Tag Archives: Mill Valley Film Festival

10 Berkeley-connected films at the Mill Valley Film Festival

Actress examines a rare science fiction book by Johannes Kepler in the movie, Kepler's Dream, which will be playing at the Mill Valley Film Festival
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Berkeley writer Sylvia Brownrigg was 21 when she met her paternal grandmother for the first time. It was not an easy start, as her grandmother, a world traveler and famous book collector, was “frosty” and not easy to relate to. But, with time, Sylvia and her grandmother developed a close and lasting bond.

Elements of that relationship – with some significant changes – can be found in Kepler’s Dream, a movie that will have its film festival premiere Friday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

The movie, produced by Sedge Thompson of West Coast Live fame, and directed by Amy Glazer, tells the story of an 11-year-old California girl who is forced to go live with her grandmother in New Mexico because her mother is sick and her father seems to want to avoid parenting. The young girl, Ella, played by British actress Isabella Blake Thomas, becomes captivated by a rare book written by Johannes Kepler. Its theft sets into motion a series of events that both challenges the family and brings them together.

The movie is based on a book that was  published in 2012 and written under Brownrigg’s nom de plume, Juliet Bell. Glazer, a local film director with whom Brownrigg hikes regularly, read the book and declared she wanted to turn it into a movie. The two wrote the screenplay with another pair of women.

“I am really excited it has come out,” said Brownrigg. “It has been a three-year project so it’s great to see it make its way into the world.” … Continue reading »

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Mill Valley Film Festival highlights Berkeley director

Nels Cline
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Berkeley filmmaker Steven Okazaki won an Academy Award in 1991 for Days of Waiting, a short film about Estelle Ishigo, a Caucasian artist who went with her Japanese-American husband to a World War II internment camp for Japanese Americans. Three of his other films, focusing on the  legacy of the World War II era on Japanese Americans, have also been nominated for Oscars.

Now Okazaki has turned his attention to the music of Nels Cline, one of the country’s most accomplished guitarists and a member of the band Wilco.

Shot entirely inside Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, Approximately Nels Cline is an examination of every aspect of the guitarist. The short documentary shows Cline playing electric and acoustical guitar, improvising, and performing traditional and experimental music. The film — Okazaki’s first music documentary — explores Cline’s genius and sense of adventure and showcases his “fearless experimental spirit.”

“It’s not your typical music documentary,” said Okazaki. “It’s about musicianship and the collaborative hard work of playing great music.” … Continue reading »

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