: A- Seder Masochism Nina Paley created this blasphemous and hilarious adult animation … Continue reading Comedy Weekdays at the Mill Valley Film Festival

The Hate U Give comes back to you

A- Drama Written by Audrey Wells, from a novel by Angie Thomas Directed by George Tillman Jr. Of this year's many impressive films about the African-American experience, The Hate U Give must be the most thematically ambitious. It covers police brutality, inner-city neighborhoods, being black in an overwhelmingly white school, drug dealing, black-on-black violence, demonstrations, riots, … Continue reading The Hate U Give comes back to you

The Happy Prince & the very sad story

C- Period drama Written & directed by Rupert Everett Opens Friday Many assume that if a movie focuses on very unhappy people wallowing in their many past mistakes, it must be a great film. This is especially true if the photography is conventionally beautiful, the cast British, and the main character an actual historical figure. Many … Continue reading The Happy Prince & the very sad story

Music, slapstick, art, & fascism: Saturday at the Mill Valley Film Festival

I saw four films Saturday at the Mill Valley Film Festival, and I never stepped a foot in Mill Valley. I saw all four in the small, upstairs auditoriums at the Rafael. The first was a narrative; the rest were documentaries. B- The Independents The music is pretty good, but not exceptional. The same could … Continue reading Music, slapstick, art, & fascism: Saturday at the Mill Valley Film Festival