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

2/26/09

Watchmen Review


Cratchmen: Tricky Dick Point Man, Or Rather Blue Balls In Outer Space


CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

The Billy Crudup Dr. Manhattan Watchmen Interview: Geeking Out On Watchmen Lore And Glow In The Dark Guy Nudity.


CLICK TO READ INTERVIEW HERE

Trouble With Romance: Frisco Mayor's Wife Sells Seat



This unsexy quirky quartet of talky tales, is a mixed bag of fantasy stranger sex in a threesome with Frisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom, so to speak selling her seat no less, wise woman elder elevator existentialism, and all around bad relationship karma.


CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

2/23/09

Ball Don't Lie

Brin Hill, Director

Writers (WGA):
Matt de la Peña (screenplay) &
Brin Hill (screenplay) ...

This is a quiet tour de force, a film that doesn't awaken you until it reaches its climax and then the lightening rod goes crazy.

Ball Don't Lie is the story of Sticky (Grayson Boucher), a 17 year old white boy who travels from one foster care home to another after suffering the trauma of the premature violent loss of his parental figure.

It is a story of a white boy making it in a black boy world because he has found basketball, a game that he excels at. But with all the bonding on the court, with all the seeming similarity in their life expectancy, the black and white world remain divided. It is this divide so beautifully articulated on the sands of Venice California beach(by the brilliant actor Harold Perrineau of the TV series Lost) that brings this film into notoriety and extraordinary excellence.

This is a film that uses real people, not just seasoned actors, and real places and even though in the main it feels like a trite, redo of a redo, by the end of the film you feel elevated to another plane of understanding of the world in which we live.

No small feat.

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

The Flash Of Red: Hot Pink Pen Final Word On Oscar Swindle

Declare Victory & Move On

FEMALE CO-DIRECTOR SIGHTING IN A SEA OF MALE TUXES: PASS THE BINOCULARS

By Jan Lisa Huttner

You’ll just have to trust me on this, my friends: that “flash of red” you saw when the SLUMDOG team ran up on the stage last night to collect the Oscar for Best Picture? That was Loveleen Tandan! I’m not a “what if” kinda gal. Once something is in the past there’s no way to “go back,” So why bother?

We will never know how SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE would have fared (either critically or commercially) without Loveleen Tandan in the “co-director” role. Similarly we will never know if she would have been at the Oscar Ceremony last night if I hadn’t been sitting here in Chicago these last few months making such a fuss with “my SLUMDOG Brouhaha.”

For all of you who still doubt my motives, accusing me of risking damage to her career for the sake of my own causes (or worse, simple self-aggrandizement), all I can say is this: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE will forever be known now as an Oscar-winning Best Picture, & Loveleen Tandan was part of the team that flew to Hollywood to help claim the prize. More people know her name now than knew it a few months ago, & more people are aware of Hollywood’s abysmal stats re female filmmakers than ever before. So I’m ready to “Declare Victory & Move On.”

I have a screening of SUNSHINE CLEANING in 2 hours (directed by Christine Jeffs, written by Megan Holley, & starring Amy Adams, Alan Arkin & Emily Blunt), so I live in hope! Bye now J

I'll be celebrating the 2nd annual International SWAN Day on Saturday, March 28, 2009! Read all about it at: www.SwanDay.org

http://www.thehotpinkpen.com/?p=855

Jan Lisa Huttner
JUF News/Fund for Women Artists
Women Film Critics Circle
www.films42.com
www.TheHotPinkPen.com

Sexual Politics Of The Oscars: No Statues For Women, They *Are* The Women

By Linda Z


BEYONCE 'BOUND' FOR THE OSCARS


did you see it on TV
did you sit through hour after hour of men running up to the palatial stage, aglitter in crystal, and circles and mobile podiums interspersed with Blackberry phone costly advertisement that scared me more than a horror flick because it showed that even hiding in a skinny school locker, the Blackberry will "out" you into the watchful eyes of those you tried desperately to avoid, affirming: Big Brother is here!

did you see the women on the red carpet cat walk, listen to the interviews and realize that every dress was the same dress, the same slender lined or over full balloon in which no woman could make a swift get-a-way.

and the Monstrous
elevated bosom pushed into and out of the too tight cloth like the bound feet of young girls; painful, unnecessary restrictive. and if maintained might contribute to Cancer in the future and pain in the afterglow of the Hollywood parade

did you see all those black suited men with the one exception out of thousands being Mickey Rourke, (oh why didn't he get the best actor award?). And did you see Madame Meryl of film? Could you miss her?

Like the Queen sitting center stage, her daughter by her side hiding behind her mother's enlarged frame. They watched the unfolding of the male bash of heroes honoring themselves. Was there really no women's protest?

no protests except a lone clap of support for "Waltz with Bazir", one lone voice heard in protest of Israeli's atrocities echoed by millions, billions, hopefully trillions of on lookers who watched/listened in silence.

I watched,
if only to know that men should not design women's clothes and women need to find their voice, even in the conspicuous consumption of extravaganza and dearth of political consciousness displayed at the 81st Academy Awards.

p.s. the only honestly humorous moment was when the porters of the awards, porting the briefcase of winners names came on the carpet. All they needed to look more like the Blues Brothers than the Blues Brothers was the sunglasses. Even their walk was a delight to see. Next year, of course, they will offer the job to their female employees, if there are any.


Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

2/22/09

An American Affair


A dash of Ingmar Bergman and Oliver Stone in this Capitol Hill noir, as kinky DC sexual politics collide with flaky JFK conspiracy theories, and Bay of Pigs CIA boozer masterminds wonder if communists are having more fun.




CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

2/21/09

Sherman's Way Review



Craig Saavedra, Director
Written by Tom Nance

Another male bonding film, son in search of father/ father in search of son with a center character of note being the Car. Done with a light touch, an enjoyable juxtaposition of different types of male figures, those who strive to achieve, live by the clock and synchronized common sense versus those who have given up. But what happened to their women, the women they are pushing far away, the women who remain painfully absent, or appear once more as the bad figure to be dethroned from her insidious omnipresent power?

The artistic effort is well worth seeing, the acting is great, the women are not important enough but then, this film was made by men and is about boys coming of age so what can you expect.

Without reservation I recommend this as a date flick, a film that can inspire enjoyable conversation but doesn't have to.

Star actors include but not limited to;

JAMES LE GROS
(“The Last Winter” “Drugstore Cowboy”)
ENRICO COLANTONI
(“Just Shoot Me” “Galaxy Quest”)
MICHAEL SHULMAN
(“Can of Worms” “Little Man Tate”)
BROOKE NEVIN
(“The Comebacks” “Infestation”)

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

2/20/09

READER MAILBAG

DR. MANHATTAN AND HIS HUGE STIMULUS PACKAGE, STREAKING ACROSS THE UNIVERSE

MISSING THE POINT: A QUESTION OF BLACK AND BLUE

In defense of the penis" misses the point that this naked blue man standing in a Rodan type posture is a take off on the Metropolitan museum statue of a larger than life naked black man. Further the last lines of the film indicate that the blue man is always present, like God, whom we do not see. Obviously, if this man is "our heavenly Father" the father of us all, we need expect nothing less than a penis of some worthy proportion,

Art history and appreciation is an entire subject presented but not commented upon in this film. Another gem missed!

Anonymous


TWO LOVERS: AND MOMMY MAKES THREE
ROSSELLINI IN MOMMY BLAME GAME REDUX


THE SOUNDS OF TWO LOVERS


Would you know anything about the very beautiful music in this film? Thank you...it is so haunting!
Dona H.

Hi Dona:
The only information I could dig up on this, was music by Henry Mancini. You would think they'd make it easier to give their composers more *credit*!
Prairie

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE



Womens History Month Without The Politics Of Mothering?


What does empowered birth have to do with womanism?
How do myths and media images of motherhood undermine women?
Why is an artist mother double trouble?

Greetings. I am a poet, writer, educator and mother of two.
I am also a member of and an avid listener to WBAI. Most of my intellectual, spiritual, political and health concerns are covered by listening to the station. But in the last year, I have realized that there is something missing on WBAI: the voices of mothers and of women striving to be conscious parents. I don't know if this reflects patriarchy, the devaluing of motherhood (even within feminist circles), or if it just that a loud Mama hasn't come along to bring this up yet. Mothers who are artists, herbalists, activists, academics, and mothers who chose to focus their energy entirely on raising their children have something to share. Conscious mothering is a political act. Could this be something to think about as you plan future programs?

For me, motherhood has been about stumbling, loving and developing muscle. I would welcome an opportunity to discuss any aspect of mothering, or explore the questions I have posed above with your collective.

Please visit my website to learn more about my writing, my performances and my work in education. You can also read an excerpt of my new booklet, "Mother Nature" at my site.

Sincerely,
Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

"Having a child is like having your heart walk outside your body"
Mother Nature
Savage Goddess Press
http://www.ekeretallie.com


MADEA GOES TO JAIL, BUT MASKED MISOGYNY GETS A PASS




Thank you for your review of Madea Goes to Jail. Very well-done. 1 point, near the end of paragraph 3, you mean "fiancée." Other than that, fine job. Keep up the good work! (But I hope you also enjoy the majority of your viewing experiences.)

Best wishes from
Majenta

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE


READER TURNED ON BY CRITICAL WOMEN


Hi Critical Women!

I'm still struggling with web site design, but your web site looks fantastic! Did you do it all yourself or did you have a professional designer? I look forward to hearing from you.
Dione L.

Hi Dione:
It's a labor of love, handmade from scratch. And thank you for your positive words!

The Critical Crew


AN AMERICAN AFFAIR GOOF ALERT

Why don't you Google Mary Pinchot Meyer and then re-evaluate how "goofy"
the premise is?
Phil C.

Hey Phil:
You have a point there. Maybe it was more the outlandish incidentals in this kid whodunit that seemed goofy, and JFK galavanting around town for those lusty brownstone trysts, with a horny teen stalker hanging around the premises.
Prairie

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE


ALL IN THIS TEA: NOT SWALLOWING IT



Hello Prairie:

You got Hoffman right.

Fact is, he has had little or nothing to do with promoting organic tea farming in China. He had a standing offer to participate in an organic farming project in Zhejiang Province, for free no doubt, and he turned it down.
Hoffman has parlayed his early entry in China into a myth.

All talk, no walk.

N. Heagerty
Tea Importer

This mass versus class appeal for the sake of a discerning guzzling US elite carpet bagging it in China, smacks suspiciously of tea imperialism.


CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

HE SAID, SHE SAID: Eleven Minutes


Eleven Minutes: Fashioning The Dis-Figured


SHE SAID....



By Linda Z

It's been a while since the sharp-witted Jay McCarroll was dubbed "the next great American designer" on season one of reality TV's "Project Runway" and he's anxious to finally show his first line of clothing.

His vision is to show his work on 42nd street at the Bryant Park eleven minute extravaganza that takes over public property to become the showcase of a world fashion industry that doesn't come as free entertainment It is a show limited, by invitation only.

SHE SAYS:
The importance of documentaries has been fully explored and presented for public scrutiny in recent films that expose the fashion industry; its limitations, its potential joys and its search for money and fame.

I cannot cry for the winner or the loser of this artistic endeavor where people come together to work intensely under severe pressure to create mostly women fashion(men seem hell bent on their black suits, shirts, tie and collared shirts that scare most women into submission and many a man as well).

It is worse than a baseball or football player because those men don't dwell on the female form or dictate to women what they should wear in order to be "with it'. This is an industry where too much weight is disallowed, the cost of material renders the thinner the model, the better, less costly; where how you walk, which is never possible for the average women, is valued and where character is lost to the dictates of the female form and flow.

Not an authentic ounce of creativity in my humble opinion emerges from the depths of this film other than the creative effort of the film itself.

Jay McCarroll is real and he is funny and ultimately so very sad until he discovers that he is not the rising star-to-be that others have pumped him up to believe.

Eleven minutes of fame all circled around making money but the Puerto Rican parade has more to say about fashion than the parade of the wealthy few who dominate the "cat walk".

All that artistic work; the sewing, the music, the setting, the colors and fabrics be damned But the documentary should live on. it offers so much to feel good about our not being part of the eleven minute competition.

I say, women,
Scrap the fashion industry. Take back the parks, Bryant Park, free for all New Yorkers and its millions of daily visitors.

Please visit: http://www.elevenminutes-jaymccarroll.com/ for additional information.
Opens Friday, February 20, 2008
At the Quad in NYC and on broadcast TV

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective


HE SAID....


By Gerald Wright

Clearly, the many facets of designer Jay McCarroll are fascinating. His choices made in his quest to be validated as fashion designer in the industry are demonstrated surprisingly excellent in this exciting documentary. As the 2004 "Project Runway" reality TV show winner, his fashion designing career stopped cold after receiving the award. His decision to organize a staff and prepare his fashion line collection for New York City's Fashion Week Event was a dream he wanted to come true.

Filmmakers Selditch and Tate take their film crew along with the jovial and witty Jay as he takes on the project of having his clothing line shown on the runway during Fashion Week. Already getting television exposure, Jay found it necessary to be recognized as an authentic fashion designer not a television fashion celebrity. The film is a comprehensive and detailed look at the business side of the fashion, fashion design, and consulting business seen through the eyes of Jay McCarroll. With crisp pacing the movie seemed to be a complete visual manual on everything I needed and wanted to know about the life of a fashion designer. This movie has the wonderful effect of weighing each entry equally, thereby devoting the same amount of space and time to every aspect in Jay's venture.

Setting the theme on interviews and candid talks with qualified professionals appear; Kelly Cutrone, Nancy Cane Carson Kressley, Jason Low, Omahyra, Michael Rucker, Eve Salvail, George Whipple of NY1 News and filmmaker Michael Selditch. These people influence the outcome of Jay's success and/or failure. Provocatively and often humorously Jay is visually scrapbooked from the beginning of his idea and to the results of Fashion Week, showing the anxiety,anger and happiness he endures in this sensitive and competitive business.

The unflinching focus on the culture and sexual orientation really does not make any positive or negative statement. I found this to be a welcoming creative process by the co-directors. I took away a "feel good" opinion about this film and I believe anyone who sees this remarkable documentary will feel the same.

FILM RATING (B)

Directed by: Michael Selditch & Rob Tate
Running time: 103 minutes
Release date: February 20, 2009
Genre: Documentary
Distributor: Regent Releasing
MPAA Rating: R

Gerald Wright

2/13/09

HE SAID, SHE SAID: Confessions Of A Shopaholic



HE SAID....

By Gerald Wright

The Disney Film family adapts Sophie Kinsella's books, Shopaholic Takes Manhattan and Confessions of a Shopaholic for the big screen. I've never read the Shopaholic series of books, however there are a few books on the adventures of the fictitious addictive shopper Rebecca Bloomwood. It seems only right that this movie concerning credit card debt, job searching and money management would be released as the U.S. waits for a plan to recover from its economic recession.

Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers and Definitely, Maybe) stars a Rebecca Bloomwood, a trendy New York City twenty-something young woman who has aspirations of working for a top fashion magazine. However she has an obsession with shopping that conflicts with the focus on getting her journalism career started. She has little and no help from her best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) and husband whom she shares an apartment with. All the while her credit card debt is uncontrollable, until she catches the eye of wealthy executive Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) and gets a job at his tabloid as a financial journalist.

The premise is not for Rebecca's past to catch up with her new promising life in this RomCom. As sincere, as this story is in its concept, the film isn't crisp or powerfully funny. The performances are at DVD standards at best mainly for the lack of timing in the comedy. In order to do this comedy a range of comic tactics from absurdity to mockery, to sarcasm to irony must be displayed. Each of the tactics of comedy must disturb, disrupt, alter and change things from what is expected. Unfortunately, this film is predictably familiar without the unexpected witticism required. There were times while watching this movie I reflected on The Devil Wears Prada (2006), when Isla's performance slightly resembled Anne Hathaway and Kristin Scott Thomas (Academy Award nominee) as the wealthy Allette Naylor - owner of Allette Fashion Magazine - closely resembled Meryl Streep, but that was only a brief moment of reflection. I was looking for more emphasis to be place on the mockery of how Rebecca received her job and how she was able to scam her way into a television spot as a fashion consultant. To ridicule the pretensions, rules and traditions that we are surrounded by, such as jobs, promotions and the economy and poke fun at it would be a comedic statement. Mockery is an aspect of comedy that works.

Luke Dancy looked like a fish out of water as the love interest of Isla Fisher's character Rebecca. The lack of sauciness suggesting that sex is involved and perhaps naughty, but fun, can raise a knowing smile. Even at a PG rating sex sells and the movie could have been more interesting, rather than a irritating shopping spree on film. The great veteran actress Joan Cusack, is seen in a deplorable role. It was a shame to miscast her, John Goodman, John Lithgow, Lynn Redgrave and Julie Hagerty in this film. It was a waste of gifted talent in a bad movie.

Directed by: P.J. Hogan
Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Release date: February 13, 2009
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama and Adaptation
Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG

FILM RATING (D)


SHE SAID....


By Prairie Miller

Isla gets bagged, in this big screen bid to have your designer duds and wear them too. While predatory airhead female mall stalkers with too much lipstick are supposed to symbolize pretend finger wagging, as the movie fabulously flaunt shameless product placement pricey designer labels.

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

2/12/09

HE SAID, SHE SAID....Paris 36



HE SAID....

Paris 36 cleverly mixes the elements of the heart, emotion and sacrifice. The location for the film's setting is the northeast suburb of Paris during the revolutionary period of the Popular Front government's reign. CONTINUE READING...

Gerald Wright
Film Showcase
HDFest.com


SHE SAID....


Chrisophe Barratier, Director

Paris 36 is a delightful film with songs you can sing as you leave the theater and the acting, the dancing are equally memorable. It is a musical come to life on screen rather than in expensive Broadway stages, where the beautiful electrifying music, wonderfully choreographed dance and acting predominate within the context of a struggling working class Paris in the 1936 era when the people rose up to fight for a decent wage, a decent way of life and a means to be seen and heard as artists. It is the triumph of good over evil, of love of life over depression, of masses of people/slaves over their masters.

Paris 36 is an extravaganza, a feel good film on so many levels that it is certain to be a success. Maybe not remembered in forty or fifty years but today it is the film that we all need, a rest from the dismal reality that bodes ill even for the most hardened of us all.

A Sony Pictures Classics release

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

2/10/09

FTA: Fonda, Streep, Sutherland Echo Brecht & Trumbo



A Review of FTA (1972), Out On DVD, With Notes On Theater of War (2008)


By Penelope Andrew

Thirty-six years ago and about a minute before she was smeared and dubbed “Hanoi Jane,” Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and six of their “trouble-making” friends were the subject of a documentary film called FTA. They formed a touring company of activist actors, comedians, singers, and writers who performed in coffeehouses and other venues as close as possible to U.S. military bases in the states and later across the Pacific Rim. They were the thinking troops’ troupe, an anti-USO show, and an alternative to Bob Hope who had previously cornered the market on entertaining the military.

Recently, the IFC Center—the art house Villagers love so well--held two special screenings of this little known documentary by the late director (and incidentally, the first female member of the Directors Guild of America) Francine Parker. It’s hardly been seen since its original release in 1972. FTA is a multi-purpose acronym and variously defined as “Free the Army,” “Free Theater Associates,” or, the soldiers’ favorite term, “F*ck the Army.”

Upon learning of the event, a community organizer from the 1960s, former SDS member, long-time friend of Tom Hayden and busy social worker to this very day cut to the heart of the matter in a phone message, “I am going to go. I’ll be late, so save me a seat. You’ve probably figured out by now that FTA is about Jane and Donald Sutherland’s anti-war tour back in the old 70s when we only had ONE war.”

It’s very interesting that FTA’s re-release follows, by about a month, the theatrical debut of its contemporary first-cousin, Theater of War (2008)—at The Film Forum--which documents the making of the Public Theater’s 2006 production of Mother Courage and Her Children with a cast led by Meryl Streep.

These celluloid monuments drive home the genius of two of the most potent, anti-war writers who ever lived: Dalton Trumbo and Berthold Brecht. Both appeared before the HUAC. Trumbo was jailed for 11 months on contempt charges for failing to name names, while Brecht literally waltzed his way through with a performance of very broken English with a snappy German accent. In Theater of War, one is treated to a large dose of Mother Courage by way of a new translation by Tony Kushner and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the artistry of Streep finding her character in a fascinating rehearsal process.

By contrast, FTA is raw. It underscores how infectious was the movement of the 60s and 70s captured through a lens that focuses on: a naïve, fresh-faced Holly Near acting (albeit poorly, but with a lovely enthusiasm) the part of a privileged officer’s wife; the effectiveness of songs (“We Will Not Bow Down to Genocide”) sung simply by folk musician Len Chandler and ballads (“Dear Soldier, We Love You”) performed and written by the talented Rita Martinson; and poetry and skits by the rest of a dedicated cast who worked at fever pitch unencumbered by a need for perfection. The gifted comedian, social satirist and writer Paul Mooney was also part of the company. He participated in a panel with Fonda that introduced the earlier screening of FTA.

The “a spit and a prayer production” as Fonda lovingly calls it traveled a long way to reach American troops who were questioning their roles and actions as military men and women. FTA offered much needed support for those who joined the perilous ranks of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (for one of its most famous members, Senator John Kerry, it may well have cost him the presidency).

The troupe organized communities at home and abroad (just like our current president did in Chicago, it’s obviously an effective and infectious way of getting important things done) and managed to form bonds both small and large regardless of where it landed. There are scenes with Fonda and cast sitting down with individual soldiers: Black-Americans reporting racism and abuse by their white (aptly named) master sergeants; heartbreaking commentary by wounded, shell-shocked, white soldiers who wander the streets of Japan; and young women soldiers retelling stories of being cajoled into getting on “the Pill” for the implied purpose of servicing their male counterparts. The footage of concerts and large-scale demonstrations involving the local talent of organizers, labor unions and artist/activists in Hawaii, the Philippines, Okinawa and Japan is impressive.

In one of the most powerful scenes in the film, Donald Sutherland recites from Trumbo’s 1939, anti-war novel Johnny Got His Gun about a WWI soldier, Joe Bonham—not the average Joe that Sarah Palin nauseated the American public with but an extraordinary Joe--who has been maimed and disfigured beyond human recognition. One could hear a pin drop in the audience as the atmosphere filled with the fear all nightmares bring coupled with the majesty that occurs when a true artistic moment emerges. Sutherland—unlike the earthier James Cagney who performed the part of Joe in a radio adaptation of the book—speaks the part of the narrator trapped inside what is left of his own body on the scale of a preacher (perhaps reprising his role in Jules Fieffer’s Little Murders as the cynical 1972 review of FTA in The New York Times suggested), and one who is also well schooled in Shakespeare. Sutherland’s riveting oratory while clutching his beaten up copy of Johnny Got His Gun with its still-visible, iconic cover drew cheers from the audience and shouts of “Go Donald!”

Parker, Brecht and Trumbo may have passed on, but anti-war, anti-genocide and anti-poverty spirit continue in the genre of the documentary as practiced by the soothsayer Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11), in the poetry of the images of Heddy Honigmann (Crazy), through the artistry of Errol Morris (Fog of War) and in the passion of Spike Lee (When the Levees Broke). Parker’s FTA has been restored from an archival print and is out on DVD with a bonus feature, a 20-minute interview with Jane Fonda revealing a ton of fascinating back story. Fonda—finding time between rehearsals for a new play 33 Variations—showed up to introduce both screenings of FTA and continues to set the record straight. “Go Jane!”

FTA (1972) directed by Francine Parker with Michael Alaimo, Len Chandler, Pamela Donegan, Steve Jaffe , Rita Martinson, Paul Mooney, Holly Near, Donald Sutherland and Jane Fonda. DVD 97 min. with bonus feature: interview with Jane Fonda.

Theater of War (2008) directed by John W. Walter with George C. Wolfe, Kevin Kline, Tony Kushner, Austin Pendleton, Jay Cantor, Meryl Streep and others.

Penelope Andrew, a NYC-based writer who contributes to The Huffington Post and Critical Women on Film, is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle. Her article: “Trauma & Recovery: A Review of I’ve Loved You So Long,” will appear in the Spring issue of the Newsletter of the American Association for Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work. She is currently at work on “Fog of War, Body of War, Theater of War and Michael Moore,” a paper for the Canadian film journal CineACTION. A certified psychoanalytic psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC. Her second-year internship as a social work graduate student involved working with Vietnam Veterans.

2/6/09

READER MAILBAG: Blissing Out On Movies


THE OBJECTIVE: BLAIR WITCH IN BURKAS WITH ZONED OUT EXTRATERRESTRIAL AFGHANS

You totally missed it:

The struggle of the band of searchers in The Objective reminded me of many of the epic journeys . . . Gilgamesh . . . Hector . . . men trying to cope with what their culture, or their family, or their mission instructed . . . only to have to yield what they know to an incomprehensible power . . . a force far, far beyond the human . . . or die. Forget all that you understand about war, politics, or weaponry and concentrate on the individual struggle to make sense out of something that makes no sense within the paradigms of meaning, which we commonly understand. This film demands the suspension of disbelief. And when you, the viewer, realize this task, you're in for the ride of your life.

4 thumbs loved it!

Z. Gruber

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE



FIREPROOF: CRITIC IN READERS' PRAYERS

It seems to me that you really need to keep your judgments to yourself. It’s very clear that building a relationship with the Lord would help you to truly understand the content of the movie and hence more understanding of what really happens when you are able to trust in the Lord.

I will keep you in prayer

M. Herrerra


So, you found something that leaves a positive message in most viewers' minds, but to boost your own self-importance, you chose to tear the film down? I'm no Bible thumper, however it's just wrong to profane such an effort, simply because you seem to have no tolerance. I'll pray for you.
"Prairie..." Isn't that where nothing of importance flourishes? 'Sounds so empty...

Gary D.


FIREPROOF: MOVIE SAVES MARRIAGE


This is a truly inspiration movie!! I would love to know what the steps were for the 40 days!!! J I think it could drastically help my marriage!!! Can you let us know what all of the steps were????

Jennifer S.

FILMMAKERS SHOULD NOT BE FIRED PROOF

The script writers put together a very stilted dialogue. Fire them and get someone who can tell a story properly. The actors seemed capable but they were hampered by words poorly chosen to convey the message intended.

Donald E.

YOUR ASININE REVIEW OF FIREPROOF


Ms. Miller,

In short, you're an idiot.

Sherwood Pictures, much to your dislike, could not care less about making movies that pleasing to you and Hollywood. Their movies are powerful messages that go straight to the heart (IF YOU'RE WILLING TO LISTEN THAT IS....) Making films that change people's lives and are pleasing to God is really all they care about... Sorry you apparently aren't insightful enough to figure that out.

B. Young
Belmond, Iowa

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE


THE TORTURER: a.k.a FORCE DRIFT


I agree with Linda Z's overall assessment of the movie but, in my view, this is too important a subject to be limited to plays. We MUST find ways to get people to watch this important film, as it makes clear the true consequences of torture for our whole society and way of life.

It shows us that torture is a cancer, likely to metastatize and spread throughout our nation.

Just because we currently have an administration opposed to torture does not mean this will always be true. Until we raise public awareness of this issue, it will always will have the risk of returning.

Have you considered contacting your local art theater about showing it? Do so!

Joanna

PS--I thought this was possibly the finest performance in Nichelle Nichols' whole career!

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE


Joanna:
I agree with your emphasis on the importance of this film, the Torturer and I have already made some inquiries into having it offered as a premium on WBAI radio in the near future. But, I think I need to clarify what I mean when I say it is basically a play.
As a film it does reach many more people than a play would but there is a structural issue that I am addressing. When the film is stagnant in its setting as Doubt is, for instance, then it is to my way of thinking better done as a play. It would be more intense, more dramatic. That doesn't mean it can't be both a play and a film but in saying one predominates I am describing the setting, narrowing the experience to be expected.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to explain myself more precisely

Linda Z


THE READER: GUILT BY EROTIC ASSOCATION

I have seen the movie and studied the story. I am really spell bounded. The internal meaning of the story is immense. The reader is remarkably brilliant in terms of acting casting, directing, etc. I thanks to God that i still alive in this 20th century to see such type of good movie. Thanks Kate and Stephen Daldry as well as those are related to this movie.

Dipankar S.
India

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE


SEVEN POUNDS: READER WEIGHS DRASTIC REVENGE FOR REVIEW


Hello.
I am writing to tell you that I'm disappointed with your review of Seven Pounds. It is one of the single greatest tragedies I've ever seen. Will Smith is brilliant in his role as Ben Thomas and that I believe that his is definetly one of his best films. This film would make the most cold-hearted of people cry like a baby as the film portrays true human empathy as well as making the audience feel empathetic themselves. Whoever wrote your review, in my opinion, is quite cold-hearted if they can say those things about an amazing film that could mean a lot to many people in many different ways. I won't be reading anymore film reviews done by your company again as I believe you're extremely inaccurate and don't know the meaning of an excellent film!
Chloe B.
UK

Hello Chloe:
Sorry to hear you were disappointed in this review of Fireproof, which by the way got a 63% negative rating by critics overall in this country. But just as sorry that you're only interested in reviews that share the same opinion - yours. What a sad world that would be, if we were all in robotic lockstep.
Prairie

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE

2/4/09

Sugar Review

Written and Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson)

Plot:
Sugar is a film about a Dominican pitcher from San Pedro De Macorís' struggle to make it into the big American leagues At age 19 he advances to the United States’ minor league system; but when his play on the mound falters, he begins to question the single-mindedness of his life’s ambition

Commentary:
Sports drama, immigrant journey, and coming-of-age story, summed up in a self discovery drama WoW
What more could a child want, what more could a mother struggling to convince her son that maybe being single minded in his thirst for baseball fame and fortune might not be the way to go.

The problem is this film is not truly suitable for children. It isn't robust enough to hold an adults unwavering attention and it's too sophisticated for a child. It is one of those in between films that I want to recommend whole heartedly to my son, but can't.

Sony Pictures Classics will release “Sugar” in April 2009

Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

2/3/09

He's Just Not That Into You: On Call Doormat Blues


SHE'S JUST NOT THAT ONTO YOU

While most movies about men and the challenges they deal with in life, have to do with really big stuff like beating up alien invaders or saving the planet, all that women usually get to face is fretting about those men just not paying some romantic attention to them. And He's Just Not That Into You is hardly an exception, continuing that dreary old school Hollywood habit when it comes to female urges, of putting on the back burner any notions of women making a difference in the world.

CLICK TO READ REVIEW HERE


In any case, why does the world have to be such a small space for women in movies, that rarely extends beyond their sex lives. He's Just Not That Into You: Woman as her own worst enemy, stuck in a self-incriminating rut of petty personal obsessions.

2/1/09

WFCC Member Lisa Collins To Screen Oscar Micheaux Film

The Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, and University Seminars on Cinema and Interdisciplinary Interpretation at Columbia University are presenting a landmark film event, Faded Glory: Oscar Micheaux And The Pre-War Black Independent Cinema. The series takes place February 6th and 7th, and conferences are free and open to the public.


This unique presentation will focus on the work by the influential African-American filmmaker, Oscar Micheaux. Newly discovered prints and materials will be shown and discussed for the the first time ever by speakers at this conference. The Film Society at Lincoln Center will screen Micheaux's movies in conjunction with the conference.

A special event will be the presentation by Lisa Collins of her work-in-progress film short, Oscar's Comeback, on Friday February 6th at 3:45pm at Columbia's Schermerhorn Hall, Room 501. It's a sly, complex non-fiction feature set in rural South Dakota about a small, all-white town celebrating its most famous ‘native’ son - black, controversial early 1900s film pioneer Oscar Micheaux. Lisa is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle and the James Agee Cinema Circle, and she produced this film in collaboration with Mark Schwartzburt. A more extensive bio of Lisa Collins is below.


Lisa and Mark (center) shooting on location in Gregory, South Dakota

Professors and film critics and scholars from Columbia University, Yale University, University of Puerto Rico, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Emory University, Duke University, CUNY Graduate Center, Brooklyn College, Northwestern and more, will appear.

It has been more than fifteen years since the last conference on Micheaux's work, and a new generation of critical thinking and writing has since emerged. The full daytime conferences and evening screening schedule, and a full list of presenters, can be viewed at http://arts.columbia.edu.

Tickets for the screenings are available through the Film Society of Lincoln Center. The venues are: Columbia University Campus, Broadway and 116th Street, Schermerhorn Hall Room 501, and Saturday, February 7th, at The Film Society, 70 Lincoln Center Plaza. For all public inquiries, please contact SoAevents@columbia.edu

* Brooklyn-native, Lisa Collins earned her MFA in Screenwriting & Directing from Columbia University Film School, with a BA from Yale University in American Studies & Photography. She’s developing several feature projects and a TV pilot.

An all-round media-maker, Lisa is Sr. Editor/Sr. Segment Producer for Hollywood.com and Hollywood.com TV. Lisa wrote, directed and has produced two shorts: Miss Ruby's House, a mockumentary, which played in festivals across the country; and Tree Shade, a surreal black comedy that garnered the Gold Medal for Best Alternative Film at the Student Academy Awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Top honors include: a DGA East Coast Filmmaker award, Best American short at Avignon’s Film Festival, Polo Ralph Lauren Award, and two Rockefeller Foundation nominations. When broadcast, her film headlined PBS’s “Reel New York” series.

With a sharp eye for filmmaking, Lisa has been invited to speak at universities, museums and on panels about her film work; as well she’s been asked to serve on various film juries for festivals and grant fellowships. She also served as a teaching assistant at Columbia University, and has mentored other students. Lisa is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle, and James Agee Cinema Circle.

Lisa Collins was named by Filmmaker Magazine: 'One of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film.' She was invited to workshop her feature-length script, The Grass Is Greener at the Sundance Writers, Filmmakers and Producers Labs, respectively. The project was also invited to participate in the IFFM / IFP’s No Borders Feature Project program.

Currently, Lisa is in post-production with Oscar’s Comeback. She is director/producer on the film with co-director/producer Mark Schwartzburt for Right on Time Productions. So far, the film-in-progress was awarded a prestigious NYSCA grant and two South Dakota Humanities Council grants, with Women Make Movies as its fiscal sponsor. In April 2007, the documentary’s 'presentation trailer' was invited to screen as part of a special program, Creatively Speaking, at BAM. In spring 2008 at Tribeca All Access Awards, Oscar’s Comeback won 2nd Top Prize for Creative Promise (Honorable Mention). Shortly thereafter, it was invited to screen at the Studio Museum in Harlem.