Currently Browsing: Bechdel-Wallace List

THE OTHER WOMAN

A workaholic Manhattan lawyer named “Carly” (Cameron Diaz) discovers that her new squeeze has a wife named “Kate” (Leslie Mann) tucked away in a huge house in the burbs! And then they find him playing at the beach with yet another gorgeous–and very young–GalPal named “Amber” (Kate Upton) — Eek! Punishing duplicitous “Mark” (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) begins […]

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TANZANIA: A JOURNEY WITHIN

What begins as a light, tourist trip to Beautiful East Africa (Dar es Salaam! Mount Kilimanjaro!) turns more serious when a sunny American named Kristen Kenney follows her African friend Venance Ndibalema home & discovers the realities of poverty & disease in his ancestral village. Director Sylvia Caminer jumps right in, so what we learn about Kristen […]

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HALF THE ROAD

Full Title = Half the Road: The Passion, Pitfalls & Power of Women’s Professional Cycling Half the Road is a well-told case study which, by shining one bright light, unpacks the “Pentagram of Blame”–Officials, Race Directors, Sponsors & Male-Dominated Media–holding women back in almost every field of endeavor. Kudos to athlete, journalist & now filmmaker […]

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A FRAGILE TRUST

NYC-Shout Out: A Fragile Trust opens tomorrow (4/11/14) at the Quad Cinema on 13th Street just south of Union Station. Q&A sessions are planned all weekend with Samantha Grant & other guests. Click here for times & ticket information. ************************* Full Title = A Fragile Trust: Plagiarism, Power, and Jayson Blair at the New York Times ************************* […]

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DANCING IN JAFFA

Pierre Dulaine has achieved world-wide fame first as a Ballroom Dancer & later as a teacher who uses dance to transform the lives of troubled kids. Who knows why this works, but it seems to: Dulaine appeared as himself in a 2005 doc called Mad Hot Ballroom, and he was played by Antonio Bandaras (yowza!) […]

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HATESHIP LOVESHIP

Two teenage girls (Sami Gayle and Hailee Steinfeld) play a nasty trick on a seemingly fragile housekeeper (Kristen Wiig) who turns out to have surprising inner resources. This delicate drama, directed by Liza Johnson, is based on a story by Canadian author Alice Munro (who just won the Nobel Prize for Literature in December 2013). […]

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REFUGE

“Amy” (Krysten Ritter) puts her dreams on hold so she can care for her younger siblings. But when she meets a drifter named “Sam” (Brian Geraghty), Amy wonders anew what she is meant to do with her life. Refuge is a lovely, low-key character study which makes excellent use of its Long Island location. Directed by […]

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DIVERGENT

Mumbo Jumbo set in a dystopian future where everyone lives harmoniously in one of five “factions” (with the incredibly pretentious names Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless & Erudite), until, of course, one faction decides to change the rules for its own benefit. Alas, all I saw was an excuse for boring, predictable onscreen mayhem. (JLH: 2/5) […]

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IT FELT LIKE LOVE (2013): Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

Beautifully-crafted Indie about a teenage girl looking for her place in the world. Lila is 14. She becomes friends with Chiara in a dance class. Chiara, who is 16, is more mature and she is already sexually active. Palling around with Chiara in the summer heat leads Lila to the edge of dangerous self-exploration. Poignant. Painful. […]

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FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AEGEAN

NYC Shout-Out: From Both Sides of the Aegean opens this Friday (3/21/14) at the Quad Theatre near Union Square. Click HERE for schedule. Note that filmmaker Maria Iliou will be onsite for a Q&A after the 7 PM screening on Saturday night (3/22/14). At the very end of the powerful new documentary From Both Sides of […]

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A CASTLE IN ITALY

Day Eleven of the 2014 Rendez Vous with French Cinema Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s new film A Castle in Italy (which she directed, co-wrote, and stars in as “Louise Rossi Levi”) is a semi-autobiographical dramedy which pays homage to modern classics like Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Visconti’s Sandra, but with a thoroughly contemporary twist. Louise is […]

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SCHOOL OF BABEL

Day Eleven of the 2014 Rendez Vous with French Cinema Kudos to director Julie Bertuccelli for this lovely doc filled with the luminous faces of kids from all around the world: Asia, Africa, Europe, & South America:            One year in a Parisian “Reception Class,” where an indefatigable teacher helps a room full of […]

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GOING AWAY

Day Ten of the 2014 Rendez Vous with French Cinema French Title = Un beau dimanche Going Away is the kind of film that grabs hold, pulls you in, and never lets go. Based on the way it starts, I could never have guessed how it would end, but when the credits rolled I sighed a great sigh: […]

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VERONICA MARS

Fans of an old TV series literally “kick-started” their stars back for a new life on the Big Screen, but like a fast-food burger the result is over-processed, filled with junk, and totally without natural flavor. Directed by Rob Thomas & co-written with Diane Ruggiero (the creators of the original Veronica Mars TV series), the plot–such as […]

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SUZANNE

Day #4 of NYC’s 2014 Rendez Vous with French Cinema…

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MISS AND THE DOCTORS

Day #3 of NYC’s 2014 Rendez Vous with French Cinema…

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ON MY WAY

Opening Night of NYC’s 2014 Rendez Vous with French Cinema…

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BOTTLED UP

Movie magic on a mini budget: Single mom living in a quiet community on the Hudson River has all her routines disturbed by the arrival of an environmentalist doing research on Hydraulic Fracking. Just like in Frozen River, Melissa Leo gives another phenomenal performance as “Fay,” with great back up from Josh Hamilton (as “Becket”), as […]

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Whitehead Q&A

Thanks to Liliane Mavridara from WIFV-DC for an invitation to attend a private screening of Karen Whitehead’s new film Her Aim is True at the Norwood Club on West 14th Street. Her Aim is True is a fascinating doc about the career of photographer Jini Dellaccio. Dellaccio–who fell in love with jazz as a kid & spent many years […]

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THE NEW BLACK

Terrific new documentary unravels the full range of African American responses to the 2012 campaign for Marriage Equality in Maryland. Focus is on the local activists who were personally campaigning Pro & Con. Altho funding by White Catholic & Mormon churches was critical in getting the issue on the ballot in the first place, they […]

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ENDLESS LOVE (2014)

A sheltered teen from a troubled family falls headlong into her first summer romance. This new adaptation of Scott Spencer’s source novel–directed by Shana Feste–makes radical changes to the one Franco Zeffirelli directed in ’81 & that is all to the good. The new “Jade Butterfield” (Gabriella Wilde) is older & more accomplished than the […]

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ALICE WALKER

Seen at the 4th annual Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. Pratibha Parmar’s well-assembled BioDoc Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth was made for the PBS series “American Masters,” ensuring Parmar terrific access to all the essential people in Walker’s world-historic life. Best-known as the author of the controversial Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple, Walker grew up in […]

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AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY

Seen at the 4th annual Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. In 2005, filmmaker Grace Lee released a terrific doc called The Grace Lee Project. Lee’s goal in this “project” was to seek out women named “Grace Lee” all around the USA (a huge number, especially in the Korean-American community) to see for herself if all Grace […]

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FARAH GOES BANG

Seen at the 4th annual Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. 3 LA gal pals drive to Ohio in late October of 2004 to help John Kerry’s Presidential Campaign with a final “big push” in a Must-Win state. Roopa (Deol) is the organizer, KJ (Erickson) is the anti-war activist, & Farah (Boosheri) is the American-born […]

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GERALDINE FERRARO

Seen at the 4th annual Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. In Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way, a daughter–Donna Zaccaro–pays loving tribute to a Mom who just happens to be a world-historical figure. Geraldine Ferraro (“Geri”) was the first woman ever nominated for Vice President of the USA. Ground-breaking! Crowds cheered! But then she got crushed… Growing […]

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TALL AS THE BAOBAB TREE

Seen at the 4th annual Athena Film Festival at Barnard College. Tall as the Baobab Tree is a superb story directed by Jeremy Teicher (& co-written by Alexi Pappas) about a teenage girl in Senegal coming face-to-face with her first moral dilemma. When a financial crisis hits, her father decides to keep “Coumba” (Dior Kâ) in […]

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7 BOXES

NYC Shout-Out: 7 Boxes opens today (2/7/14) at the Cinema Village. Kudos to directing team Juan Carlos Maneglia & Tana Schembori from Paraguay. Their amazingly propulsive new feature takes Hollywood crime tropes & spins them into home-grown gold! “Victor” (Celso Franco) is a teenager who works as a delivery boy in the Asunción market. Thru […]

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DEMI-SOEUR

NYC Shout-Out: Demi-Soeur opens today (2/7/14) at the Village East Cinema. Sweet French confection wriiten & directed by Josiane Balasko. “Paul Bérard” (Michel Blanc) is a middle aged pharmacist who keeps tight control of his life, but all his routines are thrown into disarray by the sudden arrival of Nénette (Balasko)… the daughter he never […]

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THE PRETTY ONE

One twin is a sophisticated city babe, the other is a mouse who takes care of their widowed Dad in the burbs. When “the pretty one” dies in a car crash, the mouse decides to switch lives. OK premise, but abysmal execution by writer/director Jenée LaMarque. Zoe Kazan fails to convince & everyone else just acts […]

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AFTERNOON OF A FAUN

Full Title = Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq Gorgeously-produced BioDoc about famous ballet dancer Tanaquil Le Clercq aka “Tanny” (muse to both George Balanchine & Jerome Robbins) who was suddenly paralyzed by polio at age 27 at the peak of her artistic powers. Yet despite her dire prognosis, Tanny lived 4 more decades of […]

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