Oh how the stars do come out for the Mill Valley Movie Festival, working Oct. 7-17.
Contemplate some of the luminaries established to show up at the festival that feels small but appears to be like substantial on the Oscar landscape: actor/director Kenneth Branagh (Oct. 15 for a tribute), influential filmmaker Jane Campion (Oct. 8 to get a Head the Gap Award and a tribute), “Dune” director Denis Villeneuve (Oct. 13 to acquire the Mill Valley Movie Festival Award), actor-turned director Maggie Gyllenhaal (Oct. 16 for a spotlight and to receive the MVFF Ensemble Award), San Francisco-born actor Simon Rex (Oct. 9 for a spotlight), Berkeley-born filmmaker Mike Mills (Oct. 12 for the fest’s Centerpiece presentation) and writer/director Paolo Sorrentino and actor Filippo Scotti (Oct. 16 for a spotlight).
Numerous much more stars and filmmakers are poised to exhibit off their inventive wares and answer concerns from Bay Spot movie admirers all through the system of the influential festival. This yr, the films screen at the Smith Rafael Film Heart, the Sequoia CineArts theater in Mill Valley and the Berkeley Artwork Museum and Pacific Film Archives (BAMPFA).
Some movies will be offered for streaming but the bulk of the programming — 118 titles in all with 55 % from gals filmmakers — unspools in theaters.
Intrigued in attending? Improved get those tickets now and be well prepared to flash some proof of vaccination or damaging COVID check, and an ID. And do use a mask. You won’t get in usually.
The opening night time film is Joe Wright’s musical “Cyrano” with Peter Dinklage the closing night time presentation is Wes Anderson’s whimsical “The French Dispatch.”
Per normal, the festival mixes in Oscar hopefuls along with indie gems from the Bay Spot and further than.
Here are 20 suggestions.
“7 Prisoners (7 Prisioneiros)”: Mateus (Christian Malheiros) dreams of a greater lifetime, but these hopes are killed at the time he leaves his remote Brazilian village for a gig breaking down machinery components in Sao Paulo. At the time on the job, he realizes he and his pals are now slave labor and have a sleazy boss (Brazilian star Rodrigo Santoro). Director Alexandre Moratto’s comply with-up to his gem “Socrates” is gripping, well-acted and feels disturbingly like a documentary. Information: Screening Oct. 15, Smith Rafael Movie Middle.
“Anima:” Cao Jinling’s outrage about the destruction of character in Mongolia saturates every single scene of this stunning contemporary parable that will work on various degrees: as a romance, a Cain-and-Abel drama and a feminist assertion. It need to be viewed on the significant display due to the fact cinematographer Mark Lee Ping-bing’s imagery of the Moerdaoga Countrywide Forest is staggering to behold. What a terrific directorial debut for Jinling. Specifics: Screening Oct. 8 at CineArts Sequoia, Oct. 11 at Smith Rafael Film Heart.
“Bad Angle: The Artwork of Spain Rodriguez”: If you’ve strolled by San Francisco’s Mission District, probabilities are you’ve spotted an case in point of the influential underground comics artist’s putting mural perform. Susan Stern, widow of the normally controversial Zap Comix determine, takes us into the nooks and crannies of the button-pushing cartoonists’ scene though not shying from addressing the criticism tossed her husband’s way. Particulars: Screening Oct. 14 at CineArts Sequoia Oct. 16 at BAMPFA obtainable On Demand from customers by way of competition.
“Bergman Island”: You needn’t be a disciple of legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman to swoon above this adventurous, regularly shocking ode to the fickle artwork of creativeness. But it would aid. Vicky Krieps and Tim Roth are a delight as a filmmaking couple searching for innovative mojo on the island of Faro, the environment for numerous of Bergman’s most exceptional is effective. Director Mia Hansen-Love’s spry tribute will come with various layers to peel again along with a parallel tale. All of it is playfully instructed and with a master’s contact. Particulars: Screening Oct. 10 at Smith Rafael Middle, Oct. 15 at BAMPFA.
“C’Mon C’Mon”: Berkeley indigenous Mike Mills’ most current in a string of beloved family members dramas might well be the film to conquer occur Oscar time. It is a lovely, elegantly instructed metaphysical story about a radio journalist (Joaquin Phoenix, expressing his susceptible side to marvelous effect) tending to a precocious nephew (Woody Norman, in 1 of the very best child performances you are going to at any time see) when his sister (Gaby Hoffmann) travels to Oakland to treatment for the boy’s troubled dad (Scoot McNairy). Soon after wringing out your perfectly-utilized handkerchief, you’ll want to simply call and make amends with a person in your daily life. It is a Centerpiece selection. Details: Mills will surface for an onstage Q&A at the Oct. 12 screening at the Smith Rafael Film Middle also screening Oct. 13-14 at CineArts Sequoia.
“The Electrical Lifetime of Louis Wain”: Cat fans rejoice. Will Sharpe’s kooky biopic breaks free from the mildew of stuffy style constraints by performing just as quirky as the artist it depicts: Wain, who was a Victorian-era illustrator renowned for his renderings of felines. The versatile Benedict Cumberbatch will make Wain a sympathetic but tragic persona whilst Claire Foy as his correct like will acquire your affections as effectively. Particulars: Screening Oct. 8 at Smith Rafael Movie Centre, Oct. 9 at CineArts Sequoia.
“Found”: The pursuit to improved grasp wherever they came from bonds 3 cousins born in China and raised by 3 distinct American suburban families. The trio embark on a journey of self-discovery by returning to China. Amanda Lipitz’s absorbing documentary is going and will have specific resonance with adoptees and their people. Specifics: Screening Oct. 16, Smith Rafael Heart.
“A Hero”: One particular of today’s finest filmmakers — Iran-born Asghar Farhadi, of “The Salesman” and “A Separation” acclaim — might nab his third Oscar with this movie, a morality tale that couldn’t be far more related. It displays on how culture and social media make and celebrate “heroes” out of day to day men and women, in this circumstance a determined Iranian man (Amir Jadidi) saddled with a urgent financial debt, a deadline and a misplaced bag of gems. This is just one a person of the very best movies you will see in 2021. Facts: Screening Oct. 9 at BAMPFA, Oct. 10 at Smith Rafael Film Middle.
“Jockey”: What will make director/co-writer Clint Bentley’s stunning and observant portrait of a worn-out rider these types of a revelation is Clifton Collins Jr.’s performance. He’s on hearth in just about every scene as a person who is nursing a great deal of agony — both equally bodily and mental. It is a efficiency not to pass up. Aspects: Screening Oct. 8-9 at Smith Rafael Film Heart.
“Julia”: Just as they did with “RBG,” the Oscar-nominated filmmaking duo of Julie Cohen and Betsy West whip up a little something exclusive for general public usage: a vigorously researched portrait of an American woman trailblazer. In this affectionate portrait, Child’s enjoy, losses and triumphs, along with her ability as a businesswoman, occur into sharp focus. The foodstuff pictures are unbelievable. Facts: Screening Oct. 9 at Smith Rafael Film Center, Oct. 13 at CineArts Sequoia.
“Lingui, the Sacred Bonds”: 1 of the joys of attending a film pageant is receiving the likelihood to catch an unidentified gem this kind of as this one, a well timed abortion-themed drama established in Chad. Director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s fury at an unjust system is unmistakable as he tells the story of the daughter of village outcast Amina (Achouackh Abakar Souleymane) attempts to get an abortion. It’s an infuriating film, but not a hopeless one particular. Details: Screening Oct. 10 at BAMPFA, Oct. 12 at Smith Rafael Film Heart.
“Marvelous and the Black Hole”: In her feature debut, Fremont native Kate Tsang creates 1 of the most memorable and angry teen woman characters in many years. Thirteen-calendar year-aged Sammy (Miya Cech) is a rebel with out a result in, indignant all the time and reeling from her mother’s dying. That changes when a magician (Rhea Perlman) pops into her lifetime and exhibits her some new tricks about dwelling with decline. It’s an amazing debut. Details: Screening Oct. 16 at Smith Rafael Film Center Tsang will be onstage for a Q&A.
“Mothering Sunday”: Director Eva Husson’s erotic rendering of a Graham Swift novel loosens up the buttons on the time period piece, and is set to steam up eyewear. Odessa Youthful stars as a maid sharing a languid, sensual afternoon with the pretty-ready Paul (Josh O’Connor), a friend of the spouse and children she will work for. But tragedy strains the life of all concerned in this visually transcendent drama set in the aftermath of World War I. Colin Firth, Olivia Colman and Glenda Jackson lend powerful aid. Particulars: Screening Oct. 14 at CineArts Sequoia, Oct. 15 at Smith Rafael Film Center.
“My Useless Dad”: Saddled with an L.A. condominium sophisticated when his dad dies, the rudderless Lucas (Pedro Correa) finds himself finding much more in tune with the building’s inhabitants, an act that prospects to greater knowing about who he is and who his father was. “My Lifeless Dad” sounds easy, but co-screenwriter Correa and director Fabio Frey include layers of complexity, specially in the secondary figures, one particular of whom is performed by “Red Rocket’s” Simon Rex. Correa aces the direct function as the slacker ex-skateboarder. Particulars: Screens Oct. 9 (with Frey and Correa on hand) and 11 at Smith Rafael Film Center.
“The Novice”: The mental health of a newbie rower is place to the check as she pushes herself to lifestyle-threatening extremes in this tightly wound function debut from writer/director Lauren Hadaway. Isabelle Fuhrman’s performance as faculty freshman Alex is unnerving and discomforting though the texture and look of the “Novice” would make you come to feel like you are in the drinking water and in hell with her. Really hard to just take and totally unforgettable. Aspects: Screening Oct. 9 and 13 at Smith Rafael Film Middle.
“Passing”: Actor Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut is a lyrical, tone-fantastic adaptation of Harlem Renaissance author Nella Larsen’s in advance-of-its-time novel about a reunion of two 1920s pals (Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga) in New York. Filmed in black and white and featuring electrifying performances, it intelligently addresses difficult problems about racial identification, and is also a single of the best movies of 2021. Aspects: Screening Oct. 14 (with producer Nina Yang Bongiovi obtaining the festival’s Head the Gap Award and Corridor and Negga in attendance) and 15 at Smith Rafael Movie Center.
“Red Rocket”: Director Sean Baker’s most accomplished film to day introduces us to a single of 2021’s most provocative and appreciate-and-dislike characters. Mikey (portrayed with aching realism by San Francisco indigenous Simon Rex) is a has-been grownup star who returns to a compact-town Texas household and stirs up a lot more hassle with an ex and strikes up a romance with a teenager performing at a doughnut store. It’s a masterpiece with a mesmerizing Rex at its centerpiece. It is the festival’s Spotlight element. Specifics: Screening Oct. 9 at Smith Rafael Film Centre, with Rex on hand for a Q&A.
“The Rescue”: Depart it to the Oscar-successful partner/spouse directing duo of Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (“Free Solo”) to get us squirming in our seats. Their hottest documentary is chew-your-nails intensive as it plunges us into Thailand’s Tham Luang Nang Non cave to catalogue the daring 2018 retrieval of 12 teenagers and their soccer coach. As harrowing as it is going, “The Rescue” recounts a perilous mission that turned cave divers into heroes. You are going to want to stand up and cheer by the finish. Specifics: Screening Oct. 11-12 at Smith Rafael Movie Middle readily available On Need through festival.
“Song for Cesar”: Pinole’s Abel Sanchez and Visitacion Valley’s Andres Alegria give a nicely-rounded appear into the daily life of activist/labor chief Cesar Chavez, relating how his groundbreaking drives to attain farmworkers the rights they deserved inspired tunes, artwork and theater parts. The stirring documentary is stuffed with classic archival photos and functions memorable commentary from dozens, including Carlos Santana, Joan Baez, Dolores Huerta and countless many others. Particulars: Screening Oct. 15 at CineArts Sequoia, Oct. 16 at BAMPFA.
“Spencer”: Even if you think “The Crown” is a snoozer, director Pablo Larrain’s ghoulish, surreal re-imagining of a stifling Xmas holiday break that Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) spent with “the family” will make you pay out interest. Aspect of the cause is Stewart’s functionality, a triumph in which the “Twilight” actor enters the haunted inside corridors of an icon. It’s mad and crafty and even has a wonderful Mike and the Mechanics tune in it. Aspects: Screening Oct. 13 at Smith Rafael Film Center, Oct. 16 at CineArts Sequoia.
Get in touch with Randy Myers at [email protected]
MILL VALLEY Film Festival
When: Oct. 7-17
Where by: Screenings at Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, Sequoia CineArts theater in Mill Valley and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives. A limited selection of films will be offered On Desire.
Tickets: Most screenings $8-$16.50, some events cost much more streaming movies $6-$8 tickets, routine and a lot more data at www.mvff.com