Currently Browsing: Bechdel-Wallace List

GIDEON’S ARMY

UPDATE: Gideon’s Army will be awarded the 2014 Ridenhour Documentary Film Prize on April 30th at The National Press Club in Washington, DC. Kudos to filmmaker Dawn Porter & her cast & crew!  Terrific doc follows 2 young African-American attorneys (Brandy Alexander & Travis Williams) who have taken on the difficult role of Public Defender. With […]

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LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Giddy French RomCom about an estranged couple forced to sit side-by-side on a flight from NYC to Paris. Folks, it’s never about the what, it’s always about the how, & Love Is In The Air succeeds because of its light touch. So kudos to director Alexandre Castagnetti, his stars (Nicolas Bedos & Ludivine Sagnier) & his team […]

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RUN & JUMP

“Vanetia” (Maxine Peake) is an Irish woman with 2 young children. Her husband “Conor” (Edward MacLiam) has been disabled by a premature stroke & she is beginning to fray. Into this mix comes an American neuropsychologist (Will Forte), not to help her but to “observe” Conor after he has moved from the rehab facility & […]

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MAIDENTRIP

At age 14, Laura Dekker set off from Holland in her little boat “Guppy,” determined to become the youngest person ever to sail solo around the globe. Oy! Filmmaker Jillian Schlesinger & her team do a masterful job of editing all the film Laura took along the way, adding context during the three long mid-ocean […]

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RUE MANDAR

DAY FOURTEEN OF THE 2014 NEW YORK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL… THE LAST DAY OF A GREAT FESTIVAL 🙂 3 siblings reunite in Paris to bury their mother, mourn her passing, and then get on with the business of living. “Emma,” the youngest (played by Sandrine Kiberlain) stands in for filmmaker Idit Cebula in this semi-autobiographical […]

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THE WOMEN PIONEERS

DAY TWELVE OF THE 2014 NEW YORK JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL Fascinating doc by Michal Aviad (written by Aviad & Era Lapid) based on the actual diaries of the women who helped to found Kibbutz Ein Harod (located in the Jezreel Valley in northern Israel). Arriving in the early 1920s, these were primarily educated women from […]

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BAND OF SISTERS

Affectionate portrait of various American Nuns who took off their habits after Vatican 2, left their convents, & went off into the community to promote Social Justice in the name of Jesus Christ. Mary Fishman’s documentary focuses on three topical concerns: one group serves illegal immigrants facing deportation, one group serves the homeless, & one […]

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FOR A WOMAN

After her mother dies, a grieving daughter (Sylvie Testud) finds documents that reveal a lost chapter in the lives of her parents. Gorgeous semi-autobiographical period film written & directed by Diane Kurys turns out to be about French Holocaust survivors who find it difficult to put the horror behind them. Sensuous & heart-breaking, For a Woman is a […]

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IN BLOOM

“Eka” (Lika Babluani) is a 14 year old girl living in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1992 [= right after the break-up of the former Soviet Union]. Eka lives with her mother & older sister. Her father is in prison but we never know why. Film covers an intense period during which Eka’s BFF “Natia” (Mariam Bokeria) […]

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LOVES HER GUN

Stunningly effective film directed by Geoff Marslett & co-written by Marslett with Lauren Modery. A young woman living in Brooklyn (Trieste Kelly Dunn) is traumatized by a violent attack. Knowing she is lucky to be alive, Allie moves far away to laid back Austin, TX, but she is still unable to shake her fear. Needing cash, Allie takes […]

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THE TRUTH ABOUT EMANUEL

Delicate psychological drama about loss & longing written & directed by Francesca Gregorini (based on a story she wrote with Sarah Thorp). One woman is unable to have children. One woman is the mother of an infant who died. One woman is the daughter of a woman who died giving birth to her. Can they find the […]

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2013: The Year of “A” Ratings

This time last year I was on a high. I had just posted a review of Zero Dark Thirty in which I predicted two record-book accomplishments. First I said that Katherine Bigelow would receive her second “Best Director” nomination from AMPAS (“given how many critics groups have already anointed her”). Second, I said that Zero […]

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LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM

1/10/14 Update: Sam Berns died today at the age of 17. May his memory be for blessing. Another doc about a sick kid? We went because we had to & we are so glad we did. With expert control of the material, filmmakers Sean Fine & Andrea Nix Fine keep their story moving forward–the best […]

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THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones star as secret lovers Charles Dickens and Nelly Ternan in the film adaptation of Claire Tomalin’s bestselling biography. The slowly-paced love story allows Jones to shine in her emotionally complex role as an infatuated, frustrated young woman in love with an older man. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid […]

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ALL THE LIGHT IN THE SKY

In which Jane Adams plays a character much like the person she appears to be in her many Indie film & TV roles: a sweet-faced, awkward, girlish actress who is now middle-aged but has never quite grown up. (Examples: The original “Joy Jordan” in Todd Solondz’ ironically named film Happiness, & “Tanya Skagle” the fumbling pimp […]

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BRAVE MISS WORLD

Jan’s JCC Manhattan Sneak Peak Linor Abargil was a candidate for “Miss World” when she was brutally raped by someone she thought was a colleague. The Italians would do nothing, but the Israelis arrested him when they both got home. Excellent doc by Cecilia Peck focuses on Linor’s attempt to recover from her trauma by […]

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BREAKFAST WITH CURTIS

Micro-budget film written & directed by Laura Colella is set in a ramshackle abode in Providence RI (affectionately called The Purple Citadel) that houses a multi-generational assortment of academics, intellectuals & other free spirits. “Curtis” (Jonah Parker) is the nerd next door, a teen who finds his inner artist when “Syd-the-Bookseller” (Theo Green) asks him to shoot some promotional […]

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TRICKED

Critically important topic of teenage prostitution in the USA is handled with maximum commitment but minimal skill. Co-directors John Keith Wasson & Jane Wells have a lot of great footage showing that vulnerable teens–mostly but not all girls–are lured into relationships with charismatic hustlers, then turned out on the street. But without focus, Wasson & […]

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FROZEN

This delightful animated feature–co-directed by Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee–is very loosely based on the Hans Christian Anderson tale THE SNOW QUEEN. In this Disney version, two sisters battle fate when the elder (voiced by Idina Menzel) is cursed with an unwanted, evil power that freezes everything she touches. Can her younger sister (voiced by […]

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THE PUNK SINGER

BioDoc by Sini Anderson about the life of ground-breaking musician Kathleen Hanna (a key figure in the Riot Grrl movement). For me this is a superlative doc & I saw it twice, whereas my husband Rich wanted more “Follow the Money” info (e.g., Did Hanna’s 1st group Bikini Kill sell any albums? If so, what […]

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Spirit Noms 2014

Congratulations to the ten women filmmakers nominated today for Independent Spirit Awards for the work they did in 2013: Julie Delpy: Best Screenplay Before Midnight Nicole Holofcener: Best Screenplay Enough Said Stacie Passon: Best First Feature Concussion Lucy Mulloy: Best First Feature Una Noche   Haifaa Al Mansour: Best First Feature Wadjda Lake Bell: Best First […]

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DETROIT UNLEADED

11/27 Update: Read Rola’s great new post on Melissa Silverstein’s wonderful blog “Women & Hollywood”! After his father is murdered, “Sami” (E.J. Assi) must put his own plans on hold to care for his mother & manage the family gas station/convenience store. But one day, after endless hours in the cage, Sami is right where […]

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INHERITANCE

Directing debut of Hiam Abbass (first Palestinian actress to win the Best Actress award from the Israel Film Academy & one of the greatest actresses in the 21st Century worldwide). Click HERE to read about Lemon Tree (the film for which Abbass won her Ophir Award). Click HERE to read my ’05 chat with Abbass (which […]

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Doris Lessing RIP

FF2 Tribute to Doris Lessing FF2 Media dedicates this day to the memory of Doris Lessing, one of the great women of the 20th Century. In 2007, Lessing received the Nobel Prize for Literature making her the 11th woman to be so honored. Lessing died Sunday (11/17/13) at the age of 94. I first read […]

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ILYA AND EMILIA KABAKOV

Ilya & Emilia Kabakov: Enter Here Fascinating visual portrait of Russian-Jewish artist Ilya Kabakov & his wife/collaborator Emilia. I was totally unfamiliar with Kabakov’s work & it’s mesmerizing. Filmmaker Amei Wallach tells the story of his difficult life in Russia (& the heroic sacrifices Kabakov’s mother made to keep him in art school) as her camera lingers […]

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SUNLIGHT JR.

Despite her hard upbringing with an alcoholic mother (Tess Harper) and the crippling injury of her boyfriend (Matt Dillon), “Melissa” (Naomi Watts) remains upbeat and determined to live a full life. But bit-by-bit she is worn down by the petty tyranny of a life so financially strained that even a rainstorm has dire consequences. Another terrific […]

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An Elizabeth Bishop Moment

“The still explosions on the rocks, the lichens, grow by spreading, gray, concentric shocks. They have arranged to meet the rings around the moon, although within our memories they have not changed.   And since the heavens will attend as long on us, you’ve been, dear friend, precipitate and pragmatical; and look what happens. For […]

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RUNNING FROM CRAZY

Tragic history of the Hemingway family is draped in soft “Self Help” imagery as Mariel Hemingway bounces on trampolines & climbs up cliffs to prove she has everything under control now. While admiring her honestly & tenacity, this telling lacks the rigorous edge that Barbara Kopple usually gives to her docs. Most affecting is footage from […]

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SWEET DREAMS

NYC Shout-Out: The Quad Cinema (near Union Square) has scheduled 2 screenings of Sweet Dreams every day this week (11/1 thru 11/8). Screenings are at 2:40 every afternoon & at 7 PM every evening. Special events are also planned for each evening including filmmaker Q&A and appearances by the Blue Marble Ice Cream folks. Click […]

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CARRIE (2013)

Carrie is a second adaptation of Stephen King’s original story, in which a teenager with telekinetic powers (Chloe Grace Moretz as “Carrie White”) exacts her revenge on her tormentors at the High School Prom. Whereas Brian De Palma made a Hitchcock “horror film” back in 1976, today in 2013 Kimberly Peirce is more concerned with […]

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