Currently Browsing: Jan Lisa Huttner

PIKU

Lovely “road trip” movie from India follows all the genre conventions, but still manages to take us to places both old and new. Directed by Shoojit Sircar. Screenplay by Juhi Chaturvedi. (JLH: 4/5) ************************* “Piku” (Deenika Padukone) is a very modern young woman–independent, assertive, career-oriented, and always in control… Well that’s what she would like […]

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RIDE (2014)

Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt wrote, directed, and stars in this lovely dramedy about a brash New York editor facing her “Empty Nest Summer”–that turning point in life when her only son “Angelo” (Brenton Thwaites) has finished high school and is about to start college. I laughed; I cried; I had a great time! (JLH: 4/5) […]

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WELCOME TO ME

Shira Piven directs this “Dark Comedy” about a mentally ill woman who wins the lottery and decides to use her sudden wealth to produce her own Oprah-esque TV show. Screenplay by Eliot Laurence. (JLH: 3/5) ************************* “Alice Klieg” (Kristen Wiig) is a very troubled lady. Diagnosed as mentally ill sometime in her teens, Alice has now entered […]

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BAD GIRLS GO TO HELL

On April 23rd, I attended a fascinating program at Anthology Film Archives on 2nd Ave. Michael Bowen, adjunct film professor at FIT and curator of AFA’s “Beyond Cassavetes” film series, spoke at length about Doris Wishman (who is the subject of his doctoral dissertation) and then showed Wishman’s 1965 film Bad Girls Go to Hell. As Bowen […]

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ALEX OF VENICE

Sweet, earnest, perfectly-crafted first feature from actor Chris Messina about an LA family in transition. The delicate plot is graced with wonderful performances in all major and minor roles. Low-key and luminous. Directed by Chris Messina. Screenplay by Jessica Goldberg, Katie Nehra, and Justin Shilton. Not yet seen by Rich. (JLH: 4/5) ************************* “Roger” (Don […]

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EFFIE GRAY (JLH)

Lovingly-crafted new BioPic stars Dakota Fanning as yet another “notorious” 19th Century woman heretofore robbed by history of her own POV. Credit the sumptuous visuals to director Richard Laxton, but the essence of Effie Gray is in the screenplay by Emma Thompson, who also cast herself in the critical role of mentor. (JLH 4/5) ************************* On […]

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EFFIE GRAY (JLH)

Weighing in across the generations: Our respect for Oscar-winning screenwriter & beloved actress Emma Thompson is so great that we have written two review of her new film Effie Gray. Spoiler Alert: WE BOTH LOVE IT!  Click HERE for Brigid’s review. Jan’s review (with a “Real-to-Reel” bonus section) is below. ************************* Lovingly-crafted new BioPic stars Dakota […]

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Crawlin’ in Chelsea

Huge thanks to Nicole Casamento for organizing a second annual “gallery crawl” in honor of International SWAN Day. Last year (2014), we hit three galleries on the Upper East Side. This year (2015), we hit three galleries in Chelsea (on Manhattan’s West Side). We started at the Jack Shainman Gallery (on West 20th Street), where we saw […]

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CGC: Hayv Kahraman

Our first stop on the Chelsea Gallery Crawl was the Jack Shainman Gallery where we saw an astonishing new exhibit called “How Iraqi Are You?” by Hayv Kahraman! HAYV KAHRAMAN – HOW IRAQI ARE YOU?, February 27 – April 4, 2015 (from the Jack Shainman Gallery website): Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to announce Hayv Kahraman’s second solo exhibition at […]

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CGC: Alice Neel

Our second stop on the Chelsea Gallery Crawl was the David Zwirner Gallery where we saw a restrospective of work by American painter Alice Neel (1/28/00 – 10/13/84). From Phoebe Hoban’s biography Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty (2010) Alice Neel liked to say that she was the century and in many ways she was. She was born into […]

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CGC: Ann Agee

Our third stop on the Chelsea Gallery Crawl was the P.P.O.W. Gallery where we saw work by Ann Agee… and had a surprise meeting with the artist herself! Click HERE to learn more about Ann Agee.   Top Photo: Agee MFG Co. Guidebooks 2015, silkscreen on Japanese paper, linen thread and welded steel rack with […]

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8th International SWAN Day

Today is the 8th annual International SWAN Day! Perhaps you have already planned something to do this weekend to Support Women Artists Now. If not there is still time! Click HERE to look for events close to you. If there’s nothing convenient, don’t give up! There are several new films written &/or directed by women […]

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Chelsea Gallery Crawl

NYC Shout-Out: Join us on Saturday (3/28) for our second annual International SWAN Day Gallery Crawl coordinated–once again–by fabulous Nicole Casamento! Last year, we went to three different galleries on the Upper East Side. This year we are heading southwest to Chelsea. Meet-up is 11:45 AM at the Jack Shainman Gallery (513 W 20th St). Reservations are […]

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THE RIOT CLUB

A view from two generations … Review of The Riot Club by Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner Tiny group of “posh” young men–all students at Oxford University–try to live up to legacy of privileged debauchery, but alas, they live in the wrong era. Directed by Lone Scherfig. Screenplay by Laura Wade based on her own play Posh. (JLH: 4/5) […]

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3/29: NYC eVite

NYC SHOUT-OUT: Please join us at Quad Cinema on Sunday March 29th for a special International SWAN Day screening of Lisa F. Jackson’s important new documentary It Happened Here. CLICK HERE TO ORDER TICKETS ONLINE! ************************* In her compelling new documentary, It Happened Here, director Lisa F. Jackson explores the issue of sexual assault on America’s […]

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ORANGE PEOPLE

Elderly Jewish woman living in Jaffa with her married daughter remembers her childhood in Morocco. Poignant dramedy seasoned with a dash of magical realism. Written and directed by beloved Israeli actress Hanna Azoulay Hasfari. Hebrew Title = Anashim Ketumim (JLH: 4/5) 2015 Sephardi Film Festival: Spotlight Morocco A poignant journey contrasting the lives of four generations of Jewish women through […]

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AMOUR FOU

Soporific account of a famous Double Suicide in 1811. With Europe in upheaval, a poet looks for a partner to end it all on his chosen schedule. Written & directed by Jessica Hausner (JLH: 2/5) ************************* Contemporary retelling of the suicide pact that lead to the deaths of Heinrich von Kleist and Henrietta Vogel in 1811. […]

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FIDELIO, ALICE’S ODYSSEY

After years as an apprentice, Alice finally has a chance to prove herself as a mechanic. But can she succeed as the only woman working on an all male crew? Directed by Lucie Borleteau. Screenplay by Borleteau in collaboration with Clara Bourreau. (JLH: 4.5/5) Rendez Vous with French Cinema (NYC 2015) “Alice” (Ariane Labed) has […]

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STUBBORN

Lovesick Frenchman arrives in NYC. Is he pursuing a real woman or his own version of the American dream? Irritating, exhausting, & poignantly metaphysical. Directed by Armel Hostiou who co-wrote screenplay with Léa Inès Cohen and Vincent Macaigne. (JLH: 4/5) Rendez Vous with French Cinema (NYC 2015) “Vincent” (Vincent Macaigne) loves “Barbara” (Kate Moran), but […]

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3/5/15: Art & Activism

This is the Title Page for the PowerPoint presentation I used when I spoke at John Jay College of Criminal Justice tonight in their International Women’s Day program on “Sexual Assault on Campuses.” I recorded it, so I should have the transcript back in a couple of days. If you would like a copy, just […]

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THE LESSON

Margita Gosheva stars as “Nadezhda” in this Bulgarian stunner about a teacher’s harrowing fall from grace. Co-Written/Co-Directed by Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov. Not yet seen by Rich. (JLH: 4.5/5) ************************* When we first meet “Nadezhda” (Margita Gosheva), she is in her comfort zone at the front of a classroom. Standing at the blackboard, Nade is […]

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NFPW Meets a Member

 NFPW Meet a Member: Jan Lisa Huttner Jan Lisa Huttner is an award-winning American film critic, journalist and activist. She is an outspoken advocate for women artists, particularly in cinema. She works hard to help bring women artists the visibility they deserve. She joined NFPW in Illinois and now lives in New York. She is a […]

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GIRLHOOD

Bande de Filles—misleadingly called Girlhood in English—is a new French film trying way too hard to be “commercial.” Instead of telling the story she really wants to tell about the downward trajectory of a beautiful but doomed teen named Marieme” (Karidja Touré), filmmaker Céline Sciamma fills the screen with scenes that look like mini-music videos. […]

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1/15: North Shore (LI) AAUW

JLH Intro: Way back in August, I received an invitation from the North Shore (Long Island) Branch of AAUW. Would I be their January speaker? I said sure. They said the date was January 15th. I said fine. I put the date on my calendar and promptly forgot about it. Then, sometime in December, I […]

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LITTLE WHITE LIE

Little White Lie is a stunning documentary by Lacey Schwartz about a childhood mired in false assumptions… A young girl named Lacey Schwartz grows up in a comfortable and supportive Jewish family in Woodstock, New York. Everyone knows her and loves her, and when she expresses vague anxieties about her curly hair and her skin color, […]

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THE GOLDEN ERA

BioPic stars Wei Tang as Chinese writer Xiao Hong. Focusing on the turbulent 1930s, when left-wing intellectuals lived in the heightened exhilaration of internal upheaval & Japanese invasion, Xiao Hong somehow keeps publishing despite pregnancies & romantic complications. (JLH: 4/5) Suggestion for non-Chinese audiences: Read about Xiao Hong on Wikipedia before you go! Directed by […]

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MISUNDERSTOOD

Misunderstood is a fantastic cinematic memoir based on director Asia Argento’s childhood as the daughter of a famous filmmaker. Primarily known as an actress in French films (like Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress), Argento collaborated with Italian writer Barbara Alberti to tell the story of her upbringing from the perspective of her nine-year-old self. Is it […]

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BUT ALWAYS

What do women want? Turns out that sometimes it’s a melodramatic “Guilty Pleasure” from China. Who knew?!? But Always is an epic story of star-crossed Beijing lovers played by lead actress Yuanyuan Gao (as “Anran”) and lead actor Nicholas Tse (as “Yongyuan”). Gorgeous! Heart-breaking!! Set to a soundtrack showcasing a thousand and one strings!!! Kudos to writer/director […]

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GRINGO TRAILS

Profound new documentary by NYU Anthropology Professor Pegi Vail is ostensibly about the impact of backpacker tourists on once distant climes and cultures, but it implies even more about the way our now dominant “Western Mentality” has overrun our fragile planet and potentially brought it to the breaking point. Quests made popular by films like Lawrence of […]

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ROCKS IN MY POCKET

Latvian animator Signe Baumane (with a long list of shorts to her credit) releases her first feature length film–a chronicle of mental illness played out against 20th Century Latvian history including economic booms/busts, invasions by Nazis/Russians, & life in the former Soviet Union. Female relatives fall in love & get pregnant, then succumb to depression […]

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