Coming Attractions:

“Elle S’en Va” (On My Way)

French Dramatic Comedy • English subtitles
116 min. • Not rated 

Friday, May 9th • 7:30 PM
Oak View Room, Walnut Creek Library

Mountain Shadow is pleased to present this Cohen Media release that has limited U.S. engagements. With a Berlin International Film Festival nomination, writer/director Emmannuelle Bercot wrote this story specifically for French actress, Catherine Deneuve. 

Synopsis: A former beauty pageant winner is facing the dual prospects of a failed romance and a struggling restaurant business. Estranged from her grown daughter as well, Bettie hits the road for a trip with her young grandson. As she considers the miles she’s racked up in her life, she confronts those universal issues of aging, and how one might learn to be more flexible and able to cope with the unknown. A trailer of the film can be found on our website.

Our Short Film selection to accompany our feature film will be a surprise, and picked from the “Best of the Fest” at the 2nd Annual Walnut Creek Short Film Festival to be held the weekend preceding our May 9th event!  It’s another terrific Mountain Shadow show combo!

View the trailer for "Elle S'en Va" here



Film Review & Commentary

Film Reviews
Where Hate Has No Home

Her perfect life disintegrated before her eyes as first her father, then her mother, then her husband were all deported to the concentration camps and death; following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. She and her son would only survive when they were deported in 1943, because of the music she had to offer the authorities.  Even Terezin, the special camp filled with Jewish artists and created by the Nazis for propaganda purposes to disguise their genocidal actions, was as dark and ludicrous as anything an existentialist novel could depict. 

To this day, one of her aged friends who herself survived Terezin puts it bluntly, “We were dancing under the gallows.”  In response, Alice Hertz-Sommers counters, “But even the bad is beautiful, if you know where to look for it.” 

While she calls music the place of the soul and divinity itself, with the capacity to transport, she does not forget nor flee from the bitter stanzas of her life’s opus. It is as if she has never had to forgive those unspeakable acts that befell her, because she has never given hate a home, that would then require such a monumental task.

Click on the image above to read the full review.

Road Trip!  A Commentary on the film, "Nebraska"

[Note: On March 29th, some Mountain Shadow members gathered for the first “Encore Evenings,” where we enjoyed seeing once again a great commercial film from this last year and having some in-depth discussion. This commentary, written by Mountain Shadow director, John Bennison, accompanied the event.]

Take the mythic hero’s journey and turn it upside down. Then give it a slight twist, and you have Alexander Payne’s stark portrayal of a father-son sojourn across the bleak landscape of a Midwest Americana that time forgot. 

One might react to the film in any number of ways. One might describe it as funny, grim, crude, depressing, sobering, and the characters – or caricatures – as painfully honest and real. But if you’ve ever played the part of a father or a son in an estranged or awkward relationship you might relate.  And against this backdrop shot in black and white there are myriad shades of gray that make up the three-dimensional characters of this story; including some of the shadows of their former selves.

Click on the image above to read the full review.