Mill Valley Festival reaches 40 next month with 204 films, & one of them will probably win Best Picture

The Bay Area hosts a ridiculous number of film festivals, but two of them stand above the others: San Francisco International in the spring and Mill Valley in the fall. These are the festivals where you can see the newest independent films before they get a regular theatrical release. More importantly, you can see many … Continue reading Mill Valley Festival reaches 40 next month with 204 films, & one of them will probably win Best Picture

Machismo faces the Holocaust: My Blu-ray review of Seven Beauties

Lina Wertmüller's 1975 masterpiece, Seven Beauties, is a Holocaust film (with no recognizably Jewish characters), an examination of Italian machismo, and a witheringly sad and disturbing drama. And at times, it becomes a very funny slapstick comedy. Giancarlo Giannini stars as Pasqualino, a charming but somewhat dense egomaniac. He lives in Naples with his mother … Continue reading Machismo faces the Holocaust: My Blu-ray review of Seven Beauties

Movies I’ve Recently Seen: Stalker, Bad Education, Bardelys the Magnificent, & Carry on Cleo

Four more films that are new to me. As usual, I'm sorting them by quality. A Stalker (1979), Filmstruck This slow, strange, allegorical fantasy from the great Andrei Tarkovsky gets under your skin. A guide, called a stalker, takes two other men on a journey into a strange place called The Zone. We never find out … Continue reading Movies I’ve Recently Seen: Stalker, Bad Education, Bardelys the Magnificent, & Carry on Cleo

Lawrence of Arabia and the Third Coming of 70mm

I've seen two new blockbusters this summer, and both were projected from 70mm film. Fifty years ago, that wouldn't have been surprising. Thirty years ago, that would have been normal. Ten years ago, it was unthinkable. Today, it's back, five years after theatres were supposed to stop projecting physical film of any size. From Edison's … Continue reading Lawrence of Arabia and the Third Coming of 70mm