Silicon Valley’s own major film festival, Cinequest heads into its final weekend. I strongly recommend the indie dramedy Quality Problems, screening at 9:30 tomight at the Hammer theater in downtown San Jose; if you’re going to see one Cinequest film, make it this one. I’ll be linking more festival coverage to my Cinequest 2017 page, including both features and movie recommendations. Follow me on Twitter for the very latest coverage.
Because Cinequest is underway, my video pick is from the 2013 festival: in the documentary Meet the Hitlers, we are introduced to those few people who choose NOT to change their birth name of “Hitler”. Meet the Hitlers is available for streaming rental from Amazon Video and Vudu and for streaming purchase from iTunes.
- La La Land: the extraordinarily vivid romantic musical staring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
- Lion: an emotionally affecting family drama that makes the audience weep (in a good way).
- Hidden Figures: a true life story from the 1960s space program – a triumph of human spirit and brainpower over sexism and racism; the audience applauded.
- Winner of the Best Picture Oscar, the remarkably sensitive and realistic indie drama Moonlight is at once a coming of age tale, an exploration of addicted parenting and a story of gay awakening. It’s almost universally praised, but I thought that the last act petered out.
- The Salesman is another searing and authentic psychological family thriller from Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation, The Past). It won the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
On March 14, Turner Classic Movies is airing the 1975 character-driven neo-noir Night Moves, with Gene Hackman as an LA private eye who follows a trail of evidence to steamy Florida. Hackman shines in the role – the detective is deeply in love with his estranged wife, but unsuited for marriage. Night Moves also features Melanie Griffith’s breakthrough role as the highly sexualized teen daughter in the Florida family; Griffith was eighteen or nineteen when this was filmed, and had already been living with Don Johnson for three years. (That night TCM will also present two even better 1970s neo-noir thrillers – Klute and The French Connection.)