Currently Browsing: October 2007
Ms. Buzz & AAUW-Illinois Update Huge thanks to the editors of Ms. Magazine for helping us publicize “Jane Addams Day” on 12/10/07! Read details along with an important update from the AAUW-Illinois “Jane Addams Day” Committee in the linked pdf. For complete information (including reservation forms for multiple events) visit our AAUW-Illinois website. Primary credit […]
10/28 Meet-Up Details Chicago’s khaverim have been watching some terrific films at this year’s 2nd annual Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema, but Q&A time has been limited & there hasn’t been much opportunity for comparative discussion. If you would like to discuss this year’s films, come to an informal meet-up on Sunday (10/28) @ the […]
A really wonderful film called EMPATHY played on Saturday night (10/27) at the Wilmette Theatre as part of the 2nd annual Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. Writer/director Adi Refaeli began her career in community television & this is her first film. The EMPATHY premiere was held at last year’s Jerusalem Film Festival, and it was […]
April ’08 Spring Convention Update: I am proud to announce that AAUW-Illinois has donated its “Change-for-Change” collections to the “Inspiring Darfur Girls to Achieve” project. By agreement with AAUW President Ruth Sweetser, AAUW-Illinois contributed approximately 1/3rd of collections to AAUW’s Leadership and Training Institute (the AAUW arm now responsible for all programming initiatives including international […]
Third stop on my “Jane Addams Day” roadshow: I was supposed to show Dinner at Jane’s to AAUW-Illinois members from Districts 4 & 5 attending the Fall District Conference-North, but I was carrying so much stuff with me that I forgot to bring my VHS tapes! Luckily keynote speaker Louise W. Knight (aka “Lucy”) agreed to stay after lunch to lead an […]
Opening Night festivities at the 2nd annual Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema. The 2007 CFIC runs from October 18th thru October 28th, & I will be assisting with numerous Q&A sessions this year. Click here for Tzivi’s Complete Guide to the 2007 CFIC. Click here for info on last year’s event.
Despite Jan’s horrible cold, we made it to Closing Night festivities @ the Chicago International Film Festival, wearing the t-shirts Cinema/Chicago had designed especially for us last year (well, OK, last year was the 42nd annual CIFF, but still…). In prior years, Closing Night at the Harris Theatre has been filled to the gills for dreck like THE […]
Thirtysomething Manhattanite (Laura Linney) puts her own life on hold when her estranged father (Philip Bosco) succumbs to dementia. Caring for him with a brother she knows only slightly better (Philip Seymour Hoffman) becomes life-changing for both of them. Jan’s agog, but while Rich loved performances, he found frequent “shifts-of-tone” between comedy & tragedy […]
The campaign for the 2008 Oscars officially began yesterday (10/17/07). How do I know? Because yesterday I received my first “For Your Consideration” letter. In the next three months, my e-mail & snail mail inboxes will be flooded with letters, screeners, & chum of many varieties, all of which I will receive because I am a member […]
The 2007 Chicago Festival of Israeli Cinema opens tomorrow night (Thurs 10/18) at the Pipers Alley Theatre in Old Town & several wonderful films by Israeli schvesters are on the schedule. My top pick in the shorts category is EMPATHY a terrific new film by first time director Adi Refaeli (showing on Sat 10/27 @ […]
Beautifully understated story about culture clash showcasing Collette as a workaholic Australian geologist forced to play tour guide for a visiting Japanese investor. Shot primarily in the vast Australian outback, the cinematography’s hypnotic. The subtle score reaches a poignant intensity as Collette watches her new friend board his flight home. More on JAPANESE STORY.
It’s Copenhagen, so this dour collection of Danes starts out repressed & withdrawn. But they each discover a reason for joining the Italian class at the local Community Center, the language loosens their tongues, & romance blooms. A lovely way to spend a day – especially if the weather’s bad outside. More on ITALIAN FOR […]
Split Decision: Expecting a “comedy,” Rich was put off by Blethyn’s narcissistic, overbearing Mom. Expecting a “dramedy” (& having more personal experience in the spotlight), Jan was thoroughly charmed by this Australian tale of a middle-age comedienne slowly but surely growing up. Chittenden & Wilson are both excellent as Blethyn’s sons. More on INTRODUCING THE […]
Delicate exploration of how people come to betray their principles, based on the memoir of an Afrikans journalist (called here “Anna Malan” & played by Juliette Binoche) who covered South Africa’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission hearings in the mid-90’s. Samuel L. Jackson plays “Langston Whitfield” (Malan’s know-it-all antagonist from the Washington Post). Brendan Gleeson plays “Colonel […]
Screenwriter Suzannah Grant does for Cameron Diaz what she did for Julia Roberts in ERIN BROCKOVICH: creates a flawed but multi-dimensional woman & then helps her grow. (Based on the best-selling 2003 novel by Jennifer Weiner.) Get past the fact that these characters are all supposed to be Jewish (Shirely MacLaine plays “Bubbe”) & enjoy […]
There’s a lot to like in this semi-autobiographical story about an Irish family living illegally in 1980’s Manhattan, but midway thru it turns totally predictable & we left the theater in dry-eyed disappointment. Question: When will charismatic Djimon Hounsou finally get a part that’s worthy of him? More on IN AMERICA.
In 1968, Valerie Solanas shot Andy Warhol, creating havoc in Manhattan’s trendy art world. Taylor won great acclaim as Valerie, capturing both her tremendous intelligence & her total pathos. Abused as a child, Valerie was consumed by rage & lived her life at the edge of self-destruction. What a waste! More on I SHOT ANDY […]
Raw slice of working-class life. Deserted by her father in her early teens, Debby now has a love/hate relationship with men, alternating between desperate need & caustic anger. Thurman does well in a grating, almost thankless part. Lewis & Rowlands are both touching as her best friend & her mother. More on HYSTERICAL BLINDNESS.
Oscar-winner Thompson owns this film. She’s an intelligent, educated woman in Edwardian England torn between her bohemian sister (Carter) & her new husband (Hopkins) a conservative upper-crust businessman. Personal Best for the whole Merchant Ivory team, especially Jhabvala (who also won an Oscar for her fine adaptation of Forster’s novel). More on HOWARD’S END.
Flin (Wynona Ryder) retreats to her grandmother’s house to “finish her thesis” after her live-in lover proposes. One by one, the members of grandma’s quilting circle impart their life lessons. Most stories are told by pairs of uncannily well-matched (ingenue & veteran) actresses. A feminist-lite treat with a lovely Coplanesque score. More on HOW TO […]
Difficult to watch but ultimately rewarding. A young Australian woman travels to India & is overwhelmed by the potential for a different way of life. Her family (heavily caricatured) decides she has been brainwashed, so they lure her home & place her in the hands of an over-confident cult deprogrammer. More on HOLY SMOKE.
Hauntingly beautiful Argentinian coming-of-age film set in a respectable yet rapidly aging hotel. Both mother (the proprietress) & daughter find themselves becoming involved with one of the physicians attending a medical convention. More on THE HOLY GIRL.
An ambitious editor discovers that her neighbor is a famous recluse. The jaded older woman is drawn in by the young woman’s innocence & energy. Powerful depiction of the multiple, highly charged currents that flow in mentor/mentee relationships. Ally Sheedy’s best part ever won her multiple awards. Warning: adults only. More on HIGH ART.
A ‘60’s flashback. Kate Winslet stars as a young woman in search of enlightenment who moves to Morocco with her two young daughters in tow. Based on the autobiography of the youngest daughter, who explores her mother’s life & times with tender but merciless precision. More on HIDEOUS KINKY.
Documentary about Ethel & Julius Rosenberg, executed in 1953 for “stealing the secret of the atom bomb.” SPLIT DECISION: Rich thinks Meeropol should be more forthright about her grandparent’s espionage activities; Jan thinks what’s most relevant are the parallels between McCarthyism & the current threat to civil liberties after 9/11.***** For more, see the “Columns” […]
Greek middle-class family copes with sudden tragedy. Story’s told from the perspective of young Elias (Karayannis), who communicates more about his parent’s relationship than he actually understands. Beautifully retrained, with no distracting melodrama. Tsirigouli (Elias’s mother) & Stergioglou (Elias’s uncle) are especially touching, bearing their adult responsibilities with sad-eyed grace. More on Hard Goodbyes: My […]
While I was in Aurora, my friend Marlys Marshall Styne was playing Jane at the NFPW Annual Meeting in Richmond, VA. Marlys is an active member of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association & a local & national award-winner. Click here to read more about Jane Addams’ years as a member of IWPA.
Ebullient musical version of John Waters’ transgressive classic about a chubby teen (Blonsky) whose joie de vivre topples racial barriers, aka DIRTY DANCING goes Baltimore. Travolta plays Mom (!); Walken play Dad; Efron plays the love object. Pfeiffer has great fun as the skinny blonde nemesis, & Walters gets his Hitchcock moment. More on HAIRSPRAY.
From my column for The Woman’s Papers: It’s summertime. Sometimes the best plan is to avoid the heat and sing your heart out at home! GRACE OF MY HEART is director/screenwriter Allison Anders’ musical tribute to the ‘60s. Illeana Douglas stars as “Denise Waverly,” an aspiring singer and gifted composer of pop melodies. Jennifer Leigh […]
The Governess Directed & written by Sandra Goldbacher Principal Actors: Minnie Driver with Tom Wilkinson & Harriet Walter Overview: The Governess takes Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre and turns it inside-out and upside-down. Minnie Driver stars as “Rosina de Silva,” a girl from a prosperous middle-class Jewish family living in London circa 1830. Rosina is […]