The Reel Less Traveled – March 2020

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Three for the Price of Two

    Up until recently, I had an embarrassment of riches to write about. With the Classic Film Showcase, the International Film Showcase and the Moraga Movers, there was much to recommend.
    But with the troubled history of the Rheem, the Moraga Movers had to curtail their cinematic pleasures leaving me with only two “extra-curricular” events to write about. The good news is that the Rheem is open for business. I would love for there to be some meeting between those two organizations.
    This month offers a sort of compromise as one of the films I’m going to discuss almost counts as two.
    I’m talking about Giant. Never has the Classic Film Showcase (that I know of) shown a film as epic as this one. Clocking in at nearly 3½ hours and featuring some of the biggest names in Hollywood at the time (1956), this aptly named film has it all. Starting with the stunning Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson (playing against type) and the legendary James Dean, whose untimely death during the production casts a slight pall over it.
    Detailing the rising and fallings, as well as the heated passions of the Benedict family, the film will help viewers forget about the intimidating run time and become fascinated by the family’s changing fortunes. It screens at the Orinda March 12 and admission is free. Go to www.orindamovies.com for details.
    In looking over the premise behind this month’s offering from the International Film Showcase, I was struck how comical it sounded. But after viewing the trailer, I was quickly disavowed of the idea this was anything else than a deadly serious movie about faith and redemption.
    Daniel is a troubled youth with a violent past who, though spiritually inclined, is precluded from pursuing that path – until he misrepresents himself and soon thereafter finds himself thrust into a position which is as unexpected as it is desired. Add to this a small town with secrets of its own and you have Corpus Christi, a 2019 Polish Oscar nominee. It starts its one-week run at the Orinda March 27. See the trailer at www.internationalshowcase.org.

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