bridesmaid-dressesAt the top of the Rafael’s summer quarter, we are pleased to welcome modern dance legend Anna Halprin back to our stage to present and discuss her new collaboration with Swiss filmmaker Ruedi Gerber. For someone who has marked many milestones throughout her career in dance, Anna is about to achieve yet another one, as she turns 95 and is still going strong.




Performance and the lives of performers are strands that run through the Rafael’s upcoming programs, from the Grateful Dead concert film and Les Blank’s “lost” film about Leon Russell, to the remarkable new documentary Listen to Me Marlon, in which the acting legend Brando speaks to us intimately about his life and work. Perhaps performance is not an unusual theme for us, given the number of music films and documentaries we show in the first place, as well as our keen interest in the personalities that populate our screens.


Extraordinary numbers of personalities and screens were on display recently at the Cannes Film Festival, the biggest such event in the world. For us it represents going into high gear for the upcoming Mill Valley Film Festival, since some of the films and makers will likely figure in our 38th edition this October.


But Cannes is quite a spectacle in itself. More than 30,000 accredited professionals descend on Cannes for the duration of the festival. The most ubiquitous images that reach us from Festival de Cannes are the shots from the red carpet that leads to the 2,300 seat Lumi`ere, but there are screenings of all sizes and various importance taking place throughout the city all the time.


The official Cannes poster memorialized Ingrid Bergman, who, like Orson Welles, would have turned 100 this year. Like last year’s poster portrait of Marcello Mastroianni, the Bergman image represents the two pillars of what Cannes has come to symbolize: art and glamour. While we assume the casual fan is dazzled by the glamour, we “professionals” are expected to concentrate on the art. But no one is immune from being dazzled now and again, and Cannes is an appropriate place for that to happen.




– Richard Peterson
Director of Programming, Smith Rafael Film Center

















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