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

10/26/09

Conversation with Jane McAdam Freud: Relevancy of Analytic Concepts in Art and Politics

Author’s note: This is Part II of an article about conceptual artist Jane McAdam Freud, which was published on the Huffington Post.
Here is the link to PART ONE.


“A tie is not just a tie.”

Ties and authority: A cigar may be just a cigar, but, in your work, a tie is not just a tie. Can you elaborate on this sculpture? Was it a single piece or a series? How might it relate to politics?

The ties began with a self portrait where the clay dried and the head severed from the body. Left with the collar I added a tie and recognized the visual similarity with the phallus. I thought about Freud’s ideas about objects standing in for the phallus and about the idea of male authority and the ego, about tall phallic looking authoritative buildings –the phallus as a symbol of power.

Later I did an online residency with the department of Ancient Egypt at the British Museum where I studied the Shabti figures and their connection to Osiris. Osiris with his staff and flail is the Egyptian symbol of authority. The Shabti figures are based on Osiris and are in the shape of a sarcophagus. The neck tie is remarkably similar to the shapes of these ancient Shabti figures. We never give anything up we just change its form as established by Helmholtz in his conservation of energy equation where he conceives that energy cannot be destroyed. Osiris is indeed living on and stares back at us from each other’s chests!


McAdam Freud’s “Sisyphus,” in which her looser style is reminiscent of the exposed, vulnerable, and sometimes angst-ridden figures in the work of father Lucian. Rafey adds that the artist is “successful in conveying weight and mass to the boulder as well as strength and perseverance to Sisyphus.”.......

--Penelope Andrew

WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE/AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHOANALYSIS IN CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

10/19/09

The Good Fight: Noel Buchner, Mary Dore, Sam Sills

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the Spanish Civil War(1984)

Over twenty five years ago the documentary on the Abraham Lincoln Brigade ws aired for public consumption. This is the she story of young coming of age men and women, black and white fighting together, not in the U. S. but in Spain to hold back the advancement of the Italian and German Nazi armies that threatened the freedom and survival of millions.

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was the response of world people(s) who recognized the evil of Fascism as it threatened to consume Europe and beyond. In this period before the official WWII decree President Roosevelt seemed hell bent on maintaining an isolationist posture while the American companies of Texaco, GM and Ford sent ammunition and fuel to support the invading Nazi effort.

One wonders if it was the economic depression in America or the sound of outraged Americans who demanded American participation in The War that informed President Roosevelt to change his isolationists posture.

But the focus of this documentary is not Roosevelt or the saluting of a commander of a Brigade. It is a story of people who understood the meaning of life, who embraced the idea that to die for a cause one believes in is to live a good, the only life worth living.

The technological detail of the documentary might need a little twitting but the wealth, the richness of the characters who spoke in the film, their furor, their essence came through so strongly that no change need be made to make this twenty five year old documentary as important, as potent today as it was when it was first aired.

It is the crime of our educational system that it focuses more on test taking than on the history of our country. So few Americans know of this group of thousands of courageous Americans. It is an on-going crime of deliberate omission because today with the onslought of technologically driven Fascism right here in this country we need to know those who came before us, their thoughts, their strengths, and the fight that they didn't win at the outset but won in our hearts and our memory once they returned home.

The United States Government did all it could to silence these courageous people. They haunted them as Communists, that then bad word but in reality they knew and we know the F.B.I. labeled "Communists" of the past are the heroes of our world today.

To see this documentary, The Good Fight, is to believe that a good fight against the everyday infringement on our rights; our quality of life, our possible survival in an era of decline in our financial, political, environment life is The fight, the only fight worth fighting.

Available on DVD from FirstRunFeatures.com


Linda Z
WBAI Women's Collective

10/12/09

Looking For Ben Gazzara


A conversation with the acting legend, his new film Looking For Palladin, and his work with John Cassavetes that ushered in the subversive renaissance in US film of the 1970s. And, a look at the psychology and politics of image and self-esteem in Chris Rock's GOOD HAIR.

LISTEN TO INTERVIEW WITH BEN GAZZARA HERE

10/10/09

Women's Radio Collective at WBAI: The Women's Desk Special

Feminist Radio And Beyond..... WHAT BURKAS?


Revolutionary Women's Militias Of The Socialist Republic Of Afghanistan, 1979

LISTEN TO THE WOMEN'S RADIO COLLECTIVE AT WBAI WOMEN'S DESK SPECIAL HERE

From The Women's Desk: Hosted by The WBAI Women's Collective: Code Pink In Afghanistan; The Motherhood Movement: You Say You Want A Revolution; US/Cuba Labor Exchange; Women In Black; Museum Of Motherhood; The Hot Pink Pen, Sister Station Sister KPFK's Sikivu Hutchinson West Coast Women's Desk: MOMS: Missing Or Murdered Sisters; Chicago Women's Desk Report; Women's Media Center. And more.... And In Performance: Elizabeth Ruf Maldonado in Jack London's The Iron Heel, and Joy Rose of Housewives On Prozac.

The Women's Collective covers the entire spectrum of political, cultural and intellectual issues crucial to women's lives, from feminism and revolutionary global sisterhood to critical aspects of movement building, the mind, body and men.

10/6/09

Yes Men Fix The World: Women With Balls And Men In CEO Drag


JUST SAY YES!
Conversation With A Yes Man


LISTEN TO INTERVIEW WITH A YES MAN HERE

Andy Bichlbaum, anti-capitalist Yes Man subversive imposter extraordinaire in corporate drag, phones in to the Arts Magazine to divulge key information about their latest documentary, The Yes Men Fix The World. Including the planet's stupidest capitalist costume which just may come in handy for Halloween; the murky Rupert Murdoch Affair; where frisky listeners can go to fill out an application for riot coordinator at upcoming theater screenings; and what exactly is a Yes Man.

10/5/09

Toronto Film Festival: Precious Wins People's Choice Award


Lee Daniels’ ‘Precious’ wins the People’s Choice award at TIFF

By Audrey J. Bernard, Lifestyles/Society Editor

(Toronto, Canada) – The biggest Oscar buzz coming out of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is for the Lee Daniels-powerfully directed film Precious: Based On The Novel Push by Sapphire about an abused teenaged woman named Precious.

After its initial showing at the Sundance Film Festival where it garnered nothing but high praise making it a natural winner of the top People’s Choice Award at the TIFF – an award closely associated with future Oscar winners.

Although dark in subject matter, "Precious" is an inspirational film that had two of the biggest names in communication – Czarina Oprah Winfrey and Czar Tyler Perry – jumping on board to proudly associate their names with its intelligent message of self-empowerment.

Executive producers Winfrey and Perry, who will support Lionsgate's distribution of the film through their respective motion picture companies, Harpo Films and 34th Street Films, were on hand to discuss the movie.

Perry has enjoyed a prosperous relationship with Lionsgate who are behind the distribution of his current box office hit movie, "I Can Do Bad All By Myself." "Precious" marks the first film affiliated with Perry’s 34th Street banner.

Winfrey and Perry have both confessed their love for the story and Daniels brilliant adaptation in which he handled every nuance of the book without compromising the author’s intent. This historic movie is a life changing one and those who have seen "Precious" have been deeply touched by it and its Oscar-worthy acting.

As a matter of fact, Winfrey cannot stop talking about the film and it has become one of her "favorite things." She openly plugged the movie to her television audience on a recent show shot in New York’s Central Park where one of the film’s stars, gorgeous Mariah Carey was a guest.

Winfrey told her audience that they will not recognize the always glamorous Carey who has a 'glammed down' supporting role as a social worker. "At one point, Mariah tried to sneak and put some blush on her cheeks but Daniels made her wipe it off," conveyed Winfrey.

Carey, who was joined by hubby Nick Cannon, confessed to the audience that only Daniels is capable of making her do things on screen that she would never think of doing.

"They put lines under my eyes, gave me a faint mustache, and banned lipstick, blush a glamorous hairdo," she laughed as she pointed to Daniels who was seated in the front row of the live show next to record mogul L.A. Reid and Gayle King.

Mariah Carey and Lee Daniels 

"I made this film for every person out there who ever looked in the mirror and felt unsure about the person looking back," said Daniels during the press conference at TIFF. "This is not an art film for a select few. This is a movie that everyone can relate to." 

"Precious" stars newcomer Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’nique, Paula Patton, Sherri Shepherd, Mariah Carey, Kimberly Russell, Lenny Kravitz, Grace Hightower, Nealla Gordon and Bill Sage.

The black carpet was off the hook! Joining director and producer Daniels were Sidibe, Patton, Shepherd, Carey and Hightower along with co-executive producer Simone Sheffield, executive producers Lisa Cortes, and Winfrey and Perry, together with Mary J. Blige, who penned a song for the film, screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher and the book’s acclaimed author, Sapphire.

Unfortunately, the woman causing the biggest buzz, Mo’Nique, could not join her fellow actors as she was partying in New York at a special reception hosted by BET for her upcoming show that will air on BET starting October 5, 2009.

Set in Harlem in 1987, the movie follows the story of Claireece "Precious" Jones (Sidibe), a 16-year-old African American girl born into a life no one would want. She's pregnant for the second time by her absent father.

At home, she must wait on her mother (Mo'Nique), a poisonous angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos but Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write.

Precious may be downtrodden, but she holds onto her dream of doing better. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with a mushrooming sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school.

She doesn't know the meaning of "alternative," but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.

Oprah was so taken aback by comedienne Mo’Nique’s portrayal of the malicious mother in the film that she called her and asked her, "What are you wearing to the Oscars?"

"Precious," which opens on November 6, 2009, is being touted as this year’s "Slumdog Millionaire" which walked off with all of the major Oscar awards last year. (Photo by Walter McBride)

 

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings and a film reviewer based in the New York City area. She is also a member of the esteemed Women Film Critics Circle