Mifune and The Handmaiden at the Mill Valley Film Festival

Quick notes on two films screening at the Mill Valley Film Festival. Both films have one more screening at the festival, and both will soon get a theatrical release. Mifune: The Last Samurai I caught this documentary at the Lark Friday night. Director Steven Okazaki introduced the film, describing his first Mifune experience: The Seven … Continue reading Mifune and The Handmaiden at the Mill Valley Film Festival

The Phantom Boy doesn’t quite come together

C+ Animated family-oriented fantasy crime thriller Written by Alain Gagnol Directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli Eleven-year-old Leo is very sick. He's in the hospital, will be for months, and he may not survive. But he has a superpower. His spirit can leave his body, fly through walls, and see and hear everything around … Continue reading The Phantom Boy doesn’t quite come together

3 Views of America: What I saw in theaters this weekend

I saw three movies in theaters this weekend. Free State of Jones at the Elmwood Being a history buff, and particularly one interested in the Civil War and reconstruction, I couldn't help rushing out to see Gary Ross' Free State of Jones. I caught it at the Elmwood. Matthew McConaughey stars as an actual historical … Continue reading 3 Views of America: What I saw in theaters this weekend

John Ford’s The Long Voyage Home at the Pacific Film Archive

John Ford directed seven films in the three years preceding Pearl Harbor. That in itself wasn't so remarkable in the days of studio assembly lines. But the quality of those seven show the power of a mature artist at his height. They include Stagecoach, The Grapes of Wrath, Young Mr. Lincoln, and How Green Was … Continue reading John Ford’s The Long Voyage Home at the Pacific Film Archive

Visiting North Korea and Afghanistan: Wednesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival

I've really come to hate the upstairs theaters at the New Mission. The number of decent seats are in the single digits--and for the festival, most of them are reserved. The front row is so close it can induce headaches--even for me. If you don't want to sit that close, and you weren't one of … Continue reading Visiting North Korea and Afghanistan: Wednesday at the San Francisco International Film Festival