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The Ballad of Lefty Brown

Lefty Brown (Bill Pullman) spent his life riding Montana’s scenic ranges, in the company of men who would become dime-novel heroes. His own legend burns not so bright. People wonder how the likes of new US Senator Edward Johnson (Peter Fonda), Governor Jimmy Bierce (Jim Caviezel), and lawman Tom Harrah (Tommy Flanagan) could put up with the garrulous, incompetent old coot. But this apparent fool courageously risks his own life to seek justice for a fallen friend, never wavering in his determination even as deadly forces array themselves against him. Pullman, the sophisticated star of Independence Day and Lost Highway, gets in touch with his inner-Walter Brennan to deliver a masterful performance of a man whose hayseed persona masks his true nature. But while this absorbing Western offers a finely-etched character portrait of an underrated cowpoke, it also delivers thrilling, action-packed drama. A superb gallery of supporting characters includes the gorgeous Montana wilde
Fri, Oct 6, 2017 7:00 PM
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Chappaquiddick

Director John Curran’s (The Painted Veil) suspenseful drama captures the infamous 1969 Chappaquiddick incident, in which Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) accidentally drove his car off a bridge after a party, resulting in the drowning of a young campaign staffer named Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara). But the tragedy of Kopechne’s death was dramatically compounded by the political machinations that followed, as the powerful Kennedy clan and its spin doctors maneuvered to cover up the incident.
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 8:00 PM
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The Deep Sky

Opening a romantic relationship is usually a delicate exercise. Lenora and Arlan, a Bay Area couple who are as cerebral as they are empathic, navigate the decision with enough intentionality to give themselves confidence that if any two people can make non-monogamy work, they can. A chance encounter in the supermarket produce section eventually leads Nina, an enigmatic young woman from Germany, into their lives. She rapidly becomes entwined-emotionally and intellectually as well as sexually-in their relationship. Rather than the casual (and separate) romantic encounters they had envisioned opening themselves up to, Lenora and Arlan begin to imagine life as two nodes of a triad. The film treats its subject matter thoughtfully, without ever verging into tawdriness. Shot on location in Oakland by local filmmaker Frazer Bradshaw, The Deep Sky is a reflective, often quiet rumination on the emotional contours and complexities of love that transcends two people.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 9:15 PM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 8:45 PM
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Downsizing

In the not-so-distant future, scientists successfully engineer a way to shrink people to a fraction of their size. But what starts as a conservationist strategy to save the planet turns into a capitalist dream that promises the opportunity to live large by becoming small. A financially struggling couple in Omaha, Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey (Kristin Wiig), buy into that dream-with a host of unexpected consequences.
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 7:00 PM
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The Florida Project

The Magic Castle Motel is the tattered safety net for Orlando families verging on homelessness, a world away from Disneyworld’s glittering attractions just across town. But for precocious, six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), the inn and its surrounding neighborhood hold their own enchantment as her gritty, personal amusement park. The little girl runs wild, sometimes dangerously so, and incites her playmates to follow her lead. While Bobby (a terrific, world-weary Willem Dafoe), the hotel’s sympathetic, often exasperated manager scolds her, her wild-child mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) indulges her. She is also about as emotionally mature as her daughter, and acts out without considering consequences. Like filmmaker Sean Baker and co-writer Chris Bergoch’s previous collaboration Tangerine, which focused on transgender women prostitutes in Los Angeles, The Florida Project observes its impoverished characters with understanding and compassion. Prince and Vinaite tug at th
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 8:15 PM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 6:00 PM
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Fourth Movement

Rob Nilsson and players from his Direct Action Workshop explore the lives of nocturnal seekers on the edges of the jazz music world. It is opening night at San Franciscos new C Flat Jazz Cluband its election night 2016: the 21st centurys Eve of Destruction. Everything is about to change.Strangers, lovers, wonderers, and wanderers from diverse cultures come together or break apart because of, and in spite of, the uncertain future ahead. Among them are Lou the soulful torch singer; jazz club owner Groove and Nuray, a beautiful Azerbaijani refugee; German Barbara and her errant lover Errol; Italian Valentina; and free-spirited Juliana, with her suite of midnight callers.All are lovingly enveloped by the smoky sounds of Fred Randolphs jazz sextet, evoking the citys deep-rooted jazz history and its current rebel heart. Tear up the charts and reach for the high notes: Fourth Movement fulfills its promise, note for note.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 10:00 PM
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 8:45 PM
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Harold and Maude

An unparalleled dark comedy that simultaneously redefined cinema and captured San Francisco’s post-summer-of-love malaise, Harold and Maude is an indelible part of the American zeitgeist. MVFF screens this 1971 cult classic in honor of famed Marin casting director Ann Brebner, who cast the film locally-and nearly played the role of Harold’s mother. Harold (Bud Cort), a quiet and morose young man, has what his mother calls a “sense of the absurd” that manifests itself in an incorrigible desire to fake his suicide in increasingly outlandish ways. While attending one of many funerals, Harold happens upon Maude (Ruth Gordon) casually picnicking at the cemetery. A 79-year-old with a lust for life and a penchant for stealing cars, Maude is daring, impulsive, and political-everything Harold is not. Iconic music from Cat Stevens permeates the soundtrack, and the leads carry the film through their chemistry, resulting in a tragicomic romance that is just as groundbreaking and gratifying
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 3:00 PM
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I, Tonya

Figure skater Tonya Harding is forever remembered as the white-trash ice queen who took down rival skater Nancy Kerrigan with a crowbar at the 1994 Olympics. But in Craig Gillespie’s (Lars and the Real Girl) biting black comedy, Tonya (Margot Robbie) finally gets her chance for redemption in a saucy stew of narrative storytelling and mockumentary-style interviews with the key players in this real-life comedy of errors.
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 8:15 PM
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Lady Bird

CLOSING NIGHT FILM/SPOTLIGHT ON GRETA GERWIG. Bumbling through her senior year at a Catholic high school, Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson desperately wants to escape Sacramento for the loftier environs of an East Coast liberal arts college. Played by the always enchanting Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, MVFF 2015) and clad in the compulsory polo shirt and plaid skirt ensemble, the rebellious teenager spends her final semesters hanging out in parking lots and minimarts while navigating the confusing world of college applications and blossoming relationships. Indie darling Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut demonstrates a discernible acumen towards filmmaking and a keen understanding of the high school experience and the complex relationships between a young woman, her family, and her hometown.
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 5:00 PM5:00 PM5:00 PM5:00 PM5:00 PM
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Last Flag Flying

CENTERPIECE FILM. Once upon a time in ‘Nam, Doc (Steve Carell), Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) were an inseparable trio. Then something horrible went down, one of them took the fall, and they stopped speaking to each other. Decades later, Doc tracks down his fellow vets-Sal’s an alcoholic bar owner; former hellraiser Mueller is now a man of God-to ask for a favor: His only son has just died in combat in Iraq. He needs them to accompany him to identify the body and to join him on one last mission. This sequel to The Last Detail, like Hal Ashby’s 1973 classic, an adaptation of a Darryl Ponsican novel, is a funny, talky, emotionally resonant road movie. But this Richard Linklater masterwork is also a moving, heartbreaking tribute to the bonds forged in warfare and a penetrating, performance-driven actors’ showcase that boldly asks why we fight- and how we as a nation heal from the damage done.
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 7:00 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 2:00 PM
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The Light of the Moon

While walking home alone from a party late one night, the life of a confident and successful young Brooklyn-based architect is tragically changed when a stranger sexually assaults her. She seemingly recovers, but the impact of that harrowing experience slowly leaves its imprint, shattering the dynamics of her personal and professional life. Carried by Stephanie Beatriz’s (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Short Term 12) nuanced, authentic performance, The Light of the Moon prefers not to center on the criminal repercussions of the assault; rather, it offers an unflinching and raw portrayal of the invisible wounds that painfully affect a victim’s psyche and subtly strain an intimate relationship following sexual trauma. A timely discussion on rape culture with a noticeable female perspective and sensibility both in content and style, director Jessica M. Thompson’s feature debut is unafraid to question taboos, society’s expectations of womanhood, and uncomfortable issues of guilt
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 8:45 PM
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 6:00 PM
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Metamorphosis: Junior Year

Metamorphosis: Junior Year is a film about becoming. Created by Palo Alto High School students in collaboration with James Franco and Esther Wojcicki, based on a Young Adult novel by Betsy Franco, this coming-of-age tale takes on the myriad themes which define youth: identity, sex, purpose, drugs, self-image. Haunted by the death of his sister and plagued by his parent’s expectations, young artist Ovid uses mythology and drawings to understand the world around him while his friends become our window into current high school life-from potheads to poets and shoplifters to singers. Friendship, drama, betrayal, and redemption abound as we see how these teenagers relate to one another and the environment around them. Their transformations take on new resonance as we remember that growth is essential to all living things. Animated interludes add whimsy and originality to this modern mythology for a new generation.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 12:30 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 1:30 PM
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The Meyerowitz Stories

In the latest dark comedy from writer/director Noah Baumbach (The Squid and the Whale, MVFF 2005), Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, and Elizabeth Marvel deliver hysterical turns as a trio of estranged, dysfunctional siblings who gather together in New York City to celebrate the work of their father Harold Meyerowitz (Dustin Hoffman), a minor, largely uncelebrated sculptor in his golden years, whose art has been selected to be a part of a group show. A major hit at this year’s Cannes Film Festival with a tone reminiscent of his screenwriting collaborations with Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic, Fantastic Mr. Fox), The Meyerowitz Stories showcases Baumbach’s wit and offers Sandler, who shines as the eldest Meyerowitz sibling, his best role since starring in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love 15 years ago. Candice Bergen, Emma Thompson, and Adam Driver round out the all-star cast in unforgettable supporting roles.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 5:30 PM
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Molly's Game

From high-speed ski racing to high-stakes poker, Molly Bloom (Jessica Chastain) was always on the fast track to something big. The true story of the one-time Olympic hopeful turned “Poker Princess” is literally ripped from the headlines: Beautiful young woman busted by the feds for her role in an underground gambling ring catering to A-list celebrities and business moguls-with alleged ties to the Russian mob. But, as played to perfection by a feisty yet restrained Chastain, there is much more to Molly than meets the tabloid eye. In a world driven by big money, big risk and big (male) egos, she not only holds her own but also holds her moral ground. Renowned writer of volubility Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing) makes his directorial debut with a swift-talking script, adapted from Bloom’s 2014 memoir, and a high-powered cast, including Kevin Costner as Molly’s backbreaking father and Idris Elba as her straight-talking defense lawyer.
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 6:00 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 8:00 PM
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Mr. Roosevelt

Emily escaped the “velvet rut” of Austin only to land in the ditch of LA’s fringe comedy scene, where she’s utterly failing to parlay viral YouTube stardom into, well, anything. Cue an emergency text from the ex-boyfriend: Her eponymous orange tabby is in a bad way. After flying back to Texas with only the clothes on her back, Emily soon has more than just an urn full of cat cremains to handle-she also has to deal with the mess she’s made of her life. Writer-director Noël Wells (Master of None) stars in her endearingly weird and funny debut, an autobiographical ode to 21st-century twentysomething angst, which snagged audience and jury awards at SXSW. But you don’t need to be an Austinite hipster to relate to getting over the new girlfriend who’s “a Pinterest board come to life,” mourning a beloved city being drained of its quirkiness by gentrification, and stumbling toward purpose in our social-media-steeped world.
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 9:15 PM
Thu, Oct 12, 2017 6:30 PM
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Mudbound

SPOTLIGHT ON DEE REES. Dee Rees (Pariah) further establishes herself as a director of the first order with this remarkable tale, based on Hilary Jordan’s potent novel, of two families whose lives fatefully intertwine in the Jim Crow South. In the wake of World War II, two veterans (Garrett Hedlund, Jason Mitchell) and the loved ones they return home to (Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige) forge tenuous friendships despite the deeply entrenched racial tensions that still seethe in their small Mississippi town. Employing themes and multiple narrators that evoke the sophistication and insight of Faulkner, Rees brilliantly conveys a story that’s epic in its scale but still intimate in its characterizations. With terrific support from Jason Clarke, Jonathan Banks, and Rob Morgan, and painterly images by cinematographer Rachel Morrison perfectly capturing the period, Mudbound is steeped in history, tragedy, and the promise of reconciliation that still resonates today.
Sat, Oct 7, 2017 6:30 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 1:45 PM
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Quest

The streets of Berkeley come alive in this intense, lyrical coming-of-age story based on real events. It’s 1995, and Mills (Gregory Kasyan) is a messed-up middle-school graffiti artist. To avoid his abusive father (Lou Diamond Phillips), he wanders around town with his friends, tagging anything he can reach. With suspensions and arrests piling up, Mills is on the road to nowhere, or worse. Then he meets a teacher (Dash Mihok) who connects with this lost and lonely youth. Berkeley’s Willard Middle School teacher and coach Tim Moellering inspired filmmaker Santiago Rizzo to make this drama that mixes penetrating scenes of heartbreak with funny, real moments of human connection. Rizzo employs hypnotic camerawork, a pitch-perfect soundtrack, and authentic East Bay locations to capture the free, threatening energy of life on the streets. With passionate performances and urgent insights about education, adolescence, and abuse, this turbulent, but uplifting tale offers a world of hope and acc
Sat, Oct 14, 2017 3:45 PM
Sun, Oct 15, 2017 2:15 PM8:15 PM
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The Relationtrip

Twentysomething loners Beck (co-director Renée Felice Smith) and Liam (Matt Bush) bond over a mutual appreciation for PB&Js and a common contempt for coupledom. Escaping from their friends' expectations of relationships, the pair takes a "friendship friend-trip" to the desert with a few rules: separate rooms and no funny business. Over late-night diner escapades and cognac and half and half-fueled discussions, the duo grows closer, literally pulling off each other’s masks and setting them on the breakfast table. From there, Beck and Liam’s neuroses are free to emerge from their hiding places. Liam’s attachment issues are addressed in an impromptu therapy session in the living room fort, while Beck’s body issues prevent her from taking off her bathing suit. Ever. Playful surrealism enhances classic rom-com elements into enchanting sequences, while stars Smith and Bush jive together like peanut butter and jelly with witty banter and brazen charm.
Sun, Oct 8, 2017 11:45 AM
Mon, Oct 9, 2017 12:30 PM
Tue, Oct 10, 2017 4:00 PM
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