Coming Soon 

FRIDAY, MARCH 20th  – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, MARCH 21st – 7:30 PM

  OAK VIEW ROOM, WALNUT CREEK LIBRARY

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CITIZENFOUR
Rated R, 114 min. – Documentary

2015 BAFTA “Best Documentary” winner, and Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary:

it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film the movie of the century (to date)…. in some ways undramatic, yet it is one of the most absorbing things I’ve ever seen in a film.” - Godfrey Cheshire, from RogerEbert.com

In January 2013, Laura Poitras started receiving anonymous encrypted e-mails from "CITIZENFOUR," who claimed to have evidence of illegal covert surveillance programs run by the NSA in collaboration with other intelligence agencies worldwide. Five months later, she and reporters Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill flew to Hong Kong for the first of many meetings with the man who turned out to be Edward Snowden. She brought her camera with her. The resulting film is history unfolding before our eyes.

Says film critic, A.O. Scott: “(This film is) a tense and frightening thriller that blends the brisk globe-trotting of the “Bourne” movies with the spooky, atmospheric effects of a Japanese horror film. And it is also a primal political fable for the digital age, a real-time tableau of the confrontation between the individual and the state.”

Note: In order to allow adequate time for discussion at the conclusion of the film for those who are interested, we have rented the library until 10:30 PM.

This show also includes the 2-minute Oscar Nominated Animated Short Film, A SINGLE LIFE.

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 10th  – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, APRIL 18th – 7:30 PM

  OAK VIEW ROOM, WALNUT CREEK LIBRARY

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TIMBUKTU - Drama - PG-13 - 97 min. Languages: Arabic, Bambara, English, French (English Subtitles). An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, the critics rave: “Breathtakingly beautiful.” “An extraordinary film.” Brief synopsis: A cattle herder and his family who reside in the dunes of Timbuktu find their quiet lives -- which are typically free of the Jihadists determined to control their faith -- abruptly disturbed. NOTE: Local commercial theaters may screen this title, but it’s such a magnificent film, worthy of great discussion, Mountain Shadow is bringing it to our membership. See it here, along with a wonderful Oscar-nominated animated short film, DUET.

FRIDAY, MAY 8th  – 7:30 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 16th – 7:30 PM

  OAK VIEW ROOM, WALNUT CREEK LIBRARY

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MARIE’S STORY - Biography, Non-rated, 95 min. French (English subtitles). A favorite from Palm Springs Int’l Film Festival and new theatrical release, Brief synopsis: Marie Heurtin is born both blind and deaf. Sister Marguerette wins her trust and teaches her how to express herself.  Included with this show: SWEET COCOON, a fun and quirky animated short from France, that was a shortlisted runner-up Oscar nomination this year!

 

Film Review & Commentary

Film Reviews
PLACES OF THE HEART

Brief Reviews of Six Oscar Short Film Nominees for 2015
By John Bennison, Mountain Shadow Volunteer Director

Like the literary genre of the short story, an effective short film can tell an entire tale and convey everything that needs to be seen and said in a matter of minutes.  At the same time, these vignettes can leave enough spaces between the lines to engage the viewer’s imagination.

The Oscar nominations for Best Short Film has three categories, documentary, live action and animated. Over Valentine’s Day weekend in February, Mountain Shadow’s audiences enjoyed all five of the live action shorts, along with one of the animated titles.  

Click on the image above to read the full review.

Run for Your Life... or, How to Control an Avalanche

A REVIEW & COMMENTARY ON “FORCE MAJEURE”
A Film written, directed and edited by Ruben Östlund
Rated R – 118 min – Drama / Comedy - Swedish, English subtitles
This film was the Society's selection for January, 2015

By John Bennison, Mountain Shadow Volunteer Director

FORCE MAJEURE is a slow-motion psychological thriller; with breath-taking scenes of towering mountains that loom so large they make human beings and their hamlets that cling to their steep cliffs seem insignificant, and almost downright petty. Beneath the happy family veneer are all the kinds of doubts and disappointments faced by many adult relationships. They lie so close to the surface that they are perceptively obvious to a child’s eye. 

Click on the image above to read the full review.  

Like it or not, C’est la vie

A COMMENTARY ON THE FILM, “Aimer, Boire et Chanter” [ AKA, “Life of Riley”]
by John Bennison, Mountain Shadow Volunteer Director
Note: This was the feature film for Mountain Shadow’s December, 2014 shows.

Over the course of six months, from springtime to late fall, three middle-aged couples rehearse their parts for an amateur play; all the while struggling – each in their own way -- with the news of a terminal diagnosis for their mutual friend George Riley. Yes, it’s considered a comedy! But for the characters in this film, it’s no life of Riley.

Click on the image above to read the full commentary.

Three Comics Walk Into a Bar: Did You Hear the One About ... ?

A COMMENTARY ON THE FILM, “3 STILL STANDING”
By John Bennison, Director, Mountain Shadow Film Society
This film was featured by the Society in November 2014

The funny bone is probably the most elusive part of the human anatomy. For the comedian who considers their self a professional, finding the right way to tickle it is a quest not for the faint of heart. And for those aging comics who’ve been at it for 3-4 decades, their career paths are not unlike any of us who’ve found and followed a passion that can be “intoxicating.”  

That’s the way Will Durst describes the connection he’s sometimes able to find with his audience. “When it works, it’s better than anything,” he says. And like everything else, it seems, it has a life of its own. This film tells such a story; how the stars once aligned over the San Francisco skyline in the eighties. And that nothing lasts forever.

Click on the image above to read the full commentary.