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

3/21/09

HE SAID, SHE SAID....Women's Bodies


HE SAID....

Every Little Step


...The anguish, anxiety, anger, excitement, fear, frustration and gratitude of each performer's personal and intimate life.


Exploring all aspects of aspiring singer-dancers in one of the themes of this poetic yet nostalgic film that highlights the incredible journey of "A Chorus Line" (stage production). Incorporating the history of the 1975 Broadway dramatic musical play from its initiated concept by choreographer and director Michael Bennett to the contemporary revival in 2006.

A Chorus Line (1975) was not just another hit show, however it was a movement that spoke to and for a generation. This was a musical for everyone who ever had a dream and had it come true. In the summer of 1975 this enlightened and euphoric stage production made its way to the Shubert Theatre. From its original run finding a home on the Great White Way it stayed at the Shubert Theatre for 15 years.

The film goes behind the scenes with in depth interviews and archival footage of Michael Bennett choreographer, Bob Avian co-choreographer, Marvin Hamlisch music composer, Donna McKechnie a veteran singer/dancer and an original cast member, and Baayork Lee another original cast member and new revival choreographer. Using flashback scenes from the 1975 original casting calls to the present day auditions the filmmakers brilliantly reveal the real story of the new talented hopefuls need to move from dream to reality in making it in a career as a singer-dancer.

Individual journeys of Yuka Takara, Deidre Goodwin, Alisan Porter, Mari Davi, Jessica Lee Goldyn, Chryssie Whitehead, Jeffrey Schecter, Jason Tam and Charlotte D'Amboise are displayed. Featuring Marvin Hamlisch's Oscar nominated music and sizzling choreography, this thrilling life behind the velvet curtain is truly One Singular Sensation.

What makes this documentary my pick for one of the best doc's so far this year is the theme and the crisp pacing of the film's development allowing the viewer to feel the anguish, anxiety, anger, excitement, fear, frustration and gratitude of each performer's personal and intimate life. After narrowing down hundreds of Broadway hopefuls from numerous casting calls to the final selections the film adds a powerful punch to an already fascinating story.

This movie weaves poignant universal stories of how hard work, talent and determination of a dream of performing on a Broadway stage can come true.

Directed by: James D. Stern & Adam Del Deo
Running time: 96 minutes
Release date: April 17, 2009
Genre: Documentary
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
MPAA Rating: PG-13

Film Rating (A)

Gerald Wright
HDFEST.Com
Film Showcase


SHE SAID....

Enlighten Up!


A low keyed documentary done with minimum professional input and a lot of unconditional love.

Director: Kate Churchill
Story: Khari Streeter, Jonathon Hexner, Kate Churchill
Producer: Kate Churchill
Composer: Krishna Venkatesh
Studio: Balcony Releasing

Starring: Nick Rosen

Enlighten Up! is 82 minutes of Yoga for those who 'have a practice' and those who are entering the world of sport because of injury, aging or just because it is the thing to do.

There is no question that Yoga is spreading like wildfire. It is difficult to find a 'small' class where individual attention is afforded without extra fees. Yoga is good for every one except....This documentary isn't about the emergence of a hero. It is about the process of becoming a Yogi, and no pain has been spared the subject of this process nor the audience who bares witness to all the pitfalls visited on this neophyte Yoga guinea pig.

But with all that said, what remains is an ever gowning awareness that Yoga, if you can do it, is a special discipline. This documentary is designed for those who are weak at heart and body as well as those who are committed to the art/sport. We have only one body, one mind. The practice of Yoga aims to preserve and enhance both.

To see how it is done, or avoided at all costs.
Enlighten Up! is The Way!

Linda Zises
WBAI Womens Collective

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