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

5/24/11

!War: Women Art Revolution - Conversation And Commentary

Filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson's !War: Women Art Revolution is opening in theaters across the country.

READ PENELOPE ANDREW HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW HERE

LISTEN TO DIRECTOR LYNN HERSHMAN LEESON INTERVIEW HERE 

Spain Rodriguez, whose cartoon characters like Trashman became icons in 1960s radical underground newspapers, has collaborated with Leeson on this feminist art history and unique interactive project with reader participation, to expand the scope of !WAR into the future. The comic book, with text by Spain, Leeson and Alexandra Chowaniec also includes a visual arts curriculum guide by Krista Lynes and Claire Daigle, and a film and video guide by Fiona Summers.

Penelope Andrew writes for The Huffington Post/AOL News, WestView News, Bright Lights Film Journal, Critical Women On Film and Arts Express Syndicate. She is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle. 

5/23/11

Final Reflections On Cannes: The Festival And Beyond

                Lebanese Director Nadine Labaki

By Annette Insdorf

Now that the 64th Cannes Film Festival has ended, we can expect some terrific films to be released in the second half of 2011. The general consensus was that the 20 films in competition included gems that can reach a wide audience, even beyond the few that received awards at last night's closing ceremony (list of winners below). And there were dozens of acclaimed movies presented by other sections over the 12-day period.

My favorite Cannes film of 2011 was Nadine Labaki's "Where Do We Go Now?" (shown in the "Un Certain Regard" sidebar). The second feature of the Lebanese director of "Caramel," it is about Christian and Muslim women uniting to prevent male violence from erupting. This fable is humanist as well as femi0nist, poetic as well as political. Labaki (who also stars in "Where Do We Go Now?") was awarded the Francois Chalais prize by a jury of French filmmakers on May 21: it is named in honor of a major film critic, and is given annually "to a fiction filmmaker who has best captured the world's reality." The prize was presented by actors Marisa Berenson and George Chakiris (yes, the "Shark" from "West Side Story")...

CONTINUE TO READ ARTICLE HERE

Stay tuned for continuing features of Arts Express: Expression In The Arts. And if you'd like to Express yourself too, you can write to: ArtsExpressradio@gmail.com

5/22/11

*Breaking News From Cannes*: Annette Insdorf Film Festival Wrap-Up Report


LISTEN TO CANNES FILM FESTIVAL WRAP-UP REPORT HERE



And...What gives with Lars "Okay I'm A Nazi" Von Trier film award, while being booted from Cannes? Also...Midnight In Paris, no pumpkin at the end of the day: A Conversation With Woody Allen.

5/7/11

The Cannes Film Festival Reports: Women Film Critics Circle Special


The Tree Of Life: Brad Pitt Male Role Model Issues

In the first of a series of on location reports for The Women Film Critics Circle, Annette Insdorf is our correspondent at this year's Cannes Film Festival 2011. We are honored to feature her coverage, which will also include breaking news announcing the winners at the end of the Festival.

Annette Insdorf is Director Of Film Studies at Columbia University, and the author of Indelible Shadows: Film And The Holocaust, and other books on cinema. Professor Insdorf is an internationally renowned educator, and her works are hailed as the definitive texts on their subjects. She has also been a jury member of numerous international film festivals. Professor Insdorf is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle

LISTEN TO CANNES FILM FESTIVAL COVERAGE HERE


READ 'CANNES FESTIVAL ACCENT ON WOMEN' HERE


Professor Insdorf has reported from Cannes for over a quarter century, previously co-anchoring with Roger Ebert for Bravo and The Independent Film Channel. Her knowledge and insight about cinema, past and present, is a veritable treasure trove of film history and culture. And we're extremely proud to have her as our correspondent reporting from Cannes this year.

Among the films Professor Insdorf will be covering, is actress turned director Jodie Foster's The Beaver. Which stars Mel Gibson as an emotionally disturbed family man and Foster's estranged spouse, who seeks salvation via the talking puppet in question. Also, Terence Malick's The Tree Of Life, a likewise family drama starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn that delves into the contradictions of American social values. As well as Woody Allen's latest comedic venture into the politics of romance, Midnight In Paris.

LISTEN TO 'ECO-TERRORISTS INVADE CANNES' HERE

5/5/11

Deborah Kerr: Actress In Search Of An Author

By Penelope Andrew

The shy, red-haired Scottish girl who found the strings of her tennis racket slashed, artist's palette and brushes broken, and tubes of paint squeezed dry was bullied often by the boarding school girls in Bristol. She survived these and other traumatic events by sublimating and, later, spinning them into gold, adding pathos and a sense of enchantment to her work as an artist. Working in film studios from Pinewood to Hollywood, Deborah Kerr (1921-2007) became one of only eight actresses (in a pantheon including Garbo, Gish, Stanwyck, and Loy) to receive an Honorary Academy Award...

CONTINUE TO READ BRIGHT LIGHTS FILM JOURNAL ARTICLE HERE

Penelope Andrew writes for The Huffington Post AOL News, WestView News, Bright Lights Film Journal, Critical Women On Film and Arts Express Syndicate. She is a member of The Women Film Critics Circle.

5/3/11

HE SAID, SHE SAID....BRIDESMAIDS


HE SAID....

By Gerald Wright
Film Showcase

...Bridesmaids, doesn't hold back on pushing boundaries for its female stars. Yet, I found myself feeling very uneasy with the jokes even if those same jokes were delivered by men. However perky, upbeat, modern, and post-feminist in tone, these petite women pack a big punch. My main problem in this film is that it is mindless in some of its tasteless humor. It comes off as sappy, and overly-commercialized with silly-fluff...

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE


SHE SAID...

By Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle

...Let's try to give "chick flick" the boot; from now on, I won't use it if you won't. And let no one apply it to Bridesmaids, a film of great hilarity, humanity, idiosyncrasy and grade-A, eyebrow-singeing raunch. There's a conversation about guns and bottoms that I cannot repeat but will stay with me, I'm sure of it, for a very long time...

CONTINUE TO READ REVIEW HERE