ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

The 40th Mill Valley Film Festival, October 5-15, 2017, will honor Sean Penn with a special tribute

Actor, director, screenwriter, and political activist Sean Penn will be honored on Saturday, October 7, with a tribute and the MVFF award at the 40th Mill Valley Film Festival (October 4-14, 2017).  The afternoon will feature an onstage conversation with Penn, who won two Academy Awards for Best Actor for Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008), and has been nominated three more times in the same category for Dead Man Walking (1995), Sweet and Lowdown (1999), and I Am Sam (2001).  As a director, Penn has crafted powerful dramas such as The Indian Runner (1991), The Pledge (2001), and Into the Wild (2007).  Penn’s most recent MVFF appearance was in 2014 to support The Human Experiment (2014), a film that he executive produced and narrated.  Image courtesy: MVFF

The Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF 40), October 4-15, 2107, a favorite among film lovers, hasn’t released its full schedule to the public yet but has just announced that Sean Penn will be honored with a festival tribute on Saturday, 3 p.m., October 7, 2017 at the Smith Rafael Film Center.  The two-hour program will feature an onstage conversation with Penn, a clip reel of his work, and the presentation of the MVFF award.  There will be time for an audience Q&A afterwards too, which is always fascinating as savvy audience members ask direct and often difficult questions–familiar territory for Penn.  The complete MVFF schedule will be available online Monday, September 12, 2017.  For this milestone, plan on a star-studded extravaganza, a roll-out in the neighborhood of 150 films and several special musical offerings, all selected with the progressive, knowledgeable and fun-loving spirit of our Bay Area audience in mind.

MVFF founder and executive director Mark Fishkin said that Sean Penn was essential for their 40th: “Not only is Sean one of the greatest actors of this generation; he may be one of the greatest actors of many generations.  The integrity of his performances in unparalleled.  Very few actors can be as absorbed in a role as he can and that comes right from his core.  He has history with this festival.”

Sean Penn, whose film career spans three decades, lived in Ross for several years and has a long association with MVFF.  In fact, over the years, it was a treat to see him catching a movie at the Rafael.  In 2002, he presented and spoke about Jessie Nelson’s I Am Sam (2001), which he starred in with Michelle Pfeiffer and Dakota Fanning.  Penn, nominated for Best Actor Academy Award, played a mentally challenged single father struggling to raise a daughter who ends up with Michelle Pfeiffer as his attorney.

Sean Penn was a lead actor in Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s 21 Grams (2003) which had its world premiere at the 2003 Venice International Film Festival, where Penn won his second Volpi Cup (Best Actor Award).  At that time, he had been nominated for three Academy Awards but hadn’t yet won any.  The film later screened at MVFF and Penn and Iñárritu captivated the audience with a revealing post-screening Q&A.

In 2003, Penn came to MVFF as the lead actor in Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s tormenting  21 Grams.  Inarritu presented the film and Penn appeared on stage with him in an intense Q&A with festival founder and executive director, Mark Fishkin.  Reception guests included the unbeatable Tom Waits and Peter Coyote; the evening was unforgettable.

At a very special pre-festival event in 2007, Penn presented Into the Wild (2007), which he both directed and wrote the screenplay for.  The film, based on Jon Krakauer’s nonfiction bestseller, was nominated for two Academy® Awards.  Penn also presented the Mill Valley Award to Emile Hirsch for his breakout performance as the impulsive young adventurer, Christopher Johnson McCandless who lived thrillingly in the natural world for two years and then died tragically of starvation in the Alaskan wilderness.

In 2009, as part of the Smith Rafael’s 10th anniversary celebration Film of My Life series, Penn presented Elem Klimov’s film Come and See (1985), which unfolds in the Soviet republic of Byelorussia in 1943 and depicts the brutality of war.  Penn explained that the film, which he considers a masterpiece of film-making, affected him deeply.

In November of 2009, Penn was also in attendance at the Smith Rafael for a special screening of Oren Moverman’s lauded debut film, The Messenger (2009), which included an on stage conversation with Woody Harrelson, who starred in the film.

Who can forget Sean Penn’s Academy Award winning performance as Jimmy, an ex-con whose 19-year-old daughter is brutally murdered, in Clint Eastwood’s 24th film, the crime drama, Mystic River.

Penn’s most recent MVFF appearance was in 2014 to support The Human Experiment (2013), a documentary that he executive produced and narrated which explored the astonishing numbers of toxic chemicals found in everyday household products and the need for tighter regulation.

Penns’ fifth film as a director,  the drama The Last Face (2016), with Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem as African aid workers who become romantically involved in Liberian and Sudanese conflict zones, garnered a string of one star reviews and was was promptly relegated to a VOD release.  You can expect some discussion at MVFF of what prompted Penn to cast two gorgeous white actors in the lead as compassionate savior/healers and ensconce them in a bloody black war.

Penn’s latest film, The Professor and the Madman (2017), directed by Farhad Safinia and produced by Mel Gibson, is based on the Simon Winchester book about the true story of the making of the Oxford English Dictionary.  Set in 1857, Gibson plays the obsessive professor, James Murray, who oversaw the dictionary’s creation, while Sean Penn plays the equally obsessive madman — Dr. William Chester Minor — who contributed 10,000 entries from an asylum for the criminally insane.  This is the first time Penn and Gibson have appeared together on screen but audiences may have to wait until a legal matter is resolved.  In late July, Gibson filed a lawsuit alleging that the producing company, Voltage Pictures (the company behind The Hurt Locker)  was in breach of contract because one it did not allow him to select a final cut of the film.

MVFF 40 Details:

MVFF 40 runs October 4-15, 2017.  Main venues this year include: CinéArts@Sequoia (Mill Valley), Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (San Rafael), Lark Theatre (Larkspur), and Cinema Corte Madera.

Full schedule online Monday, September 11, 2017.

Tickets before the festival:  CFI (California Film Institute) Passholders get first dibs in order of their pass status. Premier Patron, Director’s Circle, Gold Star, and non-pass holding CFI members can begin to purchase tickets September 12-16.

General Public tickets available September 17-October 4, 2017 online (with convenience fees of $3.75 per order) or in person (no fee) at Smith Rafael Film Center Box Office (1114 Fourth Street, San Rafael, 4 to 8 pm) or Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce, 85 Throckmorton Ave., 4 to 8 pm)

Tickets during the festival:  October 5-15, 2017 tickets will be available 1 hour before the first screening of the day to 15 minutes after the last show starts.  Rush tickets:  rush line forms outside each venue roughly 1 hour before show time.  Rush tickets are sold on a first come, first sold basis roughly 15 minutes before show time.  Patrons have a 90% chance of getting into a show by using the rush line.

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September 6, 2017 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pounce: tickets are on sale now for the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival, October 8-18

Seven years in the making, Taiwanese film director, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s luxurious wuxia (martial arts) drama, “The Assassin” screens twice at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival. The plot is minimal─a young girl (Taiwanese actress, Shu Qi) is kidnapped and trained to be an assassin. When she is a young adult, she is sent away by her master because she failed to complete a killing. She returns to her hometown and is ordered to kill her first love, her cousin, a powerful military governor. Featuring slow pans of China’s stunning mountains, valleys and historic temples, exquisite costumes and artifacts, as well as riveting physical feats, the film is like a lush painting come to life. Hou Hsiao-hsien, a leading figure of Taiwan's New Wave cinema movement, picked up best director award at Cannes this with this drama. Photo: courtesy MVFF

Seven years in the making, Taiwanese film director, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s luxurious wuxia (martial arts) drama, “The Assassin” screens twice at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival. The plot is minimal─a young girl (Taiwanese actress, Shu Qi) is kidnapped and trained to be an assassin. When she is a young adult, she is sent away by her master because she failed to complete a killing. She returns to her hometown and is ordered to kill her first love, her cousin, a powerful military governor. Featuring slow pans of China’s stunning mountains, valleys and historic temples, exquisite costumes and artifacts, as well as riveting physical feats, the film is like a lush painting come to life. Hou Hsiao-hsien, a leading figure of Taiwan’s New Wave cinema movement, picked up best director award at Cannes this with this drama. Photo: courtesy MVFF

Now in its 38th year, the legendary Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF), October 8-18, is hard to beat—11 days of the best new films from around the world, intimate on stage conversations with directors and stars, live music, and parties. AND it’s NORTH of the Golden Gate, so the driving is quicker. This festival is so good that five of the last seven Academy Award winners for best picture (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, The Artist, Argo, 12 Years a Slave) made their Bay Area premieres there.  What it really prides itself on, though, is its selection of locally-directed indies, gems of world cinema, and engrossing docs selected with care to meet our exacting standards.   Mill Valley is an insider’s festival though and tickets are sold to members of the California Film Institute (CFI), based on membership levels, long before they are made available to the public.

This year’s festival is October 8-18 and tickets are now on sale to the general public. If you want to attend any of the fabulous tributes, spotlight or centerpiece screenings, it is essential that you lock in your tickets ASAP.

Producing a documentary is a labor-of-love that typically takes anywhere from one to ten years, and requires an unwavering belief that the world needs to see the story. Irene Taylor Brodsky was hiking in Nepal with an organization that treats cataracts when she encountered an elderly married couple, both blind, who qualified to have free cataract surgery that would enable them to see again. Musician Peter Gabriel liked her film so much that he wrote a song for it called “Open Your Eyes.” The film has its world premiere at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival on October 10. Irene Taylor Brodsky will participate in a panel discussion followed by Sing Out for Sight, a benefit concert for Seva Foundation at the Sweetwater Music Hall. Image: courtesy MVFF

Producing a documentary is a labor-of-love that typically takes anywhere from one to ten years, and requires an unwavering belief that the world needs to see the story. Irene Taylor Brodsky was hiking in Nepal with an organization that treats cataracts when she encountered an elderly married couple, both blind, who qualified to have free cataract surgery that would enable them to see again. Musician Peter Gabriel liked her film so much that he wrote a song for it called “Open Your Eyes.” The film has its world premiere at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival on October 10. Irene Taylor Brodsky will participate in a panel discussion followed by Sing Out for Sight, a benefit concert for Seva Foundation at the Sweetwater Music Hall. Image: courtesy MVFF

  

Icelandic director, Grímur Hákonarson’s “Rams,” Winner of the Uncertain Regard Prize at Cannes will screen twice at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival, October 8-18, 2015. Shot in remote lush valleys of Iceland, it weaves the story of two brothers, both single and getting on in years, who compete fiercely each year for valley-wide recognition for having the best ram. They haven’t spoken in 40 years but are forced to come together in order to save what’s dearest to their hearts—their sheep. Photo: Courtesy MVFF

Icelandic director, Grímur Hákonarson’s “Rams,” Winner of the Uncertain Regard Prize at Cannes will screen twice at the 38th Mill Valley Film Festival, October 8-18, 2015. Shot in remote lush valleys of Iceland, it weaves the story of two brothers, both single and getting on in years, who compete fiercely each year for valley-wide recognition for having the best ram. They haven’t spoken in 40 years but are forced to come together in order to save what’s dearest to their hearts—their sheep. Photo: Courtesy MVFF

Stay tuned to ARThound for top picks.

Screening venues include: Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael); Century Larkspur (500 Larkspur Landing Circle); Lark Theater (549 Magnolia Ave., Larkspur), Century Cinema (41 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera); CinéArts@Sequoia (25 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley), Throckmorton Theatre (142 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley) and other venues throughout the Bay Area.

Online ticket purchase is highly recommended (click here to be directed to film descriptions, each with a “Buy Ticket” option. (Online purchases have a $1.75 per film surcharge).  There are also several box offices for in person purchases, offering the advantages of getting your tickets on the spot, no service fee, and picking up a hard copy of the catalogue—

SAN RAFAEL

Smith Rafael Film Center 1112 Fourth Street Sept.19-Oct 7, 4–8 pm (General Public)

MILL VALLEY

Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center, 85 Throckmorton Ave, October 7, 11 am–3:00 pm; Oct 8-18, 10 am to 15 min after last show starts

Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center 85 Throckmorton Ave October 1, 11:00 am–3:00 pm October 2–12, 10:00 am to 15 minutes after last show starts

September 21, 2015 Posted by | Film | , , | Leave a comment

Pounce: Sunday, September 14, tickets go on sale for the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival

 Pièce de résistance—Director Wayne Wang’s new documentary, “Soul of a Banquet” (2014), screens Sunday, October 5 at the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival.    Appearing on stage in conversation are renowned 95-year-old chef Cecilia Chiang , who opened San Francisco’s beloved Mandarin restaurant in 1961, and Wayne Wang (“The Joy Luck Club”).  The evening will be capped off by a festive party at Sausalito’s Cavallo Point.  Structured around an extended interview in Chiang’s elegant home, the film tells Chiang’s story as well as that of Chinese food in America.  Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and food writer Ruth Reichel reminisce about their friendship and great meals with Chiang.  The film recounts poignant details of her upbringing.  Chiang, the seventh of twelve children, was born into privilege in Shanghai in 1920.  Her mother’s feet were bound but it was her wish that her children be college educated.  The second half shifts gears to follow her in meticulous preparation of a feast of family favorites.   The stories, the food, the history, even the jewelry are mouthwatering.  Photo: courtesy Mill Valley Film Festival


Pièce de résistance—Director Wayne Wang’s new documentary, “Soul of a Banquet” (2014), screens Sunday, October 5 at the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival. Appearing on stage in conversation are renowned 95-year-old chef Cecilia Chiang , who opened San Francisco’s beloved Mandarin restaurant in 1961, and Wayne Wang (“The Joy Luck Club”). The evening will be capped off by a festive party at Sausalito’s Cavallo Point. Structured around an extended interview in Chiang’s elegant home, the film tells Chiang’s story as well as that of Chinese food in America. Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and food writer Ruth Reichel reminisce about their friendship and great meals with Chiang. The film recounts poignant details of her upbringing. Chiang, the seventh of twelve children, was born into privilege in Shanghai in 1920. Her mother’s feet were bound but it was her wish that her children be college educated. The second half shifts gears to follow her in meticulous preparation of a feast of family favorites. The stories, the food, the history, even the jewelry are mouthwatering. Photo: courtesy Mill Valley Film Festival

Now in its 37th year, the legendary Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF), October 2-12, is hard to beat—11 days of the best new films from around the world, intimate on stage conversations with directors and stars, musical performances, and parties.  It’s so good that five of the last six Academy Award winners for best picture (Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, The Artist, Argo, 12 Years a Slave) made their Bay Area premieres there.  What it really excels at, though, are locally-directed indies, gems of world cinema, wonderful storytelling and docs carefully selected to meet our exacting standards.  It is an insider’s festival though and tickets are sold to California Film Institute (CFI), based on membership levels, long before they are made available to the public. This year’s festival is October 2-12 and tickets to the general public go on sale Sunday, September 14 at 11 a.m.  If you want to attend any of the fabulous tributes, spotlight or centerpiece screenings, it is essential that you lock in your tickets ASAP.  

Stay tuned to ARThound this coming week for top picks.

Screening venues include the CinéArts@Sequoia (25 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley), Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center (1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael) and other venues throughout the Bay Area.

 

Lashio, Myanmar is the setting for Midi Z’s “Ice Poison” (Bing Du) (2014) screening Saturday, October 11 at the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival.  Faced with a failing vegetable crop, an impoverished farmer pawns his cow for a moped and starts a taxi service in the city.  In six months, he must make enough to buy the cow back, or it will be slaughtered and sold for meat. His new venture is proving to be another failure until he picks up his first fare, a woman desperate to leave an arranged marriage in China and bring her son back to live with her. They team up in the only steady business in around—opium poppies.  The film balances moments of joy with the stark reality of a country re-emerging after decades of underdevelopment and repression.  Photo: courtesy MVFF

Lashio, Myanmar is the setting for Midi Z’s “Ice Poison” (Bing Du) (2014) screening Saturday, October 11 at the 37th Mill Valley Film Festival. Faced with a failing vegetable crop, an impoverished farmer pawns his cow for a moped and starts a taxi service in the city. In six months, he must make enough to buy the cow back, or it will be slaughtered and sold for meat. His new venture is proving to be another failure until he picks up his first fare, a woman desperate to leave an arranged marriage in China and bring her son back to live with her. They team up in the only steady business in around—opium poppies. The film balances moments of joy with the stark reality of a country re-emerging after decades of underdevelopment and repression. Photo: courtesy MVFF

 

Online ticket purchase is highly recommended (click here to be directed to film descriptions, each with a “Buy Ticket” option.   There are also several box offices for in person purchases, offering the advantage of being able to get your tickets on the spot and picking up a hard copy of the catalogue—

SAN RAFAEL

Smith Rafael Film Center 1112 Fourth Street Sept. 14–29, 5:00–9:00 pm (General Public) 1020 B Street September 30–October 12, 10:00 am to 15 minutes after last show starts

MILL VALLEY

ROOM Art Gallery 86 Throckmorton Ave September 14–30, 11:00 am–3:00 pm

Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center 85 Throckmorton Ave October 1, 11:00 am–3:00 pm October 2–12, 10:00 am to 15 minutes after last show starts

CORTE MADERA

Microsoft at the Village at Corte Madera 1640 Redwood Hwy September 15–30, 3:00–7:00 pm September 14, 21, and 28, 2:00–6:00 pm

September 13, 2014 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pounce!—additional screenings of 4 of the most popular films at Mill Valley Film Festival just added

Based on a real-life Victorian-era scandal, “Effie Gray” is a period drama that has its world premiere at the 36th Mill Valley Film Festival, Oct 3-13, 2013.  Dakota Fanning (right) is Euphemia ''Effie'' Gray, a teen who fights to escape a loveless marriage to celebrated art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise).  Emma Thompson (left) wrote the script and plays Effie's confidante, Lady Eastlake.  Dakota Fanning will attend.

Based on one of the Victorian-era’s most notorious sex scandals, “Effie Gray” is a period drama has its world premiere at the 36th Mill Valley Film Festival, Oct 3-13, 2013. Dakota Fanning (right) is 19 now and plays Euphemia ”Effie” Gray, a teen who fights to escape a loveless marriage to celebrated art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) and be with pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais. Emma Thompson (left) wrote the script and then underwent a horrific legal battle to release the film. She plays Effie’s confidante, Lady Eastlake. Dakota Fanning will attend and is the subject of a special spotlight program on Saturday, October 12.

There’s something SO satisfying about seeing an Oscar-buzz film long before it opens in theatres.  Lucky day!  The Mill Valley Film Festival, which starts this Thursday (Oct 3) and runs through Sunday, Oct 13, has just added several additional screenings of its most demanded films.  These are the ones that were well on their way to being sold out to California Film Institute (CFI) members before tickets were made available to the public.  Now up for grabs−− the world premiere of Richard Laxton’s period drama Effie Gray (Emma Thompson, Dakota Fanning, Claudia Cardinale) ; the U.S. premieres of John Wells’ August: Osage County (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper, Juliette Lewis) and Jean-Marc Vallée’s Dallas Buyers Club (Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto) and the California premiere of Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbinder) .

The film titles below all carry hyperlinks to detailed film descriptions and a link to purchase tickets online.  If these films sound interesting, don’t dally, as they will sell out.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB     Friday  Oct. 11 – 9:15pm – CinéArts@Sequoia

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY    Saturday Oct. 12 – 9pm – CinéArts@Sequoia

12 YEARS A SLAVE   Sunday Oct. 13 – 11am – CinéArts@Sequoia

EFFIE GRAY   Sunday Oct. 13 – 8pm – Smith Rafael Film Center

Details:  The festival’s homepage is hereAdvance ticket purchase is essential for all films as this festival sells out.  The full film list with scheduling information and link to online ticket purchase are online here.  Most tickets are $14 and special events and tributes are more.  Tickets can also be purchased in person at select Marin ticket outlets.  The closest outlet to Sonoma County is located at 1104 Fourth Street, San Rafael, right next to the Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael.  Hours: 5 to 9 PM until October 2;  during the festival Oct 3 to 13, Mon-Thurs 11 AM to 15 minutes after the last show starts and Fir-Sun 10 AM to 15 minutes after the show starts.

Rush tickets: If seats become available, even after tickets have sold out, rush tickets will be sold. The rush line forms outside each venue beginning one hour before show-time. Approximately 15 minutes prior to the screening, available rush tickets are sold on a first-come, first serve basis for Cash Only.)

September 30, 2013 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 35th Mill Valley Film Festival starts on Thursday: ARThound Looks at the Line Up

Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s “Caesar Must Die,” screening twice at the 35th Mill Valley Film Festival, is a docudrama that follows the drama workshops held inside Rome’s Rebibbia Prison as inmates rehearse and perform a modern version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. Italy’s official Academy Award entrant for Best Foreign Language Film.

Heading into its 35th year, the acclaimed 35th Mill Valley Film Festival starts Thursday and brings a fabulous 11 day program of over 150 movies, tributes, award ceremonies, premieres, and parties to San Rafael and Mill Valley.  While many of the films and special tributes are sold out, I’ll be pointing out several films over the next 2 days that still have availability and are unlikely to screen elsewhere, or, that have special programming combined with their screening that make them a must-see at Mill Valley.

Caesar Must Die (Cesare Deve Morire) Italy, 2012, 76 min: Octogenarian film-making brothers, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, have crafted a rich docudrama that revives the passion of ancient Rome and features real inmates— Camorristi and Mafiosi—at Rome’s maximum security Rebibbia Prison as they intensely rehearse and then perform a modern adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”    Shot mostly in black and white amidst stark prison conditions, and capturing the varied dialects of Italy’s criminal class, the film’s riveting soliloquies and rousing speeches reflect the spontaneous and cathartic processing of the prisoners’ own intense baggage.  Italy’s official Academy Award entrant for Best Foreign Language Film.  You’ll likely be able to see the film elsewhere in the Bay Area later but what makes the MVFF screening so special is the unique programming that accompanies it.

Following the Monday, October 8, 6:30 p.m. screening, Lesley Currier, managing director of  Marin Shakespeare Company will facilitate a panel discussion about arts and correction with Suraya Keating, director, actor, and drama therapist and MSC’s teacher of Shakespeare at San Quentin for the 6 past years. The other two participants are J.C. Wells and Henry Montgomery, former Shakespeare at San Quentin actors.  J.C. Wells was one of the original Shakespeare at San Quentin actors and was involved with the program during its first 5 years.  He was released about 1.5 years ago, after serving for 29 years, and has continued his involvement in Shakespeare and theatre.  Henry Montgomery was part of Shakespeare at San Quentin for about 5 years and last appeared in the June 15, 2012 production of “Hamlet,” where he performed a compelling rap song.  He’s been out of jail for almost 2 months and is pursuing a career as artist.  He’s also a musician and actor and he’s very interested motivational speaking.

San Quentin inmates perform Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” in 2010 as part of Marin Shakespeare Company’s Shakespeare at San Quentin program.

The Marin Shakespeare Company, which performs at Dominican University’s Forest Meadows Amphitheatre each summer, added the Shakespeare program at San Quentin to their array of education programs in 2004 and every year, the Company has offered weekly classes to inmates culminating in an annual performance.

“We believe very strongly in the healing power of art to build empathy, responsibility, creativity and humanity and to remind all of us of our shared humanity,” said Currier.  I am very excited to see this award-winning film and to have a discussion with the panelists about how our program has been valuable to the participants, to the San Quentin community and to everyone who has been able to witness it as an audience member.  (Screens: Monday, October 8, 6:30 p.m., Rafael 1 and Wednesday, October 10, 5 p.m., Sequoia 2)  

Rebels With A Cause, U.S., 2012, 74 min:  We of blessed zip codes, Marin and Sonoma County,  know how special the communities we live in are.  This valiant documentary will connect all Bay Area residents with our legacy of progressive thinking and activism.  Produced by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, who have collaborated on critically-acclaimed documentary and narrative films for the past 25 years, Rebels With A Cause documents the extraordinary efforts of several local citizens who saved the lands of the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area from development.  The film has its long-awaited world premiere at MVFF and the coastal cinematography is stunning, making it an essential to see on the big screen.  And with filmmakers and participants in attendance, and an enthusiastic local crowd, this should be a real celebration.

In the 1950’s, when California was the nation’s fastest-growing state, the prevailing vision for the coast was one of development—an extension of suburban housing developments with an eight-lane freeway connecting the Richmond Bridge and Point Reyes and marinas and hotels covering Bolinas Lagoon, Limantaur Estero and Tomales Bay.  At the time, most people assumed agriculture in the region was dead and the county’s dairymen and ranchers would become rich selling their land to real estate developers and move their operations elsewhere.   A handful of activists came together to awaken their neighbors, local farmers, and officials to the threat of over-development and the need to preserve open space.  Passionately, tirelessly, they raised support for conservation over time, successfully battling the most powerful opponents of their day in big industry and government.  Their efforts resulted in an 80 mile-long park that supports open space, recreation, agriculture and wildlife and shaped the environmental movement as we know it today, ultimately leading to a system of 14 National Seashores as part of the National Park Service.

“Rebels With A Cause” has it world premiere at the 35th Mill Valley Film Festival. Produced by Nancy Kelly and Kenji Yamamoto, the film traces the efforts of extraordinary local citizens who saved the lands of the Point Reyes National Seashore and Golden Gate National Recreation Area from development.

Narrated by three-time Academy Award nominee Frances McDormand, Rebels includes a montage of news and television clips and a series of fascinating cameos and interviews, including former Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall; local legend, Gary Giacomini, of the Marin County Board of Supervisors who fought development tooth and nail; Katy Miller Johnson, widow of Congressman Clam Miller and mother turned activist; Amy Meyer, author of New Guardians for the Golden Gate: How America Got a Great National Park; and the Ellen Strauss of the famed Strauss Family Creamery, whose Tamales Bay dairy adapted pioneering practices and ultimately became the first certified organic dairy west of the Mississippi.   The film is living proof that people with vastly different visions and backgrounds can come together and achieve profound change be it from a kitchen table or in Congress.”Rebels With A Cause” was produced in partnership with KRCB, Channel 22, the PBS affiliate for Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Counties, so it will ultimately be presented nationally on PBS stations.  The film was inspired by the books of naturalist John Hart, The Wilderness Next Door and Farming on the Edge, and conservationist Dr. Martin Griffin, Saving the Marin-Sonoma Coast. (Screens: Saturday, October 6, 6:15 pm at Sequoia 2 and Tuesday, October 9, 4:00 pm at Rafael 1)

ARThound will be covering the festival in depth, so stay-tuned.  If you are interested in attending the festival, don’t dally with purchasing tickets.

Deatails: The 35th Mill Valley Film Festival starts October 4 and runs through October 14, 2012.  Main venues are Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth Street, San Rafael, 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley, CinéArts@Sequoia, 25 Throckmorton Ave.,
Mill Valley.
The festival’s homepage is here and there are three ways to purchase tickets:

Online: To purchase tickets for MVFF screenings, browse the film listings—the full schedule is online here.  When you find a film you would like to see, click “buy tickets” to put the tickets in your cart. You can continue browsing, or click “check out” to complete your order. Tickets purchased online incur a $1.50 processing fee per order.

Tickets you have purchased online are available for pick-up at the Mill Valley Film Festival Box Office(s).  Seating is guaranteed until 15 minutes prior to screening. No late seating.

In-Person at pre-festival Box Offices:

SAN RAFAEL TICKET OUTLET
1104 Fourth Street, San Rafael 94901
Sept. 11– 15, 4:00pm–8:00pm (CFI Members)
Sept. 16: 10am – 7pm
Sept. 17 – Oct. 3: Weekdays 4:00pm – 8:00pm, Weekends 2pm – 8:00pm
Opening Night, Oct. 4: 2:00pm – 11:00pm
Festival Hours, Oct. 5 – 14: Weekdays 3:00 – 10:00pm, Weekends 10:30am – 10:00pm
Note: Monday (10/8) & Friday (10/12) are weekend hours

MILL VALLEY TICKET OUTLET
ROOM Art Gallery
86 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley 94941
Sept. 16: 10am – 2pm
Sept. 17 – Oct. 2: 11:00am – 4:00pm
MILL VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
85 Throckmorton, Mill Valley 94941
Oct. 3: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Oct.4: 2:00pm – 11:00pm
Oct. 5 – 14: Weekdays 3:00pm – 10:00pm, Weekends 10:30am – 10:00pm
Note: Monday (10/8) & Friday (10/12) are weekend hours

BY PHONE: toll free at 877.874.6833
NOTE: If you have trouble purchasing online and cannot purchase tickets in person, leave a message on box office voicemail: 877.874.6833.
All orders placed over the phone are subject to a charge of $10.00 per transaction. Tickets delivered via mail (USPS) incur a $3.50 convenience fee.

RUSH Tickets:   If seats are available, tickets will be sold at the door beginning at 15 minutes prior to screening. Those tickets are cash only. No discounts.

October 2, 2012 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pounce! General Admission tickets to the 35th Mill Valley Film Festival go on sale Sunday at 10 a.m.—-some films sold-out during member pre-sale

The 35th Mill Valley Film Festival, one of the country's top 10 film festivals, is October 4-14, 2012.

The 35th Mill Valley Film Festival, one of the country’s top 10 film festivals, is October 4-14, 2012.

Dustin Hoffman, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Hawkes, Indian film director Mira Nair, and rock angel Stevie Nicks head a list of film stars and luminaries who will attend the 35th Mill Valley Film Festival, an 11-day celebration of international cinema that is considered one of the country’s top 10 film festivals.  This year’s festival is October 4 to 14, 2012 and tomorrow (Sunday) starting at 10 a.m., general admission tickets will be on sale for its fabulous program of over 150 movies, tributes, award ceremonies, premieres, and parties.  Tickets have been on sale to festival patrons since September 11 and to CFI (California Film Institute) members since September 14 and, consequently, some of the spotlight and tributes have already sold out, along with some of the films.  ARThound will be covering the festival in depth, so stay-tuned.  If you are interested in attending the festival, don’t dally with purchasing tickets.   The festival’s homepage is here and there are three ways to purchase tickets:

Online: To purchase tickets for MVFF screenings, browse the film listings—the full schedule is online here.  When you find a film you would like to see, click “buy tickets” to put the tickets in your cart. You can continue browsing, or click “check out” to complete your order. Tickets purchased online incur a $1.50 processing fee per order.

Tickets you have purchased online will be available for pick-up at the Mill Valley Film Festival Box Office(s).  Seating is guaranteed until 15 minutes prior to screening. No late seating.

In-Person at pre-festival Box Offices:

SAN RAFAEL TICKET OUTLET
1104 Fourth Street, San Rafael 94901
Sept. 11– 15, 4:00pm–8:00pm (CFI Members)
Sept. 16: 10am – 7pm
Sept. 17 – Oct. 3: Weekdays 4:00pm – 8:00pm, Weekends 2pm – 8:00pm
Opening Night, Oct. 4: 2:00pm – 11:00pm
Festival Hours, Oct. 5 – 14: Weekdays 3:00 – 10:00pm, Weekends 10:30am – 10:00pm
Note: Monday (10/8) & Friday (10/12) are weekend hours

MILL VALLEY TICKET OUTLET
ROOM Art Gallery
86 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley 94941
Sept. 16: 10am – 2pm
Sept. 17 – Oct. 2: 11:00am – 4:00pm
MILL VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
85 Throckmorton, Mill Valley 94941
Oct. 3: 11:00am – 4:00pm
Oct.4: 2:00pm – 11:00pm
Oct. 5 – 14: Weekdays 3:00pm – 10:00pm, Weekends 10:30am – 10:00pm
Note: Monday (10/8) & Friday (10/12) are weekend hours

BY PHONE: toll free at 877.874.6833
NOTE: If you have trouble purchasing online and cannot purchase tickets in person, leave a message on box office voicemail: 877.874.6833.
All orders placed over the phone are subject to a charge of $10.00 per transaction. Tickets delivered via mail (USPS) incur a $3.50 convenience fee.

RUSH Tickets:   If seats are available, tickets will be sold at the door beginning at 15 minutes prior to screening. Those tickets are cash only. No discounts.

Long time in the oven….Walter Salles’ highly anticipated On the Road reunites the same team from Salles’ Motorcycle Diaries (2004)—producers Rebecca Yeldham and Daniel Burman, screenwriter José Rivera, cinematographer Eric Gailtier, and production designer Carlos Conti. Based on Jack Kerouac’s 1957 novel, On the Road, considered to the defining book of the beat generation, the movie stars Sam Riley as Sal Paradise (Kerouac’s alter ego), Garrett Hedlund as Dean Moriarty , Kirsten Stewart as Dean’s lover Marylou, Tom Sturridge as Carlo Marx (Allen Ginsberg inspired) and Kirsten Dunst as Camille, Dean’s wife.

 

Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut in Quartet, about three aging opera singers (Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins) who are preparing for an upcoming concert in their retirement home when famous diva Jean (Maggie Smith) arrives unexpectedly. Hoffman will attend a special tribute and reception in his honor on Tuesday, October 9 at 7 p.m. at the Rafael Film Center when Quartet screens at the 35th Mill Valley Film Festival.

 

Argo, directed by Ben Affleck and starring Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin and Ben Affleck is set during the 1979 Iranian revolution and is about a last-ditch CIA plan to free six American hostages concocted.  Affleck will attend the October 5, 2012 screening at 7 p.m. the Smith Rafael Film Center.

September 15, 2012 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment