AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


CRITICAL WOMEN HEADLINES

10/31/08

A Christmas Tale:
Armaud Desplechin

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, Anne Consigny, Chiara Mastroianni, Laurent Capelluto, Jean-Paul Roussillon

The French love their homes, their generation homes and in this film, a Christmas Tale they love the people who have claim to sharing the at-home family holiday by virtue of birth and special selection as sexual partner. I am glad that I am excluded from the festivity because seeing it from afar is more than enough for me

This is a long and draining film that seems to say little with all too many words sprinkled generously with extensive moments of no action.
The acting is superb and if that is why you see films, to watch great acting, you will not be disappointed. But the story lacks a punch and love conquering all doesn't do it for me. Maybe it will for you.

See the Christmas Tale to learn the routine of the French Christmas holiday at home ( don't go to Paris for the Christmas holiday because it is virtually deserted for the night and day).

This is a true to life film in a fairy tale sort of way that was just too over the top for me.

But if you enjoy seeing how people can change and life go on, always a little easier for wear you will be one of those viewers who go back again and again to re-experience is nicer kinder make believe world.


Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT Vine: Witches Brew

10/29/08

Wings of Defeat: Targets The Kamikaze


Neda Ulaby

By Jan Aaron

Have you heard about the elderly kamikaze pilots?

It sounds like the punch line to a bad joke. But, it’s not

About 4,000 Japanese pilots killed themselves during WW II, bombing only 34 U.S. ships. Hundreds survived for various reasons: like having missions canceled, or the war ending before their number came up.

“Wings of Defeat” director Risa Morimoto, a New York based Japanese American was drawn to the story of these one-way “boy pilots” (some were teenagers) for personal reasons. Her late uncle, who trained to be a kamikaze in the Japanese Imperial forces, survived the war.

With Linda Hoaglund, born and raised in Japan, and a daughter of American missionaries as producer/writer, Morimoto went to Japan and began her investigation by contacting her family for background on her uncle. She discovered that he was a kindly man who wasn't forthcoming about his war time activities with his children, her cousins.

They find other subjects: four elderly men who survived the harsh training, and so-called volunteerism of the Tokkotai Corps, who believed they would be elevated to the status of gods upon completing their missions. (A similar promise is made to today’s Middle East suicide bombers.) The surviving men seem to have been given a zest for life. They don't seem proud of their past as kamikaze. They, in fact, look rather embarrassed about it.

By weaving in top notch archival material, such as wartime propaganda posters and movies, the filmmakers establish how we were during the war effort. Some of the most heart-breaking footage shows Japanese teens posing for their funeral portraits and toasting with sake to numb themselves before their fatal flights. Their planes held only enough fuel for one-way journeys.

The kamikaze corps wasn't established until 1944 when the Japanese government realized they had no chance of winning the war. Things disintegrated so much that emperor decreed all citizens were kamikazes.

During Morimoto’s interview, a survivor of the USS Drexel, one of the sunken U.S. vessels, makes this shocking admission: “We would have done that,” referring to the kamikaze missions, “We had people who were that patriotic.” Thus the border between patriotism and blind obsession is blurred and “Wings of Defeat” causes us to think. It’s revelatory about war and the government’s responsibility to their people during war.




Wings Of Defeat: Another Commentary

By Linda Z

This documentary explores the intimate details through memory of the surviving kamikaze Japanese warriors during WWII

The kamikaze were the Japanese warriors trained to crash their planes into Allied targets in World War II. Around 4,000 of them died during the war's last days.

This is an extraordinary documentary in terms of the ebb and flow of the interviews and information presented and the wealth of information that the warriors were willing to convey

Clearly Neda Ulaby has a gift that enables people to trust her even with the cameras running. The results is a long overdo

In this masterpiece documentary done with the delicate touch of a woman and the persistence that is seemingly inherent in her gender, we now have a discussion, a view of what it was like to be Japanese and to face the potential of certain death at a young age. What did inspire the boys to give their lives for their country knowing that the deck was stacked against their ever coming home once they hit the skies.

was it love of Japan?
love of the Emperor to whom they had been indoctrinated into believing blindly from the time they were born, something like the way millions of people are brainwashed into believing the religious saga of choice. Was it the Saki they downed deep into their bodies before they ran off to their death machine, their all too small and inadequate plans, or was it an inherent nature that pushed them into believing that they were doing the right, the only thing: to die for their country and meet whatever there is in the hereafter?

Are the kamikaze a portrait of a terrorist or a picture of people trapped into a world that did not value human life, (much as the world today fails to value human life) and were forced to do what they didn't want, what their parents didn't want, what no sane man in tune with the reality of the potential of their own death, would ever do of their own free will.

Spend the money, take the time, see Wings of Defeat and then buy it to keep as a reminder.

More information is online at: http://www.edgewoodpictures.com/wingsofdefeat

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT Vine: Witches Brew

10/24/08

The First Basket

David Vyorst
writer/producer/director

Narrator Peter Riegert


The First Basket explores through vintage film and current voices, the important Jewish history of basketball while revealing the assimilation of European Jewish people into the American way of life.


At center sage in this documentary is the moment when Ossie Schectman, a Jewish kid from Brooklyn, made the first basket for the New York Knickerbockers back in 1946


This documentary chronicles the elevation of basketball from its roots, (invented by Dr. James Naismith in Springfield MA) to today when it enjoys a huge viewing audience in this sports crazed American way of life. It is a story told through those now old men who made history with their personal and team worthy performances.

This is a story about men, minus any love for women, with only an occasional momentary smile or nod to the mothers who raised the men and the fathers who struggled to bring food into the tenements where the children slept in over crowded conditions. The coaches replaced the players parents in importance, and their homes were secondary to the settlement houses where the children played ball.

This is not an easy documentary to see. It is a tragic yet real portrayal of how these same Jews once eager to be part of the American Culture went on to establish their own Olympic games for Jews only and left their allegiance to American culture in favor of their own State, their own self imposed isolation for which all Americans now contribute financially and the middle east citizens give their lives and livelihood to support the distinctly Jewish/Israel way of life.

But if you like basketball, if you like to see history unfold and if you like to remember or learn about a past way of life and a former era when people seemed to fight less even with war raging, while Hitler rose to fame and fortune, see this documentary. You won't regret the experience.

And if you want to see the "greats" come back to life, see them in The First Basket:

Red Auerbach, Red Holzman, Dolph Schayes, Red Sarachek, Barney Sedran, Eddie Gottleib, Abe Saperstein, Ossie Schectman (that above-mentioned kid from New York who scored the eponymous First Basket), Ralph Kaplowitz, Sammy Kaplan and many more.


RT: 86 minutes. Visit The film's website: www.thefirstbasket.com.


Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT vine: witches brew

House Of The Sleeping Beauties: Sexually Desirable When Drugged

More aptly titled Sexually Desirable When Drugged, the movie features slumbering sex slaves in what seems like a role-over-and-play-dead necrophiliacs brothel for grumpy old men. And nothing less than a romanticized and lusty aesthetic portrayal of virgin date rape.



CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

The Lazarus Project

Combines chilling psychological Halloween season horror with other scary notions like medical experimentation, death row, criminal redemption as an extinct idea, and religious tyranny.

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

10/1/08

RELIGULOUS Larry Charles, Director




Excert from the October 25, 1988 New York Times
By STEVEN GREENHOUSE

'Government officials, religious leaders and film directors condemned today an apparent arson attack against a Paris theater that was showing Martin Scorsese's film ''The Last Temptation of Christ.'' The fire Saturday night left 13 people hospitalized, 1 of them in serious condition.

The fire, if it proves to be arson, would be the most serious incident in a series of attacks against the film in Paris, Lyons, Nice, Grenoble and several other French cities. The incidents have included the clubbing of moviegoers and the throwing of teargas and stink bombs in theaters.

The film, which seeks to show the human side of Jesus and which includes a scene in which he imagines having sex with Mary Magdalene, created a storm of controversy throughout France well before the movie opened in 17 theaters in Paris on Sept. 28. The Theater Is Gutted'


The religious right is a force not to be ignored. Above the law of the land they consider their actions justifiable due to the will of God and the need to preserve an image of Jesus as their Savior. They do not bargain because those who disagree with their interpretation of the word of the lord is a devil. Even in France where Joan of Arc is revered as a saint, proven not to be the devil, the image of the devil lives on and is used to justify murder, plunder, and the arson of public property.


Hopefully Bill Maher's film, done with as even a hand as possible and with a generous sprinkle of humor and good will towards all will survive those who consider their mission in life to save all, particularly those who chose not to be saved.

If for no other reason than to assert your right to disagree, to explore, to uphold the U.S. Constitution and the first amendment of freedom of expression, see this film. Candy rosary beads are optional but mint flavored crosses are a must.


Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT Vine:witches Brew

City Of Ember

Bill Murray on grouchy mayors, sardines and caviar, the experience of eating and being eaten in a movie, and stunt gluttons.


CLICK TO READ HERE

Summer Hours: Olivier Assayas A New York Film festival selection

cast:
Juliette Binoche
Charles Berling
Jeremie Renier

Nature, time, modernity are captured in this 2008 film that uses the art world of revered objects to bring past things to light in modern day France.

The characters are three forty something siblings, their spouses, their childern who experience the movement of time when they pay their last visit to the family home. The oblicatory reunion has rules, timing of its own with its not so hidden agenda to remember, to interact with their mother and to look to the future when the house, their mother and its exquisite art objects will no longer be a tangible part of their lives.

The abandonment of the family residence held together by an aging matriarch heralds doom of yesterday and a new beginning for tomorrow. It is the connection to nature in which the home is situated, to the movement of time from which no one escapes and the emergence of the next generation with all their energy and uniqueness that form the material of this intense, yet slow moving film experience.


Summer Hours is not for every one. If you enjoy those high intensity, stimulus overloaded extravaganzas this film will leave you wanting. But if you have the time and the patience to experience a film emerge as if from within rather than bombarding you from without, this film will be a rewarding and memorable experience.

A New York Film Festival Selection:
Ziegfeld theater 9p.m. Oct 2



inda Z
WBAI Women's Collective
RT Vine: witches brew