Currently Browsing: 2015

Brigid: Best Films of 2015

  2015’s Top Picks from FF2 Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky BEST ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILMS 1.) Spotlight Between the impressive ensemble and outstanding script by Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight earns the top spot for my 2015 list. It tells the story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic […]

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Jan: Best Films of 2015

2015’s Top Picks from FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner BEST ENGLISH LANGUAGE FILMS 1.) The Big Short Riveting story about the the “Subprime Mortgage Crisis” of 2008. The Big Short is told as a high octane comedy by filmmakers who trust their audience to understand that it’s actually a tragedy, with aftershocks that continue to […]

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Jessica: Best Films of 2015

Announcing 2015’s Top Picks from FF2 Contributing Editor Jessica Perry Best English Language Film 1.) Mistress America  From the writers of Frances Ha, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach have paired up once again to bring us the hilarious and extremely original film that is Mistress America. A freshman at Barnard College, spends her days alone, struggling to […]

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TRUTH: Why 2004 Matters!

Cate Blanchett gives one of her greatest performances as embattled CBS 60 Minutes Producer Mary Mapes in Truth. (JLH: 5/5) Rant by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner Full Disclosure: I grew up in an NBC/Newsweek home. Way back in the 1950–before media had so many “narrowcast” options–most American households fell into one of two […]

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Jess Chats with Director Laura Bialis

Interview with Rock in the Red Zone Director Laura Bialis Interview by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry Check out Jessica’s review of Rock in the Red Zone over at The Hot Pink Pen  JEP: What was your original inspiration for the film, where did it all start?  Well, I had been to Israel before and I had made […]

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AMPAS ’16: 60 Eligible Films

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just announced the list of 305 feature films which are eligible for Academy Award consideration in 2016. All told, 60 of the films on this list were either written and/or directed by female filmmakers. That’s roughly 20%. And although you probably have not seen or heard of […]

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Genderquake ’15: Intro

Women are continuously getting shut out of Hollywood. From Jennifer Lawrence’s open letter on the gender pay gap to Maureen Dowd’s New York Times Magazine exposé, “The Women of Hollywood Speak Out,” the fight for equality rages on. Read filmmaker Rachel Feldman’s response HERE. Part one of three by FF2 Media Associate Editor Brigid K. […]

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Genderquake ’15: Digression

Women are continuously getting shut out of Hollywood. From Jennifer Lawrence’s open letter on the gender pay gap to Maureen Dowd’s New York Times Magazine exposé, “The Women of Hollywood Speak Out,” the fight for equality rages on. [Read filmmaker Rachel Feldman’s response HERE]. Part two of three by FF2 Media Associate Editor Brigid K. […]

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Genderquake ’15: Next Steps

Why is Oscar Blue? In Part 3, we look at how the lack of women film critics affects who gets awards every year. Part 3 of 3 by FF2 Media Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Why are the Oscars so male-centric? The award selection process begins with critical reviews and festival accolades. Film critics, mostly male, […]

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Richard Attenborough Tribute: Intro

THE LEGACY OF RICHARD ATTENBOROUGH: A Tribute by Jarrod Emerson Just over two years ago, on August 24, 2014, Sir Richard Attenborough passed away. A few days shy of his 91st birthday, he left behind an incredible cinematic legacy. I first became aware of Attenborough at the age of six watching him in Jurassic Park. […]

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Richard Attenborough Tribute: Chaplin

Jarrod Emerson’s Tribute to Richard Attenborough Part 8: CHAPLIN (1992) Richard Attenborough entered the 1990s with another amazing biopic, this time profiling one of the silver screen’s early icons: the legendary Charlie Chaplin. Adapted from both Chaplin’s own autobiography and David Robinson’s book, Chaplin: His Life and His Art, the film chronicles Chaplin’s career—as well his […]

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Richard Attenborough Tribute: Cry Freedom

Jarrod Emerson’s Tribute to Richard Attenborough Part 7: CRY FREEDOM (1987) Cry Freedom tells the powerful true story of black South African activist Stephen Biko (Denzel Washington). The founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, Biko was a fierce advocate for equal rights for the largely impoverished native South African population during the height of Apartheid. […]

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Richard Attenborough Tribute: Gandhi

Jarrod Emerson’s Tribute to Richard Attenborough Part 6: Gandhi (1982) The opening scene of Gandhi begins with the civil rights activist’s assassination, before flashing back to a fateful incident aboard a South African train in 1893. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, despite holding a first-class ticket, is booted from the train, leading him to realize the laws […]

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Richard Attenborough Tribute: Magic

Jarrod Emerson’s Tribute to Richard Attenborough Part 5: MAGIC (1978) Richard Attenborough’s only foray into horror, Magic, tells the story of “Corky Withers” (Anthony Hopkins), a shy, anxiety-ridden magician who struggles to get through a performance. Corky eventually finds success when he incorporates ventriloquism into his act with “Fats” an expressive wooden dummy. Fats is […]

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Richard Attenborough: Jurassic Park

Jarrod Emerson’s tribute to Richard Attenborough Part 4: Jurassic Park (1993) After focusing exclusively on his directorial career for over a decade, Richard Attenborough stepped back in front of the camera, when Steven Spielberg cast him in the mega-hit, Jurassic Park. Attenborough portrays billionaire industrialist, John Hammond, creator of a ground-breaking, island theme park. Hammond […]

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Richard Attenborough: 10 Rillington Place

Jarrod Emerson’s tribute to Richard Attenborough: Part 3: 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (1971) Sometimes the most gripping stories come straight from fact. Such is the case with this powerful thriller, 10 Rillington Place, from Richard Fleischer (The Boston Strangler, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea). Adapted from the collected writings of journalist Ludovic Kennedy, 10 Rillington Place […]

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RAT: THE GREAT ESCAPE

Jarrod Emerson’s Tribute to Richard Attenborough Part 2: THE GREAT ESCAPE  (1963) Based on the personal experience of WWII Veteran, Paul Brickhill, The Great Escape follows a group of POWs imprisoned in Stalag Luft III.  Equipped with a barbed-wire fence, towers, and a full staff of armed guards, it has been declared Germany’s most secure prison […]

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Richard Attenborough Tribute: Brighton Rock

Jarrod Emerson’s tribute to Richard Attenborough: PART 1: BRIGHTON ROCK (1947) What do you get when the crime classic, Brighton Rock, (by acclaimed novelist Graham Greene) falls into the hands of pioneering British filmmaker John Boulting? Only an incredible film noir of British cinema, whose influence I can now see in many modern British gangster […]

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Spotlight on Truth: The Story Behind the Story

WHEN BRIGID MET BILL: PART TWO By Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky With the timely releases of Truth and Spotlight, FF2 Media chats with retired Chicago Tribune newspaperman William F. Presecky on these two films’ themes and depiction of reporters, as well as the future of investigative journalism. Q: Obviously both Truth and Spotlight center […]

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Journalism: The Value of Institutional Memory

WHEN BRIGID MET BILL: PART ONE By FF2 Media Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky In today’s world of increasingly accessible information, with speed appearing to be more valued than accuracy, discernment is still needed … at least according to longtime Chicago Tribune reporter William F. Presecky. “Newspapers need somebody who sorts out information in a faithful, truthful […]

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Robin Williams Tribute

Imagination Unlimited! : Remembering Robin Williams A Tribute by Jarrod Emerson   During a sweet moment early in the 1982 film The World According to Garp, aspiring writer T.S. Garp engages in a flirtatious conversation with his crush, Helen.  After an amusing verbal gaffe, Garp attempts to take his foot out of his mouth by […]

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Harold Ramis Tribute

Who You Gonna Call To Take The Weatherman Golfing on Vacation? : Remembering Harold Ramis A Tribute by Jarrod Emerson It seems like just yesterday, my seven-year old self was running about my backyard in Ohio pretending to wield a proton pack to capture some troublemaking specters! Yes, I had just seen Ivan Reitman’s classic […]

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Remembering Harold Ramis

It seems like just yesterday, my seven-year old self was running about my backyard in Ohio pretending to wield a proton pack to capture some troublemaking specters! Yes, I had just seen Ivan Reitman’s classic 1984 film Ghostbusters. The beloved comedy introduced me to many wonderful actors: Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Ernie Hudson […]

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99 HOMES

Stunningly effective drama about the very real effects of the 2008 recession/housing crisis on ordinary Americans. Set in Orlando, Florida = one of the most hard-hit states. (JLH: 5/5. RBM: 4.5/5.) Rave by Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner Can there be higher praise in 2015 than to turn to one’s partner as the credits roll […]

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I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS

Split Decision: Jan loved this gentle dramedy about a widow who allows life to enter her well-ordered schedule twenty years after the death of her husband. Rich found it “sweet,” but no more. (JLH: 4/5. RBM: 3/5.) When we first meet “Carol Petersen” (Blythe Danner) she is living a well-order life in a comfortable home, amply provided […]

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STEVE JOBS Doc

New Alex Gibney BioDoc Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine walks tediously though all the highlights of JobsMania for over two hours without providing much illumination. Both the man and his times remain elusive. (JLH: 3/5. RBM: 3/5.)

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COMING HOME (2014)

Superlative new film  from China directed by Yimou Zhang. Screenplay by Jingzhi Zou based on a novel by Geling Yan. (JLH: 4.5/5. RBM 4.5/5.) Li Gong and Daoming Chen star as an educated couple trapped by Mao’s Cultural Revolution. She is a teacher and he is a professor, and they live in a small comfortable apartment […]

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Audre Lorde: A Radical Voice in a Progressive Movement

Feature by Contributing Editor Alma Garcia Audre Lorde always introduced herself as, “Audre Lorde, a Black lesbian feminist mother warrior poet.” No commas in between the words, and hardly a pause. Her confidence and courage shone through this self ­introduction, she never hesitated to let anyone, and everyone, know exactly who she was. She proved […]

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Two Roads Diverge…

I joined the Chicago Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in 1983. That was one year after I married Richard (on 6/27/82), and part of the emotional process of relinquishing my hopes for an academic career. I didn’t know where the future would lead, I only knew that although I would probably […]

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MEET THE PATELS … You’ll be glad you did.

FF2 chats with with Geeta V. Patel, Ravi V. Patel and Vasant K. Patel  To read FF2 Media’s review of the Meet the Patels, click HERE. September 2015 Writer/Director Geeta V. Patel always wanted to be a storyteller. After graduating from Duke University with a concentration in Comparative Area Studies, her future in finance could […]

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