Coming Soon 

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). See trailer here.  
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.  Trailer here.  

Also appearing is the 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).  See trailer here.  
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
Whistling in the Dark

A COMMENTARY ON THE FILM, “CITIZENFOUR”
This documentary was the selection in March 2015 for the Society.  
Review by John Bennison, Mountain Shadow Volunteer Director

What makes CITIZENFOUR simultaneously both compelling and seemingly un-dramatic in a theatrical sense is that it isn’t based on a true story, after the fact. Instead, it’s a real story that unfolds in real time.  Regardless of whatever personal predisposed opinions each viewer may have at this point nearly two years later about the famous (or infamous) main character, the filmmaker takes us to the front lines of a battle that has yet to begin; with raw footage of Edward Snowden’s deliberations and declared intentions, before he even puts the whistle to his lips.  

It is the kind of exclusive scoop with unfettered access of which most investigative reporters and documentarians can only dream. It is this front row seat every viewer is given of an unscripted non-actor and real-life character playing a role only he can play that makes CITIZENFOUR fascinating to watch.

Click on the image above to read the full review.

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.