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Film Reviews
The 4th Annual Short Film Competition

Mountain Shadow’s 4th Annual Short Film Competition was held Sept. 14th – 15th at the Las Lomas Theater. Twenty-two volunteer-member jurors previewed 539 submissions and selected ten Finalists to present live-action, animated and documentary films in person for audience balloting and cash awards. Click on the image above to find out who won, and view a terrific YouTube video of the filmmaker’s Q&A with the audience!

Love the One You're With

“The Cakemaker” - How does one grieve the loss of a lover? Especially a clandestine love who cannot be revealed? Seeking solace and resolution, two abandoned lovers instead try to love the one they’re with; in this critically-acclaimed German-Israeli drama that was Mountain Shadow’s selection for August, 2018. You can read Mountain Shadow’s film review by clicking on the image above.

Lost and Found: A Once-Believer’s Trail

The Desert Bride is a quiet little gem of a film about an ordinary little life. It’s an allegory, filled with metaphors. There’s the desert of nothingness, filled with mythic beliefs in miracles that – like the winds – are strong enough to blow and toss one where one never could have imagined, or undertaken on one’s own. This film was Mountain Shadow’s selection for July, 2018. Click on the image above to read the Mountain Shadow film review.

Life Lessons: What’s the Worth of a Teacher?

Life Lessons? What’s the worth of a teacher? In Santiago Rizzo’s autobiographical drama, an abused 12 year old graffiti addict has his life turned around by a humble middle school teacher and football coach in Berkeley; who believes that there is no such thing as a bad kid, only a bad situation. “QUEST” was Mountain Shadow’s selection for June, 2018. To read the Review, click on the image above.

Places of the Heart

From Chile, Oscar winning “Best Foreign Language Film,” A Fantastic Woman is a readily recognizable love story; including a tragic twist. It is one in which one lover is lost to the other; with the one left behind having to learn how to muster the strength and courage to carry on alone. The unfolding drama is subsequently one that seeks the answer to a question with which anyone who has ever mourned can identify. How shall one grieve? And specifically with the particular set of circumstances in this story, how will Marina, a transgender person, be allowed to grieve the death of Orlando? This fantastic film was Mountain Shadow’s selection for May, 2018. Click on the image above to read the review.

Finding What Lasts Forever

FINDING WHAT LASTS FOREVER - A personal journey of self-discovery combines with a documentary to delight foodies, along with a beautiful travelogue of Italy! Click on the image above to read a film review and commentary of Mountain Shadow’s selection for April, 2018: Matteo Troncone’s document: “Arrangarsi - Pizza and the Art of Living”

The Mole Hill, the Mountain, and the Way Back Home

If one considers film an art form, and one subscribes to the maxim about art imitating life, then a fine film like THE INSULT is an excellent example. It is also an “everyman’s” story. Lebanon's submission for "Best Foreign Language Film," was aptly selected as one of five nominees at the 2018 Oscars. The film was Mountain Shadow's selection for March, 2018. Click on the image above to read a Mountain Shadow review of this film.

Home Away from Home

Journey, home and homecoming are universal themes, portrayed time and again in a stock story line. But they can be all the more powerful when depicted with characters who were once total strangers; but now find themselves thrown together by misfortune that becomes the catalyst for a semblance “family” where one never existed before. Such is the story line in Jackie van Beek’s slow-burn film, “The Inland Road.” To read a review of Mountain Shadow's selection for January, 2018, click on the image above.

Serious Monkey Business

Nearly sixty years ago, words like “liberated” -- let alone “empowered” -- were terms hardly associated with a woman’s role in Western society.  Now, in an era when TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” are a group of women known as “The Silence Breakers,” it’s almost quaint to recall the scientific community’s surprise when a young British secretary with no formal training in their field made the cover of The National Geographic magazine in 1965. To read a review of Brett Morgen's documentary, JANE, click on the image above.

Lend Me Your Ear

LOVING VINCENT is the world’s first fully oil painted feature film. First shot as a live action film with actors, the film was then hand-painted over frame-by-frame in oils. The story line is a standard murder mystery. The total charm of the film, however, is to be found less in the who-done-it-if-Vincent-didn’t storyline; and more in the manner in which each character vividly comes to life as if van Gogh had painted them through his own artistic eye, in his own style. The film was Mountain Shadow's selection for November, 2017. Click on the image above to read a Mountain Shadow review.