Dohan stars as a free-spirited Israeli woman circa 1975. Is she in love with Nagim (Mer) or her own fantasy of Bedouin life? Regardless, her attempts to “go native” have tragic consequences for them both. Jan was mesmerized by characters, cinematography & soundtrack; Rich found emotions overwrought & "mysteries" annoying. More on GOD'S SANDBOX.
Diana (Rodriguez) has every right to the huge chip she's carrying on her shoulder, but it's weighing her down. Her future looks bleak until she stumbles on a teacher who helps her channel her aggression into boxing. She finds herself in breaking down old barriers. Raw. Intense. Inspiring. More on GIRLFIGHT.
Director Shainberg re-teams with his SECRETARY collaborator screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson on a very lose adaptation of Patricia Bosworth’s biography of photographer Diane Arbus. Fascinating attempt to depict artistic inspiration succeeds best as a meditation on the birth of ‘60s sensibility, but Jan thinks Kidman isn’t quite “dark” enough to carry the lead. More on…
FUNNY GIRL (1968) is now in re-release with a new dye transfer process that makes the colors in the new print incredibly vibrant. Barbra is pure electricity. We laughed! Jan cried! We were fully satisfied. Drive as far as you have to -- this really is "an event film"!!! More on FUNNY GIRL.
Click here to read my two reviews of Frida from 2002 (one for DVD WOLF & one for the LA arts site PICKLEBIRD): FridaReviews2002 Director Taymor (famous for Broadway’s multiple-Tony award winner The Lion King) has a fabulous eye. Her life partner, composer Elliot Goldenthal, has a fabulous ear. Together, they've created an aesthetic masterpiece celebrating…
Three women (American, Israeli & Palestinian) cross paths for intense one day. Each one is simultaneously herself (with her character’s backstory & complex relationships) as well as a national archetype. Listen to the soundtrack: that’s Chava Alberstein singing her infamous version of CHAD GADYA, so pay attention to the words. More on FREE ZONE.
Very sweet, extremely conventional Disney story about a mother & daughter who, by exchanging bodies for a day, come to understand the world from the other’s point of view. There are no surprises, but the leads do such a good job of impersonating each other that it’s easy to enjoy. More on FREAKY FRIDAY.
New bride (Das) enters household already containing husband’s aged mother, elder brother & wife (Kharbanda+Azmi), & longtime servant (Chowdhry). Both arranged marriages are fragile, & the sisters-in-law turn to each other for ever-deepening, eventually-sexual companionship. Closely-observed exploration of "ordinary" middle-class Indian women confronting tension between traditional expectations & contemporary options. More on FIRE.
Knowing the “back story” helps (Breillat’s older sister is a popular French actress), but this is still a pretty unpleasant experience. The eponymous younger sister is treated with contempt & hostility by both her mother & her sister, but is avenged (well, kinda sorta) at the end. Brutally frank sexuality. More on FAT GIRL.
German-Jewish teenager runs east from the Nazis. He manages to talk his way into a Russian orphanage, but when the region falls under Occupation, he somehow convinces a group of soldiers that he’s a German being held against his will. Improbably tale that’s fact-based – he actually lived to tell it. More on EUROPA, EUROPA.