: 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.



From The Women's Desk: Ellis Island: Blueprint For Guantanamo?

The Case of Claudia Jones: Black, Communist And Female, And Buried Twice.
Incarcerated without due process on Ellis Island in 1948 along with countless other political prisoners for their leftist views, the eminent forgotten journalist and activist was eventually sent into exile in the UK.
A conversation with Left Of Karl Marx author Carole Boyce Davies, with a spotlight on the Jones burial site next to Karl Marx, and a tale of two political exiles in the UK.
Also....Workers Of The World Divide? Class Struggle Vs. Identity Politics.
And....The Wedding Gift: The History Of US Slavery From A Woman's Perspective. Vanessa Cooper in a conversation with writer Marlen Bodden.


Vanessa Cooper can be heard on WLIB Radio, WBLS Radio and the Gary Byrd Experience Radio Networks, and she writes for the Amsterdam News. Vanessa is a member of the Women Film Critics Circle.


American Radical: The Trials Of Norman Finkelstein

Screening Room. The Self-Hating Jew: Fact Or Fallacy? While Barak Obama and Bill Cosby are praised for scorn towards black ghetto residents for being poor, Norman Finkelstein is charged with anti-semitism for denouncing wealthy Holocaust profiteers and Israel. What gives? A conversation with the controversial scholar, social critic and author of Beyond Chutzpah and The Holocaust Industry, about his documentary: American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein.



HE SAID, SHE SAID....Lourdes: Lyrical, Absurd, Dark And Mystifying

LOURDES1.jpg-Sylvie Testud as Christine in Jessica Hausner’s LOURDES.  Courtesy of Palisades Tartan.


By Prairie Miller

...Always profoundly empathetic, even when at its darkest, while weighing religious passion, mortality, erotic obsessions, heartbreak, hope, desperation and devastation, all part of that both euphoric and absurd experience comprising the human condition...



By Gerald Wright

...There is a great chemistry on screen between [actresses] Testud and Lowensohn. Christine's prayers are for a miracle and a romantic relationship with a handsome guard named Kuno (Bruno Todeschini). Sylvie Testud seems to effortlessly give an outstanding performance in her role, and with magnificent performances by the excellent cast, the movie shines...


Gerald Wright
Film Showcase


The Arts Magazine Screening Room: Creation

The Theory Of Natural Selection And The Origin Of Charles Darwin.

A look at the Darwin biopic, Creation, and conversations with Charles Darwin's great great-grandson Randal Keynes, author of the biography Annie's Box on which the film is based, and actor Paul Bettany, who stars as the conflicted scientist. And how Darwin was a product of evolution himself, in terms of the converging politics and economics of his 19th century historical moment that made his revolutionary discovery possible.



Remembering Jennifer Jones and a Perfect Afternoon at the Movies

By Penelope Andrew

Jennifer Jones in The Song Of Bernadette [1943]

Given her unusual beauty and extraordinary talent, it is tragic that her rich body of work is so unfamiliar to audiences today. The dearth of profiles and obituaries that appeared after her death on December 17, 2009 is heartbreaking. It may also be true that the actress with a dramatic range enabling her to play an enchanting ghost of a girl who becomes an artist's muse in The Portrait of Jennie with equal ease as Gustave Flaubert's shallow yet fiery adulteress in Madame Bovary is simply too difficult to capture in words.

Jennifer Jones always defied easy analysis, so much the better for us to simply surrender to the films themselves....


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. A certified psychoanalytic psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, she maintains a private psychotherapy practice in NYC.


The Arts Magazine Screening Room: Cine Manifest

Rural Radical Roots In Movies, And the Birth Of The Cine Manifest Marxist Film Collective.

A conversation with Cine Manifest filmmaker John Hanson, director of Western Coal, Prairie Trilogy: Rebel Earth, Prairie Fire, Survivor, and Northern Lights. And, other highlights of the current Cine Manifest Retrospective in NY.

Also, Empire Burlesque rebel cabaret music, by Jamie Smith.



The Women's Desk Special

Taking Feminism To The Next Level...

From The Women's Desk: The Motherhood Movement. What Is It, Who Cares, And Why Do We Need It. Joy Rose of Mamapalooza, Housewives On Prozac and Don't Tell me To Shut Up Radio tackles the issues and talks Maternal Feminism with special guests.


And, Linda Z explores with WBAI Sister Station Sister, KPFK's Sikivu Hutchinson at the LA Women's Desk, the real deal on race, class, sex and single motherhood.

Hosted by the WBAI Women's Collective, Linda Z, Joy Rose and Sikivu Hutchinson. Music By Pollywood.

MAMAPALOOZA Inc. Connecting Women, Mothers and Families through Music, Art, Activism and Education for Cultural, Economic & Social awareness. MOMS ROCK!


MAILBAG: Audience Hearts The Arts Magazine!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

WBAI's The Arts Magazine

Brownie approved

And Janet Napolitano is still in the news. And she will not live her phrase down. She can speak of context, being misquoted, you name it. She said it. It is on her.

Today I listened to WBAI's The Arts Magazine which focused on Marx At The Movies today. Click here for WBAI archives and it is under 2:00 p.m. for today's broadcasts. I wish WBAI would keep their programs up longer than 89 days (it is no longer even 90).

It was a very entertaining hour. The blacklist was discussed included Karen Morley who was blacklisted for refusing to answer McCarthyism questions. She went on to run for office on the American Labor Party's ticket in 1954.

Louis Proyect was the guest for the first half hour. C.I. includes Mr. Proyect in the Iraq snapshots from time to time. This was my first time hearing Mr. Proyect on the radio and I found him to be a very entertaining guest and wondered why I -- with all my hours and hours and hours of listening to Pacifica Radio had not heard him before?

They addressed the James Cameron film. Gilad Atzmon reviewed the film at Dissident Voice ("A Humanist Call from Mt. Hollywood"). I did disagree with the call that The Hurt Locker has no point of view. I would suggest they both go back and watch again. But that is fine, we can disagree. And we agreed on "King Rat" at least. Elia Kazan. I cannot draw a line between the man and his art, sorry. I think he did a despicable thing (naming names, etc.) and really did not believe that there was any comeback from that.Click here for Mr. Proyect's view of 2009 in films.

A woman was the guest for the second half hour and they spoke more about the blacklist in that section and also had a lively discussion on how (badly) mothers were portrayed in 2009.
Ruth's Report
An excellent show. I was driving into NYC, and could concentrate on it. Packed with good info, wished I had been able to write down all the movie titles you mentioned, you presented an excellent context for the reviews. Congrats.
B. Aziz

HE SAID, SHE SAID....The Girl On The Train and October Country

thegirlonthetrain_l201001081623.jpg (261×385)

SHE SAID....The Girl On A Train

By Jan Aaron

Techine Rips Story From French Headlines

Veteran director Andre Techine's inspiration for his movie 'Girl on The Train' is a true story that caused quite a stir in France a few years ago. It evolved when a young woman claimed she had been the victim of an anti-Semitic attack on a suburban train, creating a media storm that drew in the highest reaches of government, only to be proved a lie.

The lovely blonde blue-eyed innocent looking girl Jeanne (Emilie Dequenne) lives with her hardworking mother Louise (Catherine Deneuve in her sixth Techine film), a baby-sitter. As the film goes on, their lives intersect with a successful lawyer Samuel Bleistein (Michel Blanc), a former flame of Louise, from whom Jeanne seeks employment.

The movie is divided into two parts, 'Circumstances' and 'Consequences.' The first half is mainly concerned with the burgeoning love affair between Jeanne and Franck (Nicolas Duvauchelle), who is trying to break into professional wrestling. In the second part, we are drawn more into the world of Bleistein and that of his son Alex (Matthieu Demy) and his wife, the commanding Judith (Ronit Elkabetz).

Techine does not try to analyze any aspect of the story of Jeanne, her behavior, nor does he use her as a symbol of French youth today, the French media frenzy, or the current threats of anti-Semitism in France today. He is fascinated with the relationships that embroider the plot: Louise is hesitant about renewing her relationship with Bleistein, though both have recently lost their spouses, and the estrangement of Judith from her son, teen Alex, who has bonded with Jeanne.

The movie has many points of interest but at the center is a young woman who fails in her search for herself. Every character is finely drawn however and the director manages to combine seriousness with bits of humor. For followers of Techine, Denueve and Blanc are like family and the score by Alain Sarde another Techine regular fits live a fine French leather glove.

Jan Aaron
Education Update


By Gerald Wright

The Girl On The Train displays a stimulating plot of dramatic entanglements that explore complex family and social relationships haunting French society's fear....


Gerald Wright
Film Showcase