Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Missing Picture (2013)

WHO: Cambodia's great documentarian Rithy Panh co-wrote, co-edited and directed this,

WHAT: As a fan of Panh's films since seeing Land of the Wandering Souls back in 2001, I jumped on the chance to see his newest, and perhaps already most acclaimed film, a soulfully autobiographical account of his days as a youth experiencing the horrors of Pol Pot's regime told using poetic narration, hand-carved figurines, and the propaganda footage created by the Khmer Rouge. The latter became the only motion picture record of that terrible time in the nation's history, as a relatively thriving film industry was completely obliterated, its practitioners often killed or at least driven to disguise their affiliation with what was seen as a damningly modern and intellectual pursuit.

There's a "hold review" on The Missing Picture until its local commercial release (date TBA, but hopefully before the end of the year), so I'll just say I was not disappointed in The Missing Picture as a Rithy Panh fan, and link to Jordan Cronk's excellent review, which fruitfully contrasts the film against others by the director, as well as The Act of Killing.

WHERE?WHEN: Screens today at 4:45 at the Lark Theatre and 5:30 tomorrow at the Rafael Film Center, presented by the Mill Valley Film Festival.

WHY: MVFF only has a couple more days left in it, but the majority of the films I'm most interested in seeing, whether at the festival or upon general release, are packed into these final days. Unfortunately a large number of showings are at Rush status which means braving lines and hoping for luck, but not all are. This afternoon's screening of The Missing Picture, tomorrow's 5@5 shorts showcase featuring Black Angel and three other favorites, and the last screening of the only 35mm print of a new film in the entire festival, Yoji Yamada's Tokyo Family, are among those that still appear to have available tickets. Of course, waiting in a rush line may require less patience than waiting to see a film like top Cannes prize-winner Blue is the Warmest Color when it arrives on local screens. (That one is currently set to come to the Embarcadero November 1st, presuming that theatre's remodeling and reopening goes according to schedule.)

HOW: The Missing Picture screens digitally.

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