Never ones to rest on their laurels the Mill Valley Film Festival adds additional screenings to an already spectacular festival line-up.
“We Need To Talk About Kevin”— Screening: Saturday, October 15th, 9:00 PM – Sequoia Theatre, Mill Valley
Director Lynne Ramsay (Morvern Callar, MVFF 2002) again proves herself one of the consummate artists of new British cinema in this artistically bold exploration of the troubled, and troubling, relationship between a mother (Tilda Swinton) and her apparently psychopathic son. From his first breath Kevin seems to have had a knack for needling mom, while only revealing his “good” side to his father (John C. Reilly). Told through flashbacks, the story builds a sense of foreboding while foreshadowing catastrophe to come. It’s driven by phenomenal performances all around: Swinton, who is in virtually every scene, is mesmerizing as a woman torn by her plight; Ezra Miller, as the teenage Kevin, strikes a balance between manipulativeness and charm that is tempered by a chilling hint of evil. A gripping and powerful film offering no easy answers to its inherent questions, this standout of the Cannes Film Festival will leave many needing to talk about Kevin. -Zoë Elton. Running time: 111, Directed by: Lynne Ramsay.
“Budd Yam”— Screening: Sunday, October 16, 6:00 PM- 142 Throckmorton Theatre, Mill Valley
In Moré with English subtitles. Buud Yam is a tale of a young man’s Grail-like quest for a healer to treat his foster sister, Pughneere, stricken with an unknown illness. It’s the early 19th century, and the handsome and charismatic Wend Kuuni (whose early years are chronicled in Kaboré’s earlier film of the same name, also showing at MVFF) sets off on an unpredictable journey that takes him through forests and across deserts. The tension builds throughout with Pughneere’s life hanging in the balance. Beautifully photographed, Kaboré’s tale is a classic hero’s journey that leads Wend Kuuni, ultimately, not just to the cure for his sister but to a sense of identity. The film’s underlying theme of tolerance and understanding adds to this rich fable, which in 1997 received international recognition and confirmed Kaboré’s reputation as a master filmmaker yet is now rarely seen in the US. This year’s MVFF Tribute honoree Kaboré achieves a film of mythic proportion, combining his profound instinct for traditional folktale with his masterful sense of cinema. -Zoë Elton. Running Time: 97, Directed by: Gaston Kabore
“Eames: The Architect and The Painter”— Screening: Sunday, October 16, 2:45 PM- Rafael Film Center, San Rafael and Sunday, October 16, 7:30 PM- Rafael Film Center, San Rafael
Charles Eames trained as an architect. Ray Eames was a painter. When they married, they wed their talents and aesthetic sensibilities as well, becoming among the most important designers of the 20th century. Their sleek, still-ubiquitous, molded-plywood lounge chair is only one of many designs that revolutionized furniture in the postwar era. But the couple’s work extends further, encompassing their Pacific Palisades home, the IBM Pavilion at the 1964 New York World’s Fair and over 100 short films. Like its subject, this documentary (narrated by James Franco, MVFF Spotlight 2010) is multifaceted, as much about their symbiotic relationship as their extraordinarily creative career. Collaborators, friends, family, art and design critics contribute memories and observations, while archival footage offers a dizzying sense of a phenomenal output and captures the Eameses at work, at home and out in the world they impacted so profoundly.-Pam Grady. Running Time: 82, Directed by: Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey
“Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?”— Screening: Sunday, October 16, 8:00 PM- Rafael Film Center, San Rafael
“Everything in this country is about money. Everything.” Thus begins this outrage-stirring documentary in the vein of 2010’s Inside Job. There’s no denying the American economy has gone from bad to worse to apocalyptic; Heist digs deep to uncover who and what lit the fuse on the current disaster. Filmmakers Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher reveal decades of shady dealings between corporations and the US government, from Reagan’s deregulation spree to Clinton’s thumbs-up on the North American Free Trade Agreement. The result, of course, is that a very small group of mega-rich Americans control most of our country’s wealth, as everyone else (including labor-union members, poor families and senior citizens) scrambles to hold onto jobs, homes, pensions and social security-things the current system seemingly cares little about protecting. Fortunately, the film offers strategies for the non-billionaires among us, including voting crook-enabling politicians out of office. Getting mad as hell can’t hurt, either. World Premiere-Cheryl Eddy. Running Time: 85, Directed by: Frances Causey, Donald Goldmacher
“What Happened Here?”— Screening: Sunday, October 16, 7:45 PM- Rafael Film Center, San Rafael
In English, Ukranian and Russian with English subtitles. The work of Rob Nilsson (Sand, MVFF 2010; Imbued, MVFF 2009; Frank Dead Souls, MVFF 2008), the powerful and prolific Bay Area filmmaker, is often driven by the pursuit of an idea. The inspiration for Nilsson’sWhat Happened Here comes from the autobiography of the vaunted and often vilified Leon Trotsky, co-visionary with Lenin of the Bolshevik Revolution. Nilsson’s determination to find the remains and traces of Trotsky’s hidden ancestral Jewish roots led him to Ukraine, and to the creation of this lyrical and poignant cinematic essay reminiscent of early Godard and Chris Marker. Deftly interweaving incisive WW II footage with Trotsky’s-and Nilsson’s-personal reflections, the film unspools a skein of stories about Stalin’s enforced famines, the Nazi invasion, and genocide. For this one-of-a-kind artist, it is “a film about a trip I took to find out what I thought.” World Premiere -Tony Reveaux. Running Time: 95, Directed by: Rob Nilsson
There are three ways to buy tickets:
1. Online at http://www.mvff.com/festivaltickets/. Tickets are available 24/7. There is no charge to print tickets at home or pick them up at will call. Tickets delivered via USPS incur a $3.50 service charge.
2. In-person at the box office: the Mill Valley Film Festival has two box office locations; both open 30 minutes before the first show of the day and close when the last show starts. San Rafael: Box office is open October 6-16 at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, 1118 Fourth Street and Mill Valley: Box office will be open October 5-16 at the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce – 85 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valle
3. Or by phone at 877.874.MVFF (6833). Tickets can be ordered by telephone from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (or from members’ on-sale time before tickets are available to the general public). A third-party telephone convenience fee in the amount of $10.00 will be charged. USPS delivery is an additional $3.50.
Ticket price for regular shows:
CFI Members: $11.00
General admission: $13.50
Seniors (65+) and students: $12.00
Pamela Alexander-Beutler is the editor in chief of the ReelMATERIAL film journal. For of movie reviews and interviews by the ReelMATERIAL team visit www.reelmaterial.com, take a look at our favorite trailers at ReelTRAILERS on YouTube and follower us on twitter @reel_material.