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

12/10/18

The Women Film Critics Circle Award Nominations 2018

* 

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced the 2O18 nominations for the best movies this year by and about women. And outstanding achievements by women, who get to be rarely honored historically, in the film world.
The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of 80 women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. They came together in 2004 to form the first women critics’ organization in the United States, in the belief that women’s perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.

WFCC also prides itself on being the most culturally and racially diverse critics group in the country by far, and best reflecting the diversity of movie audiences.

Critical Women On Film, a presentation of The Women Film Critics Circle, is their journal of discussion and theory. And a gathering of women’s voices expressing a fresh and differently experienced perspective from the primarily male dominated film criticism world.

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN
Mary Shelley
Roma
The Favourite
Widows
                                            Elle Fanning As Mary Shelley
BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Leave No Trace
The Kindergarten Teacher
You Were Never Really Here
BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]
Sara Colangelo: The Kindergarten Teacher
Debra Granik: Leave No Trace
Tamara Jenkins: Private Life
Audrey Wells: The Hate U Give

BEST ACTRESS
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Viola Davis, Widows
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Kindergarten Teacher
BEST ACTOR
Ben Foster, Leave No Trace
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Hugo Weaving, Black 47
BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Helena Bonham Carter, 55 Steps
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Kathryn Hahn, Private Life
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
BEST YOUNG ACTRESS
Elle Fanning, Mary Shelley
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give

                                             Yalitza Aparicio in Roma
BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Capernaum
Happy As Lazzaro
Roma
Zama
BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
RBG
Say Her Name: The Life And Death Of Sandra Bland
Seeing Allred
Shirkers

                                          WOMEN'S WORK: WIDOWS 

WOMEN’S WORK/BEST ENSEMBLE
55 Steps
Ocean's Eight
The Favourite
Widows

SPECIAL MENTION AWARDS

                           Haifaa Al-Mansour, First Saudi Woman Director
COURAGE IN FILMMAKING
Haifaa Al-Mansour, Mary Shelley
Sara Colangelo, The Kindergarten Teacher
Sandra Luckow, That Way Madness Lies
Jennifer Fox, The Tale
COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Helena Bonham Carter: 55 Steps
Viola Davis: Widows
Nicole Kidman: Destroyer
Melissa McCarthy: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women
Call Her Ganda
I Am Not A Witch
On Her Shoulders
Say Her Name: The Life And Death Of Sandra Bland
*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America
If Beale Street Could Talk
Life And Nothing More
The Hate U Give
Widows
*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
93 Queen
On The Basis Of Sex
Roma
Woman Walks Ahead
*THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD: [Performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Andrea Riseborough, Nancy
The Women Of Widows
BEST SCREEN COUPLE
A Star Is Born
Crazy Rich Asians
Disobedience
If Beale Street Could Talk
BEST FEMALE ACTION HEROES
Adrift
55 Steps
Black Panther
RGB
MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Krista Allen, Party Mom
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
Jacki Weaver, Widows
BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES
Black Panther
Like Me
On The Basis Of Sex
Widows
BEST ANIMATED FEMALES
Incredibles 2
Liyana
Mary And The Witch's Flower
Mirai No Mirai
BEST FAMILY FILM
Eighth Grade
Incredibles 2
Science Fair
The Hate U Give
WFCC HALL OF SHAME
Bryan Singer
*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower20rack in her bathroom, to make it look like suicide. He later confessed that he was having a "bad day." Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.
*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.
*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.
CONTACT: Criticalwomen@gmail.com

12/21/17

The Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2017

The Women Film Critics Circle Announces Awards 2017

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced their 2017 Awards for the best movies this year by and about women, and outstanding achievements by women, who get to be rarely honored historically, in the film world.

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. They came together in 2004 to form the first women critics' organization in the United States, in the belief that women's perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.

Critical Women On Film, a presentation of The Women Film Critics Circle, is their journal of discussion and theory, and a gathering of women's voices expressing a fresh and differently experienced perspective from the primarily male dominated film criticism world. Critical Women On Film is online HERE

THE WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS 2017

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN
A Quiet Passion
**Lady Bird
Sophie And The Rising Sun
The Florida Project

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN
Detroit
First They Killed My Father
**Lady Bird
Mudbound

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

**Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Maggie Greenwald: Sophie And The Rising Sun
Dee Reese, Mudbound
Angela Workman, The Zookeeper's Wife

BEST ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, Maudie
Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
**Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion

BEST ACTOR
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
**Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS
Seo-Hyun Ahn, Okja
Mckenna Grace, Gifted
**Brooklynn Prince, The Florida Project
Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
**Allison Janney: I, Tonya
Margo Robbie: I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
A Fantastic Woman
**First They Killed My Father
In The Fade
Thelma

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women
Maudie
**The Light Of The Moon
The Rape Of Recy Taylor
Wind River

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

Girls Trip
**Mudbound
Step
The Rape Of Recy Taylor

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman's place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
Battle Of The Sexes
**Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Mudbound
The Post

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Sally Hawkins, Maudie
**Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Michelle Rodriguez, The Assignment
Charlize Theron, Atomic Blonde

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING
Amma Asante, A United Kingdom
Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit
Angelina Jolie, First The Killed My Father
**Dee Rees, Mudbound

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD [Supporting performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]
Jessica Chastain, The Zookeeper's Wife
**Betty Gabriel, Get Out
Sally Hawkins, Maudie
Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN **TIE
**Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Faces Places
**Jane
Step

WOMEN'S WORK: BEST ENSEMBLE
A Quiet Passion
**Girls Trip
Sophie And The Rising Sun
Wonder Woman

BEST FEMALE ACTION HERO
Atomic Blonde
In The Fade
The Shape of Water
**Wonder Woman

MOMMIE DEAREST WORST SCREEN MOM OF THE YEAR AWARD
Allison Janney: I, Tonya

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES
Atomic Blonde
**Battle Of The Sexes
Professor Marston And The Wonder Women
Wonder Woman

BEST SCREEN COUPLE
Maudie
Professor Martson And The Wonder Women
**The Big Sick
The Shape Of Water

BEST ANIMATED FEMALE(S)
**Coco
Loving Vincent
The Breadwinner
Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming

BEST FAMILY FILM
**Coco
Beauty And The Beast
The Breadwinner
Wonder

ACTING AND ACTIVISM AWARD
Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan, and all the women who spoke out against the culture of sexual abuse 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Agnes Varda 

BEST RISING FEMALE STARS
Izabela Vidovic, Wonder
Peyton Kennedy, American Fable

WFCC HALL OF SHAME
Harvey Weinstein 

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower20rack in her bathroom, to make it look like suicide. He later confessed that he was having a "bad day." Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD:
The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

12/12/17

WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE NOMINATIONS 2017

The Women Film Critics Circle Announces Awards Nominations 2017

The Women Film Critics Circle has announced their 2017 nominations for the best movies this year by and about women, and outstanding achievements by women, who get to be rarely honored historically, in the film world.

The Women Film Critics Circle is an association of women film critics and scholars from around the country and internationally, who are involved in print, radio, online and TV broadcast media. They came together in 2004 to form the first women critics' organization in the United States, in the belief that women's perspectives and voices in film criticism need to be recognized fully.

Critical Women On Film, a presentation of The Women Film Critics Circle, is their journal of discussion and theory, and a gathering of women's voices expressing a fresh and differently experienced perspective from the primarily male dominated film criticism world. Critical Women On Film is online HERE

THE WOMEN FILM CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2017

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN
A Quiet Passion
Lady Bird
Sophie And The Rising Sun
The Florida Project


BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN
Detroit
First They Killed My Father
Lady Bird
Mudbound

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Maggie Greenwald: Sophie And The Rising Sun
Dee Reese, Mudbound
Angela Workman, The Zookeeper's Wife

BEST ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, Maudie
Sally Hawkins, The Shape Of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion

BEST ACTOR
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman,Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS
Seo-Hyun Ahn, Okja
Mckenna Grace, Gifted
Brooklynn Prince, The Florida Project
Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip
Allison Janney: I, Tonya
Margo Robbie: I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
In The Fade
Thelma
*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women
Maudie
The Light Of The Moon
The Rape Of Recy Taylor
Wind River

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

Girls Trip
Mudbound
Step
The Rape Of Recy Taylor

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman's place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity
Battle Of The Sexes
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Mudbound
The Post

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]
Sally Hawkins, Maudie
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Michelle Rodriguez, The Assignment
Charlize Theron, Atomic Blonde

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING
Amma Asante, A United Kingdom
Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit
Angelina Jolie, First The Killed My Father
Dee Rees, Mudbound

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD [Supporting performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]
Jessica Chastain, The Zookeeper's Wife
Betty Gabriel, Get out
Sally Hawkins, Maudie
Cynthia Nixon, A Quiet Passion

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
Faces Places
Jane
Step

WOMEN'S WORK: BEST ENSEMBLE
A Quiet Passion
Girls Trip
Sophie And The Rising Sun
Wonder Woman

BEST FEMALE ACTION HERO
Atomic Blonde
In The Fade
The Shape of Water
Wonder Woman

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES
Atomic Blonde
Battle Of The Sexes
Professor Marston And The Wonder Women
Wonder Woman

BEST SCREEN COUPLE
Maudie
Professor Martson And The Wonder Women
The Big Sick
The Shape Of Water

BEST ANIMATED FEMALE(S)
Coco
Loving Vincent
The Breadwinner
Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming

BEST FAMILY FILM
Coco
Beauty And The Beast
The Breadwinner
Wonder

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: Adrienne Shelly was a promising actress and filmmaker who was brutally strangled in her apartment in 2006 at the age of forty by a construction worker in the building, after she complained about noise. Her killer tried to cover up his crime by hanging her from a shower20rack in her bathroom, to make it look like suicide. He later confessed that he was having a "bad day." Shelly, who left behind a baby daughter, had just completed her film Waitress, which she also starred in, and which was honored at Sundance after her death.

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD:
The daughter of a laundress and a musician, Baker overcame being born black, female and poor, and marriage at age fifteen, to become an internationally acclaimed legendary performer, starring in the films Princess Tam Tam, Moulin Rouge and Zou Zou. She also survived the race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois as a child, and later expatriated to France to escape US racism. After participating heroically in the underground French Resistance during WWII, Baker returned to the US where she was a crusader for racial equality. Her activism led to attacks against her by reporter Walter Winchell who denounced her as a communist, leading her to wage a battle against him. Baker was instrumental in ending segregation in many theaters and clubs, where she refused to perform unless integration was implemented.

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: Karen Morley was a promising Hollywood star in the 1930s, in such films as Mata Hari and Our Daily Bread. She was driven out of Hollywood for her leftist political convictions by the Blacklist and for refusing to testify against other actors, while Robert Taylor and Sterling Hayden were informants against her. And also for daring to have a child and become a mother, unacceptable for female stars in those days. Morley maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.

12/11/17

WFCC Best Female Action Hero Nominations 2017: In The Fade - Diane Kruger Goes Full Antifa

In The Fade: Diane Kruger Goes Full Antifa


When Western terrorist attacks by mostly Middle Eastern right wing extremists take place, among the shocked responses in the aftermath, is always the perplexed reaction in disbelief, as to why such a presumably meaningless assault could have taken place. Yet like a long lingering elephant in the room that just won't seem to go away, the evidence is in plain sight.

Say for instance, the murder in recent times and in progress, of over a million people in Iraq and Afghanistan alone by the US military and European allies. And a kind of blowback retaliation on their own soil of the perpetrators, that may not even be those original fighters - but perhaps their surviving inconsolable relatives or children determined to seek revenge.

Such is the intriguing metaphorical premise of Fatih Akin's In The Fade (Aus dem Nichts). The German director of Turkish parentage masterfully flips the script, as Hamburg housewife Katja (Diane Kruger) endures the horror of her Kurdish husband Nuri (Numan Acar), a legal activist for the local Turkish community, along with her young son being murdered in a racially motivated, anti-immigrant targeted bombing of his office by German white supremacist Neo-Nazis.

The emotionally disintegrating, suicidal widow, overcome by feelings of hopelessness and rage, seeks a revenge in kind against the two accused perpetrators - following their acquittal for lack of irrefutable evidence in court. And what ultimately ensues is not just a stunningly executed thriller, but a brilliant parable for our time.

In other words, the immensely provocative notion of victimization reversal, and the perpetrator as perpetrated. Along with ironically, the accusation that has always been raised against Germans where  this movie was made - how could you as a people stand by and do nothing while Hitler annihilated civilians and enemies alike in the millions. Well, perhaps exactly what those leveling charges have been doing since then, without much objection or even acknowledgement raised - and the United States alone having killed and continuing to do so, more than 20 million people in thirty-seven victim nations since World War II.
You go, Diane.

Prairie Miller

Arts Express: Airing on the WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations.

5/8/17

Paris Can Wait: A Conversation With Diane Lane And Eleanor Coppola

      DIRECTOR ELEANOR COPPOLA: PARIS CAN WAIT

*STEVE COOGAN TALKS THE DINNER
*PARIS CAN WAIT: A CONVERSATION WITH DIANE LANE AND ELEANOR COPPOLA

*STEVE COOGAN TALKS THE DINNER
*PARIS CAN WAIT: A CONVERSATION WITH DIANE LANE AND ELEANOR COPPOLA

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Two new films mix cuisine and socio-cultural conflicted conversation:

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE

** "I personally find it delightful to partake in an offering of a movie that is without aliens, robots, explosions, train wrecks, dire disease and plagues, or invasions from other planets."

That's Diane Lane, talking about her starring role along with Alec Baldwin as her emotionally self-absorbed spouse, in Paris Can Wait. Lane and the writer/director Eleanor Coppola, wife of Francis Ford Coppola, met with Arts Express to discuss how they explore through this film together in front of and behind the camera as women, the journey beyond what is much more than a road movie and the predominant male perspective, filter, lens and narratives dominating cinema.

 ** "No man is an island, and we have to engage with things around us and speak our minds - and even though that means sometimes I'm going to invite a little derision and some negativity from certain quarters - but I'm okay with that."

Steve Coogan phones in to Arts Express from London to talk about his role opposite Richard Gere in The Dinner. And a film as much a mirror reflecting back critically on the audience as it is a movie, in how the drama challenges viewers regarding impulses that can compromise enlightened idealistic values versus self-serving behavior - whether tribal, familial or both - that dehumanizes and destroys those labeled as the "Other." And by extension, that could be referring to director Oren Moverman's native Israel in its treatment of the Palestinians, or the US inflicting horror on the people of any number of countries - all in the context of a ridiculously ostentatious and pretentious designer dinner.
A feature of the Tribeca Film Festival

** Tribeca Focus: The Foster File: A Kurt Vonnegut page to screen allegorical tale of Wall Street money versus musical obsession. Spotlighting humble grocery clerk Herbert Foster 'who never owned more than one pair of shoes at a time' - and his mysterious alternate persona  Mr. Firehouse Harris, three nights out of seven.

Arts Express: Airing on the WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network and Affiliate Stations