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— Claire C.
Film Reviews
A Life with a View

Like all bio-pics PAULA combines historical fact about the early 20th century expressionis artist with a filmmaker’s imagination that fills in those places of unknowing with universal themes found in what is most common and familiar to the human story. It is in this sense that PAULA is far more than an early women’s empowerment story, or pictorial lecture in art history. To read a Mountain Shadow review of our January selection, click on the photo above.

Sink, or Swim

In the comedic British film, “Swimming with Men,” stayin’ alive is the challenge facing Eric, a middle-aged accountant executive whose hum-drum career, marriage and family life has become so utterly and predictably dull and meaningless that his only escape is swimming solo laps after work. That is, until one day he finds himself sinking – both literally and metaphorically -- to the bottom of the pool. Then he opens his eyes and sees before him the unlikeliest form of re-immersion, initiation and rebirth. His revelatory discovery is that it’s all about coming alive once again, while he’s in the water. To read the full Mountain Shadow review, click on the image above.

VISION: For Those Who Have Eyes to See It

Adorableness is a given when it comes to puppy movies. It’s also the “Ahhhhh-factor” when people so much as walk past the movie poster of Dana Bachman and Don Hardy’s documentary, “Pick of the Litter.” But it’s serious business when highly bred litters begin their training at facilities like Guide Dogs of the Blind (San Rafael), or Guide Dogs of the Desert (Palm Desert, California). To read a review of Mountain Shadow’s selection for November, 2018, click on the image above.

When Books Can Kindle

Bookshops come and go. But the larger theme behind “The Bookshop” is an allegorical tale familiar to us all in all its many guises; where the resilience and gumption of any underdog is pitted against entrenched and formidable powers. To read a Mountain Shadow review of our selection for October, 2018, click on the image above.

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”