The Reel Less Traveled – January 2020


Save the Date

    Though I’m sure you’ve heard it all far too often already, I would like to extend a warm Happy New Year to one and all. I would also like to jump on the “clever pun” bandwagon and declare this the year of the cinema.
    After all, the year itself lends itself quite handily to this most visual of mediums, for would not the acuity of vision be a necessary requirement for viewing all the films I’ll be talking about in the months to come?
    With that said, I would also like to urge everyone to check out and Frequent check-ins with these sites will insure you won’t miss a thing – and that includes the many live events the Orinda Theatre has to offer.
    So let’s lead with the Classic Film Showcase, which always shows on the second Thursday of the month. This month, it’s Out of Africa, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. This 1985 film, directed by Sydney Pollack, has everything going for it and it shows in its seven Oscar wins, including Best Picture. Oddly enough, Streep was not one of the recipients.
    Never has Africa looked lovelier and never has there been such a stirring musical score to go along with the images. Indeed, this is one of those movies that you don’t ever want to end and you could hardly be blamed for staying all through the credits, if for no other reason than to savor every last minute of it. This is movie making at its finest with romance to spare. It screens at the Orinda Theatre at 7 p.m. Jan. 9. Admission is free.
    Never one to shy away from controversy, the International Film Showcase starts out the New Year with By the Grace of God. Originally, planned as a documentary, the director, Francois Ozon, decided he would take his research and turn it into a thinly veiled fictional narrative about religion and abuse.
    This is an extremely sensitive yet prevalent subject and our current world cinema has not been silent about it. From Doubt to Spotlight (and innumerable films before and between), this subject is far reaching and if there were anything good to say about it, it would be that many victims are coming forward in greater numbers. Films like the aforementioned movies are encouraging this. This film will have a one-week run at the Orinda starting Jan. 24. Make sure to make time for this one.
    As ever, remember to stay in the dark for that’s where the reel magic lies.

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